Month: October 2015

Author Interview – Justin MacCormack

Today we have an Author Interview, which are always fun!

Recently I read Twilight of the Faerie (Book 1: Spring) by Justin MacCormack. He has graciously agreed to do an interview with me. In a few days check back here and you will be able to see link to my answers to his questions!


TotF

CB: What was the spark for you? What made you decide to start writing novels?
Justin: I’ve been writing stories for as long as I remember. But by your teenage years, it’s not an especially ‘cool’ hobby, so I lost a lot of confidence in it. I continued to write, but didn’t share my work. That all changed when one day, while very bored at a new job, I penned a short horror story about the 80s Disney film “Return to Oz” and shared it with a coworker. He was so impressed with it that I had the confidence to post it online. A short while later, a popular YouTuber had posted a very dramatic reading of it on their YouTube channel, and it received very high praise. That gave me the confidence to push forward with making my work public. That story, and others I had written before I gained the confidence, are now part of my horror anthology “Return to ‘Return to Oz'”.

CB: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Justin: The sleepless nights, the blood sweats, the tears, and emotional tantrums and the frequent bouts of gathering up drafts that just aren’t up to snuff and purging them in a giant fire. In all seriousness though, the doubts are definitely the hardest part. I’m never too sure if my work is up to the level of quality that I want, and even if it is I’m almost always in a state of near-panic as to if the audience will like it.

CB: How about the easiest? What part of writing do you just take like a pro?
Justin: Writing characters. People the world over have the same worries, the same hopes, the same fears. We fear not being good enough, we fear letting down those who are close to us. We hope for better things, we dream of adventure. Those are the things that make us all alike, no matter what our background is and what world we live in. That’s the part I love making the most. In my book “Diary of a Gay Teenage Zombie”, I take a character who very few people could relate to (on account of him being, y’know, undead and all) and turn him into a character that the audience should love. Because if you can love a zombie, maybe people can love each other as well for a change?

CB: What feelings do you have deep down upon seeing Twilight of the Faerie published?
Justin: Utterly nerve-wracking! I’ve never attempted anything as big as this before. It’s a four-part epic. Hell, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and not be able to finish this! Yeesh! I think that each time I’m going to finish writing a book, I’m going to give a sigh of relief. So no, I don’t really have the chance to feel anything about it yet, not until the full series is completed and I can have a nice holiday!

CB: Can you tell us a little bit about Twilight of the Faerie?
Justin: Twilight of the Faerie is a four-part epic set in the land of the Fae, which is created from the dreams of humanity. It’s a land of endless possibilities, but also a land of infinite dangers. It is a land which is struggling to recover from a war to overthrow the chill forces of winter. It is a war that has been repeated many times before, each season overthrowing the previous and taking their time to rule.
But all of that is now at risk. Something alien is invading the realm, something utterly horrifying and impossible. The realm isn’t ready to defend itself from this threat. The only thing that can act to protect the lands of Fae are a group of four, each born of a different season, who have no reason to trust one another. Only together can these four prevent the force of eternal darkness that threatens to bring around the great twilight of the faerie.
Dramatic enough for ya?

CB: Is there a message you would like to convey with this story?
Justin: Sharp contrast and duality. The world of the Fae is the world of mortal dreaming, so it is rather different from most fantasy settings. Some parts are beautiful and breath-taking, other parts are grim and nightmarish. The reader will encounter chapters like this, which steer into the dark paths of the nightmare, or to the heights of blissful contented dreams. This, likewise, extends to the ruling courts who vie for control of the land. It even extends to the Fae themselves, who are torn between their noble and more cut-throat nature (their ‘seelie’ and ‘unseelie’ sides, if you will). The characters, likewise, struggle with duel loyalties and schemes.

CB: Tell us a little about Niamh. (I know she wasn’t the protagonist of the book, but she was my favourite.) What makes her unique?
Justin: She is awesome, isn’t she? I’d think that she’s certainly one of the protagonists, one of the main four at very least. But yes, Niamh is the youngest of three sisters, and the one who is the most gifted in the magical arts. She is utterly loyal to the winter court, a faction who most of the Fae consider to be ‘evil’. Her loyalty and dedication to her duty are genuinely noble, and it’s through her that the reader come to realise that the battle-lines drawn around the Fae realms are not as clear-cut as they first appear. As a character herself, Niamh is extremely resourceful. In some ways she is very naive, but in other ways she is extremely wise. Her background has made her very much a survivor, and I think that’s something that makes her stand out to the reader. Each fae embodies a different aspect, and is the embodiment of the cold chill of winter, the breath that clouds as it leaves your lips – see if you can find out why.

CB: Besides Twilight of the Faerie, you have published a number of books. Would you like to tell us about your other novels?
Justin: I have several collections of short dark fantasy and horror stories. If you like the grim and grizzly, I’m especially proud of my first one of these, “Return to ‘Return to Oz'”.
In addition, I have a young adult LGBT coming-of-age comedy “Diary of a Gay Teenage Zombie”, which is… well, you can probably guess from the title.
Lastly, there’s the book I’m working on at the moment. “Scrolls of Etheria” is a comical fantasy epic set inside an MMORPG, with a great cast of characters who I’ve grown to love. This book is dedicated to the memory of Terry Pratchett, and profits raised will be donated to fight Alzheimers. More details on that one later, so stay tuned.

CB: Okay, it is time to come clean: Twilight of the Faerie has lesbian fae in it doesn’t it?
Justin: Correction – it has TWO lesbian fae! The first book in this series is very much a journey of self-discovery. I want to write about characters who are true to themselves, and when I realised that the two characters that you’re discussing were a perfect couple, I couldn’t let anything stand between them.

CB: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Justin: Write something that you love. But for the love of whatever respective deity is present, don’t just write the same thing as everyone else. Don’t just write another of the same as everyone else has made. Find what makes your story unique and play with that! Most of all, love your work.


That is it for the interview! thank you for participating Justin!

Justin’s latest Book can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Faerie-Book-1-Spring-ebook/dp/B00ZGK1YWW/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1G3EA1HBPY4VJY6190VZ

His website is here: http://justinwriter.blogspot.ca/

Be sure and check out Twilight of the Faerie and Justin’s other books! Be sure and stay turned by my interview reply!


My interview with Justin is now up on his blog! (Well it has been for a bit actually, but I sort of forgot the internet existed for a few weeks or so! Bad CB!)

http://justinwriter.blogspot.ca/2015/10/an-interview-with-cb-archer_23.html

Advertisements

Impressive Too Bet Singing

This time for my writer’s group prompt there was some indecision. The words that got thrown around were ‘Impressive’, ‘Too’, ‘Bet’, and ‘Singing’. In typical CB Archer style I decided to just go with that! We had 15 minutes to write about this topic, if you had that much time to write about… something… what would you have written about?

Why did he agree to this? This was such a bad idea.

The curtain slowly rose as Paul watched for the faces of the crowd. He saw that the first two rows were packed before the blinding lights of the stage hit him. This place probably was standing room only as he had heard, who would have ever guessed that this would draw such a big crowd, that he would bring such a big crowd. It would have been impressive, if this had been his idea of a good time, or if his clumsy hands hadn’t sweated straight through the material on the insides of his jean pockets.

Paul coughed nervously once, then again. He opened his mouth wide but not a single note would escape. The timer, he could see it now, and it was already down to eight. He knew this was what they wanted, this is why this place was full, they all wanted to see him choke on stage.

He would not let that happen, he didn’t want Mickey to lose, but could only stand there helpless as each eternal second ticked by.

Seven.

Paul shifted his stance.

Six.

Paul sputtered up a feeble squeak.

Five.

Paul’s eyes got a bit more adjusted to the lights. Oh gods, this place was really packed. Full.

Four.

They were all looking at him.

Three.

Even Mickey. There was Mickey shaking his head with disappointment.

Two.

No He had to do this. He had to. For Mickey.

With a big breath Paul opened his mouth wide and let out a huge note. Mickey cheered happily, knowing the bet was won! Paul sang on happily.

Paul wouldn’t sing I’m a little teapot to a stadium full of witnesses eh Lavern? Well who is laughing now?

Lavern was. In row seven. She was also taking pictures.