Today is the third and final part of my interview with Lorehaven Book Clubs. And I’ll talk about some of my writing habits and hopes.
I hope some of you have picked up a copy of “The White Forest” as part of this Lorehaven Book Clubs event. No worries if you haven’t, there’s still plenty of time to join Ayron on his adventures!
Thank you for your continued support!
Until next time!
Lorehaven Book Clubs Interview – Part 3
Lorehaven: Where do you like to write?
Aviya: At home, in my room. I like to write in peace with music playing in the background. And sometimes, I write in complete silence.
Lorehaven: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Aviya: I think this was always something in the back of my mind. I started writing at a young age and continued throughout high school. Somehow, it was never in my mind that ‘writer’ or ‘author’ were actually professions that people could pursue. And during my early Ph.D. years, I started writing several novels. And that’s when I was certain that writing was my calling in life.
Lorehaven: What are some of the strongest influences on your writing?
Aviya: This is a very difficult question for me, because I get my inspiration from a wide range of sources. I’ll list some of the most important ones here, you might laugh because they sound quite random. English, French and Russian Christian literature, Japanese Anime and manga, the Bible and the lost books of the Bible, other religious literature like Rumi and ‘The Prophet’, literature from ancient civilisations.
Lorehaven: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
Aviya: This is another difficult question. I think my faith impacts my life more so than my writing. But then, writing is an important part of my life so it reveals my faith. I like to write in a light and humorous style, whenever possible. Life is already tough enough as it is, so I like to bring some joy to people through my writing.
Lorehaven: I noticed that you also make artwork for your book(s). Have you been drawing for a while or did you learn it to accompany your writing?
Aviya: Haha, this is an easy question. I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. I didn’t pursue it in University because I didn’t believe in myself enough to be able to make a living off of it. So it was put on hold for several years. But ever since I started writing novels, this skill came in handy again. 🙂
The interview with Lorehaven Book Clubs continues. Today I answer some questions about the writing process of ‘The White Forest’ and ‘Legend of Prince Ayron series’. Don’t forget to check out the Lorehaven Book Clubs facebook page for other exciting books as well.
Thank you all for your support! And stay tuned for the next part of the interview tomorrow.
I hope you’ll enjoy the adventures of Prince Ayron!
Lorehaven Book Clubs Interview – Part 2
Lorehaven: How many books are planned for this series?
Aviya: So far, I have about five more books planned out in the series. But the series will have at least 10 books.
Lorehaven: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Aviya: My imagination is not very colourful! *chuckle* I spent at least 2 to 3 months doing solid research when I first started writing this book. I started out with castles, constellations, ancient costumes, and it evolved into things like geography, food, trees, change of season, and many other things. At the time, I was saying to myself, “I wish I could be writing right now.” Looking back, I think all that research really paid off. When I hear comments like ‘it doesn’t sound like there’s much world-building in this book’, or ‘it doesn’t seem like a lot of research went into writing this book’, I pat myself on the back. The readers hardly have to do any work reading my book, that means I have successfully created the world of Prince Ayron.
Lorehaven: How does it feel to have your work published?
Aviya: It’s my greatest accomplishment in life so far! Nothing I’ve done in the past has ever given me this kind of satisfaction. I used to make oil paintings, and have published a few scientific articles in journals, but the joy I feel with this book makes those other things seem pale in comparison.
Lorehaven: Are you working on the next book in the series?
Aviya: Yes. I’m currently working on Book 2 of the series called “The Centaur Clan”. I’m also editing the companion book of Book 1 (The Curse of Orr), which contains the backstory of the kingdom of Orr and the Marvelous Castle. But these two books are a bit behind schedule, because I started on a new series at the same time. 😛
Lorehaven: Can you give us a hint at the next book in the series?
Aviya: Book 2 continues with Ayron’s journey in the White Forest. At the end of Book 1, he is captured by Tilly and Tilla and taken to the camp of the centaurs (I’m sorry for the spoiler). In Book 2, Ayron meets Tilly and Tilla’s family and is taken to live with a certain centaur family. Book 2 is mostly about Ayron’s struggles with the centaurs to break free, and their attempt to keep him with them in order to break the curse of the White Forest. Of course, there’s humour and hope to brighten up the story.
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.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve been busy working on a new series called ‘The Intellectuals”. It’s a sci-fi fantasy romance for young adult and new adult readers. It’s quite a different genre from Prince Ayron but it’s no less adventurous. I’m planning to post chapters on Wattpad as I go through the editing process. So stay tuned for an announcement. 🙂
The second exciting news I wanted to share with you is that ‘The White Forest’ is now available on Wattpad. I’ll be putting up new instalments every week on Saturdays. I had many doubts about Wattpad initially, but was convinced by its potential to reach millions of readers world wide. Hopefully, it’ll help more young readers find my books. As an author, nothing can make me happier than seeing people reading and enjoying my books. Here’s the Wattpad link if anyone’s interested: https://www.wattpad.com/story/139101004
And last but not least, a review of my first book ‘The White Forest’ is now in the Lorehaven magazine. I was so excited when I heard (actually read) the news! This was such a privilege and honour and the first milestone of my career. Thank you for all your support! It means a lot to me. The Lorehaven magazine can be accessed online at: http://lorehaven.com/lorehaven-magazine/.
Lorehaven Magazine reviews Christian-made, fantastical, published novels. The following review was published in the Fall 2018 issue.
Featuring a young child protagonist and other characters who speak and act and even bicker in child-like ways, Aviya Carmen’s The White Forest is a story geared for young readers. Fans follow the ten-year-old Prince Ayron’s journey through the White Forest to his mother’s people, the Zuries, after his father’s kingdom is betrayed. But his presence and his quest could affect the forest, which is itself under a curse. Many elements reference Christian ideas, such as a Rock of Prayer, a serpent as an enemy, and a Book of Wisdom similar to the Bible. Readers will also find references to several biblical accounts, such as creation and the end times.
Best for: Pre-teen readers who like fantasy stories.
Discern: A few references to bathroom tasks; and some details added to biblical accounts (such as God’s command for angels to worship man, and Lucifer’s refusal to worship leading to his rebellion).
Well, Laura Laurel is the soul of an ancient laurel tree who lives inside the White Forest. She’s also the antagonist of ‘The White Forest’, the first book of the Legend of Prince Ayron series. She is the one who convinced all her laurel tree sisters to trap Ayron inside their territory so they could keep him with them forever.
Today I would like to share a sketch of prince Ayron. I’ve only recently realised that I haven’t posted any drawings of him on my website at all! There is artwork of many other characters from the first book “The White Forest”, but Ayron has been missing. I shall keep you in suspense no longer.
Happy Mother’s Day from the World of Prince Ayron!
Mothers nurture us from the beginning, from the moment we are small and fragile in the womb. The bond is truly remarkable! Whether you have a mom or a guardian or a truly special friend, or all three, let’s give love to those who love us, not only on Mother’s Day but on every day of our lives! 🙂
Just like the world we live in, there are many important places where Ayron lives in. Here are some notable places in and around the land of Orr (the birth place of Ayron). Please refer to the map of Orr for better visualization. 🙂