28 August, 2015

#Interview with Niro Raine, #Author of Delivering the Phantom Moon

About the Author:

Born in the UK in the December of 1983, Niro lived a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, at one point living at four different addresses within the space of one year. As an only child on the move, his imagination quickly became his favourite toy and most valuable asset. 
Despite his fractured early education, he went on to achieve both a First Class Honours and Masters Degree from Exeter University before settling in South West England, the creative hub in which his novels are penned.

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Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t tell stories. As a child, I would always be the one in the corner of the playground entertaining my classmates. Indeed my relatives like to bring up from time to time how I would tell my cousins ghost stories at bedtime, causing them to be up all night. Oops!

What inspires you to write?
Life. I always see a kind of poetry in the everyday and creative writing helps me to make sense of the world. I observe, I consider, I digest and then I play with the “what-ifs”. Everything I write is rooted in reality, even if it has become too far estranged to be recognisable by the time it’s down on paper.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Delivering the Phantom Moon grew out of a number of ideas I had been toying with. I had been interested for some time in the symbolism of creatures in folk mythology. For example – The werewolf who once bitten will never be the same again. They can walk among other people, but they have a dark secret that prevents them from getting too close to anyone. That explosive, aggressive energy that cannot remain buried, especially on the monthly anniversary of that initial trauma.
I also remember being quite affected by Like Water for Chocolate. The idea that your passion, your fear, your sadness, your joy can be so deep that it is felt by all who come into contact with your creation, becoming just as real for them as it is for you.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Who doesn’t have those? I have one that is entirely set within the subconscious of a young man living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Tell us about your writing process.
I am not a writer who can vigorously lay down a structure for every scene and then put it together. I have a good understanding of the world and the characters before I put pen to paper. I know what I want to do with the plot and the themes that will be explored, but other than that I let it develop and grow organically. If a character surprises me and wants to take things in another direction, I go with it.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Probably the scene where Looms-Twice-Nightly and Falls-Only-When-Supported are returned to the Bowel House after being arrested. This scene encapsulates many things for me, but mainly I love it because I believe than art has often been at its strongest in times of turmoil when it is used to inspire and lead rebellion. That fact is subtly celebrated here.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Absolutely. I should probably say all of them in some small way. They certainly share my sense of mischief. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Much of the humour in my writing comes from my love of babbling and inventing words. Invented words, where you still understand the meaning are a great joy to me. I still remember rocking with laughter for days after reading the words “snaffling coobeastie” in a novel by the greatly missed Terry Pratchett. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
My favourites have to include Terry Pratchett, Angela Carter, Neil Gaiman and Samuel Beckett. I would say that the aspect that I mostly take from them is the importance of the personal human story over the greater thrust of the action.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Just the recognition that I have to write. Write everyday. It doesn’t matter what it is.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Find your own voice. And this is something that you will only do by getting down and scribbling away until you find the style that fits who you are and what you want to express.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I think I would probably want to see Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role as Bobert. He seems to have mastered that lovable awkward quality that sits so firmly at Bobert’s core.
Kane would have to be played by some ravishingly gorgeous wild thing like Jennifer Connelly. 
And for the voice of Howel I’d love to have Stephen Fry.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
I’d be very boring I’m afraid, I have watched The Island with Bear Grylls. I’d take a compass, a lighter and a seriously sharp knife.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Most of my free time is taken up with walking and exercising my Dutch Herder. I particularly like it when we have managed to find a spot where we can just lay on a blanket and I can read a good book in the sun while he sleeps off the fetching.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I fully intend to go on a temple and pyramid tour of the world. I can’t help feeling like there will be something to be learned from studying the buildings created by our ancestors at a time when they were considering our relationship to the universe from a spiritual perspective.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I won’t visit a country unless I speak at least the basics of the language, so I once spent nine months intensively learning Arabic so I could go to Egypt.
- I’m really into tattoos, as long as they’re original and not from a flash book.
- I love cheese and pineapple sticks, I don’t care how tacky and 90’s kids party that sounds!

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Four Winds World series Yggdrasil and Thanatos, but my next release is a Christmas Eve Chiller that’s coming out in December called Forget-Me-Knots. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I’d love to share a cold bottle of something, but that’s for another night.

About the Book:
There is a darkness that twists through us in the night. It watches us from the shadows, and mocks us from the edge of sight; always keeping half a blink away from closer inspection. Although we turn and look as that chill spikes our hairs to attention, we do not really want to see. We do not really want to know. 

The Presence is growing; feeding on the night terrors of cheese addicts. Soon the inhabitants of the Four Winds World will no longer be able to deny its existence as the madness of panic prepares to take them. In a world where Gnomes mine the hills, Mushrooms rule the earth, and Mermaids defend the oceans, will it be the most unlikely hero, the lactose intolerant Bobert, who saves them all from this curse? 

...Not if he can help it...

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