Friday, 26 June 2015

Author Interview: W Altshuler

Why don't you tell us about your latest work? 
The book Nadia’s Heart, is from a series of books called the Evergreen series, and it’s really a stand alone story in itself.  It’s the fourth book, but the events happen further in the past.  It’s about a girl who perceives that her heart is missing.  The story is an allegory about what the heart symbolises beyond the limits of romantic love, how evil can overtake it, and what happens when our heart becomes joined to something greater. 

What inspired it? 
I was inspired by a few things.  It’s unfortunate that in our world, children are not exempt from suffering.  I saw this image of a young girl under the weight of immense suffering.  It sadded me, because we think of children’s hearts as in such a pure state, uncorrupted by and protected from the world.  It also fascinated me:  there was a glimpse of Nadia in that, and that was all that was needed. I had to ask who was I seeing, and the answer just tumbled out:  that it was a girl named Nadia who thought she had been born without a heart.  In many ways, it’s as if these characters already exist and just need an invitation to step out.  
For Georgeonus, I was exploring the idea of characters from different realms and how they interact. Nadia and Georgeonus are young, but they are destined to meet, so in many ways they are star crossed because they are from different worlds.  He has characteristics that we would typically associate with angelic: glowing eyes and communicating telepathically.  Georgeonus has a lineage - he is the prince of The Land of Silence and has a responsibility to his people.  Nadia takes on the role of servant girl, but as we get deeper into the story we realize she has been sent to the Land of Silence and has higher origins of her own. 
Writing, like inventions and music, comes from different places. Inspirations can trigger something dormant in you, or that you are tapping into from the collective.  In a way it is the same source, and you are always churning it through the machine that is you: through your experiences. 

Is there something you are currently working on? 
I’m working on the second part of Nadia’s Heart, and another book that comes after that, which goes deeper into the history of Nadia’s origins.  
At the beginning of Nadia’s Heart, there is a quote from a poem called ‘The Demon’.  It speaks to Nadia’s longing for, and eventual alienation from, her sense of home.  Once she gains her memory back, she only has more questions about where she comes from, and the answers speak to the fleeting nature of the things we are tied to on earth.   Even the place we call home on earth is temporary.   
When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author? 
From a very young age I had an inner knowing that I was a writer.  I wrote and assembled books when I was little.  In my late twenties, I dedicated myself more to writing and started to produce a body of work.  That led to a commitment to learn the craft of writing and its structural elements, to finish works, to get feedback, and to employ the services of editors.  So those committments were an essential part of the process, but the knowing of being a writer was always there. 

Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do? 
I love stop motion animation - particularly the sets and puppet making, so I have been learning the process and the many, many hats involved.  I love animals, and have two rescue cats that are a happy—and at times entertaining—distraction.  I do a lot of walking, too.  It seems to go hand in hand with writing; it clears the head and gives you some distance on things.  What is that expression?  Solvitur ambulando.  It is solved by walking. Walking can help you to problem solve.  

Are there any websites where readers can connect with you? 

On Twitter, @SirTwoSays, and on Instagram: waltshuler.  

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