1. Henry:The world ATFS is set in, centuries after Avatar Aang's death, is quite different from what we are used to. How could you describe this new setting to us?
Master Ratava: The world of ATFS is a full Avatar Circle after Aang. So, it is to have already been born an Air Nomad Avatar. However, due to miscegenation, or (read it as if Bryke is going to have the brilliant idea of Avatars managing to parenting benders from a different ethnic origin than theirs and their mates) another Air Nomad Genocide. Summarizing: there is no Air Nomad that is capable of airbending alive. And as so the world believes in it. Atop of that a lost civilization that lives high up above the clouds, onto an archiurano(floating land archipelago), called themselves as the Sky Parliament, returns to claim their rightful place as rulers of the living. Since they are one kind of the original human benders. Descendants directly from one of the eight very first humans who learnt from the sacred animals (some of them even learned from spirits.)
2. H:Since ATFS is one of the most original ideas I have ever seen on the wiki, I'd love to hear about where you inspiration came from. Why don't you share with us that story?
MR: I was wanting to register on a forum about Avatar in 2009, and then I created my username (Master Ratava), at that time I didn't imagine that I was going to get again into a fan fiction writing history. Then I met someone who was writing, and she was a very good drawer/designer too. That made me want to write something. From the Ba Gua/Feng Shui, the trigram that I like the most is the Sky one, the three lines unbroken. Pure Yang energy. I just thought, and well, if bending isn't about genetics, and if there will be not even one airbender to be born on the next circle, then there will be no Avatar anymore. Then I thought, if Avatars could have kids who would've bend other elements rather then it's parents original ones, and my head went on aching... I'm not a geneticist, not even a biology student... So, it was like this. Something divine should have to intervene, or at least was that what I thought at that time... Poor me, lacking researching...
3. H:3. What is your fanon really about? It is hard to grasp the real plot from the three chapters you have with all different POVs.
MR: My fanon is about becoming a Person. Not the kind of human being that you see every day, I don't want to write and leave nothing for my readers to think about after. I am not the preacher kind of guy, nor the holy divine spirit religious one, I also do not share much of my beliefs with many people, I'm kind of a loner. And I write for people to not fall on the same wrong footsteps I've made. Every line I wrote since the first one (and that isn't on ATFS) is a catharsis. I barely cannot avoid putting myself, and my life story into shattered pieces along the text. ATFS is about a new beginning. Discoveries, mysteries from the past being revealed, intrigues, treason, trust, love, truth, loyalty, power, greed, pride... And above all things trying to teach how to see the world through someone else's eyes, put ourselves into their place, and be more humans than just human beings.
4. H: How many chapters do you plan to have in your entire fanon series, not just per book?
MR: If I plan at minimum, 8 books, and if each book shall have at least 20 chapters, then... 160? That's scary. That's reeeally scary! I may die first.
5. H: It seems as if you have many of the chapter names down. How much of the series have you already planned out?
MR: I have already planned the entire series. But only the basics. From the beginning till the end. I know who is the Avatar, and if the readers discover it first then it appears, I have already a second and a third choices... xD So, the Avatar mystery is one of the most important. I like to keep this one character as a secret weapon.
6. H: I noticed that chapter number two, Flying Cloud Odin, was published in March. When do you plan to have chapter three, Charm, come out?
MR: I was planning to write more pages to complete the Charm chapter, and keep the recipe of "one narrator per chapter not skipping", but I shall not do this, I may divide what I already have written into two chapters, and publish the first one, and maybe the name shall be altered. I don't know. It's a big interrogation mark here. I would want to manage complete writing Charm for the 4th Fanon Awards. But I know myself, and I don't trust my instincts, maybe I cannot be able to get it done by the date.
7. H: Of your three beautifully written chapters, which do you think reflects most on your writing skills?
MR: I think that the prologue is the most fluid written, however the first chapter is the most cartoonish one, which is something that I do appreciate a lot. On the other hand the second chapter was my challenge to make an informational chapter. But none of them beats what's Charm has been being to me about my writing skills. The unaired third chapter is my nemesis of trying to make a well-balanced chapter.
8. H: And, again, of your three chapters that have been released, which one is your favorite?
MR: Of the released chapters, I don't have a full favorite one. I have favorite parts in each one of them. Like the packing part of the prologue. The betrothal necklace part in the first chapter. And, the finale of the second chapter. Sorry, but I still haven't decided which one is my favorite part of Charm yet.
9. H: How many books do you plan to have make up the series?
MR: At minimum 8, like the 8 trigrams of the Ba Gua/Feng Shui.
10. H: So, you have several characters already seen in the story. Out of the three narrators, which is your favorite? Who do you think reflects your personality the most(putting the fact that two of them are girls aside, of course :))?
MR: I'm a guy, and I don't see any problem in narrating a story through a woman/girl perspective. I've been raised by 7 women, and my family is the most matriarchal as it can be... Poor me. From the already three narrators (already named but "nameless" girl from the prologue; Koori from the first chapter; and Odin's nameless sister) my favorite is Koori. He is an important one. But the narrator I cannot wait to try out is Ame, Koori's cousin..
11. H: Where did you draw your inspiration for your characters, especially the ill girl, Koori Kumo, and Odin's sister?
MR: The ill girl from the prologue is a lot like me in the beginning of this year. Except the part of fashion and having many friends wherever she had already been. Koori was meant to be a crossover between Aang and Sokka. A sharp-minded guy with an extreme sense of honour and regret. Odin's sister was a surprise. Actually she emerged out of nowhere. Her character was to be someone else. Then I realised that I was writing another character, and I couldn't just erase everything that I've already written. And so, the until now nameless, Odin's sister was born.
12. H: Ame Suiki, Koori's best friend, has been offered to the moon spirit. Why did you decide to have a character with that quality?
MR: It wasn't Ame who was offered to the Moon Spirit. It was Koori. Ame has dark-brown hair, just like Katara's. Koori has white hair for stylish meanings, at first. Then, when I decided this book's last four chapters names I've seen another purpose for his white hair.
The Sky Parliament
13. H: That fifth nation, floating high on the clouds of the Southwest Storm, is rather difficult to grasp? How would you describe the Sky Parliament to you readers and fans?
MR: The Sky Parliament is one of the governments that are set on one of the archiuranos, floating randomly above where eyes cannot see. Even on the same archiurano as the Sky Parliament, there are other government. The Sky Parliament is a Fallen Kingdom. Summarizing the whole concept idea.
14. H: What are the differences between those living in the Bell Jar Palace and outside of the safe, glass dome?
MR: The ones from the Bell Jar Palace are from royal lineage. They are pure. (Or so they believe they are) The others, from the surrounding islands, are not-pure, however, they are purer than people from the four nations (five if URN is counted). Differences in their phenotype are barely seen. All are blond people, how much dark hair, lesspure. But all are caucasian.
15. H: The question all your readers are begging to find out. . . .what is skybending?
MR: Skybending is one of the eight original bending arts. The bendings known as water, earth, fire, and air bending in ATLA and LoK aren't the original Water, Earth, Fire, and Air bending. They are already a mixture. Airbending from ATLA/LoK is the mix of the original Airbending and Skybending itself. The bending in ATFS are to be seen as mutations. I'm working on a genetic theory about them. Not only to explain Skybending, but also all the others. And they don't stop at only five kinds of bendings.
16. H: What are the present-day nations like today?
MR: The three remained original nations from ATLA are quite different from the Canon Show, in LoK we already see a glimpse of development. Jumping in time, in ATFS the development is not only forward, there are regions that had been left lost in time, and others that almost turned back as they might've been even before ATLA. All depends on the rulers and their way to direct power. But the government structures of the three main nations are the same as seen in ATLA. But that is about to change during ATFS. Because the story is not only about the return of the Ancient People. Visually explaining their evolution, it would be as if the story were labeled as cyberpunk, steampunk, biopunk (depending on the areas.)...
17. H: Could you share with us your most exciting new location in ATFS?
MR: I plan on taking a very important role to a place that will be called The Cherryblossom Field.
18. H: If you were a character in ATFS, where would you live? And would you bend that element, or not?
MR: Actually there will be an alter-ego character. Rather than the part where I said that every character has something of myself or someone important to me attached to them. I'm very inclinated in naming him Ratava, and of course, he shall be one of the enemies. As all this isn't decided yet, I am not sure if what I'm going to write here will become true, but, I'm a fire nation fan, so: fire.
About The Author
19. H: Master Ratava, you are a brilliant writer, but how long has your love of literature been a part of you?
MR: Thanks for the brilliant, xD... I don't love literature in general. I love certain kinds of books, it depends of their editions, covers, editors, etc. etc. I read by pleasure since Harry Potter burst into my life back in december 20th, 2000. Then J.K. left the fantasy door opened for Tolkien, Pullman, Hoffman, and so many others.
20. H: How long ago did you become interested in ATLA?
MR: An affair of mine burned the three season in english without subtitles for me back in January 2009. So, love brought me ATLA.
21. H: When did you decide to write fan fiction?
MR: In 2009 also, I don't recall the right date... But it was just the rough idea, that I left untouched until the beginning of this year.
22. H: Is ATFS your first Avatar fanon? When did you start to write it and why?
MR: Yes, and I think it'll be my only one. The idea emerged in 2009, then I brought it back to life at this year's January.
23. H: What is your favorite piece of literature? It could be a poem, or a book, or a series, or a play. It doesn't matter which.
MR: Novels. Basically series. I don't fall for novels that end in just one book. I'm a Harry Potter fan. But naming J.K.'s HP my first choice is unfair to Tolkien's Hobbit, and even more to my estimated Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. The Amber Spyglass (the third book of Pullman's HDM) was the first book that left me out crying in the middle of the night. Not even Tolkien's Two Towers has made me cry, so. Sorry J.K., Dumbledore's most excited adventure wiped less tears from me than His Dark Materials finale.
H: Well, that's it. I hope you all enjoyed the interview. Come back next time!
MR: I enjoyed veeery much, it was a stupendous interview, extremely clever questions. You left me wanting to be asked more.
1. H: Sounds so much different from LoK!
3. H: Becoming a person is a very good morale and life lesson. Not many people can become a person after they have already been their own self.
4. H: Well I sure hope you don't die first! If you die first, than I won't be able to read those 160 chapters =p!
7. H: If you say Charm is going to be your best chapter yet, I can't wait!
12. H: I thought it said that Ame was offered to the moon spirit. . . I better go reread that chapter!
13. H: There are more governments near the Sky Parliament!?
15. H: Eight elements! Well, that just makes me thirst even more for the next chapter!
17. H: Cherryblossom Field. The very name just makes it sound like a recipe for bloodshed. (licks lips. . . jk :p)
22. H: You're going to do that to us? Only allow us one taste of your fanons?
23. H: Greetings, fellow Harry Potter fan. Speaking of crying at the end of a series, I sobbed at the end of the Inheritance Cycle. . . great book, great book.
H: Phew, I hope I nailed that! It was a lot of fun and I hope that I will be able to do it again!