This week, the Friday Indie Review took a look at The Pull by Brooke Morris.
Well, we have something of a bonus feature for you, folks. Ms Morris was kind enough to answer some interview questions from us.
1. So, what got you into writing?
An overactive imagination ! I constantly tend to be creating stories about the world around me. My go-to thought on just about anything is, “what if…”, especially when I was a kid. Eventually I just started writing them down.
2. I noticed Maggie is from a broken home in more ways than one. Is that autobiographical?
I have never been a big fan of the term broken home. It is seems so negative, as if a rainstorm should be darkening the skies above it. Yes, my parents are divorced, but my childhood was filled with a mom who encouraged my out-of-the-box thinking and provided never ending support. So I guess you could say the positive relationships Maggie has with her parents is autobiographical.
3. You’ve built a pretty complex cosmology in the Nademi series; did you do that as you were writing, or did the cosmology come before the writing?
The story started out much simpler and I just began flushing it out as I went along. It has gone through one major revision and it was during that time that a lot of that mythology came into the picture.
4. On the subject of your cosmoslogy…Umbrokor? Faeries, Daemons, Dwarves, Witches, Men…these I’m familiar with. Where did Umbrokor come from?
Umbrokor is a term I completely made up. I wanted something better than “magician” because that didn’t properly convey the race I was trying to describe. As I searched for a term that would, I realized nothing did, so I made up my own. That is what I love about story telling. You are building this world and, as long as you abide by the rules you’ve established for it, you can do whatever your heart desires. I mean, where did the terms faeries, daemons, and witches come from? Where does any word come from? It all stems from a need to convey an idea, and if a word doesn’t exist to suit that need, then it must be created.
5. So, is the Nademi series a trilogy, or are you shooting for something more epic?
I am shooting for a trilogy, that is the story arch I have planned. But you never know, I might do something more with it. It all depends on how the story develops. My writing method is very unstructured and organic. I am basically discovering the characters right along with the reader.
6. Do you have any published short stories? In what anthologies could the readers find those?
This is the first work I have ever created and made available to the public. However, it is ironic that you would mention this because I just started what I call Wednesday Writings on my website, in which I release a new chapter of a short story I am working on and post it on my bloghttp:/
7. If you’ve read the review, you know I wasn’t a fan of your prologue. To summarize, I found it to be muddy, and it didn’t really add to the story. I figured I’d give you a chance to shoot back here.
Thank you for the honest review. I actually prefer hearing what didn’t work for readers along with what did so I can take it under consideration for my subsequent books. I also appreciate having a chance to respond to your review . I am sure the prologue is not to everyone’s taste (or the whole story for that matter); for every person, there is a unique taste and preference. As you pointed out, the prologue was intentionally abstract and that doesn’t sit well with some readers. I didn’t want a concrete idea that leads the reader by the nose. I wanted something that they had to make sense of for themselves, something that would make them have an ah-ha moment later as they read the rest of the book. I wanted it to mimic that moment that borders between being awake and falling asleep, when you aren’t sure what is real, what’s a dream, or even where you are.
I actually really love the prologue. It gives us a glimpse into the history of Maggie, where she came from, and the strength within her heritage.
8. On a more positive note, your chapter headings I refer to as Irulanesque. Were you inspired by Herbert on those, or did you come to them some other way?
I actually had to look up Herbert to understand the reference, so I can safely say I wasn’t influenced by him. I began reading DUNE many years ago but wasn’t able to finish (perhaps I should try again now that I am older and my attention span is longer than 5 minutes . The quotes materialized during the revision. As the history and mythology of the world became more developed and detailed in my mind, I realized I had way more I wanted to include in the story. But, being conscious of keeping the book at a length shorter than the unabridged Oxford Dictionary, I began using the quotes at the beginning of the chapters to allow readers a glimpse of the world’s history on a human level.
9. What’s the title of book 2 of the Nademi series, and when are we going to see it?
Gosh I wish I knew! I am writing it, and I expect to have it out and ready by August (darn day job keeps getting in the way , but I only have a working title for now. I rarely name a work before it is finished because my writing method often allows for twists in the plot that even I didn’t predict, so I like to make sure I get to know the book before I give it a title.
10. If you could emulate one and only one author out there, who would it be, and why?
Oh wow, that is hard. My favorite author is Steinbeck, the way he exposes the human experience in all its flawed, but beautiful glory. But our genres are so vastly different that I am not sure I would say I want to emulate him… I guess I would say, as far as fantasy authors go, I really like Melanie Rawn. When I discovered her Dragon Prince series I devoured them like there was no tomorrow. Sleeping, eating, everything was put on the back burner until I was done with those 6 books. I would hope one day to have that effect on readers. Although I guess that would leave me with emaciated, cranky-from-lack-of-sleep readers, so…. maybe that isn’t such a good thing