I grew up reading the classic fantasy and science fi ctions novels
such as Lord of the Rings and The Dune series and while I
enjoyed the character development, I was just so drawn to the
worlds in which the characters lived. I wanted to create not just
a story, but a whole world that the reader could be involved
with throughout the book.
WHY DID YOU MAKE THE LEAD CHARACTER,
A WARRIOR, FEMALE?
I never really thought about it in the beginning.
I wasn’t trying to make some feminine
statement with this book. I knew
I wanted to write an epic adventure
and that I wanted certain elements in
the story. It wasn’t until I was watching
a television documentary that
touched on a mystery of ancient female
warriors that Halíth was born.
WHERE DID YOU GET THE INSPIRATION FOR
SOME OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Some of the characters were developed little by little throughout
my life. Certain aspects of my friends, acquaintances, co-workers,
etc were the driving force behind some of the idiosyncrasies
that I included in the main and supportive characters. Even
people I met for a few minutes sometimes became a part of a
SO THE PIZZA DELIVERY MAN MIGHT BECOME A
Exactly! A Dwarvish pizza man and an Elvish plumber! All kidding
aside though, every day I really do get inspired by the real
world and my immediate surroundings.
BESIDES EVERYDAY INSPIRATION, HOW DID YOU
CREATE THE WORLD OF AÉSSYRA?
I wanted to go throughout history and fi nd interesting beliefs or
groups of people that maybe time forgot, and add a little magic
to them. For instances, the main evil of the book comes from a
prophesy of the Haddu. What people may not realize is that the
Haddu really was a mythological religious group who followed
the god Haddad, or also called Ba’al, in ancient Syrian folklore
THERE SEEMS TO BE SENSE OF
LEAVING YOUR READER
WANTING MORE AT THE
END OF THE BOOK. WAS
THAT HOW YOU INTENDED IT?
Yes it is. I wanted to stay wholly in
Halíth’s perspective, as if the reader were
a comrade invited along for the adventure. I
hope that, by the end, the reader truly empathizes
with her, gets into her heart, and sees there
is always hope and fun, even in the dimmest of times.
I think this aspect is really some of the more powerful
magic in the story.
IF YOU HAD TO BRIEFLY DESCRIBE HALÍTH TO
A READER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT THEM TO
KNOW ABOUT THE BOOK?
That karma fl ies faster than a 747? No, seriously, what I mean
to say is that life, and what we experience---every trial, every
passion---is age old, though perhaps dressed up in a different
costume this time. Now we may not have the burden of such
a grandiose destiny as our heroine, Halíth, but we all have one.
This book is about how we embrace our individual destiny. It is
about the human spirit.
BESIDES EVERYDAY INSPIRATION, WHO INSPIRED
YOUR WRITING? WHAT AUTHORS?
Honestly, I must confess that most of my reading has been
classic novels. While I adore fantasy, it has not been my bread
and butter, so to speak. I think that D.H. Lawrence may have
inspired me more than anyone. I am in awe of how he is so in
tune with the inner-workings of the mind and heart, even in the
bleakest scenes. Lawrence can put us into the business of coal
mining, and make it so very human, and make it come alive. I
think he has made me appreciate the depth of character in a
novel---how heroic and tragic and fragile a person can be.