This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
Flipkart - Search Bar
Friday, May 05, 2017
Author Interview : Arlo Mercia, author of ''The Lygons of Fraith : Lygon Island – The Rock Ring''
Read up, the Interview with Arlo
Mercia, author of 'The Lygons of Fraith: Lygon Island – The Rock Ring'. This
interview is a wonderful one. In this 'tale' of an interview :), she tells us how the fantasy came about and the characters
came about, what the kind of research that was put into this book, what the
challenges were, who the authors are that she takes inspiration from, and what
book is coming from her next. So, it was fascinating, Folks...
In January 2015, my partner and I spent a
week at Shoal Bay in New South Wales, Australia. It
is a beautiful wide bay where the mist sometimes rolls in from the sea. I had
just finished editing my mystery novel, ‘Doctor God’ and Rob lightly suggested,
‘Why don’t you try writing fantasy?’
I enjoyed reading the occasional fantasy
book, but had never thought of writing that genre because I had a fairly stereotyped view of it as being about good
vs evil and heroic quests. If I was going to write fantasy I would need to do
it in a way that was true to me.
I had recently survived several difficult
years at work, when there were many budget cuts, staff were laid off, and
programs I was working on were axed. My colleagues
and I had many discussions about the effects of poor management – that
ignorance and incompetence could potentially do more danger than evil. I
decided to bring this experience to my fantasy world.
I also wanted a new
character; not just people and dragons. I have
pet cats, so it was natural for me to create lygons, who are beautiful reptilian cats. I also added in
miniature dragons called geflars who are very cheeky and provide much of the
humour in the books.
So, within a few days I had a
fantasy world to write about, and enough stories to keep me going for many
years. I love writing this series – it flows so easily that sometimes I think
it is creating itself.
Many of the plants and
animals in the land of Fraith are unique. To create them I tend to look at the
Latin names for existing, similar animals and use that as starting point.
have been careful to make sure that each of the human tribes (myrids), and
dragon families (gazes) have distinctive types of names so it is easy to
identify to which group an individual belongs. I take care to be accurate, and enjoyed
researching about life on a sailing ship. I now know more about sails, ropes
and bilges than I ever expected!
How do you think your book
is different from everyone else’s?
It is not a series about a heroic age where
there is good vs evil, battles, curses, prophesies and quests.
My series deals with a world that is still
fantasy, but in some ways is more familiar. As one of my reviewers said, it
shows an '...understanding of the escapist
components of fantasy, as well as the commentary it can provide on our own
world by holding a mirror to our political and social issues.’ (Full review
here at Smashwords).
There is no
unpleasant violence, as it is not in my nature to write about that. I have
aimed to make it intriguing and humorous. It can be enjoyed by anyone over about
12 years old.
characters are the lygons (reptilian cats) and geflars; and as you rightly
pointed out, they carry the story. Humans and dragons are secondary characters.
different I have set the land of Fraith in the southern hemisphere. It is
colder to the south. Fraith has quite a warm climate, but because the cats and
dragons are reptilian they still need cosy fires at night.
How would you relate the
life of Myrra’s and Aidon’s to lives today?
There are people
like Aidon (Royal of the Salt Pride lygons) in positions of power today;
leaders who are vain, obsessed with their own importance, and lack an
understanding of how things really work.
Potentially they can do a lot
of damage. The Lygon Island trilogy looks at how far that damage may spread –
some of it very obvious, and much of it subtle.
The tragedy of
Myrra (abdicated ruler of the Salt Pride) is that she understands how things
work and is very competent, but she is no longer in charge. She must find
creative ways to work around the disastrous situation and solve the many
problems that Aidon has created, without him realising.
examples of this situation in global politics, but also in many workplaces.
What is the most fulfilling
part of writing this book?
I love the way the characters and stories
in this series seem to have a life of their own. The
first time, I wrote dialogue for Eea, the thunder-shell, her voice in my head
was so deep and resonant it was as though she was in the room with me, and I
was in awe of her.
Another memorable moment was
when the Healer said to Jay, ‘... now there was an unlikely chief come to power
in strange circumstances.’ The words just appeared on the page and surprised
me; it then became a major plot-line in the next book, ‘The Undersea’.
I also love the thought of my
books bringing joy to my readers. I hope they provide a pleasurable respite,
and make you smile, or laugh, or think about the world differently, and give
you something to talk about with friends and family.
Your second book is
released. What are you planning on writing next, in a different context? When
would you see that released?
‘The Undersea’ is the second
book in the Lygon Island trilogy, and was recently released. I am well underway
on the third book, ‘The Rift’. After that there will be many more books about
the land of Fraith.
Further stories will be about
what happened between the geflars and the dragons that caused the dragons’
vendetta; the sorrow of Isparag the dragon that is seeping down the mountain;
Fintal’s unlikely courting of Royalette Cephara.
One day, I will
do a fully illustrated volume… It will keep me busy for many years to come, and
I hope that as readers come to know and love the land of Fraith they will
follow me in this adventure.
And I spend a
lot of time reading up on current affairs as they happen all around the world,
and developments in science and technology – as inspiration can come from the
most unexpected places.
Which book are you reading
Writing fantasy has made me more interested
in reading it. The current bedside book is ‘Boneland’ by Alan Garner. He has
two earlier novels ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ and ‘The Moon of Gomrath’. ‘Boneland’
picks up the plot a few decades later. They are reminiscent of Tolkien; set in
England and based on European mythology with magic, wizards and elves etc. The
atmosphere is quite sinister.
I recently finished ‘Little Big’ by John Crowley, which is an innovative story about a complex family and a house that
is an interface between realms.
I try to put reviews up on Goodreads, when
I have time.
What do you do on a day to day
basis, besides writing stories and illustrating for the stories?
I am a senior
teacher at the local high-school, and that is a very busy job. Writing and
illustrating really does take up most of my spare time, as it is what I love to
My other passion is
photography, particularly infra-red landscape photography. My favourite
infra-red images at first glance look like a black and white photo, but are
unusual enough to make you see the landscape in a different way. You can see my
photos at https://www.arlettephotography.com/
I enjoy travelling,
especially to places warmer than Tasmania, as it is quite cold where I live. Travelling
is when I do most of my photography. I keep fit with yoga and gym to counteract
the hours spent writing, and I sometimes relax by cooking… anything with