Pearl: An Interview with a Monster

pearl.jpgIt’s that time again! Time for me to promote another upcoming book by my friend, science fiction and fantasy writer Clay Gilbert. I’ve promoted his books in his Annah series on here before, but now I’m promoting his new series featuring a rather unusual girl named Pearl. How unusual is she? Well, you’ll just have to read to find out! But in the meantime, let’s get to know her a little in this interview I did.

  1. I know you like stories about monsters. Do you have a favorite monster? Why? *chuckles* Matt-he’s my adopted dad–asked me that one time. Gotta be either Frankenstein or the Wolf Man, if you mean classic monsters, but I like Godzilla a lot too. And King Kong. And I know Frankenstein ain’t really the monster’s name, but the name of the doctor. But yeah, Frankenstein’s monster wants to get along with people, but people treat him mean and it makes him mean too. Maybe if I never had father figures like Matt or Dr. Steve back in the lab where I grew up, I woulda been sad and angry and mean to folks like Frankenstein’s monster. I got lucky, I guess.
  2. What’s your favorite food? Hmm, I like food. (looks around) Ya got any? (laughs) Scrambled eggs and bacon’s prob’ly my favorite breakfast food. Hot dogs or pizza prob’ly are my two favorite other foods. Matt–Dad–would say those ain’t very good for me, but I can’t help that. (laugh again) I like pepperonis and green peppers and onions on my pizza. But not anchovies. (in Gollum voice) we HATES anchovies, preciousss.
  3. You were named after a verse from the Bible; the “pearl of great price”. What’s your favorite part of the Bible? Anything with Jesus in it. Specially I liked how he talked about people needing to be like children to enter God’s kingdom.  I think people overlook kids a lot of the time, and don’t give ’em enough credit or treat ’em like real people, and I think it mighta been that way in Jesus’s time, too. I know I ain’t like most other ten-year-old kids, but I still know what it’s like not to be listened to by some folks cause of my age, even though I’m smart. Oops, Dad says that’s braggin’ and folks don’t like people who brag too much. Sorry. But yeah, Jesus loved everybody–loves everybody–and he don’t care what color skin someone’s got, whether it’s dark like mine or light yours, or whether somebody got silver eyes or pointy teeth and nails, or not, so long as they good to people and kind to people.
  4. Do you have any favorite musicians? Any you don’t like? I love Johnny Cash. He prob’ly my favorite of all. Love that song “Wabash Cannonball”. and “Man in Black”. I like Tracy Chapman–she makes of think of me. I like LL Cool J and Tupac, even though it sounds like he had a rough time. Maybe even BECAUSE he sounds like he had a rough life . He got hold of a lot of money, but ‘fore he did, sounds like he went through stuff about as bad as the stuff I seen before Dr. Steve or Dad came along. Different stuff, but just as bad. Ain’t no music I don’t like, not really. There’s some good to all of it.
  5. Have you read Firestarter by Stephen King? Your story seems similar in a way. Yeah I read that. I felt sorry for Charlie, the little girl in the book. She coulda been like any normal little girl, well mostly. Guess I’s kind of jealous of her, too. She could go to a normal school, if folks woulda left her and her Dad alone. My dad couldn’t get me in no normal school, no way. He’s homeschooled me though. I mean, I know I talk like a hick, but I’ve read stuff some kids don’t read till college.

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Bookworm: Annah and the Arrow by Clay Gilbert


annah-book-four-clay-gilbert-full-cover-e1504471181732-300x300Well, I just finished the fourth book in my friend Clay Gilbert’s “Children of Evohe” series, “Annah and the Arrow”, so I thought I’d review it here.

After the events of the previous installment Annah And the Gates of Grace, Annah was murdered by the Shadow, but her twins Linnah and Laren survived. Her husband, Gary Holder, raises them on her homeworld while he waits for his return. Her friends in her Circle await her return, as she had promised she would.

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Annah’s World: The Second Interview

A few years back, I conducted an interview with Annah, the main character from Clay Gilbert’s book of the same name, and the first in his series, Children of Evohe.  In that time, he has had to change publishers from the now-defunct PDMI to Dark Moon Press. He has now published two books simultaneously. This time, I interview her two “sister-friends”, Chelries and Liara. To Annah and her people, friends who are especially intimate are considered family, so they are both her sisters and her friends.

  1. It’s been a year since Holder and Annah have married. How are you adjusting to coexistence with humanity? *both laugh* We have never really had any difficulty “coexisting” with humans, at least those who are willing to coexist with us. Yes, there are terrible images of what humans did to Evohe in our people’s shared Memories of what we call the Breaking of the World, but Holder, Goodman, the Maestro, Maria Cantriel, and even Brian Stelson–so many humans never personally treated us badly. I think we both agree that misunderstanding is harder one on one.
  2. I’m told Annah has started a group called “The Circle” and one of its members is autistic. What is your impression of him? Chelries: “Our circle is a thing that does not really have a name–unless Annah is talking about it, she does pronounce it with that sound you give it, that “thing” sound–but even she just thinks of it in terms of what it does, and not so formally. Liara: “That is not the point of what he is asking, sister. He is asking, I think, about friend Jason. Jason Treader. That’s a subject I know you like. Chelries: “Oh! I do like him, very much He is less guarded than other humans sometimes, even less so than Holder.  That is very comforting. And he does not mind dancing with me, and can even keep up. Liara: (smiles) I like him too. He likes stories, and has even told me some of his own, and those of his world. This ‘autism’–I have heard him speak of it as well, but I do not think of it as separate from him, or a thing he ‘has’. It is merely a part of who he is, and that is all.
  3. What other members of the Circle have you found the most challenging to teach and learn from? (Liara and Chelries look at each other, as if trying to decide who’s going to answer first) Chelries: I think we both had some difficulties adjusting to Maria Cantrell, when she was with us. Liara: Yes. We were not entirely sure what to make of her in the beginning, but we trusted her, because Annah did.  And then we came to see what Annah saw in her, and we loved her.  And then she was gone. But we remember her fondly. Chelries: There has also been Brian Stelson. It is truly remarkable how much he changed, even more so than Maraia did. Liara: Sister, that may be because there was even more in friend Brian that needed chaning. Chelries: I suppose that is true, and I suppose that is the point.
  4. Your culture seems to place great emphasis on music. What is your favorite thing about human music? Chelries: The rhythms! Human culture seems to have found many more ways to make a beat than we have, but then I suppose they have more ways to do it. It is wonderful, anyway. Liara; The fusion of melody and verse. We do not have so many songs with words here on our world, not ones of our own. Song-shapers like Annah, and word-shapers, like myself if I may say so, may one day change that. Chelries: And then I will dance to those new songs! *laughs*
  5. What is your opinion of our food? Chelries: Very tasty. Holder and Anah talked Llew and Danae, Annah’s parents into making a human meal called ‘pizza’ from a recipe he had found.  It was delicious. Liara: I agree! I could have eaten at least half of it by myself. Chelries: Hmph! I would not have let you

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One Faith, Many Paths: Clay Gilbert


This month for my “One Faith, Many Paths” project, I’m interviewing Clay Gilbert, a friend of mine who writes science fiction for PDMI. Among his books are Annah, (part of his “Children of Evohe” series) and Dark Road to Paradise. He is a recent convert to Christianity from Wicca.

What was your childhood like? I’m an only child, and in many ways, through much of my childhood, my life was the stereotypical suburban family story–the “Beaver Cleaver” family stereotype, as my mom has said on a few occasions. Dad worked, and Mom stayed home and took care of me. Later on, when I was a little older, Mom periodically worked, but our family was pretty traditional.  It really was a great time. My parents encouraged me to read, and encouraged my passion for writing.  They taught me good values–including raising me in a knowledge of Christianity, and the Bible, which we read a lot in our house. I also went to church every Sunday.  But for certain reasons, which were my own, I didn’t claim Christianity as my own faith until January of 2016. It was the “faith of my fathers”, as the old hymn says, but I had to take my own long road to reach it for myself.

What kind of instruction did you receive in Christianity? Tons, man. My family wasn’t one of those ‘check off the box’, go to church on Sunday and forget it kind of Christian families.  The Bible and the teaches of Christ, and the perspectives of Christian figures in the larger culture, were a constant presence in my life.  I attended Sunday School as well as Sunday Services, and I read the Bible for myself. I’d estimate that by the time I was thirteen–the age of Confirmation class in the Methodist branch of the Protestant Church–I’d read it all the way through at least four times. There are some Christians who seem to feel that those who aren’t Christians just haven’t been exposed to the Gospel. In my case, that wasn’t so.

What is your favorite biblical passage? Easy. It’s Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We try to do stuff on our own, so much in this world; in this culture.  But I know for myself that I am much stronger with the Lord Jesus in my life than I ever was when I was wondering around trying to get things done without Him.  And I know He was there all along, knocking on the door and waiting for me to be ready to open it.

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