Recently, I shared a cup of tea and cranberry muffins with author Diane Lynn McGyver. We discussed the coming year and her current projects. Below is the meat of that conversation.
TIBERT: I read your short story Mutated Blood Bonds on Smashwords. It intertwines the mysteries of the ending of the Mayan calendar and the grid lines criss-crossing Nova Scotia. What do you think will happen in December 2012?
MCGYVER: I believe the calendar the Mayans created will fade into history. As far as life as I know it ending, well, I think that’ll only happen if I win the lottery. As for the Mayans, life as they knew it ended long ago.
TIBERT: Where did you learn about the gridlines, and what do they mean?
MCGYVER: Well, I’m a little wary about talking about them. There are powers greater than mine controlled by people who are driven by strong ideas who may dislike my use of these mysterious gridlines in Mutated Blood Bonds.
TIBERT: So why did you use them?
MCGYVER: (chuckles) Because I like tempting fate? Perhaps if things are stirred, truths will be brought to the surface.
TIBERT: Was it important for the story to take place in Nova Scotia?
MCGYVER: Absolutely. I love it here. The province possesses a wealth of history and mystery and just because we live here it doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting and exciting.
TIBERT: After reading Mutated Blood Bonds and learning you have a dwarf as the main character in your upcoming fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone, I have to wonder, do you have a thing for dwarfs?
MCGYVER: (laughs out loud) A writer friend asked me a similar question not long ago. I guess I’ve always admired dwarfs in fantasy. They’re the strong, silent, honourable type. Personally, I feel too many stories have used them as grunts. They never get the leading roll or the leading lady; they’re always supporting taller, prettier characters. There’s no reason they can’t be strong, handsome, intelligent and take control of an adventure. So in a way, I’m cheering for the underdog.
TIBERT: You have chosen to spell more than one dwarf using F (dwarfs) instead of V (dwarves). Why?
MCGYVER: To make a possible long story short: I went with the original spelling. While researching dwarfs, I learnt J. R. R. Tolkien was the one who had changed the spelling to dwarves, and since I’m attempting to tap into the most original sources, I decided against the V version. That said, I also learnt the most original plural form of dwarf was dwarrows. I haven’t ruled out using this, but so far in my drafts, I’ve stuck with dwarfs. You’ll have to read Shadows in the Stone to learn which I finally choose.
TIBERT: The first book in the Castle Keepers fantasy series is due out later this year. Where does it stand now?
MCGYVER: The first draft of Shadows in the Stone was completed about three years ago. It’s been through several revisions since then, reducing the initial word count of 180,000 to 130,000. Over the next few months, I’ll make final decisions on character names and places, as well as complete the final edit.
TIBERT: When do you expect the book to be available to the public?
MCGYVER: If everything goes as planned, the book will be published in late spring.
TIBERT: What’s your next project?
MCGYVER: Book two in the series, of course. The draft for Scattered Stones was written immediately after the draft for Shadows in the Stone. It’ll be published in the spring of 2013.
TIBERT: Just a reminder, for the month of January, Quarter Castle Publishing is offering Mutated Blood Bond by Diane Lynn McGyver for free. Just plug in the coupon code (DU27R) at the point of purchase.