Monday, February 16, 2015

Arkyne, A Vampire Tale

Caroline Farrell has just published her first novel Arkyne, an atmospheric gothic vampire tale set on the island of Inis Mor. I'm really delighted that Caroline popped over to answer a few questions...

1. You've set your story on Inis Mor, can you tell us why? Inis Mor is a spiritual place, and Dun Aonghusa is particularly exhilarating. I remember the first time I visited the cliffs, the wind was blasting and swirling with such power, it could have literally swept me off my feet. There is an 'other worldly' quality to the landscape. If magic exists, as I am inclined to believe, it is there in abundance.I didn't write any of ARKYNE while on the island, but the place definitely inspired me to develop it further.I had these characters hanging around in my head, and they settled well to that beautiful, haunting environment.

2. Who is your own favourite writer and why?I don't have one particular favourite,there are so many amazing talents out there. I was influenced by Anne Rice - would you ever have guessed that? -and I like Susan Hill, Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman and of course, Stephen King. I like a good mysterychiller, told with some natural magic, the very human kind - so I take inspiration from the aforementioned, and aren't we always told to write what we want to read?

Author Caroline Farrell
3. You wrote your book in a (relatively) unusual way by releasing it bit by bit, can you tell us why, and how you found that experience?I tend to break the traditional rules when it comes to creative stuff anyway. I take my writing very seriously, though I am not precious about it. Why not write online and interact with readers? It worked for me because (a) it helped me to set personal deadlines, and (b) I received honest feedback from readers who liked the genre, but also from writer friends who wouldn't normally touch the genre with a barge pole! I knew I would get feedback that was going to be balanced and truthful, and that was immeasurable in helping me finish it.

Can we have an excerpt?! Very difficult to pick a favourite, but since I have such a grá for the character of Henri, I’ll share my description of him…

Inside the château, amid sumptuous though somewhat decaying antique splendour, Henri de Rais sat by an open fireplace, engrossed in the pages of a small, dense volume on his lap, an ancient French Grimoire, bound in calf-leather and gold-leaf.

Coco’s father was a beautiful man, far more youthful looking than his forty-three years. And yet, to look into his dark eyes was to see wisdom of a very old soul, and heartache, so profound that the beholder might shudder with sadness. With unruly hair that fell across his serious expression, he carried on reading, his eye drawn to an incantation…


And thrice I hear thee, dark-winged harvester
Eater of souls
With thine hollow caw of malaise

…and so caught up between the words, his brow furrowed, that even as his pretty sister-in-law, Anna, entered the room carrying a tray laden with coffee and biscuits, Henri did not tear his gaze away from the page before him.


4. You’re also a film maker Caroline, can you tell me a little about that?A very different style of storytelling, but works for me.My stories generally demand their own medium of expression, so I'll know pretty early on whether they will develop as screenplays or novels, though occasionally, they become both, as was the case with ARKYNE.I've written and co-produced two short films so far, ADAM,2013 and IN RIBBONS, 2014. Film is primarily a visually driven, collaborative venture, whereas, writing a novel is a solitary business.I really don't prefer one over the other, and it's lovely to move between the two. Producing takes a lot of energy, from the physical to the intellectual and everything in between. There are a lot of managementand problem-solving skills that need to be tapped into, and it is imperative that you mind your most vital resource, the people who help you to make your film.I project-manage all the time through my day job, so I don't find any aspect of it particularly stressful. And there is nothing as satisfying as seeing your work on the big screen, so even the tough days are worth it.

5. What’s next for you?Later this year,through my own business Ninnyhammer Productions,I will direct my third short film, HUSHAWAY.I also have a number of feature scripts that I should really start pushing out there. In terms of novel writing, I am constantly working on something, mostly supernatural stories. The success, or not, of ARKYNE will determine what I put out next, but I also have a 'Lady Killer' drama that I have long had a love affair with, which is already in feature script format, so there is a possibility that I might jump genres and finish that one first. Time will tell - and I just wish I had more of it.

Thanks Caroline, you can find out more at... Caroline’s Blog: OR  Facebook Page:

And you can buy the book HERE

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