The Teen Read Week continues! Today I have Rhiannon Paille, an author of The Flame Series, on my blog. Enjoy!
Hahaha. I’d love to say it comes from my genius mind, but it really doesn’t. I have a penchant for studying obscure things like Celtic and Norse myths, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan traditions, witchcraft, metaphysics, parapsychology, ecopsychology, fairies, sacred geometry, sacred places, etc. I actually own a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which is basically the Hindu bible.
I think that because I’m eccentric, my writing reflects that.
Why did Surrender become a love story?
I think it was always a love story. I’m a romantic at heart, watched Romeo & Juliet about fifty times (the Leonardo DiCaprio version) when I was a teen and I’ve lived my own tragic love story. Surprisingly enough, Surrender was a very natural place for me to start my writing career because I’m so familiar with the love story and the customs of Avristar.
Why did you choose to name places, and people the way you did?
Avristar in its early days was Istalindir (which was a rip off of a Tolkien word). Before that I called the island Avalon (which was a rip off of Marion Zimmer Bradley) At some point I decided that to be original I had to be original. Still, if you read Mists of Avalon, or any Arthurian myth, you will notice a lot of correlations between Avristar and Avalon. One of the reasons I also changed the name was because I didn’t want to have the responsibility of tying my Avalon to the Avalon people are familiar with today. I was afraid critics would tell me my Avalon was inaccurate because it didn’t feature King Arthur or Morgan Le Fay or the Lady of the Lake.
In regards to the people, I went with the names that seemed to suit them the best. For some of them I took words from the Tolkien dictionary (Atara, Istar and Mallorn) but for others, they came to me with their names in hand. (Kaliel, Krishani and Pux.) I didn’t go into a lot of thought, when I needed a name, I chose one that sounded like it would suit the land. (Eurida, Rueann, Luenelle)
How do you feel about insta-love?
I keep hearing this term being thrown around the blogosphere and I do get it. I don’t like it when relationships are super easy for characters, but I also dislike it when characters purposefully put up roadblocks for their own happiness. If a character knows they like someone they should just be honest.
And that’s the thing about Elvens, they have no choice but to be honest. Sure, they’re not expected to fall in love because love is impractical, but they’re also not the type to ignore it if it does happen. I don’t think it was easy for Kaliel and Krishani to give in to their emotions (they spend a lot of time away from each other fighting their feelings) but once they do their lives get easier for awhile . . . until ultimately that love becomes their downfall. (Talk about a cautionary tale)
If you could do it all over again what would you differently?
It’s funny because I’ve had the opportunity to rewrite Surrender a number of times, and each time I’ve changed very little about the overall story line. There is one thing I’d like to change though, but it’s not something I can control.
I wish Surrender wasn’t my first book.
I wish I had written other fiction before tackling Surrender because Surrender was a major project and it required a lot of love. I guess it’s one of those “If I had known then what I know now” situations, I might have been able to make Surrender “better.”
Which authors do you personally love and look up to?
I’m a big Cassandra Clare fan. Her books taught me that my writing is good. I know that sounds weird, but until her I hadn’t read a YA book in third person, and was worried that what I had written wouldn’t stand up against other works. She taught me that I needed to throw the rule book out the window and write the way I write and trust myself.
I also look up to Julie Kagawa, because of her excellent Iron Fey series, which blends the otherworld with this world, and makes the perfect connection between the Faery world and Earth. I also love her for Mag Tuireadh and how she’s effortlessly woven Celtic Myth into her books. I’m working on that for The Ferryman + The Flame, it just takes time.
Is there a book you wish you’d written?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, damn that was a great book.
Surrender ends on a major cliffhanger, how do you have another book after that?
Ohh, that’s a good one, but the real question is how I manage to have another book after the third book in this series. If you think the ending of Surrender was bad, wait until the end of Vulture. Then come find me with the pitch forks.
I think this series is one of the ones that transcends death. I’m not afraid to go to dark places with my characters and do things unheard of to my characters. Going into Justice I knew there were a lot of elements I’d have to balance to both keep the story moving forward and keep the integrity of my characters alive. I suppose that’s why I’m so anxious for readers to read Justice.
Can you give us any spoilers for the next books?
Hahahaha, okay I can’t tell you what happens in Vulture because it’ll ruin it, but I can tell you that Forgiveness takes place in Kenora, ON, Canada. I can also tell you that Kaliel and Krishani go to high school together.
What other stories do you have in the works?
Wow . . . well I have . . . outlines for 17 other books. I’ve written and released three short stories in my Last City on Earth series, and I plan to put out three more stories for that one. Besides that I have a lot of first person urban fantasies outlined. One is about aliens, the other is about a doll. Either way I have enough to keep me busy for many years to come.
Your first book Surrender, has sold 40,000 copies, how did you accomplish such a goal?
Honestly? I think of it as a grassroots movement. I spread the word in the blogger community, begging bloggers to read and review my books. At the same time I went to community groups online (the good ones, not the ones that rip you apart for self promotion) and told people about my book. I found that most readers are starving for fresh, different content, so the strategy was to get the word out there in the hopes of getting more and more people to download the books.
I have no idea what worked and what didn’t though so at this point I’m a bit mystified by the whole experience. I’ve seen other authors do the same things I did and do better than me, and others who have done that and done worse. So I think at the end of the day it’s all about the book and the passion you have.
What do you think makes a great fantasy book?
I am a big sucker for the impossible love story. Fantasy has this great way of putting up such diverse and unique walls for lovers to climb that it fascinates me when a new story of impossible love comes along. Those are always my favorite tales.
Which shows can we expect to see you at?
I’m always doing shows because I love meeting my fans! At this time, my next show is Central Canada Comic Con, Nov. 1 -3 in Winnipeg, MB. Otherwise next year I am working on my schedule but I am definitely going to UtopYA in Nashville in June. Everything else is TBA at this point.
Surrender is the first in The Ferryman + The Flame series, what else can we expect from this series?
This series is going to be really long! I originally thought it would be six books long, just six books, but now there are 5 novellas (3 released, 2 unreleased), 6 books (2 released, 4 unreleased) and 3 more in the works and 3 more in a spin off series!
In order: The Ferryman + The Flame Series
#0.5 – Skeleton & Dust
#1 – Surrender
#1.5 – Lantern & Poison
#2 – Justice
#2.5 – Blood & Gold
#3 – Vulture
#4 – Mercy
#4.5 – Light & Spark
#5 – Asylum
#5.5 – Hunger & Smoke
#6 – Chaos
#7 – untitled
#8 – untitled
#9 – untitled
The spin-off: The Obsidian Chronicles
#1 – untitled
#2 – untitled
#3 – untitled
Rhiannon is an up and coming Indie Author that writes Young Adult Fantasy books and some non fiction. She has a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. When she’s not writing books she’s reading minds, singing karaoke, burning dinner and sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee. Some day she’d like to own a unicorn—as long as it doesn’t eat her. She’s sold over 50,000 copies of her books worldwide. You can find her atwww.yafantasyauthor.com