Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Unauthorized Authorial Interview - H. M.Snow

UPDATE: H.M. Snow decided to grace us with insightful (?) answers to the quasi interview, so I'll include those here.

I finally finished The Keeper House Unending by H. M. Snow. It's not that it was unbearable or difficult to read; it wasn't. It's the fault of my local library. They've become suddenly more efficient in acquiring inter-library loans.

I've been reading the Halfaday Creek anthologies by James P. Hendryx. Imagine TV detective Columbo in a Yukon goldmining camp. Unfortunately, pretty much everything he's written is now out of print. So, the library has my list of desired books, and everytime I return one, they order another. I think you can see here this is going. (Go, this! Go!)

Keeper House is good. Really, really good! It grabs you from the beginning sentence, and keeps you guessing about its conclusion until you arrive. There is a pretty good collection of characters to keep track of, but Snow gives them enough depth to keep you straight on who they are without drowning you. What was originally intended to be an extended allegory has expanded to include 6 books and an additional collection of short stories! If this first book is any indication, then the rest of the series forthcoming should be a real treat for fantasy readers.

The novelist didn't agree to be interviewed here at the brain lab (mostly because I didn't ask,) but ingenuity will out!
*****

ICFAB: Hello, and welcome to the first ever (and probably last) literary interview at the Brain Lab.

HMS: Um.

ICFAB: Let me get the usual author questions out of the way first. If you pitted a snapping turtle against an angry badger with a can opener, who would win?

HMS: Most certainly, the can opener.

ICFAB: Well, you certainly showed off your expertise as a fantasy writer there! More relevant, though, Who are your influences?

HMS: Um.

ICFAB: I know one wants to have one's own voice in the publishing world, and not be seen as a knock-off of other authors, but I think Keeper House compares favorably to some of Stephen Lawhead's work, especially his Pendragon cycle. Thematically, that is--you have a lot less graphic depictions of war-based violence. Speaking of violence, was it intentional on your part to leave out some of the gory descriptions of battle because this is an "inspirational" novel?

HMS: I have very strong opinions about the word 'inspirational' when applied to literature, but those opinions involve words I'm not supposed to use. Besides, I'm more into psychological torture and emotional scarring than physical combat.

ICFAB: I'm a name and language fiend, and so some of the character's names lit-up linguistic parts of my gray matter--Kohannon and Niyhaya especially. Was there a lot of intentional name-play to illuminate some of the characters?

HMS: You can blame Kenny Boles (professor of Greek and New Testament at Ozark Christian College) if you like. I blame my NIV Exhaustive Concordance.

ICFAB: I know you love personal questions, so feel free to skip this one. Did you write yourself into the story a bit in the character of Camille, and if not, was there a character you identified with most closely? And if so, who was it?

HMS: Anno... ('Um' in Japanese.)

ICFAB: Fair enough. I find that there is a hazard of sorts when reading many women authors, that romance seems to be integral and even central to the plot. While there is certainly some romance in the storyline, it didn't feel like that was the whole point. Do you find yourself in a bit of a rare group as a woman writing "inspirational" historical fiction that isn't primarily romantic in nature?

HMS: There's a group of them?!?

ICFAB: I'm not sure this is as much a question as a statement, but I think you did a fine job creating convincing male characters. I find writing good women characters pretty challenging as a guy. Any insights or advice there?

HMS: I can't answer that without sarcasm. Sorry.

ICFAB: Is it true that you were once stalked by an umbryan dragon for a matter of 3 weeks?

HMS: Now it lives under my bed.

ICFAB: Okay. You said that you started this story as an allegory. What's wonderful about it, I think, is that it isn't so Pilgrim's Progress-blunt and predictable as some I've read. It can be read as a good fantasy story without cuing in on all that's going on beneath the surface. I guess what I'm really asking is, if you are driving your car at the speed of light, and flip on the headlamps, what happens?

HMS: Ask the badger. (Why do you think he became so angry, after all?)

ICFAB: The Keeper House Unending is described as the first book of the Last Book of the Kings. Was that intentional perversity on your part, and do you cackle maniacally to hear it even now?

HMS: Intentional perversity is my heart language. (Mwa-ha-ha-ha...)

ICFAB: Last two questions... First, will the serialized stories you're posting online appear in the aforementioned short story collection; and three, do they take place in the same "universe" as Keeper House?

HMS: a) No.
b) Sorry-- what was that? You're breaking up...
c) No.

ICFAB: Well, thank you for joining me here at the lab and answering a few questions about your work! I can hardly wait for book 2! And trust me, you'll look great with tentacles! Are there any questions you hoped I'd ask you?

HMS: "Would you like tentacles?" would have been nice...

3 comments:

EegahInc said...

Wow, that's some of the best and most welcome answers I've ever heard an author give.

HMSnow said...

Authorial responses:
1) Um.
2) Most certainly, the can opener.
3) Um.
4) I have very strong opinions about the word 'inspirational' when applied to literature, but those opinions involve words I'm not supposed to use. Besides, I'm more into psychological torture and emotional scarring than physical combat.
5) You can blame Kenny Boles if you like. I blame my NIV Exhaustive Concordance.
6) Anno... ('Um' in Japanese.)
7) There's a group of them?!?
8) I can't answer that without sarcasm. Sorry.
9) Now it lives under my bed.
10) Ask the badger. (Why do you think he became so angry, after all?)
11) Intentional perversity is my heart language. (Mwa-ha-ha-ha...)
12a) No.
12b) Sorry-- what was that? You're breaking up...
12c) No.
13) "Would you like tentacles?" would have been nice...

EegahInc said...

Well, those were pretty good too, weren't they?