Fantasy is a popular genre, folks. It has gone main-stream and most readers have certainly put a toe in the water. (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Mists of Avalon, Harry Potter).
Wikipedia defines fantasy by distinguishing it from horror (Fantasy generally shies away from the macabre.) and from science fiction. (Fantasy generally avoids science or modern technology.)
Fantasy is about magic, imaginary worlds populated by magical creatures and mythical heroes and heroines. The fantasy writer wields a pen as if it were a magic wand, taking us on journeys of wonder.
I’ve been a fantasy fan forever. So today, I am quite pleased to present an interview with Patrick O’Scheen, the author of Dreamer, the first of the Marithe Chronicles. (Check out my last blog for the book review I did for Dreamer)
Me: Dreamer is advertised as the first of a series. How did you go about deciding what should be in the first book?
Patrick: Dreamer is the first of four books in the Marithe series to date and there will possibly be more. The decision of where to begin seemed simple…I began with myself and spiralled outward. The story must start somewhere. There is no right or wrong about where to begin. I could say more by telling you that the second book is about Magic’s father… but that might be too much!
Me: Tell us about your choice of the title, Dreamer?
Patrick: Magic remains a “dreamer” through everything. He believes in people, finds good in their hearts, and forgives their transgressions. He never gives up hope. The name defines him and that elusive delirium that he embraces in both stories.
Me: What can you tell us about how the relationship Magic and Scheen develop in real life affects how they play together in the game world?
Patrick: I don’t think the two places are easily separated. The man who has been stricken by illness has difficulty discerning between reality and fiction and some of this distortion is distributed to the reader. To tell his story only from one view would be deceptive—so much is revealed about his personality and relationship with Scheen through the game world. It is the interplay of reality and fantasy that defines who they both are. Scheen struggles with concepts that Magic innately understands. Their interaction on both levels brings an intimacy to their friendship that surpasses one experience or the other.
Me: Sexual expression becomes a way of exploring a number of boundary crossings in the novel, Dreamer. Sexual experiences also create triangles between the characters. Tell us how crossing boundaries and creating triangles drives the story you want to tell?
Patrick: This is a particularly difficult question given the amount of press I have received about strong sexual content. Several triangles drive the passions of the characters as well as the relationship of good and evil. Scheen and Magic are at the center of the dilemma. Scheen is a character driven by change–thrown one way and then the other by his desires and adherence to prejudicial concepts —while Magic holds to a simple faith in the world’s compassion. Their shared love for the Queen inevitably changes them both.
Me: Your female character, Umbra, is a strong woman and queen. She is capable of compassion, but is able to deal death when the situation warrants such action. This first book in your series creates quite a dilemma for her – caught between her love and desire for two men, one of whom is a dragon. In future books will we see Umbra play more of a role in the real world? Will her dilemmas in Marithe be reflected in her real life?
Patrick: Although I loved her strength, Umbra’s role in the next few stories is minimal. However, book 5 –yet unwritten—will include more about her —and Vinia.
Me: The novel makes a challenging statement about adhering to strict stereotypes that keep groups at one another’s throats, often leading to war and destruction. You also go out of your way to create situations that suggest there is good in evil and evil in good. Can you discuss how these themes weave through your work?
Patrick: We all struggle with the understanding of right and wrong. Some of us attempt to define the answers by religion, some seek inspiring words and yet others look inside themselves for inspiration. Violent conflicts seem to erupt when ideas and dogmas are challenged—the dragons and the humans are involved in just such a battle and the outcome could result in the destruction of their world.
Me: When writing a series, the author faces the challenge of choosing the place to finish one book and start the next. Can you share your thoughts on how you chose to end Dreamer?
Patrick: The pattern begins and ends with the same voices. I don’t want to spoil the ending for others. It concludes with hope and a glimmer of the future. What more could anyone want?
Indeed – time to bid Patrick (and Magic, and Scheen) goodbye. A quick request before I let him go – give us Book Two in the Marithe series as fast as you can. Please.
Please visit Patrick’s blog and check him out
Dreamer is available at Amazon.com – click here