I wanted to do something permanent. I didn’t need to leave a legacy, or even put my name on the book. But I got sick of consuming so much more than I produced. Once I told my friends I was writing a book, three of them said, “Yeah, I’m writing a book, too.” That was unexpected. The books were all different, but we were all in our late twenties; maybe that has something to do with the urge we all had.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In college when I was on the Lunatic, our campus humor magazine. After seeing my work in print, it just looked different. I still remember my first piece, which was a ‘through the years’ of the big hill that every freshman had to walk up to get to class. The freshman dorms were at the bottom of this big slope, and my piece was about how throughout history it’s set back both evolution and civilization repeatedly. The first amphibian for example, crawled out on dry land, saw the slope, said, “Nuts to that,” and crawled back into the water. Hannibal and his men later attempted to cross the slope riding elephants, but failed.
3. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
Ancient Canada is my first book, published by SynergEbooks. Therefore it’s just been fantasy fiction so far. I loved writing an epic. I could see going back and doing some comedy, but I was able to get a lot of humor out through Marigold, one of the main characters.
4. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
Walking around New York City, looking for a place to eat that had a style I hadn’t already tried. I’d eaten it all: Lebanese, Thai, Peruvian, you name it. I thought someone needed to create a fake country and make a restaurant based on its food. But stainless steel spatulas are expensive. So the restaurant idea became a book, the food became mythology, and instead of a fake country I used an alternate Canada.
5. How long did it take you to put the story together?
It’s mythology for an alternate Canada. The two main characters are Lavender and Marigold, sisters exiled from their home into a journey through an alternate Arctic. Each chapter is told by a different narrator, like Canterbury Tales. Each narrator shares their personal story while it links to form the overall epic of Lavender and Marigold. It’s mythology, so plan on some psychology and philosophy, but also some humor and hopefully a story you’ll really get into.
7. What is your favorite chapter in your novel and why?
Probably the Bog Man. I wrote a chapter where one of the narrators is a bog man, like one of those preserved bodies found in the peat bogs of Northern Europe. Some chapters are like a mystery short story, some a comedy, one a princess tale (technically an anti-princess tale). This one was a horror story, and I just thought it came out the best. I also consider the climax of the whole book to be in this chapter, when the narrator - the bog man - discovers what’s inside his father’s locked closet.
8. What has surprised you the most about the whole processes of getting your book on the market?
How brutal marketing can be. I guess it makes sense. There are so many people out there publishing a book, and people have less and less time to read.
9. Would you like to share what the reviewers are saying about your book?
One said it was probably the best small press book she had read in a long time. Two have had dreams about it, one of which was a pretty amazing story. Lavender can see life and death in various forms. If you’re pregnant, she’ll see a red glow around the womb. A reader told me he went to sleep one Saturday night and had a dream about a couple he knew from church. In the dream, the wife had a glow around her womb, like Lavender would see for a pregnant woman. The next day he woke up, went to church, saw them, and they announced (for the first time) that she was pregnant.
10. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
I eat a lot.
11. How can readers contact you?
12. Where can we buy it?
This link has every legal way you can think of. Currently it's an e-book only
13. Last but not least is there anything that you would like to add?
If you like Lord of the Rings, you’ll like Ancient Canada. Some people love philosophy, some hate it, and most generally tolerate it. If you’re in the middle category, hating it, you probably will still like Ancient Canada but won’t like some sections. I like to be up front about that. The sample chapter (link above) is a good test to see if you’d be okay with the philosophy aspect or not. It’s like a sandwich with mustard on it. If you hate mustard, please consider wiping off the mustard, not tossing out the whole sandwich. But the main thing I’d like to add is that if you do read Ancient Canada, remember to question the fact that there’s almost no mention of ice or snow in a book that takes place in an alternate Arctic Circle. If you question that, you’ll be in the minority among readers, for some reason that I cannot explain. And look up the ‘Svalbard seed bank’ or ‘Svalbard seed vault’ online, which comes into play in Prince Oslo’s chapter. But most of all, thank you for considering Ancient Canada and thank you for reading this interview!