I am what I am, take it or leave it. But, I am -not- a Dragonslayer.
~Quinn-Tamsin “Nyla” Clarkson
Quinn-Tamsin “Nyla” Clarkson is a stubborn, independent, young researcher who works for the Whatcom Tribune. Slightly foul mouthed, and abrasive her attitude was born from the years leading up to my grandmother’s death this past year in 2014. In the time between my graduation from WWU in 2011 to the modern day there has been a lot in my life that led to the creation of the Agaera novels. First was a lack of drive that built up over the years from the time I led the Ashenfold Cartel to now. I had always started things and never finished them, so I strove to create a project that would last, and I did. The problem with those kinds of challenges is that they can often backfire in a manner that is not the most conducive for your life.
Ashenfold eventually fell apart from internal disagreements, and the lead up to and the time after my eventual resignation as the admin led me into a deep depression. For years at that point I had created what I wanted, but I had let other things or other people’s work define my own. Sure, I had attempted projects before, but I had never finished a thing. That same year I wrote a 170,000 novel manuscript, and the year after I wrote a shorter one. I ran a website that did not do the best, but it taught me a lot more about my own works.
Through these trials and tribulations I was also witnessing my grandmother deteriorate from the woman I knew growing up as “Nana” because of Alzheimer’s. In 2014 she passed away after losing total lucidity, but I still remember talking with her on our days every few weeks. I would take her to see movies; go out for meals; and I would simply drive her around the county while we talked. Eileen O’Callaghan, was a fascinating woman who grew up during the depression, and her fought Nazi’s in the North African campaign. It was the stories of my grandparents that founded the creation of Agaera, and it was their story and my own depression that created Nyla.
Who is she?
Nyla as an individual can be defined by her name. Nyla is the chosen name she took for herself in defiance of the name she actually has, Quinn-Tamsin. She doesn’t like it much, and the reason why is pretty obscure. Nyla as a name is arabic, and it means “Winner”. She adopted it shortly after her first case for her associate Jack O’Shadows (a trickster fae said to be older than human civilization). Whatever the reason, Nyla reinvented herself in the past few years, and is the person she is today because of the trials and tribulations of her past. Nyla does not like to be defined by others and will generally react by shutting down, a problem which she will have to ultimately overcome.
Ny (as her friends call her), straddles the line between humanity and the Fae. Through both her families the Clarksons and the Eikstedt’s she inherits semi-divine blood three Fae Lords, or Gods. Then there are the real world cultural lines that she grew up with. Her mother is an active member of the Skualip Nation of Pierce County, and she has relatives in the local Tsalemish Nation across from her home over on Anian Island. Conflict between the Island, the County, and the Tsalemish has usually caused problems for Nyla. Negotiations over the Anian Island ferry, discussion of water rights, and the Tsalemish complaints against the county for mercury levels in fish.
Quinn (Nyla) grew up with these forces, and with her own identity always in question. She was not always sure she who she was, and now she just wants to create her own self-image. To be who -she- wants to be, and not let other people tell her who she is. There is one final aspect of Nyla’s personality that often leads to some strife with others. Nyla does not adhere to the gender binary. To her male and female are passe terms, and she tends to go with the flow on how she is feeling, she’s genderfluid. An expression that can often confuse people at times, and she often has to explain (she really hates having to do it).
But really, Nyla is a complicated character whose desire to be who she wishes derived from my own experiences. As Nyla says, “She’s not a Dragonslayer”, she’s not a hero. But when people are getting hurt, she jumps in and intervenes to make the world a better place.