(A woman with short flame-red hair and shocking purple eyes, dressed in men’s britches and shirt, a sword fastened around her waist and a confidence to her stride. This is Alannah of Pirate’s Swoop and Olau, Lady Knight.)
Interviewer: Welcome Alannah. Thank you so much for doing this interview with us.
Alannah: (coldly) Thank you it’s a pleasure to be here.
I: Now Alannah, you are a very famous woman and are responsible for women being allowed to train as knights. What is it like to be a role model for so many young women out there?
A: I wouldn’t see myself as a role model. Despite the rules being lifted on women being allowed to train as knights there are still very few women stepping up to take the opportunity.
I: But fought for what you believed in and have been willing to sacrifice everything to get there. Surely these are very admirable qualities, no matter what you are trying to achieve.
A: That is true, but you have to be careful not to be too driven. In the past I was so focused on becoming a knight that I forgot about the people around me and they are just as important, if not more so than ambition.
I: Now that you’ve brought it up, it is common knowledge that you are very close friends with our respected King, his Royal Highness King Jonathan. When he appointed you one of his closest advisors, did you not think that it might be because of your relationship with him?
A: (angry) I think that is an insult not just to me but also to his highness. It is true that I have a long and complicated history with Jon, but I trust his highness enough to base his judgment on merit rather than favourites.
I: I am sure you are right. When you refer to your long and complicated history with King Jonathan, I assume you are referring to the period shortly after you received your shield, when the then Prince Jonathan was ready to propose and make you the next Queen of Tortall.
A: (sharply) That was a long time ago and our relationship has moved on since then and we are happily married to other people, as you well know.
I: But what made you chose George Cooper, a thief none-the-less, over the future king?
A: (forcefully) Status had nothing to do with my decision. In fact both men have held the same title, Jon is King of Tortall, George was King of Thieves. And George is far better suited to me than Jon ever was, and if that’s because George was a thief then I’m proud of it. Can we please move away from this topic? I’ve said all I wanted to say on the matter.
I: But you have quite a reputation when it comes to men. After King Jonathan there was the Shang Dragon, Liam Ironarm. What about him?
A: (hiss) Do not speak his name. He was a good man who died protecting others.
I: I apologise for saying something that offended you but I-
A: I said I didn’t want to talk about this. (Slams fist down on the table and pushes her chair backwards violently) I wish that for once that someone would listen to me.
I: But people do listen to you, Alannah. You are the people’s hero who defeated the Ysandir, killed Duke Roger of Conté, befriended the Bazhir and found the Dominion Jewel. You are their hero.
A: (shouts) But that's not what I wanted! I was meant to disguise myself as a boy, prove everyone wrong by earning my shield and that would be the end of it. I would be an outcast but at least I would have proved that women were worth something.
I: You have proved women are worth something, you have given them power and shown them that they can be anything they want, and far more besides. Isn't that better?
A: No. Because now the people look to me for advice and guidance and I don't know what to give them. I might appear strong and confident but I'm pretending. I do not deal well with people. I would rather fight the Ysandir again than be the person everyone expects me to be.
I: How can you-
A: This interview is over.
I: But Alannah-
A: (shouting) This interview is over!
(Alannah storms out, her boots thumping against the floor and the door slamming behind her. The interviewer stares after her, stunned.)