The authors of Luminous, including yours truly, are celebrating the release of the boxed set with a series of interviews and a giveaway! I’m interviewing Marc Secchia on my blog today.
What is noblebright fantasy? Noblebright fantasy is fantasy set apart by a sense of hope. Noblebright fantasy includes at least one character who, although flawed, still deliberately pursues goodness. And that goodness has the power to make a difference. In a noblebright story, even villains are not without hope. Their redemption isn’t guaranteed, of course, but it is a possibility. You can find more detail here on Noblebright.org.
Marc Secchia is the author of The Pygmy Dragon, Shapeshifter Dragon Legends Book 1.
Be sure to check out the other interviews, too! Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down to enter the giveaway!
C. J. : What is Noblebright to you?
Marc: ‘Noblebright’ describes a brand of fantasy fiction which is generally uplifting, hopeful and searches out the good or even noble in characters, events and storylines. That does mean that these stories are without pain and peril, of course, but rather that the light always shines through.
C. J.: How do you portray the Noblebright ideals in your work in general and the Luminous selection in particular?
Marc: My writing is clean and written to inspire, to celebrate the beauty and wonder out there, and to transport the reader while working subtly on their heart. Often, my book characters are faced with powerful choices – what do I do with this fate or power which has been granted to me? And those choices form the backbone of the tales that I tell, which also explore topics such as racism, overcoming obstacles, coming of age and friendship against the odds.
My selection for the Luminous anthology was The Pygmy Dragon, the tale of a girl taken into slavery, raised by apes and liberated by a Dragon. It is about her journey against the odds to become the one who saves those she loves.
C. J.: Other than your own, which is your favourite book in the Luminous collection; and why?
Marc: Perhaps my favourite is Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani, who weaves lush, believable tapestries of words. Her stories are always riven by the failings and foibles of human nature, yet are ultimately triumphant.
Khanani’s ability to weave atmosphere and intrigue is her greatest weapon. This is not a long book, and it moves at a heck of a pace, but it draws the reader in effortlessly and never lets go. The main character Hitomi, is a beautifully drawn reluctant thief, streetwise yet vulnerable, honourable and genuine. She thinks about life at a deeper level than many characters you will read in fantasy, and everything about her rings true. She forms an unlikely alliance with a monster when imprisoned, and sacrifices herself for the good of others. This is Noblebright at its best.
C. J.: What is your favorite kind of character?
Marc: I love characters who are spunky, snarky and defy the odds. They must also be realistic, so have failings and not be so super-powered they simply cannot be defeated. I also really enjoy well-drawn animal characters. Whiny characters turn me off a book in an instant.
C. J.: Do you have plans for a sequel to your novel included in Luminous?
Marc: The sequel to The Pygmy Dragon is already written and published – it is called The Onyx Dragon and is available on Amazon.
C. J. What would you like to see more of in Noblebright?
Marc: I’d love to see a wider selection of Fantasy’s subgenres represented in Noblebright writing. – and for more authors to consider the very deep philosophical questions of life in their writing.
C. J.: How do you like to write? Longhand (shorthand?), typewriter, computer, blood, nail scratches on the walls?
Marc: I have a very secret A5 notebook filled with my scribblings, one double-page spread per book. 23 books later, it has served me well. It is dogeared and very well loved, and has been drawn on by three year-old hands, and annotated in places by my daughters. That’s where I do my planning.
When I feel an idea is ready, I outline the book in MS Word (3-5 pages), do any research or try to fill any gaps I can anticipate, and then I start writing from the top, filling out that frame while hopefully not allowing it to constrain my creativity too much.
Sometimes books come to me in dreams. Other times they spring from the germ of an idea. And my record is writing 25,000 words in 24 hours – on The Pygmy Dragon, which you’ll find in this collection.
C. J.: What tends to affect your writing the most?
Marc: I’m the kind of writer and person who is led by the heat of the idea. I love mad complexity and beauty and the poetry of words. That’s why my series intertwine and come out haphazardly, because I’m chasing one burning idea – an all-consuming storyline – that simply MUST be written. The muse wakes me at 4am begging for time at the keyboard. I fly dragons whilst washing the dishes and produce at a manic rate. I want to use every waking hour for writing. I splash words on paper at 3-5,000 words per day.
Not so fun when the muse is silent, or at best, misfiring. I’m not wanting for ideas. I have 4 or 5 ideas bubbling at any one time, but as I’ve been labouring on the 4th book of Aranya, to be entitled ‘Beautiful Fury’ I’ve been struggling for months now to reach that place where the prose simply flows – where I know I produce my best writing. Partly this stems from a struggle with depression this year, worse than I’ve ever experienced. Those who’ve experienced depression or loss will know all too well that feeling of living under a dark, oppressive cloud that may not have any particular reason to exist, but it does and it colours everything.
We all know there are seasons in life. This has been a hard and deeply frustrating season for me and for my family, who have been brilliant. That said, I’m stubborn. A fighter. So I am determined to chase that next burning idea for all it is worth, because I know that the process of creation and crafting to completion will bring back the joy.
C. J.: Tea or coffee?
Marc: There is nothing but coffee. Nothing! And Ethiopian coffee is by far the best.
C. J.: Music or no music?
Marc: Definitely music, something epic and uplifting! Have a look at the Dragon Storm compilations on Youtube or BrunuhVille.
Marc was kind enough to make these fancy GeoLinks for the Luminous Boxed Set!
Google Play: http://geni.us/LuminousGP
Thank you so much, Marc!
A Luminous Giveaway!
For a chance to win this awesome Lord of the Rings book tote, Harry Potter journal, plus swag from LUMINOUS authors, enter here: