Natasha Journeydown is the newly appointed White Duchess of Fallcastle. The youngest of the Duchy, she has garnered attention for not only her youthful enthusiasm, but for her attention to detail and innate sense of fashion.
1) Have you always hoped for a noble appointment?
It was my dream since I was a little girl, to spend my life serving the Kingdom. Of course, I had no idea that an offer would come so soon, and for the oldest duchy in the Kingdom! I am both honored and excited to take this path with my life.
2) How did you qualify at such a young age?
I’m not the youngest to qualify, nor the youngest to be appointed. I started working towards the requirements in secondary school, donating as much of my time to public service as I could. You’d be surprised at how many of the requirements can be completed in adolescence if you set your mind to it. The last piece for me was my college degree, so on the day I graduated college, I qualified for the pool of noble candidates.
3) Isn’t there some kind of waiting period, or time to process an application?
Yes, there is a processing time. However if you have everything in place except for one specific, well defined piece such as a degree, military discharge, or volunteer contract, you can submit early, and if it is approved then your candidacy becomes effective as soon as that final piece is complete.
4) During your engagement, the Duchy Presumptive was quite active in the duchy. Is that normal?
I don’t think so. Then again, the transition of government at a duchy level only happens once every few years or so. There isn’t really a “norm” that all duchies follow. But in our case, the Kingdom’s 300 Year celebration fell during the transition, so both the Seated Duchy and the Duchy Presumptive took part in all the events.
5) The wedding was spectacular! Was it everything you ever dreamed it would be?
I’ve seen so many clips of my own wedding that included things I never actually got to see! 🙂 Really, it was wonderful, but I had very little to do with the planning of the event, and I was only a small part of it.
6) And the honeymoon?
Was also everything I’d ever hoped it would be. Although it included several public appearances, I did enjoy having a day dedicated to getting to know each of my new spouses individually.
7) You spent quite a lot of time together in the months leading up to the wedding. Do you feel that you really knew each of them by the time of your wedding?
Yes and no. I do feel that I know, intimately, who each of my husbands and wives are. But I also know that we will spend our lives discovering new things about each other and ourselves.
8) What has it been like, moving from Skytower to Fallcastle?
More of a shock than I realized, actually. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but actually living in the Fall Castle, so close to the ground, so integrated with the land is indescribable. I’m so used to everything being one large city, well organized and sanitized… seeing some of the smaller towns out in the country is quite remarkable.
9) Do you get to go home very often?
Fallcastle is home now, of course. But yes, I do travel to Skytower frequently. However I don’t always get a chance to see my family. I’m usually there to see the White Queen, and sometimes it is a spur of the moment trip.
10) Are you excited to become a mother?
Yes! We were all surprised to discover that the Red Duchess was pregnant. But we are all very happy, and looking forward to her birth any day now.
11) What unique challenges do you and your spouses face as the new rulers of Kingdom Come’s oldest duchy?
There are many. Fallcastle has a large population, and that in itself presents many challenges. The Dowager Duchy ruled for many years, and there are citizens who loved them, and others who reviled them. It is important that we establish the tone for our own rule, yet respect all that has come before.
12) What has been the biggest challenge for you personally?
I thought I had a thick skin, but it is very difficult to hear all the negative things that come out once one is in the public eye. Especially when the only apparent reason behind the lies is simply to poke a stick at one of us just because we are in the public eye.
13) Do you enjoy doing all the public appearances?
It depends entirely on the event. I love speaking with citizens and really connecting with people, but that is difficult in my position. I prefer the events that are small enough to let me actually speak with a few people.
14) Where do you get your sense of fashion?
That really surprised me, that my sense of fashion was deemed notable enough to be talked about so much! But I suppose it comes with being in the public eye. I’ve always enjoyed dressing well, but not necessarily anything trendy. I prefer to choose what catches my eye, and what exudes professionalism while still being comfortable.
15) Did your year on Earth influence your fashion sense?
My year on Earth influenced far more than my fashion sense. First of all, even with a unified government, Earth is still very much a collection of vastly different cultures. They each have their own sense of fashion, and politics, and social barriers.
16) Why did you spend a year on Earth?
One of my dads works for a big communications company, and every once in a while he has to travel off planet. Since travelling to Earth takes several weeks, and he was going to have to be there for at least a few months, he decided to take one wife and the three oldest kids with him. One of my moms volunteered, but the three of us kids didn’t get much choice! We were excited about it though.
17) Why just one wife?
Most marriages on Earth are just one man and one woman. There are a lot of same gender couples, but group marriages are considered “strange.” So by taking just one wife, our family could easily blend in with most cultures on Earth.
18) When in Rome, do as the Romans?
Ha! Yes, exactly. Actually, my sister Deanna fell in love with Rome, and she lives there now.
19) Do you have any plans to travel off planet now that you are a Duchess?
Certainly not anyplace as far away as Earth, but at some point I’ll probably visit one of the closer colonies.
20) Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Ha! I actually watched Star Wars while we were living in Hong Kong! It was all in Chinese, but I’m pretty sure I remember that Greedo, the bad guy, shot first.
Yes, when I have a scheduling snafu I fill in with a fictional interview. This is the first time it’s happened twice in a row! Last week I interviewed Moose, a character in my serial short story. I often use the characters from one of my “old” stories about the planet Kingdom Come. If you’re curious, you can read the interviews with Charity Kochsato, Royal Kochsato, and Grey Kochsato, all of whom are part of the Duchy of Drakeshead on the western edge of Kingdom Come. (You can read about the Kingdom Come stories here.) Natasha’s story comes a generation before Drakeshead. In fact, in Grey’s interview, when he refers to the rulers of his home duchy being very formal, he is referring to Natasha and her spouses.
The two interviews that were supposed to be this week and last week will still happen. Life gets in the way sometimes!
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