Have you ever met any people in real life that have inspired you with any of the characters we read about in Plenilune?
Not strictly speaking, no, I do not tend to model my characters off people I know. I’m not Dickens… I think Rachel Heffington believes that I came from Plenilune and that somehow I got stuck here. I am merely telling you about the people I knew there. I can recall no conscious effort to paint likenesses of people around me now.
Once, in a guest-post on Fullness of Joy you spoke about the significant power of reading and studying different philosophies in the process of writing a book of depth which explores themes of faith and different worldviews. In the case of Plenilune, what are some of the theological and philosophic themes/questions you feel the novel addresses, and what were some of the philosophic books that helped influence the heart of this tale?
Due to the nature of the interacting characters, I feel several theological and philosophical points are raised, but perhaps never fully addressed. Again, I never considered that the import of the novel. I’m going to chock this up to the fact that I don’t separate these topics from ordinary life, and so when they crop up, I don’t look on them as something wild and new which must be tackled head-on. This same view carries over into Plenilune, and so theological and philosophical questions and aspects are never the point of the novel, merely natural expressions of human life as I perceive it every day.
In one word each, how would you describe each of the main characters of Plenilune?
The Fool. The Gambit. The Magician. The Strong.
As you wrote Plenilune, were there aspects of the story that took you by surprise?
I’ve mentioned before that the ease with which the plot came to me, regardless of the usual hiccoughs in the writing process, surprised me a good deal, as no story had ever come to me that cohesively before. In addition, I was not expecting there to be more. The fact that Plenilune has turned into a casual series, when heretofore I never thought I would write a series in my life, has surprised me.
Do you outline your books or do you prefer to begin writing and let the plot sort itself out?
I let the plot sort itself out as I go. I have recently taken the tack of outlining from the antagonist’s point of view, to see what the protagonist is up against, but other than that, I work things out as I go.
How do you think the main characters of Plenilune would react if he or she were introduced to you?
Well, it depends on which character specifically I was meeting. I might be pleasantly tolerated, I might even be engaged with a degree of interest. I do not feel myself wholly equal to their company, but I think that might be recognized and accommodated for.
Can you tell us what are your current favourite movie(s), TV show(s), and/or book(s)? (Stress is on the current!)
Currently I have almost no time to watch anything, and since I am working on Talldogs (the third instalment in my Plenilunar series), I am at present writing more than I am reading. I can tell you that I have bookmarks in The Tulip by Anna Pavord, Holiness by J.C. Ryle, and The Charm of the English Village by P.H. Ditchfield (I like to think that surname is a joke). I’ll need another fiction presently, but I haven’t settled on one yet.
Having been already published through the traditional route through Ambassador International with your historical fiction novel The Shadow Things, what are some of the benefits you’ve experienced in self-publishing, and what have been its special pains?
Self-publishing has been a much more hands-on process, and while I am responsible for setting everything up and making sure publication happens, I like knowing what is going on. Thankfully, I have been gifted with a number of acquaintances online who specialize in aspects of self-publishing, without which I would be lost up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle. The special pain is simply the stress of it. All that responsibility is on my shoulders and since this is the first time I have self-published, this is all totally new to me. New waters are never calm.
Can you tell us a little about the amazing cover-design of Plenilune and how it came about (designer, etc)? It’s stunning, and quite wonderful!
An online acquaintance of mine, Elizabeth Liberty Lewis, is actually directly responsible for the gorgeous cover of Plenilune. She happened to pin a digital illustration by an artist, and I liked it so much (being on the hunt for a cover) that I searched the artist and discovered that he makes cover art for books. He agreed to take on my commission and after working with me for a few weeks, I was able to communicate what I wanted and he was able to deliver. I look forward to working with him on subsequent covers for my novels.
In offering advice to fellow young writers when it comes to sharing their stories, do you advocate they initially pursue the traditional mainstream route of finding an agent, etc and waiting it out, or do you consider indi publishing a healthy alternative?
I’m afraid I do not feel qualified or educated enough to offer that advice. I think it depends on the personality of the individual author, and the type of story whose publication is being pursued. Traditional and independent publishing both have merits, and it is up to the individual author to research and choose between them.
Was there any one moment when you were hit with an urgent need to invest your time to this particular work? What kept you going through the tough parts?
With Plenilune, no, it was not a question of laying aside another work to focus on this novel. And I kept going through the tough parts because I knew this was a good story. Every story will be hard at times: as much as I may complain about it, that’s just a fact of the creative process and is not usually a sign that there is something intrinsically bad about the plot. So I kept going, because I loved the story, and I knew it was a good one. It was worth it.
Can you tell us a bit about the new writing project(s) you’re currently working on now? Please do tell!
I am currently working on Talldogs, the third of my Plenilunar novels. Unfortunately, as I pointed out to someone in an email recently, I cannot give much detail on that novel without spoiling aspects of Plenilune. Go read Plenilune when it comes out, and then we can talk!
Out of the many themes and plots, what would you most like your readers to take away with them from reading Plenilune?
I’ve noticed that when people review Plenilune, they adopt a different tone of description and try to express emotions for which ordinary language seems to allow little room. These are tones and emotions which are rife throughout the novel, and it is encouraging to see them bubbling over and impacting my readers, to see them make a difference in the way my readers view their world. I want to make them stronger and braver and virtuous. I want to make them intangible to the world and more real than the momentary transitory things around them. Sometimes I hear that when the readers try to talk about Plenilune, and I know I have succeeded a little.