Shayla Morgansen, the author of the Elm Stone Saga, was kind enough recently to take a few minutes out of her busy day to answer some questions I had after completing Unbidden (the third book in the series). I actually pulled a few of my responses from her amazing blog – shaylamorgansen.blogspot.com
If you have any more questions, or just want to know more about Shayla, check her out on:
What was it like to write Renatus? While he is a good guy, he does lean towards the dark side – was that difficult to write, or were there parts of you that understood and connected with his dark side?
In a world, indulgent. Renatus is my favourite character to write and he was an indulgence from the outset, a character archetype I had always wanted to explore, and now whenever I write him I get to live through him and learn more about him. Every character is a reflection of some part, however small, of their author. Renatus is as easy to write as Aristea, despite that I know her a lot better; he’s more complicated than she is, and I think that I connect with that in him. Renatus is definitely a lot darker, and he’s a lot of things that would fascinate a good girl like Aristea or I because our lives only have those elements on their very fringes.
Authors always refer to their characters as separate entities who speak to them and have their own ideas on how their story should progress. What would Renatus and Aristea say about Unbidden as a finished product?
I definitely see them as real people, separate from me! They’re both scriers so they are somewhat voyeuristic and probably wouldn’t be able to help from reading it. I don’t think Renatus would be impressed to find out there was a book documenting his movements – he’d be annoyed that he hadn’t noticed he was being spied on. Aristea, I think, would be flattered and would probably enjoy the read.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I have to write books 4-6 in The Elm Stone Saga, and my Masters thesis, but I also have a few ideas for other works. All sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal, of course!
How long does it take you to write a book?
It’s hard to say, because I write sporadically throughout the year according to the school terms and the academic calendar, but all up I suppose about eighteen months? My books are quite lengthy for YA novels – if I wrote shorter I could maybe get them done more quickly.
Why did you choose to set it in Ireland?
I have asked myself this many times – why set my story somewhere so far away instead of somewhere I know? For some reason I have always felt an attraction to Ireland as a place, though I have not yet been there. In my mind I have this association with old magic, and I was maybe trying to connect with that. Plus, I think I really liked the idea of Aristea and Renatus talking with an Irish accent.
Do you have anyone in mind for the movie adaptations?
Theo James for Renatus.