It is a real pleasure to have come in contact with author Rory B. Mackay, writer of “Eladria”. You can find out more info about him and his book by reading his answers bellow! Don’t forget to leave a comment if there is anything on your minds! :]
1. Hi Rory! I am really glad that you for accepted to answer some of my questions! Thank you very much! How about telling the readers of this blog some facts about yourself?
R: Hi Simona, it’s my pleasure! I’m a writer and artist from Scotland. I was born in Glasgow and moved around quite a lot as a kid, living in Surrey, England for a while before settling in the North East of Scotland. I’ve always been very creative and from a young age felt I had a number of stories I wanted to tell, and imaginary worlds I wanted to share. As I grew up I became fascinated by Eastern philosophy, spirituality and mythology and those became important elements of my work, and my life. I see storytelling and writing as a way not just of entertaining people, but making people think about the deeper issues of life, personally, socially and spiritually. Stories can have immense power that way.
2. What is your book “Eladria” about? Tell us a few words about it.
R: “Eladria” is about a teenage princess whose world crashes down around her when her homeland is invaded and occupied by a brutal religious order called the Ha’shon. She only narrowly escapes with her own life and finds herself a fugitive in an unfamiliar land ravaged by generations of war. As she evades the Ha’shon, bounty hunters and dangerous predators, Eladria finds herself embroiled in a sinister experiment that threatens to destroy her world and countless others.
“Eladria” is a fantasy/science-fiction/young adult novel combining action and adventure with elements of mysticism and mythology. I look on it as a story about life, with themes of love, loss, redemption and learning to overcome our demons – both the outer demons (and there are plenty of those!) and, more importantly the demons within us. It’s a story about finding peace and becoming whole.
Genre: Science-Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Paperback, E-book
Eladria is released 31 May 2013 by Cosmic Egg Books
Get Eladria from:
Author’s website / Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Apple iBooks Store / Barnes & Noble
With the barriers between dimensions rapidly collapsing, Eladria learns she must travel to the forbidden land of Drantak, where a dark and ravenous force seeks to unleash its fury on a universe it was long ago banished from. Only Eladria can prevent a universal armageddon, but in order to do so she must confront a shockingly familiar adversary and be willing to make a devastating sacrifice.
3. How did the plot for this book come to your mind?
R: I’d already written the first book in this series, called “The Key of Alanar” but I hadn’t managed to find a publisher for it. So I decided to write a prelude to that novel, which is what “Eladria” became. I thought I might have better luck getting it published first – and I was right, thankfully!
The plot for “Eladria” came to me when I was lying in my bed half-asleep. For some reason I had an image in my mind of a world in which the ruling royal family lived on an orbiting moon. I saw the central character as a teenage princess who was completely bored with her life, for she was an adventurer at heart and yearned to escape the confines of the moon and explore the planet beneath.
I also knew that right at the start of the book a hostile force would invade and overthrow the royal moon, forcing the princess to flee for her life. The rest of the novel, the storyline and the characters kind of just came to me one day, almost fully formed in my head. I got a notepad and began scribbling down the ideas as I was seeing them unfolding in my head. It was an amazing, wonderfully effortless process.
4. The cover of “Eladria” looks interesting! What is the story behind it?
R: I originally designed my own cover design, but the publisher decided to create their own. Fortunately, they asked for my input in selecting photographs and illustrations. I chose a picture that perfectly captured the likeness of the title character, Eladria. I really like it. It’s quite striking, dark, beautiful and intriguing.
5. Which of your characters do you like more? Is there any character that you had a hard time in creating?
R: I absolutely love Eladria. She’s the central character and driving force behind the novel. It’s all about her physical, emotional and spiritual journey. I really fell in love with her. She’s brave, powerful, headstrong and determined and she learns a heck of a lot as events unfold, becoming a better and more compassionate person.
I suppose I had a hard time with the character Janak, only because I’d decided to give him a different way of speaking to reflect that he was from a different region and also highlight the fact that he’s uneducated and maybe not one of the intellectually sharpest of characters! So he’s got his own way of speaking and I had to struggle to make it work and keep it consistent and pray that he wouldn’t end up being a Jar Jar Binks kind of character! In one draft I completely ‘normalised’ his vocabulary and syntax and it just didn’t work, it wasn’t him.
6. What are you favorite books/book series? You can make a top 5/10 if you want to!
R: I have to say I love reading some of the literary greats such as Herman Hesse and Aldous Huxley, who beautifully combined wonderful stories and characters with literary, philosophical and spiritual depth. They inspired me so much with books such as Hesse’s ‘Siddhartha’ and ‘The Glass Bead Game’ and Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and ‘The Island’. I also loved a number of Paulo Coelho’s books, and in the fantasy genre ‘Lord of the Rings’ and Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’, which again was an amazing combination of fantasy with philosophical undertones.
7. What authors do you consider to have been your inspiration?
R: I just mentioned a few. But I have to say that reading the works of Joseph Campbell really inspired me enormously. Campbell was a giant in comparative mythology and he underlined the elements that are common to all great myths, fairytales, stories, novels and even films. He called it the ‘monomyth’ or ‘hero’s journey’. While I in no way used it as a formula for my book, it nevertheless provided an inspiration and kept me on the rights tracks. It helped me be clear on what constitutes a good story and a satisfying character arc. It also greatly informed my outlook on life!
8. What country/countries would you like your books to be popular in?
R: Oh, all of them, I hope!! Haha. My publisher is from the UK but now has branches in the US and is keen to promote their titles big-time in the US as that’s one of the biggest book markets. The spelling in the book was changed to US-English for that reason. It’s hard to predict or control where, when or how your book will be popular, so I’m just happy to see what happens and enjoy the journey.
9. What do you think about Romania, the country I live in? Would you like to visit it one day?
R: I must admit I don’t know very much about it. It’s a place I’d certainly like to visit! There are so many places I’d like to see. Maybe I should be a big European book tour sometime. That’d be amazing.
10. Fast choosing:
*Apples or Bananas?
*Winter or Autumn?
*Planes or Trains?
*Tea or Coffee?
*Vanilla or Chocolate?
11. As an ending, you can say anything that comes to your mind to those who are reading! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and good luck with your writing!
R: I’d just like to thank everyone for reading this. I’m extremely excited to finally be able to share my work with the world. It’s also a little scary. After all these years of solitary writing, I’m now a published author! I really hope people will check out my book and give it a try. I am making the first couple of chapters available to read on my website, along with all kinds of background information about the book, the world and the characters (with artwork too). There is also a free original soundtrack album available to download for all my readers. This is a gift I wanted to give to everyone as a way of enhancing the experience (I always wanted “Eladria” to be a multimedia project) and as a way of thanking people for supporting a first time novelist. 🙂
Hi, my name is Rory. I’m a writer, blogger and artist from Scotland. As a social science graduate, philosopher and student of Vedanta, Zen and Taoism, one of my true passions is exploring the potential of fiction and art to not just entertain, but to inspire and expand consciousness. My debut novel “Eladria” is published in May 2013 by Cosmic Egg Books.