Ruth Nestvold, author of Never Ever After, agreed to answer some questions for me. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.
Never Ever After is basically a book of fairy tales with more realistic endings. What was your inspiration for writing such a book?
When I wrote the three short stories in the collection, I didn't really have any intention of putting them together in a book. They each had their own inspiration, and were written over a period of about six years, even when their original publication dates were all within a two year period. As a result, the inspiration for each story was completely different and they were all written so long ago, it's a bit hard to recall. I do remember that "King Orfeigh" was the first story I wrote for Clarion, when Paul Park told us to write a story about a powerful emotion. I decide to write about the loss of love.
How much research, if any, did you have to do for this book?
"A Serca Tale" is based on an old Irish legend, so I had that by my side while I was writing. I checked on details of ancient Ireland for both that and "King Orfeigh." Since "Happily Ever Awhile" is pretty straight fairy tale, I don't think I did much research for that one, other than check on my memory for the times of year when various flowers bloom.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
The names in "A Serca Tale" are the same as in the old Irish legend on which it's based. Orfeigh is a play on Orpheus, who goes to the underworld to try and win back the woman he loves. Ellie is naturally Cinder-Ella. I'm not quite sure how I came up with the rest of the names.
How long did it take you to complete this book?
I wrote the first draft of "King Orfeigh" in a day, which is very fast for me. The other two stories probably took a week or so each. That of course is not including workshopping and revisions.
The story, “King Orfeigh”, was written in second person POV. You did a really great job with it. What POV do you prefer to write in? Why? How long did it take for you to become good at writing in second person POV?
I usually use third person limited. "King Orfeigh" was an experiment for me. I'd written some hyperfiction in second person, web-based fiction using links as part of the narrative strategy, and I'd also written some academic articles on the use of second person in fiction. All that probably contributed to writing "King Orfeigh" using second person.
What other books have you written? Could you tell us a bit about them?
Altogether, I've written around 100 short stories, about half of which have been published. Just recently, I've started putting those stories in ebook collections and re-releasing them, as I did with Never Ever After. I have two other collections I've made this way, Dragon Time and Other Stories, which is a longer collection of fantasy tales, and The Future, Imperfect, a collection of dystopian science fiction stories. My novel Yseult, a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde legend, is also available as an ebook. I have another novel in the same world, Shadow of Stone, scheduled for release the end of May -- assuming I can get all the work done in time!
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a time travel entitled Chameleon in a Mirror based on the life of the first professional woman writer in English literature, Aphra Behn. That's on hold at the moment, however, while I try to get Shadow of Stone ready for publication.
If you would like a copy of Never Ever After, I have provided an Amazon link below.