Getting to Know You – Blog Hop Day 4

Hello, and welcome again to the Getting to Know You Blog Hop, Day 4 with another 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 Towered Hemisphere:

As by the day the company drew nearer to Tzigon, Seat of the Heights, aurora flush began to fill the evenings, not just random flashes for only those farseeing to glimpse but a persistent display of kaleidoscopes diminishing the fires of supper to a faint flicker. An eerie experience for the eastern folk who had never travelled to these remote uplands but when the first fright was mastered the travellers began to enjoy the passionate panoramas of the northwestern skies. No celestial songs came during the last stretch of the mountain road but after the path had crested a ridge and wormed down to a dell the dirt road widened into a cobbled street.
A party adorned with festive furs and the brightly striped wool of the Chlanin Heights awaited them in a glade before the mouth of an underpass. A lady clad in pale blue and riding a khud the colour of the purest snow approached Erlvar and Ängereim. Her hair flowed in ripples around her shoulders and down her back, shimmering raven as a star-clustered night one moment, purple-blue as a summer gloaming the next. Fine gems and pearls were threaded through her hair and a many-rayed sapphire blazed on her ice-white bodice.
She folded her fingers around Ängereim’s. Erlvar felt their contact like the embrace of two suns. A binary of two Talents, one blossomed, the other blossoming, was forged.
“We know each other already, Lord Ängereim,” the lady spoke in the music of mountain springs. She turned her head slightly and her eyes throbbed like pale-green stars on the bosom of the universe.
“By the glint of your eyes I know you as well, Lord Erlvar. I am Nirwa, Blue Huemanceress of Thought and I say this to you, Opener of Gates: Talent is not just a gift. It is the ripening of a people.”

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/