Welcome back to The Writer’s Voice, the one blog series that brings you closer to the authors behind our many featured e-books. With us in this segment is AerystheMad
Hi, I’m AerysTheMad, and I’m a recent Global Political Economy masters graduate living and working in London for the past 2 years after transplanting myself from the East Coast of the US. While I’m not a professional author or artist, I enjoy challenging myself through creative pursuits and imagining humanity’s potential futures. I’m fascinated not only by pushing the limits of what human beings are capable of as a species when it comes to social and technological advancement, but also by the macabre and the dark depths of human psychology. By that logic, it makes sense that what I choose to write on combines horror and the paranormal with science fiction and speculative fiction. I’m also queer, non-binary, and asocialist, so I include these elements in my writing. My latest work,The Thousand-Eyed Crow,deals with concepts of the supernatural and religion in the context of a futuristic, atheistic, socially-progressive socialist society in a post-global warming landscape, and what that looks like for a group of queer young adults.
Are you a planner, or pantser?
As I mentioned in my reply to the previous question, I don’t do a lot of planning, so I am definitely more of a pantser. I draw inspiration from the media I consume, such as Game of Thrones, along with the horror stories I listen to and political theoretical texts I read in my spare time. Current events, such as climate change, social movements, and technological advancement, also inspire my work. But I don’t put a lot of time into planning out a story because my brain is not capable of sustained passion in that respect. I want to be assurprised and hooked by the course of the story as my readers, which requires me to put myself in the mental position of “I want to know what happens!” at all times during the writing process.
How did you deal with writer’s block?
This is a good question! When I get a block in the process of writing a story, I find it’s a good idea to find conflicts that you can start between your characters to not only move the plot along, but also to show an instance of character development. A lot of blocks that come from not knowing what else to do to move from point a to b can be solved by this process.If you’re absolutely stumped, it could be a result of burnout, which can be helped by sleeping on it and taking a day of rest. I know as writers especially, we can be the types (similar to academics) to chug a coffee and try to force ourselves to write and be productive, which is something I’m also guilty of. But we need to take a moment to relax and look after our health,because the brain won’t be able to function at its optimal capacity if we don’t allow it to. Take a step back, have some tea and a nice meal, and look after your health, and the words will flow. I had to take a few days to rest while in the process of writing during November, and it was because of this that I was able to chug along. But this won’t work unless you also discipline yourself and don’t take too much time off, because falling off the horse makes it hard to get back on. Sometimes you need to rest, but also sometimes you need to push yourself to get those last few thousands of words in to finally finish! My motto when I was writing was “You can rest when you’re dead!” because having a completed piece of work to leave behind after you’re gone is a very fulfilling feeling, and it’s true that you won’t be able to write once your life isover. This sense of impending doom can do wonders for getting over that block.
What’s your favorite scene in The Thousand-Eyed Crow and why?
It’s difficult to answer this question without spoiling important bits of the story! But I’ll try to explain without spoiling. Essentially, there is a scene when the Big Bad, Thronakkhar, makes an appearance while London is burning. Thronakkhar is accompanied by tons of other monsters who serve as henchmen, and the entire scene is very chaotic. I had a lot of fun writing this scene because it was a challenge to not only imagine all sorts of bizarre creatures and to describe their appearance and what their roles were in the situation, but also because there is something very compelling to me when it comes to trying to get your reader to visualize the destruction facing your characters. As an author, you have to be prepared to convey the utter hopelessness of a situation through the imagery, and it can be quite heart-wrenching. You feel for your own characters. You wonder, how can they overcome this horrible situation they’ve found themselves in? It’s also challenging because coming up with ways to terrify your audience and to show how terrified your characters are is easier said than done. It’s not like a horror movie where you can rely on suspense and moving pictures to show something frightening. Getting readers to imagine what you see in your mind with words alone means that your words have to be precise. I like the mental exercise that came with writing this scene and others like it throughout the story. That’s what kept me coming back to continue the story almost everyday.
Would you advise visitors of The E-book Review to take the 2020 reading challenge and readThe Thousand-Eyed Crow?
Absolutely! I would love to hear what you all think of the story, and if there are perspectives you start thinking more about or characters you relate to. In recent feedback I’ve received,readers have stated that The Thousand-Eyed Crow made them think of 1984, of works by H.P.Lovecraft, and of something that should be made into an anime, so I’m curious to see if others think that way. It’s funny, because I wasn’t inspired by either of those things. But I would hope that regardless, my words have piqued your interest! And I’ll be checking out other works on the Reading Challenge to see what kinds of innovative stories my fellow authors are coming up with.
What are you waiting for? Take the Pledge! Join the numerous visitors taking the 2020 reading challenge!