The Writing Life (an Interview with Sarah Webb)

The wonderful Sarah Webb recently interviewed me about Resonance, and my writing in general:

Celine, can you tell us about your latest book and where the idea came from?

Resonance coverResonance is a gothic mix of sci/fi and supernatural, set in 1890’s Ireland. It follows two separate sets of friends as they try to build lives for themselves in a harsh and uncaring world.

Seventeen-year-old seamstress Tina, her suitor Joe, and an American magician called Harry, are determined to carve out a future for themselves, despite the hardships of the Dublin tenements they inhabit, and the insecurities of the theatre where they earn a living. However, a trio of ruthless immortals, Cornelius, Vincent and Raquel, have other plans for them. The immortals know they cannot survive much longer; not unless they find food for the angel they have trapped in the dungeons of their remote stately home. Tina, Harry and Joe may be just the food the angel needs, and the immortals won’t hesitate to use them up in order to eke out another few centuries of life.

The idea for this book grew, as most of my books do, from my wanting to explore a particular idea to its maximum: what is it that keeps human beings going? How is it that some people manage to get joy and fulfillment from life on their own terms – perhaps despite illness or adversity or lack of social acceptance – while others retreat or give up or fade away? Also what does it really mean to love someone? What kind of actions are statements of true love, as opposed to acts of possessiveness or control?

These philosophical questions grew for me into a pretty exciting, dark adventure featuring immortal pirates, captured angels, best friends, broken hearts and a supernaturally attuned young woman. (I see no point writing a philosophical story if it’s boring.)

How long did it take you to write?

I think the first draft took me two years. Then I spent approximately four more years slicing it down and down and down from its original unwieldy 170k words to the slim trim volume it is now.

How did you get your first book published? Was it difficult?

Read remainder of interview here


Australians interested in reading Resonance can buy it from Allen&Unwin

Non-Aussies can buy it from The O’Brien Press

This entry was posted in Allen and unwin, Interviews, O'Brien Press, Resonance, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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