Saturday, November 10, 2012

Interview: C.A. Nicks

Yesterday I reviewed Fabian, the first book of the Lords of the Dark Fall by C.A. Nicks. Going with that, I had the chance to ask her a few questions...

Kallysten: Thank you for sitting down for a quick chat today. Let's get right to it. Where did the inspiration for the Lords of the Dark Fall books come from?

C.A. Nicks: Hi Kallysten, it’s a pleasure to be here. The inspiration for the Dark Fall books came from my fascination with history, particularly from all those mysterious cave paintings, stone monuments and man-made ground patterns that we still have no rational explanation for. Some of them appear to show beings arriving from nowhere, looking like an alien or spaceman and when you think these drawings and sculptures were made at a time before space flight and airplanes, it makes you wonder what exactly they were trying to depict. The Dark Fall is my fantasy explanation for some of them.

K: Oh! I’ve read about these before and now that you mention it I see how well it fits the story, especially after reading the book 2 teaser! Nice place to find inspiration!
Did you know from the start that each brother would have his own book? I haven't read book 2 yet, but they look like two parts of one story.

C.A.: I did want each brother to have his own book, but I wanted the books to relate to each other and mesh in certain ways. That’s why I wrote them one after the other and released them within a few weeks of each other. Although they’re two separate books and book 2 is set 700 years in the future, it’s definitely a continuation of the story arc started in book 1.

K: Fabian admits to having done some terrible things while he was the ruler of his realm. It makes his redemption that much more meaningful, but were you afraid of making him too unsympathetic?

C.A.: Writing a morally ambiguous hero is always a gamble, although bad boys seem to be very popular right now. The premise behind the Dark Fall is that the victim meets and confronts all the wrongs they’ve done and hopefully comes out a better man. Of course, it’s not that simple, Fabian is very much at war with his newly acquired conscience and old habits die hard. I think the trick to redeeming them is not to be afraid to visit the grey areas and to make them struggle and work for the happy ever after. I also think it’s important for the counterbalance, in this case the heroine, to also be involved in some sort of moral struggle of their own. When she first meets Fabian, Tig’s only thought is that she might turn him in for profit, or that his family might pay a reward for his return. She doesn’t, of course, but giving her a few moral dilemmas of her own helps her to empathise with Fabian’s situation. Themes of redemption and forgiveness are a fantastic way for an author to move a character through a story and end with them changing in a real and believable way. Was I afraid of making Fabian too unsympathetic? From my pov, no because I believe in the characters I write. They do what they do for good reasons, I hope. I can’t control reader reactions to my stories because everyone brings their own personal perspective and experience to the reading. I hope I did a good job with Fabian, though.

K: I certainly think you did! Speaking of bringing our own experiences to a story... Writers do that too, and I think we all put a tiny (or big!) piece of ourselves in our characters. What aspect of the heroine, Tig, do you most identify with?

C.A.:I think I identify with her independence and self-sufficiency. And the way she gets on with things. She forgives and moves on when she has a disagreement and I’m like that, too.

K: What are you working on at the moment?

C.A.: I’m currently writing a college story set in the late seventies and late nineties as Alexandra Marell. It’s a bit of an experiment so I’ve no idea what will become of it. Having just emerged from publishing the very long Dark Fall books, I’m at that stage of looking through my pending folders and seeing which project I want my C A Nicks pen name to get on with. It’s a toss up between my Cirque Demonica and my Wolves of Hadon Moor werewolf clan saga at the moment.

K: Can't wait to see which direction you go! Anything else you'd like to share with us?

C.A.: Only to say a huge thank you for having me here on the blog and giving me a chance to chat about the Lords of the Dark Fall. Both books are now available on all Amazon outlets and will soon be on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

K: Thanks again for taking the time to chat! It was a pleasure.

C.A.: Same here!

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