So for our 1st book of CSFFBT 2010, “The Wolf of Tebron” by CS Lakin, I had the opportunity to do an internet interview (email Q&A) with the author. I’ve split the interview into 2 parts, this first part should be spoiler free. The possible spoilers should be in Wednesday’s post, along with some info on the next book in the “Gates of Heaven” series… “The Map Across Time”.
Why did you pick a wolf for this book?
I wanted to portray God’s loyalty and availability in a way Aslan didn’t represent. I love dogs a lot and feel they teach us so much about God. The wolf is a loyal companion, sticks by Joran’s side through everything he goes through. He is a provider, encourager, and teacher. Yet, the wolf can be fiercely protective, and Ruyah rails against his enemies to save Joran. That’s how I see Jesus—as fighter for us, as he’s the lover of our soul and he will not let the evil one snatch us from his hand.
Does the world this book is set in have a name?
Fairy Tales do not “name” a different world. It is assumed to be the natural world, or any land in general, but of course, when magic comes into play, the average world is transformed.
Will there be a map put out for the lands in the “Gates of Heaven” series?
I really dislike maps in fantasy books. They smack of trying to copy The Lord of the Rings by giving their locale some huge importance. If a reader must use a map to understand where his characters are going, then the writer hasn’t done a good enough job in her writing to make the lay of the land clear.
Joran wants to turn down animals when they give him his name, but there’s no Biblical principle to support this attitude. Why do you think Christians struggle with accepting gifts?
Well, in our world animals don’t do this, so of course there wouldn’t be anything in the Bible to counsel us on that. But Joran’s attitude stems from a respect for their privacy and a feeling that if he’s done a kindness, he needn’t be rewarded. It shows his humility and his good character. It’s not that he doesn’t want a gift; in giving Joran their name, they are relinquishing power to him—so he can summon them at will, as he is unsure he wants that kind of power.
Are we going to learn the story behind the ancient city of Sherbourne?
Sherbourne is central in The Map across Time, so you will learn much about it and its history in the second installment.
How many books do you think there will be in the “Gates of Heaven” series?
I’ve just completed the fourth tale. I’ve kicked around the idea of possibly ten books in the collection but I supposed we’ll make some decision this year. The Land of Darkness, the third book, should release this fall.
Briefly, what’s the difference between a fantasy story and a faery tale?
There’s a huge distinction between the various subgenres of fantasy and a fairy tale structure. I have some great articles that go into length about this at my website: wwwgatesofheavenseries.com for those who want to examine them. But basically, fairy tales have very specific rules. There is always a task that must be done—usually something nearly impossible, that if gained, will lead to what Chesterton calls “an incomprehensible happiness.” Fairy tales are not just imaginative stories set in other worlds—they are stories that should feel like they begin in our world, an ordinary world, but then transport the character into a world of magic with a very specific end in mind. Think of many of the fairy tales you know—like Jack in the Beanstalk or Cinderella and you will see a pattern like this.
Was one of these sacred sights in The Wolf of Tebron?
…see the answer to this question in tomorrow’s post!
Thank you CS Lakin for your time on this interview, and for a great book. I’m looking forward to the rest of the “Gates of Heaven” series!
For any readers who have questions for CS Lakin, visit her website at http://www.cslakin.com/ or her blog at http://cslakin.blogspot.com/
To pick up a copy of “The Wolf of Tebron” visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0899578888
Be sure to come back tomorrow for more from CS Lakin!
To read what other bloggers had to say, visit the CSFFBT members at:
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.