EYE of the SWORD
Angelaeon Circle Book 2
Interview with author Karyn Henley
Actually, there were three significant inspirational moments. The first was a writing exercise: "Recall one of the most emotional moments in your life, describe your feelings at that time, then explore what story might grow out of such a strong emotion." A friend's betrayal had ripped my world apart. Using that emotion, I envisioned a different kind of betrayal and placed it in a fantasy world. The story immediately began to grow.First of all, Karyn, I'd like to thank you for taking the time for this interview.1) Where did the idea for the Angelaeon Circle series come from?
Inspiration hit again when a writer friend and I perused books on the YA shelf at our local bookstore. Vampires and werewolves were (and perhaps still are) a hot item. I said, "I can't do vampires. They don't inspire me." My friend asked, "Could you do angels?" And, yes, angels I could do.
Still, the story wasn't "there," until I heard a radio interview with Margaret Atwood about her book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (Anansi, 2008). Debt was exactly the concept I needed to carry my story.
2) If there was one thing that you wanted readers to grasp and to think about in Eye of the Sword what would that be?
I avoid writing with the hope that readers will grasp and think about a certain theme. That's because if I write with a thematic direction in mind, I find myself trying to force my characters and events into a thematic box, and the story is no longer free to grow organically into what it needs to be. That said, after I have a first draft, I can usually see several themes, some of which I will emphasize in revision to make sure those threads
weave through the entire story.
To me, the best novels contain several themes, some of which the writer is not even aware. As a reader, the things you grasp and think about will usually be those things you recognize from your own life. Maybe the courage of the main character inspires you, because you need courage. Or your conscience nudges you when the character is too angry to forgive. Or you identify with the character’s struggle to forge his own identity. All of these and more are themes woven through Eye of the Sword.
3) How much research did you have to do for this series? And what did your research focus on?
When I began writing this series, I was already researching ancient Mediterranean culture for another project. So I placed the fictional world of the Angelaeon Circle novels into a setting roughly comparable to ancient Rome, Greece, and Palestine. I also researched ancient and Medieval accounts of angels and used the ranks described by Pseudo-Dionysius (6th century CE) and Thomas Aquinas (Middle Ages), although I renamed some of the ranks to better fit my story. My other research included myths and legends about harps as well as the World Tree, which appears in the ancient lore of many cultures. You can read more about world trees and mythological harps on my website: www.breathofangel.com
Actually I pictured Trevin a bit more rugged and a little older. But I'm not disappointed. This model is a good-looking guy. After my publisher sent me the mock-up of the cover, I put it on one side of my computer screen as I revised the novel so I could visualize him in every scene. And he works.
There are parts of every character that I identify with. They are all me, yet none of them are me. I wrote about this recently on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/8t82cgu
But if I could choose a character to be, I think I would choose the angel Livia, because she is older, which means she has experienced a lot, both good and bad, and not only counsels with the resulting wisdom but also travels the kingdom, actively working to restore the stairway to heaven. And she knows how to use a sword.
The sword fights were my favorites. I bought a good book on sword fighting and tried to make each scene as realistic as I could. (Research again.) I really enjoyed challenging Trevin by giving him a female swordfighting instructor.
The number of books is still to be determined. I have ideas for several more, but only book 3 is written. Look for it sometime in March 2013. Throat of the Night alternates the point of view between Melaia and Trevin, and there will definitely be some surprises in the story. When events separate Melaia and Trevin, and even friends can't be
trusted, they struggle to keep faith in each other while confronting the immortal who threatens to destroy their world.
Actually, I can't think of a question I would want to be asked. I've been asked everything from the common, "What made you write this book?" (which I answered above) to the very strange, "What would you be if you were" an: animal (I answered cat), a color (blue), a musical instrument (harp), and a tree (willow). That probably tells you more about me than all the previous questions combined!
Thank you again, Karyn, for agreeing to this interview and providing an insight into the person behind the book.
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