It is sometimes said that every person has at least one book in them. Well, in many cases, that’s exactly where the book should remain.
There are, however, people who should be writing, or at the very least should be writing more. They may not be commercially published by some hotshot publisher, but this does not mean their work is not worth reading.
This is the first in what will be a series of posts interviewing these very such people.
Lyn Thorne-Alder, author of Addergoole, is one of them.
I went and had a chat and virtual coffee with her.
AMH: On your website you describe Addergoole as a “contemporary fantasy story with erotic and dark-fantasy elements”. Can you tell us what it’s about?
LT: Addergoole is the story of three students’ discovery that a strange school is far stranger than they first believed, that the world around them is not what they’d first thought, that even their own bodies aren’t what they’d expected them to be.
It’s set in the modern era, but with fantastical and fairy-tale elements and the occasional nod to classical literature; while it’s not horror, it does involve horrible and inhuman things being done to people for strange and alien reasons.
AMH: How did you first come up with the idea?
LT: Now, that one’s tricky. I have another setting, something I’ve run systemless games in for years now, that’s never really gotten cleaned up enough for public consumption – it’s an alternate-history West Coast America, so very full of the dark erotic fantasy, but not so strong on the history.
Addergoole started as a “school” in that setting, but I wanted to play with it in public-consumable story form, so I had to put it in a world that could stand up to scrutiny.
AMH: You’re purposefully teasing us readers with hints of more to come! Speaking of, I’m curious: why did you choose an online serialized format, and what are the benefits and disadvantages of doing so?
LT: Feedback. Immediate and, in most cases, gratifying feedback. I started writing stories & passing them around to my friends in pencil on notebook paper back in Jr. high. This just has the potential for massively wider-scale distribution (also, it’s harder for the teacher to take it away).
Other than the immediate feedback, which can sometimes be a disadvantage, I’d say that it doesn’t yet feel like a “real” step towards published-author-fame, which I admit is my career goal, while still being a massive investment of time on top of a day job. On the other hand, it’s so very immediate, both in the “publishing” gratification and in my ability to respond to readers.
AMH: Do you think such immediacy in terms of reader responses influences the progression of your story?
LT: Oh, absolutely! Not the three main threads, necessarily, but certainly the subthreads and all the background and sidebar material; that’s all a function of having a dynamic “book” open to reader participation.
AMH: Moving on to the story itself, you created a fascinating (and large) cast of characters. Which one is your favourite, and why?
LT: Ooh, that’s hard. Favorite as a person would probably be Ambrus. I want to cuddle and take care of him, which is probably how he got written in the first place.
Favorite to write is Shahin. She’s got such a sense of drama, and yet she’s also aware of how absurd it can be at times, and I get to use all my favorite over-the-top language. I’m not sure I’d like to hang out with her, though.
AMH: Some of the reviews I’ve read draw comparisons between Addergoole and Alexandra Erin’s Tales of MU. How do you feel about this comparison, and do you think it is warranted?
LT: Perplexedly flattered. Mu, after all, got me started on this whole thing, and there are similarities between the two stories – both are set in schools, both involve magic and have sexual content. I tip my hat to AE as the matriarch of the online novel movement (although I have to confess I can’t substantiate that), and I’m glad that people think enough of Addergoole to liken it to such a well-known story. That being said, Addergoole is its own story, in a different style and in a very different world than Mu.
AMH: Without giving too much away, how do you see the story progressing from here?
LT: Hrmm. I don’t plan as far ahead as maybe I should. I know that the next Book will be, in large part, about the use of magic in their world, and learning how to control it. In a longer-term sense, there will be larger, more malevolent forces at work against our protagonists.
Addergoole is, at heart, a story about exploration & discovery, so there will be many chances for our protaganists to learn more about both their world and themselves.
AMH: So how, where, and when can readers keep up with Addergoole?
LT: Addergoole is posted at http://addergoole.com. New chapters post Mondays and Thursdays, and new bonus material is posted just about every Saturday.
AMH: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
LT: When I started writing Addergoole, I was thrilled to find how many other very good webserials there are out there; I think the digital format of an online, serialized novel is fascinating, and I’m excited to see where it will go in the next years.
Café Wednesday returns next week. Join me for coffee and and a chat with my next mystery guests: two quirky co-authors.