Interview with fantasy writer, Dyane Forde!

6 11 2012

Welcome, Dyane Forde!

Dyane Forde is the author of Eagle’s Gift, a children’s fantasy book and The Purple Morrow which is the first book in her epic fantasy series.
From Dyane: 

Writing has been a passion of mine since I wrote my first story in the first grade. At the time, I was amazed by the fact that by combining everyday words, I could create something new or generate a reaction from a reader. Most of my writing background is in short stories and poetry, so The Eagle’s Gift and The Purple Morrow are my first books. Regarding my work in general, what people tend to appreciate the most is my ability to craft realistic, memorable and multi-faceted characters as well as in creating a ‘sensual’ reading experience, meaning that readers often feel that they are ‘in’ the story. One of the greatest compliments a reader could give me, would be that they were ‘moved’ or ‘transported’ to another world by something I wrote.

1. Where did the inspiration came for using eagles as the narrators for The Eagle’s Gift?
Charlotte’s world in The Eagle’s Gift is made up of humans and a lordly race of eagle protectors, or Ancients, as they are referred to in the story. Basically, I was looking for a creature that naturally invoked a sense of stateliness, wisdom, and beauty as well as a certain wildness, and eagles fit the bill. I also loved the idea of depicting flight in a book. Thinking of Charlotte being ‘lifted up’ by the eagles so that she soared above the horrors occurring in the world below also seemed a perfect metaphor for the story.

2. Do you see The Eagle’s Gift as a children’s story or as an adult fantasy novel?
That was always a tough question for me to answer. Originally, I intended to write an ‘adult’ fairy tale. I’ve always loved fairy tales and children’s stories and still get lost in stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit or tales like Arabian Nights. I suppose I just couldn’t believe I was the only adult in the whole world who wanted that sort of escape from reality, and figured there must be others like me who wanted to be immersed into the whimsical world of a fairy tale, but with a different slant than the traditional stories we’ve heard all our lives. That said, despite the slightly advanced language and rich descriptions, I like to think that young people could still love the story. I was 12 when I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time and loved the challenge of getting through it. I like to think there are other advanced younger readers who also crave a similar challenge and that they might gravitate to a book like The Eagle’s Gift.

3. Why do you think Charlotte is such an engaging heroine for readers?
Charlotte’s world is in the verge of crumbling because it has been invaded by an evil spirit, and she battles feelings of helplessness and frustration since she believes she can’t do anything about it. That is until she discovers she has been chosen by Terryl, the eagle king, to stop the evil. At its root, The Eagle’s Gift is a story about Charlotte’s journey from self-doubt and despair towards hope and finally towards action. In the process she ends up discovering things about herself she didn’t know were there. Despite how dark things appear, she chooses hope over despair, which is a message I think many people could be encouraged by.

4. What is your the favorite part of the Purple Morrow?
There are so many! First, I enjoyed creating an entire world with different people groups, like the Northmen and the Southernmen, as well as developing cultures for each of them. It forced me to stretch my imagination and my skills as a writer. In terms of storylines, though, I think one of my favorite parts was moving Jeru from his outright refusal to remarry after the death of his wife to unexpectedly falling in love with Nyssa. He’s actually surprised when it happens! Both of them have to overcome such difficult personal issues as well as situational ones that it was so satisfying when he finally expresses his feelings to her. Writing that scene actually made me smile. A lot.

5. What makes the Rover’s so evil?
The Northern Rover army, led by their commander Kelen, are the epitome of an evil army: ruthless, merciless, and driven. Whether it’s enslaving their enemies, razing villages to the ground, or slaughtering whomever crosses their path, they do not hesitate for a moment. In chapter 4, Nyssa’s village is attacked, which gives the reader the first glimpse of the evil they are capable of. On the other hand, one of the things I enjoyed about writing the book was letting the reader in on their side of the story, revealing what is at stake for them and what it is that drives them to do the terrible things they believe they must do.

6. How many books will be in The Purple Morrow Series and can you journey in each of them?
There are three books planned. The second, Wolf’s Bane, is in the process of being completed and I’m very excited about that. It follows Jeru’s journey as he continues to discover his role as the savior of the Southernlands, and as he searches for Kelen, whom the reader learns has an unexpected role to play in Jeru’s life. Kelen himself realizes that he has been wronged by the very people who raised him and so sets off on a mission of revenge. We also get to see more of the Northmen’s way of life and of their endgame. Book three is yet unnamed and is still in the development stage but it concludes the story of the clash between the Northmen and the Southernmen, and all mysteries are revealed. Big surprises await the faithful reader!

7. The settings are described vividly in both your books are they based on real places or purely imagined?
All the locations are fictional, but certain details are inspired by real places or things I‘ve seen in movies. For example, Erne’s Drop, Nyssa’s Water clan home in The Purple Morrow, was inspired by a scene from a movie. As soon as I saw the village built into the cliff and the ocean crashing against its base, I knew I wanted to recreate my version of that. In general, I don’t tend to write long descriptive passages, but I try to maximize what I do write so that the end result packs the greatest punch. Words are tools, and I like to use them to build images that evoke an emotional reaction so that whatever I’m describing has meaning to the reader that is beyond the intellectual.

8.Which character in any of your books has been your favorite to write and why?
That’s an unfair question! I am so passionate about each and every one of them, and I spend so much time crafting them that I am loyal to each! In regards to Eagle, I love Enian, the eagle prince. He’s like the perfect man only in eagle form: brave, caring, and full of integrity. In Morrow, I loved writing Jeru’s transition from a state of melancholy and his stubborn, martyr-like resistance to change to a man of substance and determination, committed to doing what is right regardless of the cost to himself. I also loved that he got blindsided by love. Lastly, I have to say that I fell in love with Kelen from the moment I conceived of the character. He can be vicious and cruel but he guards a sensitive heart. It was a challenge to write such a complex character since I had to walk a fine line between making readers hate him or love him. Hopefully, the result will make the reader squirm a little.

9. What is the most challenging aspect about writing for you?
On a practical note, not having as much time to commit to writing as I would like. I do have a full time job as well as a husband and family, so as much as I would love to spend 12 hours writing and improving my craft, sadly I can’t. On writing itself, I would have to say planning out the story. I wrote Morrow with a loose mental outline, focusing first on defining my characters and setting specific goals for what I wanted to say in each chapter. As the story progressed and as the characters matured, the story took on a life of its own and the results are so satisfying. But this method of writing makes writing a series difficult because now I have to write a coherent story that spans three books! So I’ve been working on keeping better notes, following my outline more carefully but also trying to be flexible enough to ‘go with the flow’. It’s not an easy balance at all!

10. Tell us about any upcoming projects or publications.
Right now I am working hard to get The Purple Morrow into the hands of agents and publishers. I’m also working hard to complete Wolf’s Bane, the sequel to Morrow, as well as preparing to outline the third and final book. As stated above, my journey as a writer started with short stories and this is something I would love to get back to. However, Jeru’s story won’t let me rest until it’s all told, so it looks like I’ll be involved with this project for a while. Lastly, I’ve been approached to co-author a book, which is something I have never done, but which presents a really interesting challenge. I am really looking forward to that project when the time comes.

Finally, I love to hear from readers, so I invite anyone to message me on Twitter @PurpleMorrow or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DyaneWriter. Support and encouragement are important, so if you like what you read or want to know more about the books, let me know!
My greatest thanks go out to Carolyn and Charles Henry Editing for the chance to do this interview. It was a real pleasure.

You can read her work at:

http://authonomy.com/books/3y5921/the-eagle-s-gift/

http://authonomy.com/books/39531/the-purple-morrow-book-1/read-book/

Read more about her on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/DyaneWriter

Or friend her on Twitter @PurpleMorrow

Would you like to do an author interview or do you need an editor? Email Charles Henry Editing at carolyn@charleshenryediting.com. Check out our website for services and fees http://www.charleshenryediting.com.

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