Welcome to another interview, my favourite section of the blog. Today we are accompanied by Élan Marché and Christopher Warman, authors of Seasons of Albadone, and soon, of A Contract in Sol Forne.
Let’s dive in!
Note: as it is an interview with two people, each answer will be labeled with E when Élan is answering and with C when Chris is doing it.
1.- What impulsed you and your partner (wife, I think?) to write Seasons of Albadone?
E: We’ve previously collaborated on many artistic projects across several mediums, including video, music, and visual arts. When the pandemic hit, I started working from home, and Christopher was laid off from his job. It seemed like the ideal time to dive into something bigger.
2.- From where did you draw the inspiration for Albadone?
C: We drew inspiration from old folk stories, Grimm fairytales, and some of our favorite films. Particularly Studio Ghibli films like Princess Mononoke. We wanted the story to feel timeless and invoke oral storytelling traditions.
3.- Let’s talk a little about the prologue, it is a foundational myth or the actual creation of Albadone?
C: Great question! The purpose and context surrounding that prologue will become clearer in future books. Until then, the readers can take it how they prefer. Like most myths, there are hidden truths behind it.
4.-During the autumn story, we see some ancient chants in a different language, it is completely created or just used for these moments?
C: All of the chants are written out. The language, known as Chanter’s Tongue, is only used for the chants, though it does come from an older language that has been lost to time. The words that make up the chant aren’t random. Each one means something, and there is a grammatical structure to the chants.
E: Chris constructed the chants with an approach very similar to how Tolkien went about creating the languages in middle earth, and it’s heavily informed by the fact that he speaks both Italian and English. The chants have Romance language roots with a nod to older versions of the root language.
5.-I feel the mother story is really emotional, and in general, I think the biggest strength of this book is how emotional the stories become, how do you manage to do that?
E: We find it very interesting to dive into the minds of our characters. And we purposefully included characters that are very different compared to who we are as people. I believe, as an author, that there is tremendous power in challenging one’s self to tell stories from the perspective of those you do not agree with. It’s an exercise in empathy at the expense of ego, which I think is somewhere at the heart of what it means to be a creator and a humanist.
6.- Did you draw any inspiration from Irl folklore to write anything?
E: We drew inspiration from many folklore sources, such as the brothers Grimm and other oral folk histories. One of the things I think we’re both really proud of is that people frequently compare our writing style to that of older folklore stories and that’s honestly exactly what we were trying to do.
7.-What made you decide for self-publishing?
C: Self-publishing is a great learning tool. It taught us how to market our book while cultivating an audience. Because of our careers (and general lack of offers) we can’t really afford the time to go through the process of traditional publishing. But we’re happy with our choice, and we will continue to self-publish this series.
E: We’d be open to traditional publishing if it was ever offered, but we’re not going to put in the effort to pursue that kind of contract when the same work and effort could instead be spent on the marketing we know our book needs right now. And we have the resources and experience to create strong marketing, mostly through Chris’s expertise.
8.-Finally, what can we expect from the Marche-Warman duo in the future?
C: A Contract in Sol Forne, the sequel to Seasons of Albadone, will release later this year. Then hopefully we can get the ball rolling on the third book sooner than our second since we won’t be planning a wedding between the two. The series will most likely end up being five books, so expect more adventures and mysteries in the world of The Eighth Chant Series.