Today the talented Rhiannon Paille is stopping by the talk to us about her New Adult Epic Fantasy Romance series, The Ferryman and the Flame.
If you had to use seven words or less to describe The Ferryman and the Flame series, what would they be?
Sexy Ferryman, Dangerous girl, Bad ass villains.
Where did the idea for The Ferryman and the Flame come from?
The first snippet of The Ferryman and the Flame I can recall is this vision of a young girl in a white dress running through the forest, long matted white hair down her back, a violet flower pinned in her hair. The violet flower falls from her hair and wafts to the ground. Immediately after that the girl is standing at the mouth of a volcano, prepared to do whatever it takes to save everyone she loves. It was very cut and paste from beginning to end, and took me forever to learn more about that girl and why and how she’d end up at that volcano.
The Ferryman and the Flame is a mash-up of several mythologies and bits of folklore. What inspired you to mix so many legends?
I feel like I didn’t decide on a lot of what happened in The Ferryman and the Flame series. The story came to me in bits and pieces, and there wasn’t much room for deviation from the plot forming in my head.
The mixed mythologies came later when I realized Krishani wasn’t a Watcher but a Ferryman. Actually, he was a Death Walker, which isn’t a very widely used term for Grim Reaper anymore, but at some point I realized he transferred souls to the other side, and I went through all the names used for those types in history and well The Death Walker and the Flame isn’t quite as catchy as The Ferryman and the Flame.
The series uses a few familiar names, but quite a few unusual ones. How did you come up with them?
Kemplan helped a lot with the names. I made a joke once about how the story is fictional but the characters aren’t. I meant that. I think the only reason Kemplan helped me with the plot line and character development was because he got to star in the prologues.
What has been your biggest challenge in writing Kaliel and Krishani’s story?
Sorting the real mythological story from the fictional version of the tale. I wove some of that into the story, Kemplan burning the books on the Flames, High King Tor wanting to hide the Flames from everyone. So their actual legend is out there somewhere, but a lot of it had been erased because of what had happened between them. Digging it up and figuring out how to tell it as a coherent YA book was really hard. The legend had a lot of sex, violence, and a couple of super stupid things happen in it. Krishani for instance, he didn’t leave Avristar of his own accord in the legend, in the legend he was exiled for stealing from Lord Istar. I changed it in the book because Krishani had far better reasons to leave Avristar than theft.
In the legend however, Kaliel did set the volcano off, and she caused an ice age. So when I said it was difficult to deviate, that’s what I meant, this was its own lost and largely unknown myth I had the task of recreating.
Have you ever made yourself cry when writing?
Yes, while writing, editing, thinking, outlining . . . it was an emotional story for me to tell because I was channeling these characters and it was so tough to tell their story.
I’m glad I got through it though because this was the story that needed to be told.
You were recently signed on with Kevin J. Anderson and Wordfire Press. What’s that been like thus far? What does this mean for the series?
It’s an epic collaboration. Kevin is so supportive of me I never expected that, and it’s the first time I’ve had someone in my corner (that’s a professional in the industry, I’ve had others in my corner of course!)
We’re both control freaks, so we constantly send e-mails back and forth about what’s happening, he’s very quick to respond to anything I send even if he’s crazy busy. He had a fantastic team I’ve began meeting and working with including Peter J. Wacks, Quincy J. Allen, James Sams, Valerie, and of course his wife Rebecca who recently went for major surgery and is in recovery mode. So how he does all of these things is really beyond me, but it feels awesome to be part of a team.
What’s a question you’ve wanted to be asked in an interview? What’s your answer?
I’ve always wanted someone to ask a question about TFTF that goes into the very small details, like why did a certain character do this or what happened to Khryannalin and Mythos afterwards? Stuff like that.
Find Rhiannon on:
Thank you, Rhiannon, for stopping by! Check out my reviews of her books and don’t forget to visit her links!
Read my review of Skeleton and Dust