Orla Paton is a feisty and ambitious 18-year-old who lives in Gonga Grove, a sleepy neighbourhood in the Capital of Uthovaya. Fiercely loyal to Jacob, her family and her country, Orla dreams of a career in politics where she will have the power to make a better life for the long-suffering Uthovayans. She clashes constantly with her father whose bigoted views and hatred of Jacob causes friction between the pair.
As the book begins, Orla has been offered a place at North West University to study political science. She is over the moon until Jacob’s family secret leaves her with with a testing choice – her own future or her best friend’s….
Aurora Faun – reporter for the Daily News caught up with Orla Paton to discuss her upcoming speaker role at the Dance for Liberty, an annual party that is traditionally held in the Capital ballroom.….
AF: Hi Orla. thaks for agreeing to this interview. It’s a pleasure to speak with an ambitious young woman like yourself.
OP: No problem. If it had been any other newspaper I’d have refused, but you’re the only one not controlled by the Antantans.
AF: We pride ourselves on impartiality. Anyway, you were recently asked to speak at the Dance for Liberty. Tell us how the offer came about.
OP: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In fact, I offered to speak at last year’s event but they weren’t so keen. Luckily, they kept my name on file and the organizer Mr Slade came to my house and asked me to be guest speaker. I was stunned.
AF: Was it easy to say yes?
OP: Very easy. The Dance for Liberty has become a yearly ritual for us Uthovayans. It’s not just the official one to think of. There’s thousands being held across the country on the same day. The simple message of a better future is one that resonates I think.
AF: What’s your opinion on rumours the Antantan president is set to issue a cease-and-desist order?
OP: The president can order what he likes but we won’t listen. Why stop a peaceful event that brings joy to the Uthovayans? This is another example of the president silencing our voices. It’s unacceptable!
AF: The Dance has opened doors for several past speakers. Do you want a similar outcome for yourself?
OP: I’m not sure I want associated with some past speakers. Most of them haven’t used their platform as a force for good. I’ll go down a different path.
AF: Can you share your plans?
OP: I’m off to study political science at university soon. It’s my ambition to become the first Uthovayan leader in over two decades.
AF: Are you aware how difficult that could be?
OP: Of course I’m aware, but I’m not shying away from the challenge. This country needs representation from one of our own. The Antantans have been in power for two decades and they have absolutely wrecked our great nation. A fresh outlook will do the country good.
AF: You seem determined. Tell me, do you ever have time to be a normal teenager?
OP: You would have to ask my friend Jacob about that. (She giggles) He makes sure we have fun now and again. We always sit by the harbour and chat for hours about the most mundane things. He’s a hunter so he’s not always around. I miss him when he’s on a hunt.
AF: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you. Good luck at the dance, and I wish you every success in the future.
OP: Thanks so much. Bye
End of Interview.