The awesome C.B. Mac Gillavry is here today to talk about all things fantasy. Please welcome C.B.!
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
A: I live in Europe, I love books and I live and breathe for books, when I’m not working.
Q: What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
A: I’m currently editing a novel and a novelette and writing another novelette, all at the same time. Only because I don’t really have the time to look after all my projects properly. My writing means very much to me, it’s what keeps me grounded and sane, so I’ll just keep writing like this until I earn enough to quit my day job.
Q: Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
A: The writing chose me from a very early age, like for so many of us. It’s always a matter of perseverance really.
Q: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
A: It may sound corny, but it’s the magic. Most people would kill to have a magic wand or the power to change things in the blink of an eye. Well, fantasy gives me unlimited powers: I decide who gets to do magic and who doesn’t, I say what kind of magic and how it’s used and in the end it’s magical to me.
Q: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
A: At the moment I’m lucky enough to be in touch on a regular basis with excellent writers in the Indie scene and they all stimulate me so much, they all make me want to be a better writer. Some of them are on this very tour, and once again I feel honoured for the incredible chance to tour with them.
Q: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
A: My target is a young adult audience, so the Bildungsroman is a consequential choice. My main character is growing into adulthood, she has to understand how the world turns around and where she’s allowed to stand. And then there’s the love thing. I’m a huge romantic, I need the romantic love story and I honestly see romantic love stories where they probably don’t exist. Or maybe they do. Anyway, I smuggle first loves and new loves and mending broken hearts in my writings. Let’s face it, there is nothing like a broken heart to turn everything upside down in life!
Q: Do you have any weird writing rituals?
A: I listen to music, preferably Johann Sebastian Bach when I’m on a tight schedule, otherwise I tend to listen to more modern music. At this very moment I’m listening to Jason Mraz… he too sings a lot about love. Another thing I do, I always begin my story with a quote from Shakespeare and I always have a song in my writing, just one, one song text that becomes important to the main characters of the story.
Q: What inspires your world building?
A: I need an environmental theme and a social theme: my goal is to give something valuable to my readers, something they can learn from, something that makes them stop for a moment and think about what they have just read. Something that will make better people out of them one day. That and the dragons of course.
C.B. Mac Gillavry studied English and Dutch literature, she has an affinity for Colonial Dutch literature. C.B., like so many authors, started writing as soon as she was able to write, although the actual reading started at a later stadium, with the discovery of Jane Austen. She enjoys many different genres and writers, preferably in the original language. The environment is a key topic in her writings and she ideally writes for young adults, in the hope of enchanting them, even if just for a short while.
The Eco fantasy series Domus Dianae for young adults is composed, so far, of novels and short stories revolving around a group of characters of various nature and backgrounds.
The first short novel’s main character is a girl of seventeen, Victoria Springer, who finds herself endangered by three people. Their goal is to pollute the Lake Garda and kill the girl. She finds out that she has magical powers she was destined to have, thanks to the aid of people and fantastic creatures who live in and around a highly magical place. From very shy and reluctant, she grows to accept a more active role in the story. She also learns about dragons and fairies, gnomes and magic, and at the end of the novel she finds love.
Here be dragons! A Michaelmas tale.
The first short story picks up where the novel has left, with the main character struggling to accept her new relationship and finding out more about the boy she loves. She is taught about certain mechanics in the magical world and has to fight against poachers in order to save the life of a group of nymphs and the dragons from exposure.
The lights of Saint John. A Fairy’s Tale.
The second short story is a fairy tale, the main character is Agatha the fairy, who has to overcome her past issues with long lost lovers and grow towards another more suitable partner, a nature spirit she encounters on a quest. She has to help him find the golden cloth, in order to save nature from the greed of men. She fight against her last lover, which is also a metaphor for her fighting against all the wrong he has done to her.
Domus Dianae is the magical place on the shores of the Lake Garda, Italy, around which the series revolves. There is an ecological theme waving through every individual story, together with a quote from Shakespeare and a song setting the tone of the individual tales. The fantasy element also brushes against both real historical events and Greek mythology, as the place chosen for the tales has historically been home to a Greek colony and further inhabited throughout history.
The series will include at least two more short stories and a longer novel (work in progress), mostly set in Indonesia.
Fog on the Loch part 4
‘I said, “Well, I suppose that doesn’t change much. Are you hungry? I just made some organic popcorn. I was going to watch tv before going to bed.”’
She pointed her finger towards the imaginary table with the cakes.
‘He looked at my cupcakes again. I swear, he would have eaten the whole table if I had let him! Not that he would have needed the extra pounds, if you know what I mean…’
Victoria knitted her eyebrows, ‘No, I don’t. I thought it was his coat that was big, not that he actually had a big belly!’
Twang replied, ‘Well, yes, he was filling the coat all right!’
‘What did it look like? You said it was fluffy…’ said Victoria.
‘It was red, with a thick white hem, like it was fur.’
Joe and Victoria both pulled faces at that word, as they felt very strongly against fur and leather.
‘Don’t get all touchy! I pretended I was passing him the popcorn and actually felt with my hand: it was just fabric, I’m positive.’ Twang explained.