Saturday, March 24, 2018

Interview with Dyane Forde, author of Berserker (Book 3 of the Rise of the Papilion Trilogy)

Today on the Speculative Fiction Showcase, we talk to author Dyane Forde about her recently released novel Berserker, the third and final instalment of the Rise of the Papilion Trilogy.

1. Your novel Berserker, Book 3 of the Rise of the Papilion Trilogy, was released on March 8th. For readers who are new to the Trilogy, can you tell us a little about the story?
The Purple Morrow is the introduction to the trilogy, so it sets up the main characters, their world, and the various conflicts. At first, the story was supposed to be one book. I wanted to chronicle the journey of a man (Jeru) at his lowest point who, through various situations, finds resolution and transformation at the other end of the proverbial tunnel. So, why not write about a young man whose wife dies on their wedding night and, guilt-ridden, decides he can’t face the future? That is, until his homeland is threatened by the same Beast-Men who destroyed his village years before, he stumbles upon someone from his past who complicates his already complicated life, finds out he’s the saviour of mankind, while dealing with the most terrifying thing of all: the threat of falling in love again. Book 2, Wolf’s Bane, deepens the overarching mythology and sets up the final conflict between the two main characters, which takes place in book 3, Berserker. Clicking on the hyperlinks will bring you to my blog for a ‘behind the scenes’ look into each book’s backstory. 

2. What inspired you become a writer, and a writer of Fantasy?
I've loved books from the time I was a kid and always had one tucked away somewhere. That evolved into a desire to write, especially after I realized how flexible writing could be when I was in the first grade. I discovered that the sense and feel of a sentence changed depending on how words were put together. I always liked puzzles, and I think writing stories became a kind of a puzzle to me: how to put words together to describe what I was thinking or feeling. 

My short stories and flash fiction touch various styles and genres but my novels lean towards fantasy. I think it’s because I have the freedom to create a world from scratch that best suits my story and characters. 

3. Are they any books that have influenced you as a writer?
Hills like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway, was a short story that left a deep imprint on me. I read it in high school and was gobsmacked by how much story he told with so few words. I imitated that style for many years.

Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel, was a book I really enjoyed because of the world-building. Though it was a foreign, pre-historic world, Auel wrote it in a way that made it feel real; it was easy to picture. I tried to model that a lot in my trilogy.  

There are a slew of Margaret Atwood books I love. She’s such a smart, witty, enlightened author that it’s hard not to admire her work. 

4. Your story deals with two men, Kelen and Jeru, whose struggle will influence their world for good or evil. Have your characters ever surprised you when you were writing their story?
Good question! As for Jeru, not really. He’s the Everyman struggling to cope with huge responsibilities that often conflict with each other with the confidence and understanding of a regular guy. I expected him to struggle and fret but ultimately grow through the course of the story. 

Kelen is different. He wasn’t in the original cast, but suddenly popped into my head one day as I was walking to the bus and thinking about what the story needed for an upcoming chapter. He appeared fully-realized. So everything about him was a surprise!

5. What films are you watching at the moment, at the cinema or on DVD, a streaming service, etc?
Oh, I pretty much scour Netflix for quirky movies, low-budget movies (they aren’t all bad and I’ve found a few gems!), anime, and a lot of foreign movies and shows. I find it refreshing to watch foreign programs and films because the point of view, values, production, and writing are often different to North America’s. I really enjoyed the German series, Dark, and I frequently watch Korean movies. I enjoy listening to foreign languages. 

6. Do you read any other kinds of fiction?
I used to read a lot of science-fiction and, in fact, I think that was my go-to genre for years. I also read some mysteries or thrillers, but sadly, I don’t have a lot of time to read at the moment. The last books I read were some of Terry Brooks’ Shannara series (I really liked the Isle Witch), as well some of the YA books my daughter reads. I particularly liked The Rains and Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz. She likes that I show an interest in what she reads and we talk about the books afterwards. She’s a voracious reader, like I was. 

7. When world-building, where do you start? With the characters, or the place?
I think the characters come first. I figure out who they are and what their story is and then figure out what kind of world made or influenced them. A lot of the time, I end up building the world as I write the story—I’m not much of a planner. 

8. Are you a planner or a “pantser”? Or a little of both?
Honestly, I don’t plan books in advance on paper. I spend a lot of time thinking and arranging things in my head and then sit down to write. I write the story sequentially. I don’t know why, but the moment I write something down, like an idea for a scene, I lose interest. It’s like currency that’s been spent. I’m also terrible at taking notes while I write. That’s one reason editing and rewriting the trilogy was so painful. But, I’ve come to accept it as part of my process and get on with it. 

9. Is this the final book in the series, or will there be more?
Berserker is the last book in this series. But, the world of Marathana is rich, and there are so many other interesting characters in it that I could see myself expanding the world by featuring some of them. 

10. What next – another novel, or some shorts?
Right now, I have no immediate plans to write another book. I have some manuscripts on the backburner waiting to be rewritten or developed, but I’ve got a lot on my plate: a new blog in addition to my regular writing blog, I’m co-leading a writing group on Scribophile, plus I have a job and a family. I do participate in flash fiction contests from time to time, but most of the writing I do right now is article-related for blog or guest blogs. 

11. How do you think things are for indie fantasy writers?
I think sites like yours are doing a great job exposing us to new readers. (Thank you! SpecFic Showcase) There are so many fantasy books out there that it’s hard to get attention, especially for independent authors who might be better at writing than marketing. I’m happy that there is such an interest and demand for the genre and that writers are responding to the demand. Sites like yours make it easier for authors and readers to find each other. 


 “Love…can destroy, it can build, or it can do both at once. One must not underestimate the human bond.” –the Lightbearer

With the Papilion’s whereabouts unknown, the Shadow pursues its plan for Marathana’s destruction. In control of the Northern tribes and strengthened by allies in the Deep Southernlands, the Shadow prepares to unleash its ultimate weapon, the berserker.
Jeru’s sudden reappearance reveals the presence of a powerful, new will at work. Blessed by the Lightbearer and supported by a ragtag group of survivors and unexpected allies, Jeru prepares to lead the small army into enemy territory.  

As war breaks, Kelen and Jeru clash one last time. One seeks to destroy, the other to save. The strongest will prevail, sealing Marathana’s ultimate fate.

About Dyane Forde:

Forde's love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, to poetry. Berserker, Book 3 of the Rise of the Papilion trilogy, is Forde's third published book. The trilogy is available on Amazon. For more, visit her on her blog.

Where to buy: Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great interview! It was great working with you :)