1. How did you create the world in The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin?
It began with a single idea, an image of a curious meeting between two people in the woods. As I was turning the image over in my thoughts, more came along. Once I had a number of images, I had the job of finding how they were connected. While I was working on that, more images continued to arrive, oftentimes filling in the gaps between established but isolated images. Eventually I began to see the general outline of the thing, what it would probably look like when it was full grown. And it continues to grow as I write the books that follow.
2. In what ways do you relate to Elwood, your main character? At one time or another we have both been lonely, out of place, embittered, pathetic, lost, in love. Like most people, I guess! Also, like Elwood, I love to walk in the woods, to explore places where humans don't rule every nook and cranny. And we are both lucky to have the companionship of a great dog. 3. The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin is called an "epic, adventure story", personally what adventure stories have you enjoyed, book or movie? Right now I'm reading and enjoying P.W. Catanese's first Books of Umber adventure, Happenstance Found. I've spent many happy hours lost in greats like Arthur Conan Doyle and John Buchan. I love James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, though my affection is mostly sentimental: they're set in what is now New York State, which is where I grew up. I've always been enthralled by quest stories (like the various Grail Romances, for example) and that definitely came through in The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin.
4. Was it difficult to make the transition from poetry to novels? It was definitely a challenge, going at a novel for the first time. But I find all writing difficult, so the pain I typically feel facing a blank page may have made it seem worse than it really was.
5. What's next for you writing wise? Right now I'm at work on the second book about Elwood. The story begins three years after The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin, when Elwood, Drallah, Slukee, and Booj are on a journey north of Winnitok. They walk into the middle of a three-way conflict that at first seems to have little to do with them, but in the end Elwood learns more than he ever expected to know about how and why he was taken from his own world and brought to Ehm. It's called The Mornith War, and it will be out in Spring 2011 from North Atlantic Books.
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