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Author Interview: Cayla Kluver
Please read this book. Just kidding – I’d probably choose: Mystery, love, war, heartbreak. I think that pretty well sums up the themes of this first book. The words for the second book would be completely different though.
In the beginning, what or who spoke to you first? The story or the characters?
The story of one character – Narian. The entire book sprang from the idea of his life. Alera, the Kingdom of Hytanica, and everything else were created in order for Narian’s story to be told, which is interesting actually because he remains somewhat of a mystery by the end of Legacy.
Legacy is definitely a fantasy, but it’s heavily based in medieval European customs and culture. Hytanica, Alera’s kingdom, has its own history and mythology, the creation of which pulled me away from doing traditional historical fiction. But the weaponry, clothing, manner of speech – all of that I researched to death online and in my local bookstore. I have tons of books on medieval history that are highlighted through and through.
How do you come up with or decided on the names for your characters? Do they hold meaning?
The names don’t hold meaning so much as they do certain auras or connotations (that are probably only peculiar to me). Alera had three names before I settled on “Alera,” which I felt was sleek and elegant without being overly fussed – kind of how I picture her character. “Miranna” on the other hand, came from the word “mirror”. I’ve always liked the ring of that word, and mythologically everything that mirrors imply. Not to mention Miranna quite likes to look at herself. “London” came about because I wanted to take a word that everyone associates with a certain thing, in this case a city, and make it something else. Other than that… I pretty much make up the names as I go along!
I always have the easiest time writing emotionally charged scenes, so what I had the hardest time with was the chapter in Legacy called “The Picnic”. There’s a lot of humor, ridiculousness, and (for some characters) embarrassment involved in that chapter, which takes a lot lighter touch than I’m most comfortable with. I planned that section almost paragraph by paragraph, then sat down for three hours and wrote the whole thing without stopping. I knew I needed to plow through it if I wanted any hope of finishing the book. Now that I am finished though, “The Picnic” is my favorite part – maybe a reaction to the fact that I had to work so darn hard on it!
Any parting words for your fabulous readers?
I would like all of you to know that you are indeed fabulous! I hope you enjoy Legacy, and I can’t wait to share more of my stuff with you! Rock on and peace out.