Today, bloggy-friends I’m posting an interview with newbie author, Guinevere Edern.
Her English is perfect. Eloquent and flowing. You’ll also find fantasy and horror in her beautiful prose. She's a real page turner folks.
She’s the author of “Among Other Edens”.
Fasten your seatbelts folks. Here’s the interview:
Qu: How did you come up with the title for the first book?
Ans: If I remember correctly, the name, Among Other Edens popped into my head, probably when I was cleaning the toilet or something! Beyond the various fantasies swooping through my skull, I’m pretty much a practical person. I do recall, though, staring out of a window in Los Angeles where I lived for a while. There was this tree with huge white flowers. Each flower had a pale pink center. From there it began to rain (in my head) and I saw how the rain turned the pink inside each petal into blood. Below, lay a young boy, his mouth open to receive each scarlet drop. I knew I had something of a dark little fairy tale. I wrote the first chapter while in a meeting, then into a drawer it went because I didn’t know what else to do with it. At the time I was working on a thriller.
Qu: Did you finish the thriller?
Ans: Ugh, no! I couldn’t stand the main character, the victim. She was too much of a whiner! I wanted to kill her myself! Anyway, I am rerouting the thing back in time to the Medici family and Renaissance Italy. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it!
Qu: The Storyteller is so sexy. Where did he come from?
Ans: Well, we met in a chat room on pine shelving a few years ago, had a few drinks and he walked me home.....seriously, he popped into my head wearing a black cloak and this wide brimmed hat pulled low so you could really only see these emerald green eyes. I knew how he walked, talked, the pace of his voice, everything within a few moments. He literally took a stroll into my head and has been there ever since. You have to like your characters. You’re going to spend a huge amount of time with them, so you might as well find them amusing, likable, fun, sexy, whatever else floats your boat or presses your I-Pod. While researching the Storyteller’s period costume, he literally told me what he was going to wear. “No. Those boots are too short.” “There’s no way, I would be caught dead in that mantle. The collar doesn’t come high enough!” It was like having a tempestuous designer in my head...
Qu: How did you come up with the name, Taliesin?
Ans: Well, I knew he had a strong, sensual and charismatic personality, and I also knew his origins were Welsh. The Storyteller, tells stories, words are his seduction, so I was really searching for a name encompassing all of that. His personality and name literally hung off the line, “Your Dreams Are My Survival”. His inscription inside the book of verse Evie discovers.
During my research I learned that the original Bard of Wales was Taliesin. It can get a little confusing, because if you get into the background, he is part real and part myth. Essentially, according to legend, Taliesin is the Welsh God of creativity, guardian of those taking the path less trodden and who had some association with Merlin. Since the series ultimately extends back to the Dark Ages, this made perfect sense to me, so Taliesin it was. Since then, I discovered the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright named his studio, ‘Taliesin’, I believe in Arizona. There is also a village in Wales named Taliesin. His gravestone is supposed to be there too. I haven’t visited it yet, but I plan to one day. I also believe the University of Swansea in Wales has an arts studio named after him. Clearly, Taliesin lives on... I like to think we would have got along....rocked out some verse together....
Qu: There are some references to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A period of Victorian art beginning around 1848 into the early 1850s. Millais, Rossetti, being two of the key players. And of course, the Romantic poetry of Keats. An original volume of which, the heroine, Evie discovers. Would you consider your fiction, commercial or literary?
Ans: I knew I was possibly pushing the envelope a little as I was writing the book. However, to be honest, I don’t believe in writing down to people. I refuse to treat my readers with anything but the utmost respect. At the end of the day, I hope to have written strong, evocative, paranormal fiction with a unique voice. Without sounding contrite, if there is a reference in the novel that intrigues you, Google it! Heck with books on I-Pads etc, you can stop reading, tap into a search engine and away you go. Knowledge in a sec’!
In all seriousness though, the references to poetry and art are in relation to Evie’s life. Taliesin uses these elements to contact Evie, feeding from the responses to the images and stories he places into her head. The stronger her response, the stronger he becomes. Given Taliesin’s character , it makes sense that he would use these elements to cross the threshold to Evie’s world and into reality. To meet him on a dark road at night would be out of context to the heroine and has been done to death.
Qu: What was the very first thing you had published?
Ans: It was supernatural poem based on a nightmare. I was about eight at the time. I believe the poet, Sylvia Plath was eight and a half, so I have her beat by about six months.....however, I did study her for advanced literature at school some years ago...she was definitely way more interesting and complicated than me. Or should that be ‘I’?
Qu: The book is set in Liverpool, England at least initially. Why did you set it there?
Ans: Short answer, why not? Liverpool is steeped in history, the good, the bad and the ugly. Liverpool is more than the Beatles. They were great, but the city has amazing architecture, museums, art galleries and social history. Chances are, if your family can be traced to Europe, they came to America through Liverpool. Liverpool was also the first city to ban Slave Trading. A lot of international talent hails from Liverpool. Clive Barker, of the Hellraiser series, Kim Cattral from Sex in The City. Me. Only joking. But I hope I’m not too bad!
Qu: What was your childhood like?
Ans: Oh, it was amazing. By today’s standards, quite eclectic really. We grew up opposite a seventies disco-funk group called The Real Thing. They had a string of number one hits back in the day. We used to go over to their house and play with their drums and guitars. We had no idea who they were until my mom turned on the t.v one day and there was my friend’s dad, singing. There were loads of people dancing. Suddenly I understood why there had been all these gold discs on the living room wall. They were pretty cool. I used to hang out with their kids and we ran this ghost club from out their garden shed. One year, I wrote a puppet show to raise funds for our depleting candy account. Each band member paid around 4 cents for the privilege of watching various fashion dolls bobbing along this makeshift stage with lengths of spaghetti up their dresses so we could make them move. Hey, we could have struck a fetish thing..who knows....I’m saying nothing else here...
When we weren’t entertaining, I was getting beaten up at school for saying things like, ‘my mom knew Ringo Starr back when they were kids. She grew up around the corner from him.’ Apparently there is some sort of cousin relationship, however I have been very much hiding in the closet about it ever since. Basically, I don’t like having my hair pulled and being spat on.
I remember a special treat; visiting old graveyards with my mom. We used to take sandwiches and look at all the old graves and the dates of the people who died. I would imagine the period clothes and wonder about the lives each person lived. Once, in elementary school, I constructed a cemetery in the block area. I was sent home with a note.
Qu: Ultimately, this is a work of paranormal fiction. Have you ever had anything unexplained or supernatural happen to you?
Ans: Okay. Answering this kind of question could make me sound really woo-woo or something. By the time I had finished Among Other Edens, it was almost autobiographical, there was so much stuff in there that had actually happened to me over the years. I cut most of it out because it became more about me rather than moving the plot of the book. I once had a watch that I lost in the street. Two years later, it showed up behind this little trash can in the living room. Explain that. I can’t. A particular incident in the book is based around that. A few years ago, I was working for a non profit in Florida out of a house. One afternoon, I walked into the foyer and noticed all the chairs had moved to face a different direction. Since I was the only one in the building, only I could have done it. I know I didn’t! In that same house, a closet of dishes crashed to the floor. Problem was, there were no dishes, the cabinet was filled with paper! I once lived in a house where as it turned out, a young woman had hung herself in the closet. I sometimes saw her. Heck, her mail still used to come to the house! I used to say ‘hello’ and then she would disappear. I felt bad for her. I still think of her now. Hope she finds peace. Needless to say, I NEVER do a Ouija Board. There are things out there that we don’t understand. If anything, I would want to help. A support group for ghosts. There you go!
Qu: What other jobs did you do before becoming a writer?
Ans: Gosh, I trained as a professional dancer and actress, so did that for a while. After a back injury, I taught dance. Living in L.A at the time, I became involved with at risk youth, so gained a little understanding of gang culture out there. I have worked as a Probation Services Officer in England, a Victim’s Advocate and lastly as a Child Protection Investigator for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. I was seriously considering becoming a sworn deputy before going under contract with The Legends of Eden. I have tremendous respect for those guys. You go into a situation with no way of knowing how things are going to end. So, yeah, a funny thing happened on the way to being a writer.
Qu: Anything else?
Ans: Yeah. I would love to be on one of those paranormal t.v reality shows. I’m just putting it out there.
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