Sunday, March 5, 2017

Author Interview: Nicole Kasprzynski

Hello wonderful people! I come today with a really fun thing for you. B3 My best friend Nicole’s book Egnitheos has published this week, and it’s a super fantastic book that you’ll all love if you like high fantasy or Christian fantasy. I was a beta reader for her way back, and I can say that it is fantastic.

So today I snagged my bestie to interview her in her debut week. B) After the interview, you can find what Egnitheos is all about. So, without further ado…


Tell us about yourself!
O boi are you sure you’re ready for this conversation

*ahem*

Hallo peoples! I’m Nicole Kasprzynski, and I like snakes. I was homeschooled for my entire K-12 career, and I’m currently studying media communications in college (media comm is just a fancy way of saying I’m gonna be a filmmaker). My favorite color is green, my favorite food is sushi, and I have a special fondness for characters with disabilities of some sort. I’m nineteen years old. As a writer I specialize in torture, poisons, and mental illnesses. I also love to draw, but I don’t often draw my characters, as they’re too close to me for me to be able to accurately portray them.

How long ago did you start writing? What made you start?
Oh, heavens. I’m pretty sure the first story I ever “wrote” (and finished) was a 16-page fanfiction of the Pixie Hollow books. I have a hardcover copy of it lying around somewhere. It was for a day camp, and I was overwhelmed at the thought of trying to create “real” characters within a day, so I just sort of borrowed the Pixie Hollow characters instead XD However, I have notebooks and things from as far back as eight or nine years old—maybe before, it’s been a while since I’ve picked them up—with snatches of stories and things in them. I’ve always liked writing, but film is my real passion. I struggle with the written word, since I’m a highly visual person and I just want to pick up a camera and show you what’s going on! I love reading, but writing is a different beast entirely. Attempting to convey what you see in your head into a clear picture on the page is a thousand times harder than it looks, and doesn’t pay nearly enough.

I started writing because I was an only child in a neighborhood full of seniors. What else was I supposed to do with my time XD

What gave you the idea for Egnitheos?
It’s actually a great story. Simperer came first (I was 11), but he didn’t have a story until much later. I got the idea for Egnitheos when I was 13. I was in Meijer with my mom, and we swung out of an aisle to head towards the milk aisle/bottle return area when this random redheaded worker dude walked into the back room with a box. He had a bushy red beard, and something about how he carried himself stuck in my brain. I didn’t have any paper with me at the moment (the one time I’d forgotten my notebook at home), so I kept repeating “Alastair Reudher, Alastair Reudher” over and over to myself. I’d imagined him as a small boy, 13—no beard yet—in a white outfit with blue jewels on the belt, in a sandy kind of exotic Indian city. There were walls around the city, like Jericho. When we got to the toilet paper aisle I’d decided the city was named New-Sindo, and the story just blossomed from there.

Who is your favorite character? Your least favorite?
Simperer is my favorite character hhh x3 I love him so much ack he’s so broken and twisted and HE DOESN’T EVEN REALIZE IT and it’s beautiful because all the readers will hate him and I just ehehehehehehe

My least favorite was Ryver. I hate Ryver.

We don’t talk about Ryver.

What do you do to get into the writing "zone"? Any snacks, drinks, habits, etc.?
Mmm, good question. My go-to was a six-hour Two Steps from Hell playlist and a bowl of Better Made Barbeque chips. I also tend to make faces/gestures at the screen to try and figure out how to describe an action.

Easiest part of writing this novel? The hardest?
The easiest part was honestly writing the torture scenes. Jaegar and Simperer are fun minds to get into, and watching them play off each other and their hostages was a lot of fun for me. The words just flowed. I originally had four chapters of torture (yeesh), but a girl screamed when alpha-reading… sooo… I decided that was too many. But yes. It was easy because it’s something I have a lot of knowledge on, and can write with relative shamelessness. Pain is also much easier for me to convey than love or sadness—there are sharper, smarter, and vivid…er (I have made a huge mistake) ways to describe pain than any other “thing” one feels. Happiness is fleeting, love is foolish, and sadness has no words, it just is.

The hardest part for me was definitely the Ekklesia scenes. They’re a lull, and I dislike lulls. Really anywhere we stop to take a breath I struggled, because I thrive on drama. Writing the mundane, even in a fantastical setting, was painful for me. I don’t care about what you ate or how long you slept, I want to know if you’re going to survive that stab wound or shipwreck.

What's something about your book (be it worldbuilding, characters, etc.) that you don't mention in the novel?
I don’t mention any of the science behind any of the things, which makes me sad because I know it all. XD Like with Jeshil-horn metabolism being linked symbiotically to the chlorophyll they harvest from the food they eat, to why Tinsley is sterile (it’s because she’s the genetic equivalent of a mule), to how dark elves regenerate. It’s very disappointing. I like biology, guys!

What's something that even you didn't see coming in it while you were writing?
SUCH SPOILER

MANY WOW

READ BOOK YOU SHOULD

Honestly all of the deaths were originally unplanned. Then I started thinking, and was like “…oh”.

Also how everything ends up with Jessana. I had no idea how that all was gonna go down. XD

What's a scene that made you cry? Laugh?
The opening of the torture scene makes me smile every time, just because Simperer is my baby and seeing him in his element like that is just cute/funny to me. I’m not sure anything made me cry. I don’t cry much.

WAIT I LIED yeah there was a part I sobbed over but that was mostly because I didn’t want it to happen >_>

Show us a (non-spoilery ;) ) snippet you adore!
Hmm….

Alastair turned his head. He almost bumped noses with a woman lying crosswise to him, her tattooed hands demurely folded beneath her pointed chin. Swathed from head to foot in a lustrous, deep purple, only the glint of her eyes and a thin strip of her tan cheeks could be seen between the widow’s peak of her raised hood and the opaque veil stretched across her nose and lips. Alastair sniffed. Her breath was the source of the pepperminty smell.
“Bad corpse,” the woman muttered, reaching over and shutting his eyes. “Nypozunski zvaloky.

The line “bad corpse” will forever be my favorite thing. XD

Are any characters based on real people, or even yourself?
They’re all a little bit of me, I’d be willing to wager. Except Breindel. That chick is too pure for this world. Jaegar especially is me—I usually define him to other people as “me if I knew there would be no consequences for my actions”. XD

Tinsley’s hallucination, the “green friend” she references, was actually based off my best friend at the time of writing the novel. I got permission from her to use the character, and a lot of the dialogue supposedly “said” by the green friend came directly from her.

In addition, Lajh was based off two of my friends before that… and Elijah Wood. I thought he was really cute when I was like fourteen okay XD But yeah. Alastair is King David, Moses, and me, Simperer wasn’t really anyone but then he became a dumping ground for all my angst, and Tinsley is just…. I don’t think she’s based on anyone either. XD Maybe my mom, a smidge. The original Anathame family has a flavor of my family in it, but not much.

Ryver has his roots in some people too, but I won’t say whom. >_>

What do you hope readers will take away from reading Egnitheos?
I hope they take away that you can be a Christian writer and deal with dark themes. You can be a Christian and write about pain, and sadness, and loss, because it’s what we deal with on a daily basis. Christians aren’t perfect. We’re far from it, and we need to stop acting like we are.

I also hope—just from a story perspective—that they pick up on how you shouldn’t be quick to judge without knowing more, you have nothing to fear with Christ on your side, and that Satan has no power over you unless you give it to him. There’s lots of other things, but I’ll let readers figure them out for themselves. ;)

And finally: What's a piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors, whether they're just starting out or they've been on this journey for a while?
A couple things: first, writing isn’t about creativity, sentence structure, or any of that crap. It’s about dedication. The only reason Egnitheos was done in two years was because I sat down and wrote every night, 6-10pm and later on Fridays, whether or not I felt like it. Sometimes I got two sentences down. Sometimes I got twenty-two pages. But you can’t edit what’s not there.

Second: if you want to write well, read well. And reading well is a loose term. If you write romance novels, read romance novels! Try to find classics as well as modern—it’ll round you out. You’ll learn proper sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation much more effectively from reading well than from anything an English textbook will teach you.

Finally: write what you love, and forget anyone who tries raining on your parade. You’re not writing for them. You’re writing for you, and you’re writing for God. Those’re the only two people who matter in the writing process. You can’t write to please everyone—that’s impossible—and if you try, in the end you won’t like what you’ve written. So go ahead. Be blunt. Heck, be graphic. Be cute or frilly or whatever it is that you want to convey. It’s like the text post says: “If u like sparkle, draw sparkle!” Sit down and write it that way. The one rule of writing is that there are no rules, so who cares? Just get it written.

Thanks so much for having me! <3 p="">



All he wants is to be reunited with his mother….
Years ago, Alastair Reudher’s mother fled from home, leaving nothing behind but her journal and a promise to return for him. He believes her, but as the years crawl on, his hope of her returning dwindles away….
That is, until he receives a letter signed with nothing but his mother’s initial. His world collapses: beliefs crumble, family divides, and he is left with nothing but the journal and a mysterious God to guide him.
Accompanied by a young girl he rescues from the city, a kindly centaur and a half-elf with a violent bent, Alastair sets out to find his mother. But with his own fears ever present and a demon pulling the strings, he can only pray for the strength to struggle onwards until he either sees her again, or dies trying.

Where you can find Egnitheos
Amazon (Paperback copies will be available soon!)

Where you can find Nicole:

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