The White Forest is being featured in the Lorehaven Book Clubs this week, from Wed, Nov 14 to Sat, Nov 17! I’m super excited about this! As the author, I’ll be posting some answers to interview questions each day on the Lorehaven Book Clubs facebook page during this time. So as to provide some insight into the writing process. I hope you’ll enjoy the adventures of Prince Ayron!
And a big thanks to the staff at Lorehaven for making this possible!
Lorehaven Book Clubs Interview – Part 1
Lorehaven: How did you come up with the idea for this book or series? or What was your inspiration for writing this book or series?
Aviya: The initial idea of this book came to me about 7 years ago, when I took an extended break from my Ph.D. The first scene I ever wrote was the one where Ayron leapt off the cliff. A few years later, I took a hike on the Grouse Mountains in Vancouver, and the scenery inspired the “White Forest”.
Lorehaven: Tell us about the main characters? Who are they, what makes them unique.
Aviya: There are many characters in this story who play important roles. The main protagonist is the title character, Prince Ayron, and the main antagonist is Laura Laurel.
Prince Ayron is the young crown prince of Orr who grew up inside his father’s luxurious castle. Even though he grew up with everything anyone could wish for, he is not spoiled at all. In the beginning of the book, he woke up one morning and found his father’s kingdom in danger. He escaped with the help of his father’s housekeeper and the legendary Phoenix. Soon, he found himself inside the magical White Forest, where all the spirits of nature were alive. He has a unique combination of traits, which make him endearing to everyone who meets him. He is kind, gentle, and brave.
Laura Laurel is the spirit of the eldest and wisest laurel tree in the White Forest. She was completely devastated by the dreadful curse, which turned the Emerald Forest into a slumbering white maiden. When she heard of prince Ayron and his emerald-green eyes, she was certain that the soul of the Emerald Forest was in him and plotted with her younger sisters to trap him and keep him forever. She is not the typical ‘villain’ who rejoices in wickedness, but a tormented soul who could not make peace with harsh external circumstances.
Lorehaven: Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Aviya: This is an interesting question! Well, Ayron can’t wield a weapon even if his life depended on it. And Laura Laurel actually used to be a kind and gentle soul before the curse of the White Forest.
Lorehaven: In three words, what is this book about?
Aviya: Courage, perseverance, and faith. 🙂
Lorehaven: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Aviya: This book was actually a lot more difficult to write than I had anticipated. For me, the epic fantasy genre is very research-intensive and requires a lot of planning. So the short answer is: I outlined the entire book before starting. However, as the story progresses, the characters take control and the direction of the story changes. Writing is an adventure for the author as well. 🙂
Lorehaven: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Aviya: I believe that the best stories in the world are timeless. It’s about connecting with people on a personal level. As for my story, even though it’s set in the distant past, the experiences which Ayron goes through are not unique to his time period. I think many readers can relate to sudden changes and uncertainties in life, such as moving to a new city, etc. Young readers can resonate with some of the difficulties Ayron met with in life, such as self-doubt. In addition, christian readers can relate to the fact that God is always with them, despite the external circumstances.
Lorehaven: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Aviya: I love writing fantasy! There’s a lot of freedom in this genre. I love creating fantastical worlds and epic characters. This is the only genre where legendary creatures can thrive, and men and beasts can fight side by side. I’m currently expanding into the science fantasy genre set in the modern world. It’s a lot of fun as well.