“Forsythe creates a new and strange world, rich and complex in both its characters and history.” ~~~ Heather Wissman on Amazon
An Interview with Ms.Forsythe
DDS: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m in my mid-thirties and married with two young children. I’m also a graduate student, so time is at a premium in my household. Writing is my personal escape.
DDS: What got you into writing?
Reading, I’ve always been an avid reader and that just naturally progressed to writing.
DDS: This is you first publication, right? So how does it feel to be “Published”? Any unpublished work, written before `The Weeping Empress’ - that’s still somewhere in your drawers, that we should know about?
Yes, The Weeping Empress is my first publication and, of course, it feels great. I love seeing it in print and knowing that people all over the world could be reading it. A friend of mine will be working in the Antarctic this autumn and is taking a copy with her. It’ll have been read on every continent at that point. It’s an arbitrary goal I set for myself, but I’m pretty excited about it.
I have a number of notebooks with the basic outlines and a few strong scenes sketched out. That’s how a book always starts for me. But no complete unpublished works.
DDS: Tell us about `The Weeping Empress’.
It follows the exploits Chiyo Alglaeca (pronounced Chee-oh Al-glay-ka) as she struggles to come to terms with finding herself in a strange new land, being declared a prophesied savior of the people, and grieving the loss of her family. To risk understating the affair, she isn’t entirely successful at any of the above and is mighty ticked off to boot.
DDS: What was the hardest part about writing this book?
It’s my first, so there was a fairly long lag between starting the writing process and believing that it would ever really come to anything. Making the mental transition from writer to legitimate published author was slow and difficult.
DDS: What are your writing pet peeves?
As a writer my biggest pet peeve is trying to get a scene on paper before it slips away and not having the time to dedicate to it. There always seems to be something else demanding my attention. As a reader my biggest pet peeve is when a story is told in the first person without a reason. If the storyteller is recounting an event, testifying, or supposed to be writing a diary, etcetera I’m fine with it. But if I’m never given a reason for the POV choice I spend the whole time wondering why it is in first person. I find it really distracting.
DDS: What were your thoughts behind creating a character like Senka?
I didn’t really set out to create someone like Senka. The story grew around him and Chiyo almost of its own accord, but I think Senka really is the heart of this novel. While Chiyo is trying her hardest to throw everything away, he finds the missing piece of himself and sets out to bind her.
DDS: Who is your favourite Character? (one of your own creation – published/unpublished)
We were just talking about Senka. He is one of my all-time favorites. That strong, silent dedication is a characteristic I find really evocative in any character. It really isn’t a surprise that it crept into my own writing. I can’t help but love him for it though.
DDS: One thing readers would be surprised to know about you…
I actually am really shy in real life. I get all flustered and awkward meeting new people.
DDS: Besides writing, what else do you enjoy?
I have a disturbing number of obsessive, detail-oriented hobbies. To give two examples: like most writers I love to read. Leave me alone in a quiet room for hours on end and I am one happy camper. I also occasionally make beaded jewelry. If you’ve ever made anything with Japanese seed beads, you’ll know what I mean.
DDS: What, according to you, is the USP of this book?
The Weeping Empress deals with people at their basest and most feral. That’s how I think of Chiyo as someone who, in her grief, has thrown off the shackles of modern domestication. It forces people to consider what their own reactions might be if they found themselves in the same untenable situation.
DDS: What is the one thing that you wish the readers take away after reading from `The Weeping Empress’?
I don’t think it is preachy, but I meant The Weeping Empress to question the nature of humanity’s relationship with the divine and the proper place of religious authority. I would hope that after reading it people stop and think about these questions.
DDS: What’s next?
While The Weeping Empress isn’t a cliffhanger there will be a sequel that addresses some of the hows and whys left open. I’m also rolling a traditional (non-sparkly) vampire story around in my head.
DDS: Anything else you would like to say to your readers/fans?
I appreciate every one of you. Knowing that people are reading my writing makes it all worthwhile. I also love hearing from you. Feel free to get in touch ask questions, give opinions, send artistic character depictions, etc.
I would also really like to thank you, D.D.S., for having me this month. I really enjoyed it.
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Announcing Special Feature July'2012
Join me on 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th of July to know more about Melissa Foster and explore the world of Chasing Amanda, Megan's Way and Come Back to Me -- with me.
Ms.Forsythe will be giving away a copy of her book. So, there's going to be only one winner who can choose to take away a signed print copy or an e-copy! The Giveaway ends tomorrow. So, hurry and enter yourself in the rafflecopter below!