Now, on with the interview!
1. The Purgatorium is incredibly different from your first YA series, The Gatekeeper’s Saga. How did you end up writing this series?
I actually worked on The Purgatorium long before I ever thought of The Gatekeeper’s Saga, but it was one of those novels that didn’t come easy. I’ve rewritten it dozens of times. It was a story that wouldn’t leave me alone, so I kept going back to it. It was inspired by the relationship between art and reality. I wanted to write a postmodern story that blurred the lines of reality and fiction. Dr. Gray has this concept of living art that becomes more apparent in the third and final book.
2. Mental illness is a very important subject nowadays, especially depression. What led you to deciding to write about in this series in the way that you have?
Art is one way that people deal with pain and suffering, so I wanted to write a story that illustrated that relationship—the cathartic power of art. In this story, I wanted the art to be an actual and physical experience, but art none the less.
3. Did you find it difficult going into this series after The Gatekeeper’s Saga or was it nice to write something very different?
I miss my gods and goddesses, but I do enjoy going back and forth between fantasy and realism.
4. Is there anything you did differently when writing this series? i.e. Did you have to do more/less research?
I had to do a different type of research. Whereas Gatekeeper’s required a reading of the various myths and a mastery of the many gods and their roles, Purgatorium was all about setting. I had to know the island in and out—its terrain, climate, wildlife, plant life. I enjoy both types of research, though. I love learning new things.
4b.Did you plan it differently? etc.
The Purgatorium started out as quite a different story, focusing on the elusiveness of truth and reality. I had to master the literary elements, and it sometimes felt like I was wrestling an alligator. The Gatekeeper’s Saga was a much easier series to write because it’s less metaphorical and more straight forward.
5. Now, this might be the most difficult question of all, but who do you prefer writing…Daphne or Therese? If neither, what are some things you enjoy about writing Daphne? Was the story itself difficult to write being such a heavy topic?
I love both of these characters, but I feel sorrier for Daphne. Whereas Therese is rarely without a support system and her battles are mostly exterior, Daphne has a major war going on right inside of her, and she has no one she can really trust. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to end for poor Daphne. Sometimes the story and the metaphor want to go in opposite directions. This happened to me as I was writing one of my adult novels, The Mystery Box. The story should always win out. I never want to sacrifice the story for a metaphor. But it’s the tension between those two that make The Purgatorium difficult to write—not the topic of suicide and depression.
Thank you to lovely Eva for allowing us to interview her. Don't forget to enter in Eva's giveaway for your chance to win a bunch of awesome books!