Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and News from the Publishing World.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Author interview with Amy Nielsen
Our interview today is with Amy Nielsen, author of Victor and the Sun Orb
FQ: What drew you to the world of sun fairies?
I’m an avid reader of fantasy books and fairy tales since I was a little girl. When I migrated to Denmark in 2001 to join my Danish husband, I was fascinated by the little town of Nysted, where we lived for the first 6 years. The old houses, a 13th century church and castles, and the 4,000-year-old tombstones in the Black Forest were all well preserved. In one of our visits in the castle park, my husband climbed an old oak tree and he looked so white and bright under the midday sun that I thought he only needed wings to look like a fairy. When we went to the forest and I saw the tombstones, I began to imagine the forest full of fairies and the story just swirled in my mind non-stop. I searched on the internet about fairies, but I didn’t find any story or book about sun fairies, so I decided to make them as my main characters. Since sol is the Danish word for sun, I named Sol as the goddess of sun fairies and their world eventually became Solandia.
FQ: There are many different species in the fairy world of Solandia? Which one is your favorite and why?
I like most Strawberryhawk, foremost because she’s highly original. I didn’t borrow her from any fantasy books or fairy tales. I created her myself as a hot-tempered, straight forward, over confident talking bush, but with a heart of gold. I was in fact laughing while writing her scene with Prince Victor. Aside from Strawberryhawk, I like also the sun fairies especially Prince Victor whom I named after my nephew, Queen Magenta as the gentle and powerful queen of the sun fairies, Antik as King of the Ants, and the evil croogs (half-cat, half-bat), simply because they are my own creation.
FQ: Did you draw inspiration from any people in your own life for any of the characters in your novel? For example, were Queen Magenta and King Godfred at all inspired by your parents?
I was inspired by my grandmother Alejandra. She died 15 years ago at the age of 90, and some of her stories are still fresh in my memory. She had many visions and experiences about the metaphysical world. Some incidents in Prince Victor’s quest like the appearance of the little book, crossing the Black River with Rower, and meeting the Boss with a white rooster in the Golden Palace of Destiny came from my grandmother’s story. She claimed that when she was a teen, she had several visions of their house’s roof splitting into two, allowing the little book to zoom down to her. She refused however to accept the little book because its power was too strong that it almost made her crazy. Her cousin however had the same experience and in contrast, he accepted the little book and the effect of it which I described in my book. Apparently in his death, he decided to take the little book with him and didn’t pass on to any of his children. In another case, once my grandmother was very sick and she lost her pulse for a few minutes. Again she claimed she travelled far and wide. She crossed this black river manned by a rower and brought her to this shining golden castle full of books. Everything happened as I described in my book inside the Golden Palace of Destiny was exactly what my grandmother saw and experienced. I regret however that I didn’t write in detail all of my grandmother’s real life stories. I could perhaps write a great non-fiction novel out of her stories and experiences.
FQ: The fairies in your novel have no souls, so they do not go to heaven. On the other hand the human characters seem to believe in life after death. Was this contrast intentional?
No, it wasn’t intentional. It just flowed naturally in the story. Before writing Victor and the Sun Orb, I did some research about fairies and magical beings, and I came up to this book where it described fairies having no souls. I followed the same principle. However, I strongly believe in life after death that unconsciously I carry it even in my writing.
FQ: Do you plan on continuing the story of Prince Victor and the Sun Orb?
The story of Prince Victor will continue in three parts. I am currently writing the sequel titled Victor and the Seven Circles of Darkness. His adventure will continue as he rescues his friend Rower from being banished forever from the Black River. Angels will be added as new characters in the story, and again, I will incorporate some of my grandmother’s vision in the after life in the story. The story will be darker, entertaining and mystifying as well.