Author Interview with C.B. Mac Gillavry
Q.: What inspired you to start writing?
A.: Like so many others out there, I’ve always written, from the moment I was able to write something. To me that moment came on an old typewriter, when I felt lonely and bored. The way I write has changed in many ways in the last years, and my fantasy writings have everything to do with my need to be in certain places and with certain people. I’m a needy person in the end.
Q.: What is your ideal writing setting?
A.: I feel quite comfortable with urban fantasy (I’m not so good at thinking whole universes), although I think I would enjoy steampunk as well. That might be what comes next, when I’m done with the urban fantasy. Magical realism would also be a good place to be.
Q.: Who are some of your favorite authors? Why do you like them?
A.: The list is very long. I think I’ll stick to some English writers. William Shakespeare is the first I need to mention. “Needs no intro” is the best way to describe why. Besides, I was lucky enough to be born on his birth/death day! I love love love Terry Pratchett, he was a great author and an amazing language juggler, I wish I could think one tenth of how well he writes! And his wit and sharp insights are a real addition to the rest of his world. Another one is Jane Austen. Again, “needs no intro” is a good definition. I’m a big romantic baby and it shows. Besides, I still have a huge crush on Mr. Darcy. Last but not least, Oscar Wilde, another great, immense wit of his times, great writer, fantastic playwright and amazing story teller.
Q.: What social issues become themes in your work, if any?
A.: I write eco fantasy for young adults, the eco theme is very dear to me and in my world the magic comes from nature. My characters have to protect and nurture the sources of magic.
Q.: What kind of books do you write?
A.: I write novels and short stories for young adults.
Q.: Which of your characters do you find you relate to the most?
A.: My main character has a lot in common with me, she’s a younger me who has the chance to do the things I never did. She’s my chance to be a teenager again.
Q.: Which do you relate to the least?
A.: The villains, I’m afraid. They are people who have hurt me in real life and I use them in a cathartic way, I needed to come to terms with my past.
Q.: Who is your favorite villain?
A.: My demon Belial is the one I like the most, or better the one I dislike the least. I understand things from his point of view, even if he’s still not one of the characters I would invite for dinner.
Q.: Tell us a little about your book/series: the characters, the setting, the themes.
A.: My series revolves around the Domus Dianae, a house built on the ruins of an ancient temple on the shores of the Lake Garda, Italy. It’s a magical place and that’s why it’s such an important place. The characters have been there at least once in their life, and most of what I write happens in and around the Domus. I have started following my characters in other parts of the world too: in Scotland and in Indonesia right now. I write urban fantasy, so I keep it quite close to real life, even if I like to use myths and legends to explain magic and link my ideas together with my characters and fantastic elements.
Q.: Have you ever considered writing something outside of your comfort genre?
A.: Young Adult is outside of my comfort genre… I’m not used to creative writing, I usually write articles or conferences about Italian and Dutch literature, which sounds very posh but really isn’t. I will write some steampunk in the future: a friend asked me to write something about the company we both work for and since I’m not very comfortable with writing sci-fi, I think I will make it steampunk. I felt very honoured by my friend’s request, though.
Q.: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to writing?
A.: Very basic ones: the cat on the keyboard, the cat on my lap, the cats mewing for their food… Forgive me for the wordplay.
Q.: What do you to relax and have fun when you aren’t writing?
A.: I love reading (of course) and cooking (which shows), playing with my children, chatting with people, especially with friends, walking the dog, cuddling with my cats and/or husband, and so many other things, it’s hard to keep track. But there’s really nothing like writing.
C.B. Mac Gillavry studied English and Dutch literature, she has an affinity for Colonial Dutch literature. C.B., like so many authors, started writing as soon as she was able to write, although the actual reading started at a later stadium, with the discovery of Jane Austen. She enjoys many different genres and writers, preferably in the original language. The environment is a key topic in her writings and she ideally writes for young adults, in the hope of enchanting them, even if just for a short while.
Read more at http://cbmacgillavry.weebly.com/
The Eco fantasy series Domus Dianae for young adults is composed, so far, of novels and short stories revolving around a group of characters of various nature and backgrounds.
The first short novel’s main character is a girl of seventeen, Victoria Springer, who finds herself endangered by three people. Their goal is to pollute the Lake Garda and kill the girl. She finds out that she has magical powers she was destined to have, thanks to the aid of people and fantastic creatures who live in and around a highly magical place. From very shy and reluctant, she grows to accept a more active role in the story. She also learns about dragons and fairies, gnomes and magic, and at the end of the novel she finds love.
Here be dragons! A Michaelmas tale.
The first short story picks up where the novel has left, with the main character struggling to accept her new relationship and finding out more about the boy she loves. She is taught about certain mechanics in the magical world and has to fight against poachers in order to save the life of a group of nymphs and the dragons from exposure.
The lights of Saint John. A Fairy’s Tale.
The second short story is a fairy tale, the main character is Agatha the fairy, who has to overcome her past issues with long lost lovers and grow towards another more suitable partner, a nature spirit she encounters on a quest. She has to help him find the golden cloth, in order to save nature from the greed of men. She fight against her last lover, which is also a metaphor for her fighting against all the wrong he has done to her.
Domus Dianae is the magical place on the shores of the Lake Garda, Italy, around which the series revolves. There is an ecological theme waving through every individual story, together with a quote from Shakespeare and a song setting the tone of the individual tales. The fantasy element also brushes against both real historical events and Greek mythology, as the place chosen for the tales has historically been home to a Greek colony and further inhabited throughout history.
The series will include at least two more short stories and a longer novel (work in progress), mostly set in Indonesia.