I am very happy to present the online interview fro N.K Vir and her book “The Screaming Stone”. A big thank you to N.K. for her patience for this interview and for the interview itself!
Feel free to share a little about yourself in your own words.
I’m from just outside of Boston and am a proud member of Red Sox nation as well as a die-hard Pats fan who is misplaced living just upstate of New York City. I love to putter in my garden when the weather allows and am still hoping to one day come across a flower fairy or brownie who will help me with my daily tasks. Alas, I am not as fortunate as the characters I write about.
How did you get into writing?
I was introduced to creative writing in the third grade by an old school teacher with a new school teaching method (I still remember the name of my first main character; Froggy). In fact I was lucky enough to bump into a few English teachers who encouraged the creative spirit in their students. From that first moment that I put pencil to paper I was hooked.
Writing allowed me to give birth to the imaginary characters that often took up residence in my mind. I was often seen wandering with a well-used notebook, a pen stuck in my ponytail, eyes focused on some distant land I was creating in my head. This got me labeled ‘clumsy’. My head still hurts from the many trees and poles it met while my thoughts were busy creating a new character or writing dialogue.
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits? So, for example how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
Routine is very important. Most writers will tell you that writing is a habit. Although I don’t always use the same space to write I do follow a bit of ritual. I always sketch or outline a story in ink first and often my first draft eats up notebooks instead of memory on a computer. I love background noise. That doesn’t mean a crowded coffee shop or loads of screaming kids in the local park; usually I write to music blasted into my ears on my headphones while I say my character’s lines out loud. For a while I thought this, or rather I, was unusual I have since come to find out that I am not alone. Many authors still use pen and paper and listen to music; although I’m not sure how many talk to themselves in ‘character voice’.
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
My mother brought me up on mythology. We would go camping sitting under the stars she would tell my sister and I how the constellations got their names. Of course this was in an age before the internet. I would look forward to those nights and the many stories of heroes mingling with ancient gods. I think of The Otherworld Series as a memorial to her and all she taught me; that sometimes love with a little magic conquers all.
The Screaming Stone
How did you come up with the book title?
The Screaming Stone is one of the many names given to the standing stone that lies on top of the hill at Tara. The ancient stone was said to proclaim the High Kings of Ireland by screaming out the number of years a king would rule. As the main character, Annie is one of the Sidhe, the royalty of the fae world, its myth and legend fit perfectly into the theme of the book.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
The Battle at the Wharf is over; but the real fight is just beginning. Haunting dreams, Otherworld visitors, new enemies and even a possible sleeping dragon stand in the way as the newly dubbed Derby Nine race to get Annie to the Lia Fails before Midsummer.
The Lia Fails, the stone of destiny, the screaming stone has sung the destiny of the ancient Kings of Ireland. Now it is the last hope for the Seelie as their princess remains trapped in a mortal.
Duncan is terrified by the power of the stone. It is a King maker but also a life taker. His feelings for the fragile mortal have grown and he is forced to make a choice; reclaim the goddess he lost or claim the woman standing in front of him.
Annie’s mind knows she can never be more than a shadow of the goddess that captured Duncan’s heart centuries before. However, her heart is beginning to have different aspirations.
When the face of death offers them a helping hand they must choose to either accept the help or risk losing both the natural world and the Otherworld to the darkness of the Unseelie. The adventure continues as Annie, Duncan and the rest of the Derby Nine fight to save their worlds from the jealous God that continues to threaten them.
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
A friend of my son said it reminded her of The Percy Jackson novels. I took it as a compliment; and if I had to choose something I could pick worse YA/NA authors to be compared to. Of course that was never my intention but I can understand the parallels.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
I don’t always write with themes and messages in mind. I just want the reader to be able to indulge and immerse themselves into the story in order to escape the pressures of the real world; and if possible, believe that magic just might exist in the real world.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
The novel is full of travel. You’ll find yourself in the witch city of Salem with its colorful inhabitants, exploring the rolling green hills and ancient ruins in Ireland and even a mysterious realm known as the Inbetween.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
I rely very heavily on Celtic myth and legend giving it, as one reviewer called it, a modernized twist. Humans and fae, at least in Celtic myth, have been living side-by-side for centuries. Perhaps the most difficult part of blending the cultures was dusting off the ancient to allow a modern audience the ability to understand how certain fae were considered integral to human society. For the Celts it was easy to believe that a fleet footed multi-legged horse was running around their village enticing the dogs to bark and alert their owners that danger was approaching.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
Besides the drudgery of the ordinary world my favorite sub-world in The Screaming Stone would have to be the Inbetween. The Inbetween is a corridor between the living and the dead. Stray just a little off the path and you could end up a permanent member. Home to the forgotten angry dead real world rules don’t apply and even magic has little effect. The characters must remain true to themselves and stay focused if the wish to step back onto solid ground again.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
Duncan is a Faeriedae; which literally means a dark gift from the fae. No gift from the fae is what is seems and even though he thinks he knows who and what he is his quest takes him to places he never though he would travel. Annie is different. She’s grounded and skeptical even though she seems to surround herself with those who live in a world filled with the supernatural. For her, grasping that she is someone or rather something else is difficult for her to swallow. However it’s the secondary characters that give The Screaming Stone its unique charm. It’s an unusual cast of fae including a comical wag-by-the-way, known as Knackers; a motherly bean tighe, Fiona and Rian, a shy but brave little brownie who’s harboring a serious crush.
There are nine main and secondary characters in all, dubbed the Derby Nine, all with unique abilities that work together as a whole to defeat, or at least beat back the rising shadow of the darkness that threatens both the Natural world and the Otherworld.
Facebook Page: @thesilentgoddess
Misc Items: TWITTER: https://twitter.com/nkvirauthor14
How to buy
The Screaming Stone: The Otherworld Series Book 2 is available on Kobo, Smashwords and Amazon as is the first book in the Otherworld Series, The Silent Goddess.