Please welcome author Olivier Lafont on my blog today. Let’s get to know him through a question and answer session.
Q: How did you become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age, actually. My love for storytelling and writing was evident very early. Since then I had written a lot of stories, even five hundred pages of an unfinished novel in high school, but ‘Warrior’ was my first major publication.
Q: How did this book idea originate?
I wanted to write a Young Adult book, after ‘Warrior’. There were several ideas I had, but the one I liked most centered around Christmas, it being a holiday favoured by young people. For me Christmas is symbolic of hope, peace, community, family. So, thematically, anything that threatens that had significance. Then it became a question of how to express, plot-wise, this idea. The notion of a Santa Claus ‘dynasty’ was interesting, because I could take and evolve the myth in my direction but also humanise it in a way that fit with my sensibilities.
Q: What appeals to you about writing this kind of book?
‘Snowbound’ is the kind of book I would have loved reading when I was young. I think you have to write what what you like to read, I can’t imagine how it would genuinely work otherwise. I’ve always been passionate about fantasy and adventures, and blending our real world with a fantasy world has also been a personal favourite. ‘Warrior’ did a similar thing, in a different register. And taking a young person into a dangerous world, in fiction, is always fun. An adult may be equipped to handle things, but you just don’t expect that of young people, just because of their age. It’s always thrilling and inspiring to see a young, awkward person grow into their power, their personality, to surprise themselves and everyone else. There’s an aspirational quality to that kind of growth. That’s why we go to heroes in stories, to imagine ourselves winning in more explicit terms than in real life.
Q: What problems did you encounter in the course of writing and publishing this work?
No problems — those are the unmatched perks of publishing yourself in the new digital marketplaces!
Q: Share about your favorite fiction books and authors.
When I first became aware of my passion for stories, it was Lloyd Alexander’s ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. Later I read Terry Brooks’s Shannara series, and Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’. In more recent times I’ve enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (Game of Thrones on HBO) and Mark Lawrence’s ‘The Broken Empire’ series. Not to forget children’s works like Enid Blyton’s books and C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
Thanks for the answers, Olivier. The mention of Enid Blyton and Narnia took me back quite a bit. It was lovely having you here.
Readers, if you’d like to know more about Olivier Lafont’s latest book SnowBound, click on the previous post.