Interview with Irene Pynn:
1. Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
When I read and write in the same day, I have extremely vivid dreams. Some of these dreams I use in my plots. I’ve been called “aDORKable” by several people who were likely just being nice about how nerdy I really am. My husband and I live in Florida, where we spend way too much of our free time playing our PS3 and Xbox next to each other, or watching Doctor Who.
2. Can you tell us about your latest book?
I originally had the idea for From Light to Dark when I went to a Cirque du Soleil performance of Varekai. That is a fantastic show. It begins with an Icarus-like fall, but, instead of dying, the Icarus character ends up in a magical world below where he encounters strange creatures. My idea was to blend this new journey of Icarus with a Romeo and Juliet theme, and so I created the star-crossed Eref and Caer in From Light to Dark.
3. How did you come to write in the YA fantasy genre?
Young adult offers a great range of potential when it comes to plots. For some reason, teen and early adult readers seem to be quite open to stories of magic and technological advancements. This is not to say, of course, that older readers can’t enjoy the same thing, but YA is a very fertile ground for speculative ideas. I love YA, and it makes up a good percentage of my free-time reading.
4. What is your greatest challenge in writing for the Young Adult market?
There are many amazing authors who have set the bar so high! It’s a great inspiration and challenge to read the best of today’s YA and to aim for the kind of connection that these writers are able to create with their readers.
5. Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate?
Anywhere. If you say something odd or send me a crazy headline, that’s likely to spark some idea in my head. It may amount to nothing, but I’ll give it a shot in a story. Sometimes I begin with a theme. Other times I have an opening line. And other stories begin with a character I’d like to get to know. I just keep exploring the ideas to see whether they’re taking me somewhere interesting. If they are, I plot them out and tell the whole story!
6. You’ve stated you like to “throw your characters into alternate worlds”. What appeals to you about alternate world fantasy and sci-fi?
I’ve always been this kind of reader. If the back of the book doesn’t promise me something “off” about the world, then I’m not likely to keep reading. Tell me we’re working with magic or something supernatural or another planet or some interesting twist on technology, however, and I’m so there. It’s just my favorite flavor.
7. You write both fantasy and science fiction. Which speculative genre do you enjoy writing most?
It really depends on my mood. Right now I’m working on a play about androids and a mid-grade novel about zombies. Lately I’ve been reading science fiction, though. My favorite books of recent months have been a dystopian YA, a time travel novel, and… another time travel novel. I blame Doctor Who.
8. You have written a variety of novels, plays, etc. Do you have a favourite written work?
It was a lot of fun to work on the Creepy Luny Inn Radio Adventure Show. That was a radio play that explored the world of From Light to Dark prior to the events of the book.
9. Who has inspired you as an author?
My parents. They’re both writers – my mother is a romance novelist, and my father is a journalist. Growing up with them taught me the value of clear, interesting communication. Other writers I truly admire include Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, Charlaine Harris, JK Rowling, and, of course, Billy Shakespeare.
10. What’s next for you?
NaNoWriMo! I’m currently telling the story of a young boy and his hunt for zombie brains. Warms the heart.
You can find out more about this author and her books at her website: http://www.irenelpynn.com/
or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irenelpynnwriter
Irene writes fantasy and light science fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Her work spans novels, plays, transmedia events, and more. Most of her work focuses on internal conflicts told through speculative metaphors: From Light to Dark is a high fantasy that features a Romeo and Juliet theme. For the most part, Irene writes what she likes to read, which are character-driven stories of alternate realities. She likes to throw her characters into alternate worlds to see how they live their "normal" lives in the midst of magical or technological changes.
Getting stoned to death wasn’t the worst thing that could happen—or so Eref told himself when the first rock cracked over his head.
But it hurt. Blood trickled down his forehead and into his eyes, blocking the sharp rays of the sun overhead.
All around him, forty or fifty men dressed in long tunics shouted curses and flung stones at his naked body.
The bright power of the Governors’ Moonstone from its hidden place in Light World made certain each rock hit its target.
So many people had come to this hidden corner to watch him die. Far from the rigid roads of Light World’s city, each face glared at him. Each mouth snarled. Eref blinked the blood away. He thought for a minute that he saw Balor among the crowd. No…it couldn’t be. But it was true. His best friend pushed his way to the front, holding several large stones in his fist.