Today marks the first day of the Blogger Book Fair (BBF), which runs through Friday. All week I’ll be hosting various authors, and I’ll also be pointing you in the direction of sites that are hosting my work as well.
My guest for today is ML Weaver of Luna Risen. He was gracious enough to allow me to interview him for this site.
MPL: When did you start writing? Did you take it seriously at first? Was there a moment when you realized you wanted to write for publication, and did that change anything about your writing routine or style?
MLW: I started writing poetry sometime around the beginning of high school (shudders at the thought of how long ago that was!); unfortunately, all of those notebooks have been lost. It wasn’t until the last year of grad school that the story that became The Lightness of Dust began to reveal itself. It wasn’t so much that I decided to write for publication as it was the story insisting on being told. Changes in my writing routine? Well, I hadn’t written anything outside of academia in years, so it really got me back into putting words on paper.
MPL: How did you determine what genre you wanted to write? Do you write what you like to read? Do trends influence you at all?
MLW: I didn’t actually choose the genre. In fact, I have a great deal of confusion about what genre the book falls into. I’ve taken to calling it “dark-romance fantasy,” though that doesn’t quite capture it. The central story is a love story (hence the “romance”), I don’t believe that love stories always end like they do in traditional romances (hence the “dark romance”), and there are strong paranormal/fantasy elements (but no elves or wizards). Oh, and in the book, as in life, the gods walk among us. They do not, however, do so as in many fantasy novels. Here they live normal lives burdened, as we are, by their hopes, dreams, and fears.
MPL: I had similar issues with my novel The K-Pro, which also defies genre. There are romantic elements and a fantastical streak (but not high fantasy) . . . How many books (or stories, novellas, etc.) have you written? What is your most recent finished project and what are you working on now?
MLW: The Lightness of Dust is my first novel. My work-in-progress is the next novel in the series, but don’t look for the same characters!
MPL: What do you most want readers to know about you and/or your writing?
MLW: I’d love for readers to know that I don’t necessarily believe in revealing the story’s conflict in Chapter One. There are events leading up to conflict and purpose and these can’t be skipped over.
MPL: Major influences? Favorite authors, books, movies, actors, etc?
MLW: I wouldn’t say that any one writer has influenced me more than any others. As a child I read everything. History, textbooks, a little romace, fantasy, science fiction, literary. Mostly I want to capture the essence of my characters. My favorite author, though, is Ray Bradbury, who wrote the quintessential coming-of-age story in Something Wicked This Way Comes. Some of my favorite movies are Troy, the Underworld series, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Dead Poets’ Society.
MPL: I mentally “cast” my characters so I can picture them as I write. Do you? Who would play your main character(s) in film versions?
MLW: I don’t “cast” them. Each character is more real to me than anyone I encounter in real life. I know exactly what they look like, how they move . . . If I were casting for a film adaptation I would say Morgan Freeman for Sam Freeman at the end, Don Cheadle as the younger Sam Freeman, James Franco or Donny Wahlberg as Jake Morgan, Anne Hathaway or Scarlett Johansson as Lily Ostendorf, and Hayden Panetierre or Rose McGowan as Amanda Angona.
MPL: What about music? (I find it inspiring.) Do you listen to music as you write, and does it ever inspire you at all?
MLW: I can’t take the distraction while I’m writing. Before and after, though, absolutely. If I’m about to write a sad scene, for example, I might listen to some Evanescence first. After, some Disturbed to pound the sad away!
MPL: Without giving too much away, tell a little about The Meronymy. What does the name mean?
MLW: Such a great question and saying too much would definitely give something really big away. I’ll just say that a meronymy is a linguistic relation. As an example, a toe is a meronym of a hand, because it is a part of that hand. A meronym is basically a part of a whole.
MPL: You’ve written one book in the series; how many books will there be?
MLW: I don’t know how many there will be total. The second book is in progress and will be out in late summer or early fall. The concept of the series allows for dozens, potentially, though I think that many books would dilute the meaning.
MPL: What overarching theme(s) does the series incorporate?
MLW: Love, loss, hope, fear. An exploration of these things in ourselves by placing them in the “other” (i.e. in the gods).
MPL: Which character in The Lightness of Dust do you most identify with and why?
MLW: If I had to choose one, I’d pick Samuel Freeman. The pivotal event of his life mirrors an important event in my own life. That said, I prefer to think that if all of my characters got together and had a group-love-child, that baby would be me!
MPL: I was looking at the Luna Risen site and found it very interesting. What, if anything, would you like to share about your journey away from and your return to the Goddess? How long have you been “back” with her?
MLW: Thank you! I’m always pleased to hear from someone who likes the site. When I was much younger I asked her to bless something I wanted more than anything else, and I thought she gave that blessing. I’m pretty sure she did, actually. What didn’t occur to me at the time, and in fact took decades for me to figure out, was that her blessing did not necessarily mean that I would get to keep that “thing” that I wanted. But that was my expectation. When I lost what I loved . . . I blamed the goddess (you’ll have to forgive my lack of capitalization—it just feels wrong for some reason) and turned away from her for many years. The story of my return to her is posted on the site, as you know, so all I will say here is that she saved my life.
MPL: What would you hope others might learn from your personal journey?
MLW: The most important lesson I learned was that often, unhappiness is rooted in one becoming disconnected from one’s self. The world can be beautiful, but it can also be terrible. So often we take the beautiful for granted and allow the terrible to twist us into parodies of ourselves. To “Live Yourself,” as I like to call it, is to close the distance between who you should be and who you have allowed the world to make you.
I want to thank Mr. Weaver once again for letting me exercise my long unused journalism muscles and enduring my questioning. I hope everyone will go check out his site and his book!
ML Weaver on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.matthew.weaver
Luna Risen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Luna-Risen-LLC/371310376277084?ref=ts&fref=ts
ML Weaver on Twitter: @ML_Weaver https://twitter.com/ML_Weaver
Luna Risen on Twitter: @LunaRisen https://twitter.com/LunaRisen
ML Weaver Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6558612.M_L_Weaver
Now for an interview of another kind and color. . . I was put to the test by Tammy Theriault, who has posted her interview with me over on her site. Tammy is as lovely as she is insane, and I had a great time visiting with her! Though, as you’ll see, my lawyer advised against it . . .