Please welcome Marlayne Giron, author of The Victor! (read my review here)
NA: What drew you to write Christian fantasy?
MG: It wasn't a conscious decision. I was inspired for the idea for the story by an Amy Grant song from 30 years ago called "Fairytale". I love medieval stories and all the old classic fairytales. The verse in the song which inspired me was: "...two princes wage the battle for eternity but The Victor has been known from the start..." An image of Jesus in shining armor crossing swords with a black knight (Satan) over the "bride of Christ" popped into my head. I never aspired to be an "author"; I was mainly concerned about The Victor someday making it into print because I truly believe the idea came from God (and confirmed with a scripture - Psalm 45:1) in the hopes it could be used to introduce the Gospel to others who were like me. I didn't want to go to church, had no interest in reading the Bible and didn't like being witnessed to. As a nonreligious Jew God was able to use a television movie ("Jesus of Nazareth") back in 1977 to open my eyes to the truth of the Gospel whereas before I had absolutely no interest in religion, much less Christianity. The emotional impact of that television movie changed my life forever.
NA: What is unique in The Victor compared to other fantasy fiction?
MG: It is a blatant retelling of the fall of Satan, the fall of man and the Gospel in the genre of a medieval fantasy fiction but if you didn't know the Bible you wouldn't be able to tell. There is no mention of God or religion, and no "preaching" but the story has the reader on the side of the protagonist (Joshua). It is also end-noted with over 65 scripture references for anyone curious enough to look them up. It was written for the nonreligious market.
NA: Were there any books that you read that became inspiration or interest
in the genre?
MG: Of course, although it sounds so cliche but definitely Lord of the Rings. It remains my favorite book of all time to this day.
NA: Were there any smaller influences that found their way into your writing?
MG: Yes, all the old classic swashbuckling movies of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s with Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, etc. Those who are familiar with the movie The Court Jester with Danny Kaye may recognize a few things here and there.
NA: Have you ever eaten anything like an almond cake?
MG: I based my description of Prunella's almond cakes on an actual pastry that is made by Antonello's in South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA). I have a blog on my website about it and the pastry chef, Massimo, tells me that people have come in asking to buy a lot of them because of my book. Blog link: http://thevictor.tatepublishing.net/?p=722
NA: Which character was the hardest to write?
MG: Joshua because he represents a perfect being and they can come off flat and uninteresting.
NA: Which character was the easiest to write?
MG: I had the most fun with Penloth Estaban, Captain of the Guard. He's larger than life with a wicked sense of humor but at the same time very protective of his younger brother, Penlorian. As many authors will tell you, after a while the characters begin to "write themselves" and he was definitely one of them.
NA: If you could be any person in your books, who would it be?
MG: Well if you really about it I already am...Llyonesse (who represents the bride).
NA: If The Victor were made into a movie, would you have any preferred
actor, director, composer, etc?
MG: Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, Spielberg, Lucas. I already know that I want Gerard Butler to play Penloth. Composer: John Williams, John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith, or Howard Shore.
NA: Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?
MG: I never went to college, I used to compete in ice-skating and I'm a frustrated interior decorator.
NA: Do you have any other book plans or ideas?
MG: I am currently compiling a bunch of short "wish fulfillment" stories for Nanowrimo. They are 2-5 page short stories I have written for others as gifts where they star as the main character in their own story . It will be called "Star Light, Star Bright" after the classic wishing upon a star poem.
NA: Do you have any advice to those writing or planning to write Christian fantasy fiction?
MG: Read a lot of similar books, belong to a critique group and never give up on your dream.
NA: Thank you for spending this time with us! It was great to have you! May God bless you and your writing!
Buy The Victor
Check out Mrs. Giron's website!