Q&A with Nephylim – Part 2

[WARNING: This post may contain spoilers.]

Nephylim is the author of To Have and To Hold, and Hostage. She has graciously agreed to speak with me about herself, and her writing.

Q. Is Hostage and To Have and To Hold one book each, or will there be sequels?

I don’t know. There are no sequels planned. When I have a story inside me I let it out and that’s it. Enigma II is the only sequel I have ever, ever written and I actually have thoughts for more spin off short stories. Silver has affected me like no other character ever has and I keep coming back to him. I don’t think that is going to happen with Hostage or To Have and to Hold… nothing i certain though.

Q. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Buy a castle.

Q. What is on your favourite iPod play list?

Black Sabbath on stage at Schleyerhalle in Stu...
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t have an iPod. My favourite music is very eclectic. I love Ave Maria, it gives me shivers. Having sung in a choir I like some classical arias and ‘proper’ songs :) I adore Clannad and Omnia (their interpretation of The Raven to music is just… WOW) I loved Shakespeares Sister and am gutted they have disappeared. Fields of the Nephylim, Black Sabbath, Evanescence, Morphine, Cockteau Twins (Song of the Siren is one of my faves) Fairytale of New York would definitely be on there because that is my favourite Christmas song, the whole score of Rocky Horror, and loads and loads of folk music… mostly Irish with plenty of pagan stuff in there.

Q. How do you develop your characters?

I don’t, they develop themselves. What I NEVER do is the list thing. Hello my name is X and I am X tall with X eyes and X hair and X body blah blah. I don’t like that, I think in writing terms it is immature, although occasionally it works. Generally I like characters who unfold naturally and you find out bits about them that then come together. Usually I have a very clear pictue of my characters as they come into play and my description slips out through interaction. Generally I have characters describe each other rather than themselves.

I hardly every have a whole story worked out from the beginning. i did it once… plan out chapters but it started to go wrong in the middle and got totally abandoned. The story happens as I write it and they are character led so I write about what happens to them, what they think and what they do.

Q. When do you feel most out of your comfort zone?

Shakespears Sister
Image by steveharris via Flickr

Now that is an interesting question. In writing I never do. I write about just about anything. There is nothing too hot or too heavy. I am just as much at home with my characters being tied up, drugged and screwed in every twisted way possible; as being hopelessly romantic under a rising moon. There is nothing I won’t write about and nowhere I won’t go with my characters. I suppose that the only think that makes me uncomfortable in writing is if I get to a ‘filling bit’ and get bored. THen it’s hard to write.

In life I am somewhat shy and being put into situations with new people is scary. If there is just one person there I know then I’m fine but a room full of strangers is my worst nightmare :)

Crying is well within my comfort zone… I do that all the time… happy/sad/moved :)

Reading other stories I get twitchy with bad spelling and grammar but that’s okay if the story is good. I like reading stories from good storytellers no matter how well they technically write. Of course when a story comes up that has it all I’m hooked.

In reading I don’t really have any comfort zones either. I will read abuse, rape, torture without a qualm, however sport and descriptions of college life etc bore me so I just skip over them. I don’t think thats a comfort thing though.

I have just reallised that I write emotion and am most attracted to stories that explore emotion and are not just dry fact. Hmmm :)

Q. Does anyone in your every-day life know that you write?

How could I ever keep anything like that away from anyone, not that I would want to. Everyone who knows me knows that I live to write. My writing and my painting are so much part of who I am that there is no me to know without them… well I mean there is more to me than just that but they form part of my core and are woven through the whole of my being.

I am not in any way ashamed of what I do or what kind of stories I write. My daughters have read them, some people at work have read them… anyone who wants to see them has seen them. I get ridiculously excited when anyone wants to read my work although I am not one for pushing it.

Most of my family think that writing is weird and the only books they read are Mills and Boon so they have no interest in reading my stuff although they know about it. They think I’m weird anyway so my writing is just part of the weirdness.

Q. What are the top 5 reasons you started writing specifically gay stories, when there are several other kinds of stories to write?

1. My brother is gay and he is also a writer and a painter. He has been illustrating for a while now although I don’t ask him to illustrate my stuff. We spent a week writing together and he writes gay relationships so it kind of crept into my work as and experiment and it kind of clicked.

2. Two very good friends of mine came down to stay from London and read some of my work. They are both gay… well they would be as they are in a relationship… and they suggested that I look for somewhere online to post them.

3. I found GayAuthors and loved it so much… firstly because here was somewhere that my writing would actually be read… and what’s the point of having hundreds of thousands of words on your computer if no one every reads them? And secondly because of the community. The whole feel of the place clicked and I got sucked in.

4. I started writing stories specifically for posting here and of course they were al gay stories. I enjoyed exploring new territory and then I started looking at Yaoi and I got hooked on the whole scene.

5. Now I find it more difficult to write straight stories than gay ones :)

Q. If you could work with any author who would it be?

I don’t know if I could work with another writer. To do that there would have to be some kind of plan and I don’t do that. I can’t imagine ever writing with someone else, not the way I write. It is exciting and exhilaration to work with someone else in so far as bouncing around ideas, discussing characters etc are concerned but not actually writing.

Although I suppose that would answer the question too. I have already dipped my toe in that kind of working with Cia, NightOwl, Riley Jerico and FortyTwo and it was fabulous. It was an incredibly creative and exciting process which unhappily petered out. I suppose it was too big a group to sustain.

I would like to work with all of them again on something like that and there are so so many authors that I would like to work with in that way.

I think that one of my dream teams would be Chase and Tiger. Strange perhaps but they have fabulous sweeping imaginations and an ability to create epic works that I don’t really do.

Top of the list though would probably be Jamie De Valen. I have been reading through the Scrolls of Icaria and it is absolutely the best story I have ever read online. It would be awesome to work with him… again it’s the scope of the imagination and writing.

Q. Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?

I speak dialogue out loud and have conversations with my characters, which is fine at home but a little more embarrassing on the train. I also experience every emotion I write which can also be embarrassing in public when it’s a sad one. Sobbing on a station can get some strange attention.

Q. Who do you think you are?

I am a creature of contradiction. I am a middle aged mother of two with a respectable job and a reasonably nice home, living in a valleys town fitting in with anyone and everyone. I am just at home in a council house with ash trays full of cigarette butts on the floor and smelly kids everywhere, as in a detached tudor style house having a dinner party with a colleague or friend. I simply like people whoever and wherever they are.

On the other hand I am the green haired vampire who remembers past lives, grieves for a fallen angel, writes gay stories, paints pictures of men who look like women and paints her lips black when going out.

I am a spell caster (with an awesome Book of Shadows), herbalist, tarot reader, gamer, cook, carer, volunteer for pta activities (parent teacher association) and so much more.

In the end I am only me… whatever that means….A jar full of beans.

Q. Have you ever thought when a hearse goes by that you might be the next to die?

Eye death
Image by doug88888 via Flickr

Never. I don’t cry at funerals and I don’t fear the reaper.

Death and I have a certain understanding. I don’t mess with him and he doesn’t mess with me… until it’s my time and then he’ll come get me and we’ll walk hand in hand into the future. The angel of death has been a great comfort to me in the past and I don’t look forward to his visit but I don’t dread it either.

Q. Who was your favourite author when you were young?

I’m still young :)

When I was younger…. hmm… When I was very young… it was mostly the Brother’s Grimm, Hands Christian Anderson and Enid Blighton.

At about 13 I was given a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare and was totally charmed

At 16 I was introduced to Greek writers and was lost in the Illead and the Aenid. And then on to Storm Constine and Terry Pratchett

Q. If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?

Of course I would.

Q. What’s your favourite board game?

Scene It. I like Monopoly too but no one will play with me as I consider one of the aims of the game to be cheat as much as possible without being caught.

Q. Is there anything you’d like to plug?

My ears when my son is playing Nickleback AGAIN on Guitar Hero, or singing My Immortal with the MP3 player my daughter bought him for Christmas in his ears.

Oh… you meant promote… not really. Obviously I would like people to read my stories but it would be pretty pointless to say that wouldn’t it given that I am a writer posting stories for people to read :)

I am quite proud of the fact that I have written my first ever sequel and Enigma II will be hitting the screens once my current works finish being posted.

Other than that I would like to actively promote being nice to people. It’s surprising how much of a kick you can get out of it.

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