If you’re like me, Summer, being a time of cons, is a season for enjoying new things. And by things I mean authors. At Phoenix Comicon I had the opportunity to sit down with some of Harper Fantasy’s authors of the convention to talk to them about they’re latest work, and it’s all material I can’t wait to get into.
Starting on the supernatural side of things I spoke with Alex Gordon. Her novel Gideon is all about mixing the paranormal with reality. We started by talking about about how she keeps the right balance between the real world and the paranormal side of things.
Your novel, Gideon has been called scarily realistic, what did you do to keep that balance?
It opens with an event that really happened 12/20/1836 a fast moving cold front, winter of the sudden freeze, … people and animals died where they stood, and that’s the 1st chapter… and the first 5 chapters of Gideon go up to the Chicago fire, which was a hot dry summer, there were fires in Wisconsin across the lake in Michigan and Illinois… and Gideon was one of the towns that burned, and it was fun trying to look things up on a fictional town using real events, and then move to present day, so you can just … go along with the story, and even with how p0eople were effected by the recession of the 70’s, and economics now, and make it as reality based a story as possible.
We then moved on to how things in the novel are a bit wibbly-wobbly.
You also mess with time a bit in the novel was that something you mapped out from the get go, or something that worked for the story as you wrote it?
Gideon is in a THIN place, this was a place the witches needed to guard and protect. Places where demons and other entities could drift into our sphere, and that area is becoming thinner and thinner and thinner, and you’ll go for a walk in the woods, and think you’re gone for a few hours, but its days, and its getting more like that, and the wooded areas, and like still eddies and you wind up in places you didn’t expect to be.
She even revealed a bit more, when she stated:
I’m working on the second book and working on a more scientific look at magic and why those places are the way they are,
Getting down to characters, I asked her about her protagonist.
My protagonist Lauren was a project manager and had a settled life, but her dad just tdied and she had all theses life things going on and then weird things start happening, and she wants to know what’s going on and she has to think on her feet a lot. She keeps going in the basement so to speak, but she has to, but she takes a deep breath and dives into the deep end of the pool
Your novel is a mix of mystery, urban fantasy, horror, romance and supernatural, did you start with one genre, or just decide you didn’t want to worry about genre?
I initially pitched the story as straight urban fantasy, and the LK Hamilton had mixed genre and so that came naturally, but apparently not, I guess some people like things more confined and straight because if you start reading a book and you know it’s urban fantasy you have expectations.
Did you want to include elements of what scares you, or focus more on what would scare the readers?
Things that scared me and with Lauren I made her pretty self sufficient, and I took courses in backwoods camping, so Lauren knows all this stuff and put her in situations that she thought she’d be in control and yank the rug right out from under her. So, she thought she knew what she was doing, but she didn’t and its walking down that dark stairwell, that would focus my attention a little bit
Finally, what do you want people to know about the book?
It’s a story about self discovery and history and witches and had a few people say that they’ve “never read fantasy and you nailed small town life and politics and families that behave certain ways because they’ve been tog for gens drive a story and a plot its inevitable because of the ways people interact.
It’s a family story, make sure to tell your kids what daddy did, because it will matter later.
So, will you be reading Gideon? Let us know in the comments, and for more author recommendations see the other interviews with Phoenix Comicon Authors here.