My writer friend Krista Walsh wrote a fresh and unique book about a writer caught in his books world, and it’s fantastic!! I couldn’t wait to ask her questions to share her answers with the world…
Evensong began as a flash fiction piece with the prompt: an author is trapped within his or her own story. It became the premise of an entire novel, and one I couldn’t be more proud of. From the basic idea, I started imagining what it would be like. As an author, we can’t write every minute of every day for every character. We only focus on the highlights, the main or secondary characters. No matter the genre, every story has full worlds with millions of plots going on at any given time. We can only tell a few.
Writers also start the story just as the relevant actions start happening, but what happens before? What happens after? If we considered all of these elements when writing, no one would ever finish anything, so it was a lot of fun to explore those “what ifs.”
Is it a true fear/paranoia that you have to miss out on your characters’ true aspirations and motivations, since you are the God to their world?
I don’t know that I ever really considered this question before I started writing Evensong. I always had to consider my characters’ needs and desires in order to give a story purpose and consistency, but that’s just it — what if I missed the mark? But my writing style differs greatly from that of my main character, Jeff Powell. He sticks with strict outlines. From first scene to last, he knows at the outset what is going to happen. Myself, I’m a “pantser”. I start a story knowing the first scene, the last scene, and a few in the middle (what I refer to as the “connect the dots” method), and I’m happy to let my characters guide me to each point.
As a result, when writing the sequel to Evensong, Eventide, there were some HUGE surprises for me about some of my main characters. Backstory that I didn’t know about until I wrote it out. Hopefully that means, if ever I did end up like poor Jeff, caught between the real world and the world of my own creation, my characters wouldn’t have quite as much hostility against me as his do for him!
Beside Evensong, which of your other story would you want to wake up into?
Oh I like this question! I can safely say there are a few I would not like to end up in, but I won’t write it out in case I jinx myself. But if it were to happen, I wouldn’t mind waking up in my Daughter of Time series. It follows the story of a sorceress who was accidentally turned immortal in the 12th century, and follows her story throughout history with a collection of fun and bizarre characters. I would love to meet them in person, find out how accurate my descriptions were.
Fantasy seems to be everywhere nowadays: were you influenced by something you’ve seen on TV or read in a book to develop Evensong, and if so, what was it and which part did it affect?
Fantasy IS everywhere, and I’m so glad it’s finally getting a foothold!
I would have to say my two greatest influences, or perhaps I should say sources of research material, were Alice and Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Both of those stories handled the world jumping so well, so taking them as models helped cover any aspects I might otherwise have missed: the slow acceptance of the characters, the adjustment to different cultures and beasts.
What’s next for you, beside the sequel Eventide? Will you try a new genre for your next project?
The conclusion Evenlight! But aside from the Meratis trilogy completely, I have a few more ideas bouncing around. The first is theDaughter of Time series I mentioned in an earlier question. The other is a genre jump, a murder mystery set in the 1940s in a burlesque night club. I’m especially excited to start this one as the idea is inspired by people I know and admire. The hope is to start that one the later end of this year!
Thank you so much for hosting me, Anne! It’s always a pleasure to chat with you.
Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.
When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.
Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?
Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands.
When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story.
She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
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