A Seventh World Interview (Favourites Tour, Day 4)

I know that our CSFF tours are technically three days long, but lately I have a hard time saying all I want to say in three days. This interview was supposed to go up yesterday, but the post was getting long — so here we are. An interview of me by Joshua Gilman of JGills fame.

Joshua: So we have here the Author of the Seventh World Trilogy. Rachel Starr Thomson. Hello!

Rachel: Hello indeed.

Joshua: On a scale of one to super duper, how excited are you for this interview?

Rachel: I’d have to say super duperly. I’ve heard rumours of your mad interviewing skills.

Joshua: That was definitely the best possible answer! Now, people may not know this, but you are also a professional Editor. So we know you have excellent grammar. But as we all know, the best actors are the ones who can “act badly.” Please grammatically murder a sentence for us.

Rachel: Oh dear.

Joshua: That is only bad if you were trying to talk about “deer.”

Rachel: I never claimed to be an actor. Editors EDIT. Not ACT. Although sometimes they mumble dialogue they’re editing out loud.

Joshua: Well. Allow me to harrumph for a moment. Pauses….Harrumphs…clears throat. OK, different line of questioning.  The Seventh world Trilogy. Can you quickly sum it up for us?

Rachel: No. But I need to get better at that, so I’ll try. Six Gifted individuals fight to uncover the truth about their world before lies can destroy them all. (That’s really not very good.)

Joshua: You do realize that most people reading this already know what the Seventh World Trilogy is. Probably all the people who had no clue what it is stopped reading this interview right away. So you have nothing to worry about.

Rachel: Well, considering that I’ve spent the last two days introducing it to people, I suppose you’re right. But that doesn’t excuse me–I really DO have to get better at the elevator pitch. Once a guy at a show asked me what my books were about. It was terrible.

Joshua: Let’s pretend that I understand what an “elevator pitch” is, and keep going. Everyone who has read the first two books has their favorite characters, storylines, etc… But let’s talk about how YOU feel about them. This will be slightly offbeat. Hope you don’t mind. First question. If you were going to have a dinner party and invite 5 of your characters, who would they be?

Rachel: To a dinner party? Not Evelyn. And not any of the Earth Brethren. I suspect they’d make a mess.

Joshua: Just answer the question.

Rachel: I’d enjoy eating with the Pravikians: The Ploughman, Libuse, Huss, and maybe Jerome and Maggie. High class, intelligent, world-changing people.

Joshua: Mine would be Nicolas, Marja, Huss, Michael, and Miracle. You have many great characters. But I think I would get along with those ones best.

Rachel: Yeah, but I might worry about some of them at a dinner party. Chances of being invaded by an Order of the Spider hunting party or a big flock of birds would be too high.

Joshua: You have a wide variety of characters. Many many main characters. Is there any character that you really didn’t expect to play a prominent role who just kept on popping up in the story?

Rachel: Marja. And also Harutek.

Joshua: Hold the phone….Harutek hasn’t been very prominent in the first two books. Is this a small piece of insider info on the third book?!

Rachel: It might be :).

Joshua: Swell. Following the same line of questioning: Is there a character who turned out differently than how you planned? Someone who refused to follow the “destiny” you had charted out for them?

Rachel: Well, my characters are generally pretty compliant–they don’t take over much. But most of the main characters took on life in ways I didn’t necessarily expect. The more mature Maggie of the third book is somewhat of a surprise to me, and Virginia has a scene near the end of Coming Day that surprised me.

Joshua: And therein lies a topic of discussion all its own. You just referenced Coming Day. But you’ve been discussing it as The Advent for the past year. I assume this is an official Title Change?

Rachel: It is, though I can’t promise it won’t go through another title change before the book comes out. That is unlikely, though–Coming Day is it unless some flash of absolute brilliance hits before November.

Joshua: So one more question about characters. Is there any character that you despise? As in one who became vital to the plot, but every time they arrive on the scene you think to yourself, “You….How I despise you. I wish I’d killed you off sooner.” I mean this on the character level, not in terms of how you think you’ve written them.

Rachel: No, not really. Some of the bad guys are really nasty, but they’re just so necessary to shape everyone else that I can’t wish them out of the series earlier. Which might be a profound commentary on the realities of life.

Joshua: That leads excellently to my next question. Some of your story is obviously allegorical. How much has been intentional and how much is people just reading into it?

Rachel: Really, the only directly allegorical element in the trilogy is the King — and even he isn’t an exact representation of Christ. But I believe that any really good story will point to all kinds of truth, and I hope the trilogy does that–gives readers lots they can “read in.”

Joshua: So let’s talk Origins. When did you get the idea for this whole story, and did you think of it as a continuing saga from the beginning?

Rachel: The story actually started coming together when I was reading about the first stirrings of the Reformation — in particular about Jan Hus and Jerome in Eastern Europe. Since I have a speculative brain, I transferred elements of that story into a fantasy/sci-fi world and started playing around with them. The original idea was actually much more futuristic. Then, at some point the characters of Maggie, Nicolas, and Virginia took shape, along with Michael and Miracle. Well, by the time I’d written a story for the first three, I realized Michael and Miracle needed a second book,
and that still didn’t really finish things, so the third one was also necessary.

Joshua: As any writer does, you obviously go through several drafts and revisions. Has any storyline turned out EXACTLY how you wanted it from start to finish?

Rachel: I’ve actually been pretty flexible with this series, so the storylines have developed as they’ve gone–there wasn’t really a master plan for any one storyline. But I’m happy with how everything has come together. It wasn’t easy with so many characters and storylines at once!

Joshua: Be as vague as you want, but what is something in this third book that you are most excited for your readers to see?

Rachel: The role of the Darkworlders. I knew when I introduced Rehtse into the story in Burning Light that she’d have to play a bigger role at some point, and she definitely does!

Joshua: Having gotten an advance look at it, I must say I agree with you there. She was my favorite new prominent character. Speaking of which, the Darkworlders were something of a big surprise to me reading Burning Light. I did not expect them to appear. Did you have them in your mind in the beginning or did they surprise you too?

Rachel: They weren’t there from the start–not from the Worlds Unseen start. But once the people of Pravik got underground and started going deeper, I realized something needed to be down there. What was down there was the Darkworld–a society that brings a whole new level of fascination and poignancy to the story.

Joshua: So here is a big question that I’m sure ALL your readers want to know: The Seventh World is vast, and you have MANY characters. They obviously all have stories that you never touch in these books. Is there any hope that you might revisit this world in your next 50 years of authoring?

Rachel: Well … yes. There is always hope ;). I can’t really see ever writing a sequel to the trilogy, but there’s a lot of backstory that could be explored.

Joshua: As a fan of your work myself, I say…”Splendid.” Thanks for doing this!

Rachel: Thank YOU.

Joshua: And I can’t wait for the official release of Coming Day. Unless you change the name again. Then I will “can’t wait” for that!







4 responses to “A Seventh World Interview (Favourites Tour, Day 4)”

  1. Elisabeth Avatar

    I enjoyed reading this – it made me smile! 🙂

  2. […] Paul ? ? ? Sarah Sawyer ? ? ? ? Chawna Schroeder ? Speculative Faith ? ? ? ? Rachel Starr Thomson ? ? ? Steve Trower ? ? ? Fred Warren ? Dona Watson ? […]

  3. Sarah Sawyer Avatar

    Great interview! I struggle with the brief summaries of my books too…especially the verbal ones. But they are so important, so I keep working away at it. 🙂

  4. Elisabeth Avatar

    This was my favorite interview of you yet! Joshua asked some great questions. Now I’m really looking forward to Book 3!!!! (There I go again.)

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