Getting to Know You – Blog Hop Day 3

Hello, and welcome to the Getting to Know You Blog Hop, Day 3 with a new excerpt from my book.
We have an eclectic choice of bloggers for this hop and it will run from January 29, 2013 to February 1, 2013. I’d like to thank Vicki M. Taylor (http://vickimtaylor.blogspot.com). She’s the author and blogger who created this hop and made it happen for all of us.

Let’s get started on getting to know me.

Where are you from?
Since 1989 my country of choice was Canada and I’ve been living here ever since in the City of Edmonton, a place of short summers and long cold winters. In fact, as I’m writing this down, snow is blowing outside.

When and why did you begin writing?
In the beginning, before words took shape in meaning and purpose, I told my stories in doodles. I loved the comics and the Tintin illustrated magazine of Belgium (now out of print). Especially the latter had powerful stories to convey. Perhaps I could have been a cartoonist but the books I read in elementary school decided it for me: I loved to read but I also started to love to write and be the one controlling the flow of the story.

What books have most influenced your life?
Reading the masters of literary science fiction definitely set me on the path writing speculative fiction. And in that genre I would mention here the works of Gene Wolf, Dan Simmons, Mervyn Peake and China Mieville, to name but a few. The ideas, imagination and lyrical writing style of these masters of worldbuilding and mythmaking are truly inspiring.

What is your favorite book from childhood?
The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen with their enduring theme of sacrifice and redemption. Case in point, in the original story, there’s no “all’s well that ends well’ for the Little Mermaid; she gave up her life to save the human she loved.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Yes. The names of characters in my opinion reflect the manner in which they will take a life of their own in the novel. Since I write in an environment of alien worlds, I gave my characters names that would reflect their diverse surroundings.

What’s your favorite fruit?
I like all fruit in general. I would say that mangosteen, that’s hard to come by in the North, is one of my favorites.

Do you ever wish you had an entirely uncreative job?
Absolutely not.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Passion, persistence and the secret pleasures of writing.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The ability to adapt to change. Our world is constantly changing, be it for better or worse. To adapt is to keep your mind and ideas fresh.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are so many science fiction writers I would choose for a mentor. After careful thought I would choose Tim Powers for his wit and powers of creativity.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My most current work is Engelinkyn: The Jewels of Huemancy, which is the sequel to Engelinkyn: The Winged Hemisphere and is part of a 3-volume project that will conclude in Engelinkyn: The Towered Hemisphere. They’re available at Amazon. The following is an excerpt from the Jewels of Huemancy:

The Book was brought, or rather rolled into the chambers on a scarlet velvet-covered cart and Erlvar settled in his corner with the tome nearly crushing his knees while the Suzerain Margrave and the Lord Cardinal discussed matters of importance in low voices. Though quietly they spoke, the frowns and the dark flashes from eye to eye spoke volumes of the willpower contest between two strong-willed, powerful men while this thick volume with the gold-painted, not gold-engraved, eagles, told another tale, that through the sortilege of His Lord Eminence an elegant book had grown to a dead weight overnight, and acquired a second emblem: a crown of white flames surmounting the eagles. Unable to divide his attention between the debate and the contents of the Book, this heavily embellished copy, Erlvar soon concentrated fully on the scriptures, on the history the Book recorded that had always been foremost in his waking and sleeping hours.
But soon he closed the Book. The longed for trip of discovery was a disappointment; he felt cheated. The many sanctimonious letters, the clutter of canons and articles of doctrine, the ever-present call to redeem corrupted Tauhls with the spirits of the innocent, to gain immortal glory through the ultimate sacrifice, paled beside the passionate mysteries of the Four Huemancies. Yet, garnishments of creed cannot entirely entomb the snails of history.
Out of the heavens, out of the clouds burst a white fire of wrath. He saw in his mind the Holy Prior of Anviolk clutching his stylus as he bent over his parchment and wrote these words by trembling candlelight while outside the fumes of death suffocated his village. And threw awry the balance of worlds. Threw awry nearly everything and imported a new word kyn that had been däin in the older tongues. Yet again, snails could be shunted as well, for ‘the living kyn shall redeem the departed kyn who have erred’, so the Great Silver Tauhl spoke when he appeared before the Prior. And ‘Silver shall be the colour of my Tabernacle’, the Holy Prior ordained.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
I write because I enjoy it and that would be the case with everyone here on this blog. I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to give advice on writing skills but I would just urge writers to continue believing in themselves in face of disappointment and cynicism.

Thank you for reading a bit about me and I’d like to introduce you to other authors along this hop. Their links are below:

http://vickimtaylor.blogspot.com
http://tenthchild.com/wordpress/
http://candacegauger.wordpress.com/
http://traceeford.wordpress.com/
http://pacificrimpressblog.wordpress.com/
http://www.notanotherbookreview.blogspot.com/
http://ninjananny.wordpress.com/
http://www.charleneraddon.blogspot.com/
http://simplifyandsave.weebly.com/blog-save–simplify.html
http://candysmonsters.com/