Cole Chandler is one of the main characters in my novel, Tree of Life. I thought I’d offer an interview with him for anyone who’s interested. I’ve also done an interview with Hesper. If you’re interested in her culture and perspectives on morality and the meaning of life, you can read that here. An interview with his brother David is also available, as is a chat with the antagonist. Without further ado, meet Cole. :o)
Cole, what is your place in the society you’ve been brought up in?
- I’m an honored senior officer, which means that I’m second in the line of succession to take the Chandler seat on the council of the Kyrios.
I’m an attorney and teacher of Meros laws, as well as an expert in Unified customs, which requires me–though I do enjoy it–to travel and lecture in universities and train officers working toward the career of a law enforcement warden.
What are the essential differences between the Meros and the Unified? What keeps them divided?
- Our history goes back hundreds of years. The story is that the Unified rejected the god of their ancestors and Its Book of Light, so their lawmakers proceeded to govern the nation from an atheistic worldview. From within the legislature of the nation’s federal government, a group of religious men and women banded together to represent religious citizens. They became known as The Kyrios, or “lords,” and the religious citizens of the nation became known as the Merited Ones. In time, it evolved into a truncated variation, namely the “Meros.”Essentially, the differences between us were political and religious. After The Conquest, new differences evolved and many of the Unified completely abandoned their roots. The majority of them have no understanding of religion or their true history. We’ve reached a point where it’s impossible to tell that we had once been the same people.The Meros culture is far more loose, morally speaking, whereas, the Unified rely on strict adherence to moral customs in order to maintain unity through conformity and produce mentally, emotionally, and physically strong descendants.
After The Conquest, did the Meros maintain a similar form of government? What did The Conquest do? What does it mean?
- The Conquest was a civil war between the Kyrios and their followers, and the president and those who were loyal to him. With a solid grip on the loyalty of a large percentage of the nation’s citizenry and armed forces, the Kyrios won.
The system immediately turned into a theocratic oligarchy and new laws were established based on the Book of Light.
Polygamy is popular in Meros society. Do you practice polygamy? What do you think of it?
- Polygyny is popular and encouraged, but polyandry is forbidden. The law permits a man to have as many Unified wives as he wishes, but he may have only one Meros wife. Only Meros women are permitted to have children with Meros men, however.I find the practice distasteful. Unified women are sometimes treated well, but many times, they’re purchased to be little more than slaves or sex objects, which I don’t agree with. Polygamy may offer a few benefits, but with our laws concerning Unified reproduction limitations, it creates an impractical hedonistic prison for all involved and serves only to perpetuate the Unified slave trade.That being said, no, I don’t practice polygamy. I’m unmarried and find Meros women to be brash slaves to fashion and trends that are mannish and ugly. I have never had an interest in pursuing a committed relationship with a Meros woman any more than I’ve been interested in purchasing a Unified woman at an auction and calling her a wife.
A lighter question? What’s your favorite color?
- I don’t have one. But I can say that I enjoy the color of fertile soil and the green of leaves and grass on a gray rainy day. Whatever color that haze is around a woman’s face after a pleasant kiss . . . I admit I like that one, too, whether she’s Meros, or not. Silver? Pearl? There’s a color to it, I just can’t put my finger on it.
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