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Interview with Halayne aka Nesta

Introducing Halayne who will be a part of our team at Calan Mai in May 2025!

SO excited to announce that Halayne will be cosplaying Nesta at Calan Mai. Let me just say, this was basically a no brainer choice and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Halayne has been to 2 RMK events as a guest and at both experiences she brought so much energy, friendship and kindness.

  2. She is an absolute delight to work with and has the perfect personality for hyping everyone up, making them feel special and most importantly, making you feel important.

  3. She just personified Nesta so well. Halayne hadn't really cosplayed until she attended my Starfall with a Feyre look, which was stunning, but she started dabbling in it, and watching her creativity be unleashed and finding community has been so special.

So without further interruption from me, check out my interview with Halayne!

Hi there! 

My name is Halayne and I am a 26 year old local to DFW. When I was 18 I moved across the country to escape my small midwest town and find broader horizons. I spent a few years traveling and following where life took me before moving to Texas with the love of my life. It wasn’t long before his hometown of Dallas became my home too.

If you were to ask my friends, they would describe me as energetic, passionate, and thoughtful. I’m the person you’d call if you need your pants hemmed, organize a girls night out, or simply want company when running errands. I love brunch, live music, literally any event with a theme, and my cat Summer. Some of my hobbies and interests include, drawing, painting, video games, anything fantasy, cooking, musical theater and now cosplay!

How did you get into cosplaying?

I’ve always had a passion for bringing a character to life through costumes. It started when my love of sewing blossomed after sewing my first dress at the age of 8. Growing up in a small town, cosplay wasn’t something I was exposed to so I channeled that energy into my Halloween costumes. Naturally, it has always been my favorite holiday. The turning point came when I attended my first RMK Event, where the vibrant world of cosplay was introduced to me, sparking a newfound passion.

When did you start your reading journey and with what?

I read here and there when I was younger, but I never quite found a book that truly captivated me. It wasn't until a few years back, when my fascination with true crime podcasts steered me towards mystery and suspense novels, that I rediscovered the joy of reading. One notable novel was "False Witness" by Karin Slaughter (yes, I looked it up, that's her real name). Warning: this book delves into some deeply challenging and potentially triggering themes. Still, its gripping narrative had me gasping, shedding tears, and even dropping to my knees in disbelief.

Following up, when did you first and last read the ACOTAR series?

I first read ACOTAR about two years ago. It was my first experience in the romantasy genre after reading a few contemporary romances, and to be honest, it set a high bar that's been tough to match since. Even now, as I am currently rereading the series, it’s just as magical the second time. Occasionally, I'll pick up a contemporary piece as a sort of palate cleanser, especially after navigating through particularly heavy storylines, but there's something special about returning to the enchanting world of ACOTAR.

What does your character, Nesta Archeron mean to you?

Nesta represents the truth that one cannot conquer their obstacles until they recognize their own worthiness of overcoming them. Even when some of these barriers are self-imposed, her journey powerfully underscores the notion that every individual is inherently deserving of healing and growth.

What qualities of Nesta’s do you think that you relate to best?

There is a quote that has stayed with me long before I read ACOTAR

“I sat with my anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief.” - C.S. Lewis

I used to rely on anger a lot. It was easier than dealing with sadness because I could blame my anger on others. But I eventually learned that sadness was something I had to face on my own, without anyone else to blame.

Nesta is obviously a big reader, and so are you, can you share some of your recent reads and thoughts on them?

Obviously Fourth Wing and Iron Flame have been consuming my thoughts and I will be on the edge of my seat until the release of Onyx Storm. But a new series I picked up recently is “Powerless”, a YA novel by Lauren Roberts. It takes place in a dystopian city where being powerless is a crime punishable by death. Our strong and cunning female lead must conceal her lack of powers after she becomes an unwilling participant in a life or death purging trial.

Okay, it’s time to spill the tea, Elain is mated to Lucien, but who do you want your sister to end up with?

First of all - Elain is not mated to anyone until she accepts the bond and as her sister I fully support her decisions and autonomy.

Now as Halayne the reader, I am in fact an Elucien stan. While they got off on the wrong foot by him blurting out that she was her mate seconds after the most traumatic experience of her life (come on dude), Lucien is a very kind and generous man and would make a great partner for Elain. 

Why is this my favorite question to ask?? Becuase I love to stir the pot, what can I say!

Most controversial ACOTAR opinion?

Following up from my previous answer 

Rhys was 100% in the right for not telling Feyre they were mates! 

Elain’s reaction to Lucien is all the proof you need! Imagine Rhys proclaimed they were mates as she was brought back to life by the high lords, or when Rhys rescued her from her and Tamlin’s wedding. It would have been overwhelming and terrifying for Feyre to process that information while in such intense situations. By allowing their relationship to develop organically, Rhys gave Feyre the chance to get to know him and develop genuine feelings. Continuously reminding someone of their mate bond could easily be perceived as manipulative. Rhys' approach respected Feyre's autonomy and allowed their connection to blossom naturally.

Can you tell us about the bat boy in your life (your husband)? 

I met Alec at college and we were so inseparable, we continued to date even when he had to move back to Texas for his senior internship. After two years of long distance, Alec finished college and we settled here in Dallas. After 5 years into dating Alec planned a trip for us to London where he hired secret photographers and proposed at Greenwich Park. We got to celebrate our wedding with our friends and family last July. 

Alec is thoughtful, loyal to everyone in his life and genuinely the funniest person I have ever met. I couldn’t imagine going through life with anyone else.

If you could live in any court, and the answer doesn’t have to be Night Court, where would it be? And why?

I would love to live in the Day Court. I come alive in the rays of vitamin D. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin and the sand beneath my feet is pure bliss. Yet, I'm not one to shy away from the allure of the Night Court, especially for those vibrant city nights.

What’s your favorite Nesta or most impactful quote from A Court of Silver Flames?

“The world was beautiful, and she was so grateful to be in it. To be alive, to be here, to see this.”

Why did Rachel decide to put the cute kitty cat picture in here, the world may never know? But for real, this cat is freaking so cute!

What do you think Nesta would wear on a day trip to the Spring Court?

Nesta would wear a dress with an iridescent blue sheen, reminiscent of a morpho butterfly. Not only would this choice honor the spirit of the spring court, but it would also serve as a reflection of Nesta's personal journey as the morpho butterfly is renowned for its symbolism of transformation and renewal.

Stop, this is so thought out, I freaking love this so much!! Nesta really did go from being a caterpillar to a butterfly!

True or False: Will Nesta be on the dance floor under the stars at Calan Mai?

Nesta will absolutely be on the dance floor. While she might roll her eyes at first, all it would take is some nudging from her friends and she’ll be stealing the spotlight.

15/10 - yes, more than 100% I know for a fact that Nesta would be on the dance floor, just like Halayne owns the dance floor when she is on it! While I, Rachel, am pretty often on the dance floor I was so in awe of Halayne and all her dance moves! She's definitely going to be teaching Nesta a few things.

What is a song that you hear that reminds you of Nesta?

As someone who enjoys listening to character themed playlists on Spotify, there are many songs that represent different stages in her journey. One song I have never seen anyone else attribute to Nesta is “Nothing Matters” by the Last Dinner Party. It has an almost haunting melody that quickly shifts into a passionate chorus with raw emotions and heartfelt lyrics. This song explores the complexities of human relationships, and the consequences of our actions.

Rumor has it that Cassian is allergic to the Spring Court and refuses to make an appearance, not even for Night Court duties, is this true?

Cassian is not allergic to the spring court. The truth is he believes the Spring Court is “too delicate” for him and he would be embarrassed to be banned from a second court.

Stop, rolling over laughing at this. It gives the vibes of "men are dying" when sick, meanwhile we are just fine! You all heard it here...Cass is just a big baby...we will have to see if we can draw him out and get him to the Spring Court for Calan Mai!

If you got to name the next book in the ACOTAR series what would it be and why?

Well of course I want an Elain book next so I would name it A Court Of Sunlight and Shadows. Sunlight for Lucien, rightful heir to the Day Court, and shadows for Azriel. We can all agree, regardless of who we want Elain to end up with, we all want to get to know both characters better.

You all saw it here first, I think we should have every character name the next book and have a raffle or prize for the winner who is closest or on the money with the title!

What do you think Nesta would wear to a Masquerade Ball?

Nesta would wear an extravagant black ball gown with a fitted bodice and tulle skirt spilling onto the floor, covered in delicate sparkles, and a high leg slit.

Oh my, this is giving Hewn City, all the vibes, I am HERE for it!! 10/10 I think Nesta should bring THE Mask to the ball...anyone else vibing with this??

Do you prefer Nesta: human, fae slaying Hybern, drunk, Lady Death, Valkyrie

I absolutely love the fierceness of Nesta as a fae slaying Hybern and Lady Death but it's her transformation into Valkyrie Nesta that truly resonates with me. Her journey of self-discovery fueled by resilience, perseverance, and unwavering support cannot be beat.

Oh I absolutely agree with this. As I have said so many times, Nesta is such a special and important character to me. I adore her growth and storyline. I never really even hated her.

What were some of your thoughts when reading Nesta’s story, from ACOTAR to ACOSF?

At first, Nesta’s character did not click with me. She seemed distant and tough to relate to. My perspective shifted at the end of ACOMAF when she famously pointed at the King of Hybern, when we all saw her passion and determination for the first time. Nesta fearlessly stands up against those she believes deserves it such as Hybern and Tamlin, but it was her own struggle with self-worth that she needed to overcome to learn to fight for herself.

How do you think you will bring Nesta to life at Calan Mai? What will you contribute to Calan Mai as Nesta?

I can only hope to be able to demonstrate the confidence and assertiveness that is Nesta Archeron but I also hope to bring out the happier and free spirited side of Nesta. Nesta went through alot of self development through the ACOTAR series and we were with her every step of the journey. I hope to be able to give our guests the experience of meeting Nesta after she has healed and grown.

You have obviously attended a few of RMK’s past events, what was your experience like as a guest?

RMK Events consistently exceeds expectations, crafting experiences that are not just events, but immersive journeys. From meticulous attention to detail to genuine care for each attendee, it's evident that every aspect of an RMK Event is thoughtfully curated to ensure a truly unforgettable and unique experience for all.

Stop, I'm literally balling. As I said above, Halayne started out as a guest and she didn't just attend Starfall she came to the bookish event of Threshing too. I have absolutely LOVED getting to know Halayne over really the last 4ish months. We have SO many fun projects coming up together that I am so excited to have her a part of!

What do you think guests should know about attending an RMK event?

Just do it. I have never met more genuine and kind hearted individuals than the attendees at these events. I wouldn’t even fear coming alone because every person in this community is so welcoming and wonderful. I have made more friends from these events than any other avenue in my adult life.

THIS. Meeting like minded people can be so hard, especially if you were a closeted fantasy lover like me. I didn't really use to talk about what I read, until I decided I wanted to host Starfall, then I jumped fully into this world. My events are for EVERYONE. Whether you come with a huge group or by yourself, we will connect and you will leave feeling like you found a community.

We have obviously seen a lot of Nesta content this week from you with sneak peaks and teasers, what was your inspiration for each day?

My inspiration for Monday’s post came when I asked myself “What if before the story of ACOTAR, Nesta were to pick up ACOSF and see a glimpse of her future”. To pick up the book, feel the power of its story, and then receive flashing images of what was to come.

Tuesday’s inspiration was to highlight Nesta's Valkyrie training. A testament to her dedication to self-development and healing. 

Wednesday's inspiration centered around a pivotal moment in Nesta's journey, her star tattoo. A permanent reminder of a bargain etched into her skin.

Thursday's post aimed to capture fragments of Nesta's character, mirroring how we were only granted glimpses of her in the early stages of the series, before being allowed to see the entirety of Nesta in ACOSF.

And finally, on Friday, came the full reveal—a comprehensive look at Nesta. Despite her rocky beginnings, we've come to understand and appreciate her journey, allowing us to honor and respect the woman she's become.

Y'all le me just say, Halayne was up first, and while I laid out some ideas, there was a lot of freedom to create whatever content you wanted. And I screamed, LITERALLY (yes, I do that a lot), at how impressed I was with her content. Like with little direction, she killed it. Halayne actually became the standard and example without even knowing it. I absolutely love everything that she created and clearly all of you did too. Doing these little daily teasers is definitely keeping all of you super engaged and active in the comments - I am loving that you are all just as excited as me!

Ending thoughts from Rachel: I am just so excited for all of you to get to see what Halayne creates over the next year and to continue to get to know her. I've said this a lot, but your persoanilty and how you will interact and engage with cast matters to me more than anything. At the end of the day, I care about the heart that you are bringing into my events and about what you can contribute to the experience. While it is so cool to have a million followers and great engagement online, what I am wanting is people who aren't afraid to be on the dance floor, who can read social cues, who can make you feel like you are the most important person in the room. And let me just say, I have seen this from Halayne, when she wasn't even a cast members, she has done this TWICE now at events that she paid to be a guest at. I am so excited for all of you to get to meet her and learn all about her. She will do Nesta justice and I'm beyond excited for the next year with her.

P.s. make sure to follow her on social media and go give her some love!

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