Fantasy Careers is a blog series where I interview characters from fantasy books about their interesting jobs and unusual careers. Interested in taking part? Drop me a line through my contact form.
Elise: Today, I’d like to welcome Mikal Faramar to Magic Writer. Mikal owns a flying carpet shop in the village of Darien, and he’s here to tell us all about it.
Mikal: Thanks for having me, Elise.
Elise: So, Mikal, tell my readers a bit about your shop. Flying carpets fascinate me!
Mikal: Well, the shop, Faramar’s Flying Carpets, has been in my family for generations. It belonged to my father and, before that, my grandfather. Back in the early days, local village ladies would weave the carpets by hand and sell them to the shop. Then here, we insert a Tangible Magic charm into the carpet which allows the user to fly it with verbal commands.
Elise: That must have been good for the local economy. Do you still use hand-made carpets?
Mikal: Unfortunately not. The demand grew so high that, in my father’s time, we were forced to start importing the carpets from the neighbouring country of Pallexon. They have high-tech methods of some kind that allow them to produce many more carpets in one go. I admit though, that my grandfather would say the quality has gone downhill.
Elise: That’s the cost of progress sometimes, isn’t it? I understand the shop also offers carpet repair services?
Mikal: Yes. You’d expect a good carpet to last probably ten years–more if you look after it. In our village, there are a lot of farmers who use old carpets for getting round the fields. Some of them turn up in a terrible state–corners chewed by animals, fraying badly, wonky flight path–and I offer a repair service as many of them can’t afford a brand new one, but will happily come back once a year to get it patched up.
Elise: Carpet repairs must be quite specialist then. How do you manage to run a shop and do maintenance at the same time?
Mikal: Oh, I have a workshop out the back, and a stock room. I spend most of my time out there and I have assistants to help out in the shop. My wife, Raine, and a local girl called Nisha. My daughter, Elina, was working for me, but she’s moved to town to take Tangible Magic lessons for a year. When she comes back, we’re going to be running the workshop together as she’ll have the right magic skills, and that’ll give me more time in the shop.
Elise: That sounds like a good plan. *turns and winks at the audience!* Do you get a lot of custom from the town?
Mikal: Yes, people often fly all the way out here. My carpets are the best in North Tamarin. I always make sure I have a good display. And it brings some tourists and richer people to the village as well. So that’s my way of helping the local economy now I can’t use hand-woven carpets.
Elise: What do you enjoy about working in the carpet shop?
Mikal: I like the fact that I work for myself and don’t answer to anyone else. I’m very proud of the heritage of my shop and the fact that many generations of Faramars have worked here before me, and I want to do all I can to keep the good name of the shop going.
Elise: So, if I were to buy a flying carpet, what would you recommend? I live in a damp climate, and I have to travel fifteen miles to work and back every day.
Mikal: *purses his lips* Well, you’d need a sturdy, reliable model for everyday use. And I’d definitely recommend you get our special waterproof coating if it’s prone to rain. That’ll extend the life by years. And a darker colour is good if you travel in all weathers. I’ve got a nice dark blue one that’d suit you, tasteful swirl pattern plus a five-year guarantee. Stop by next time you’re around, and we’ll talk!
Elise: Thanks very much, Mikal. I certainly will! And it’s been great to have you here with me today.
If you want to hear more from Mikal and meet his daughter, Elina, check out Where Carpets Fly, a YA Fantasy Adventure available now on Amazon!
Note: all photos in this article are reproduced under Creative Commons licence 2.0. No alterations have been made to the photos.