Muse Name: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character
Prompt Number: Muse Inquiries: 2
Word Count: N/A
Muse Inquiries 2 – Work
1. What is your character’s career or job? Did you determine this, or is this their job in canon?
Fanny / Frances / Faelyn is High Lady of the Fortunate Island, so in every sense of the word, she is Queen. She is also by necessity of being an Initiate of the Island and its High Priestess, is a Witch. She was raised in a family of Witches and Initiates of one kind or another. this was something the Muse herself decided, rather than something I decided for her and is most definitely part of her canon. As her writer, I have studied the esoteric and occult to some degree, and being someone who is in a different sect altogether, it is quite fascinating to go into those places where I don’t necessarily have any experience.
2. Is your character good at their job? Describe how you can see this, not only in their canon, but in how you play them.
Faelyn is extremely good at her job as far as being Priestess and a Witch. As for being Queen to her people, she can be good at times. I think there are times during her rule where she was not so good at her job because she let her emotions get in the way. She is not someone who never fails – she knows what failure is. What counts is how she deals with those failures.
3. Did you change or add a career to your character? If they are canon, did you change them from the career they had in the source material? If they are an OC, did you start out with one career for them, then change? If you changed their career, how much do you think this changed the character?
Since Faelyn / Fanny is immortal, I did add a career of being an author and one that helps the authorities from time to time as part of a storyline I did for a time. She has, since she has awakened her husband, slipped back into being a little more anonymous. She does help Sebastien, her husband, help manage the Château de Rochefort wineries.
4. How much of your character’s core personality is shaped by their career?
I think even before Fanny usurped the throne, she viewed herself as a Sovereign. Certainly being a Queen shapes who she is and how she deals with and interacts with people. She cannot go out partying and being a wild and loose woman, even though as a royal, she can indulge in some pretty scandalous behaviour, she just is very careful to keep most of it completely out of the public eye. She thinks about absolutely everything she says and does through the lens of being a sovereign. Her speech is measured, she rarely does things that she would consider to be “undiginified”, because if observed by others outside of the ruling class, could be misconstrued into just bad behaviour and that just will not do! Her work as a priestess as well as what she does completely dictates how she interacts with others, too. And the only two people she ever completely “lets down” in front of are her husband, Sebastien, and her Anam Cara, Hsu Danmei. Even her children rarely see her do anything that is not through that lens of being a Sovereign.
5. How often do you write them in their work setting? Do you do research about the workplace and job that they do?
Not nearly enough. I think I do more about her diplomatic travels and her interactions on a more mundane side of life than I do of her doing her job as Queen of her People. However, there are going to be some stories coming up that will show her in the role of High Lady and teacher to her protégés . Lee and I did this a little bit last year with her young protégé , ‘ Amarante LeGard(sunnotshadows). the setting is more WWII in France, and we are trying to come and go between the Fortunate Island during the French Occupation. What I am really looking to do is to do some backstory filling for when Faelyn first comes to the throne.
6. Is your character in a job that you do? Is it a job that you wish you could do, or admire?
The only jobs that Fanny does that I do is that she is an herbalist and a Priestess and she also writes in her personal “Book” or “Book of Shadows” as well as do research, etc. I am not a queen, for certain, and I know very little if anything about running a winery, or a huge French Château and all the surrounding lands. I am not someone who travels in social circles that she does, and I am not sure that I would be at home there. As far as admiring, certainly Faelyn / Fanny leads a fairly glamorous life, and I am certain it can be quite exciting. For her, I think, she gets rather tired of it, and just wants to spend a day with her family at home, or riding in the countryside with her best friend, Hsu. She often bemoans that modern life is nowhere near as simple as it once was, and that there are far more things to worry about. So, to answer the question, I don’t think I could do. I know what it is to be a Priestess in my Temple and sometimes it can be quite exhausting. I have been around the various glamour industries and I can tell you that it can be really exhausting living in that fishbowl for the people who are in it. When you are out there, you just cannot wait to get that dinner, that event, that photo op over with so you can go home and just relax and be yourself. I think Faelyn’s husband is the best at reminding her of that – although the bright lights seem to follow him around quite a bit as well! He is just much better at eluding them than she is.
7. If your character is engaged in a career that involves criminal behavior, do you feel that you show the consequences in a balanced manner?
Absolutely, and in one of my fics, she was gaoled for Witchcraft and was set to be hanged – until she was pressed into service aboard a ship as a cook. It was bad enough she was a woman, but a woman who was known to be a Witch, that was something else entirely for the crew to deal with and react to! Admittedly, we had a bit of fun with that one. Other than that, in other instances, Fanny is involved in some criminal activity, I think she has a completely different set of morals and standards than anyone else. She does not lie – to the Fae that is an anathema, and something that you can be executed for – however, that being said, as someone who is Fae, she can weave a truth so thin that it could well be a lie if held under certain scrutiny, but again, this is situational. She often says that she does not have morals, but she does have ethics. As for consequences, yes, I think I do show her getting into trouble at the appropriate times.
8. Do you write about the daily tasks and performance of this job?
Yes. I do. Fanny is always doing the books or putting out some corporate fires. She is not a very good mother, I know that and of course everyone around her knows that. She is very good at having the children and nursing them, etc. but after weaning, she is far less likely to hang about and be all motherly. She is already Mother to her People, and so sort of bringing that down into the microcosm is a little more difficult for her. She insists this is what servants and wet nurses and governesses are for. There is no doubt she loves her children, and is very happy they are in her life, but they are not adults, and dealing with children who are unreasonable is a little more difficult for her. Sebastien, her husband, is a far better at being a father than Faelyn is at being a mother. This is especially evidenced in his reaction and interaction with their youngest daughter, Jocelyn. He absolutely dotes on his daughter, and she adores her father as no other! Of course, Jocelyn loves her mother, but her mother isn’t the one she turns to in times of trouble or with deep questions. Even Caroline, Fanny’s middle daughter tends to go to her father – whom she didn’t even get to meet until she was an adult, more than her mother. This quirk in Fanny’s personality really didn’t really become apparent to me as her writer till later.
9. How does the career of the character affect their relationships with others? Do you write about them?
It affects her relationship with others a great deal, because her People are her first consideration – now that she has her husband back from the Realm of the Dead! Faelyn tends to be much more generous with the People that she rules than she is with her own family as far as her time goes. I think she views it as being part and parcel with her job. Of course, when her Prince Consort, Sebastien, says that she needs to put down the sceptre and take off the crown and relax, she does tend to listen to him more than she does anyone else. Hsu is another person who can give her pause if she is doing too much and in fact he has often lent her perspective. She respects both of their opinions not merely because they are men, but because they are people who know exactly what she is going through and the things she contends with and so she tends to be a bit prejudiced in their direction.
10. Do you show the relation between the work the character does and how he pays his bills and meets his needs?
Fanny is always doing the books, as I mentioned. It isn’t that she needs to. Certainly her own accumulated fortunes along with that of the de Rochefort’s ancestral holdings more than amply takes care of their needs. There is a story that is a WIP that we are doing set in WWII where Fanny had to send a great deal of the Rochefort fortunes and family treasures out of France to keep them from being pillaged. Hsu’s writer and I also have it set up that Hsu is her banker and one that she trusts implicitly. Of course, during the WWII piece, we have it where Fanny, Caroline and the people at the Château are very hungry and food is very scarce. We wanted to give that bit of realism to the story. At one time we have Caroline and her mother and others hole up in a wine cave in order to avoid possibly being bombed, and there are plans and outlines for Faelyn to catch hell for actually allowing the Germans to take up residence in the Château. Not that she or anyone else had a lot of choice in the matter – nor did anyone during the occupation, really. Collaborators were definitely brought under scrutiny however, and since Fanny’s best friend, Hsu, was an SS officer and seen at the Chateau, she will most definitely be taken to task on this.
I am sometimes asked why she did not simply go to the Fortunate Island and stay there in relative safety. Her response was that the people of her husband’s country needed her there and she had to do what she could. Obviously the Island was out of reach, but they felt the effects of the war, too. But Faelyn / Fanny has the difficulty at times to have to come and go between those two worlds and it is not always easy. She knows she can always work to get money if she has to. No doubt she and Sebastien lost some money in the latest financial crisis, but most of what they had invested was protected by long term investments rather than ones that are more transient. Art, antiques, wine and commodities are things that Fanny has learned over the years are better investments than most.