The idea for The Sword of Sighs came from the Fantasy fiction that I grew up reading for the most; The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Wizard of Oz being the main ones. There are also some influences from Fantasy television shows and movies I watched at the time like He-Man, Dungeons & Dragons and Star Chaser. I’d like to think that it’s written as more of a Classic Fantasy story than Gritty or Dark Fantasy. It’s a tribute to everything I enjoyed as a child and teenager.
In addition to that, I wanted to write a novel with a female lead character who is strong, independent and gets to grow and develop throughout the story without needing a romantic sub-plot as a crutch. But that’s just my own preference for characters who can stand on their own two feet against what the world has to throw at them.
2. What is The Sword of Sighs about?
The Sword of Sighs is about Sarah Bean – a teenage girl from Okeechobee, Florida who finds a way into another world called Seythe. Once she arrives there, she discovers that she has magical abilities that she was born with. She meets a wizard, Ossen, who tells her that she can help to save Seythe and its people from an ancient, evil being known as the Fallen One.
3. Which character from The Sword of Sighs are you most like and why?
I think a writer is every character in their books – good and bad. So I would say I’m like all of them really. That said, the main characters; Sarah, Ossen and Jedda, all contain some key aspects of my personality. Sarah has my sense of commitment to a cause and determination. Ossen has my interest in understanding the world and observing how it works. Jedda has my desire to fight for what’s important to me, no matter what.
4. If The Sword of Sighs was a movie, who would you want to play the part of The Fallen One and why?
The Fallen One has some similarities with Sauron from The Lord of the Rings in that he exists as a presence in the background for the majority of the story. However, there is a character called E’blis who serves as his avatar in The Sword of Sighs. I think Frank Langella would be the perfect actor to play E’blis.
5. Are you more of a video-gamer or a board-gamer?
I enjoy both. I’ve enjoyed games since I was very young, especially those with a strong storyline to them as I think this helped me to understand structure and how you put a plot together in an entertaining and engaging way. A few favourites off the top of my head would be HeroQuest, Dungeons & Dragons, Space Crusade, Dead Space, Bioshock, Silent Hill 2, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
6. Are you closer to your mother or father?
I was closer to my mother.
7. Where is your favorite place to travel to and why?
My favourite place would be Whitby in North Yorkshire. It’s a very picturesque, old-fashioned and relaxing seaside port-town that allows you to leave the current century behind whilst you are there. It’s also where Bram Stoker based a large part of Dracula.
8. If you could live anywhere, where would you live (city, Los Angeles, Italy, beach, woods, etc) and what would you live in (mansion, hotel, boat, car, etc.)?
I like the idea of a house away from everything – either in the countryside, forest or amongst the Scandinavian mountains. I wouldn’t want something as large as a mansion really, just a small place that I could call my own.
9. What age would you say you are, mentally or personality-wise?
I think all writers tend to be younger than their years, in some respects, as creativity requires a lot of imagination and the world we live in does tend to want to stifle your imagination the older you get. But at the same time, I think we can appear older than we are as well – to write well, you need to be capable of insight into people and the world around you. That insight requires a sensitivity that comes with an early maturity that allows your imagination to create art and stories that truly connect with people, regardless of age.
10. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
I’d like thank Tasha and Princess Reviews for hosting this interview and I’d like to wish all of the readers out there the very best. Without readers, a writer is nothing so we owe you everything.
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