Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Edge of forever interview

Hey All!!!! Well I'm a bit behind on my reviews and blog tours but I hope to make it up to you all with this wonderful interview I did with the author of Edge of Forever.

1.What was your inspiration for your book?

My initial inspiration lies within the eighteenth century Japanese masterpiece Tales of Moonlight and Rain, written by Ueda Akinari. The spirits he wrote about were unlike others I encountered in literature or film, as they had thoughts, feelings, and desires of their own that went beyond tired ghosts clichés like “unfinished business” and other junk like that. Upon finishing the book, I knew unequivocally that the book had to be my model for a ghost story. As for the romantic element of the book, the underlying narrative framework of Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy proved to be a fantastic guide for structuring their love story, which itself was inspired by a menagerie of embracing and subverting genre tropes, dealing with personal memories/feelings, and writing scenes for no other reason than to have fun.

2.How did you come up with your characters?

Plot and situation always comes to me before characters, and my characters are initially nothing more than cardboard stand-ins fulfilling whatever action needs to be written to move the plot forward. The characters eventually reveal who they are in the same way that strangers become acquaintances and then friends—little by little after hours of hanging out with them. As I wrote the first draft in third person, I often felt inspired to go off the rails and improvise scenes not in my original outline, and it’s within those moments that the characters would show me their quirks, hopes, fears, and other intimate things that comprise who they are. These moments revealed the missing details of their humanity, and thus every subsequent draft was written in alternating first person in order to embellish and capitalize whatever the previous draft “unearthed.” Despite the finished product reading like a character piece, I prepared virtually no additional backstory for anyone in the book – anything relevant appears in the story when the plot requires it to be known, and everything else my characters have deemed private and not for me to know.

3.Who was your favorite character from "Lost on the Edge of Forever"?

Leila, easily. I have great fondness for Alejandro and some of the other characters were fun to write (Blake more than I should probably admit to) but for me, Leila is the raison d’être of the book. The optimism she exudes despite her horrific situation makes her one of the only characters I’ve ever written I feel inspired by, and she fully embraces the many dualities of her nature both as a human and a spirit while feeling little need to apologize to anyone both for who she was and is. Of all the characters in the story, she’s the one I’d most want to be friends with, and regardless of what readers and reviewers think of the other characters, Leila’s the one I’d be heartbroken over if they didn’t like.

4.Do you feel you relate to any of your characters?

I relate to nearly all of them, with the exception of the minor characters of Calvin and Lenny Majors, neither of whom I don’t feel much of anything for. Different aspects of myself managed to sneak into most of the book’s major players: Alejandro’s general thoughts, Leila’s attitudes of religion and sexuality, even Blake’s abrasive sense of humor. I’ve been told from neutral readers that the characters all read very differently from each other, yet all I can see is how much of myself is split across their personalities. And yes, that includes Alex’s incessant use of the word “dude.”

5.What do you hope others will take from "Lost on the Edge of Forever"?

I hope readers are entertained, but I also hope they feel even a little of the feeling that, for me, shapes the heart and spirit of the book. It’s the feeling of staring off into the vastness of the universe and feeling something staring back at them – maybe God, maybe the soul of their beloved, maybe the sense of something awakening within – something. It’s not a feeling of reverence or prayer but one of energy and ecstasy: playful, insouciant, yet deeply serious and with a sense of connection between the isolation of one’s own experience and the pull of something great, grand, and awe-inspiring. I make no grandiose claims that the book fully communicated this incredibly exhilarating yet allusive feeling, yet if the reader manages to feel even a sliver of it for a moment while reading, than it will be a success beyond my wildest dreams.

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