Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Riven Owler

Today's guest on the The Same Six Questions is Riven Owler! Welcome Riven!

Thanks, Andy! Riven Owler is actually a writing team from Massachusetts. We're great friends, both hold English degrees, and love reading and writing. Hiking and mountain-biking are shared passions. We enjoy finding great trails and being outdoors. We also love concerts. Although we don't get to see too many, our favorite band is Switchfoot.

We've been on several charitable missions together, and these experiences inform our writing. The pen name we chose, Riven, means "torn apart." We found places in the United States and Mexico that were "torn apart" by poverty.

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Our first novel, The Soldier, The Merchant & The Devil, was published on July 4th and is available on Amazon for Kindle. It is a retelling of a lesser known Brothers Grimm fairy tale. We both adored the story for a long time. It's about an atmospheric encounter with the devil, and how our characters' lives are affected in strange ways.

Our story is set in colonial New England and for it we researched quite a lot about the shipping industry during the Age of Sail. During our research, we found history of Northern slave trading and also Irish servitude. Both grandchildren of Irish immigrants, we were moved by what we learned. We found ways to incorporate the theme of slavery through the merchant who is a slave trader, and his Irish child servants. We kept it true to its timeframe. New England and Ireland have rich, mysterious folklore and we wove that in as well.

2.When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

One of us will never forget her sixth grade English teacher who pinned her stories to a bulletin board and heaped them with praise. The other was inspired by a college poetry writing class, surprised by what flowed out of his own pen.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

There are spooky ghost stories that are long-gone, a collection of poetry on a passworded file, and two novels on a disk somewhere.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

We both learned of this at early ages. Deciding to publish came out of a growing feeling that we have stories to tell, and almost an obligation to use our gifts. We notice and appreciate the art in other genres - we'll mention Jon Foreman's lyrics and J.J. Abrams' work as our inspirations. These people have made our lives better in some ways by pouring out what they have inside. We wanted to use our talents like they have.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I think we both want to meet the soldier. He's out there in the dark all alone with this feeling that he's made a really bad deal. So strong, he could deal with any human foe, now he has to overcome himself. He can't afford to trip up...can't risk his soul. He doesn't know what he's good for, and he travels a long way without knowing if any love will ever come to him.

6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

It's got to be the banshee. She's the one we definitely don't want to see. Tall, wraith-thin, empty green eyes. If you see her, holy hell...it means someone you know is going to die soon.

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Thanks to both of you for sharing with us today! For more of Riven Owler, you can check out their blog and follow them on Twitter.

I have a special guest this Saturday, who I'm sneaking in between regular posts. I had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting with fellow author, R.E. Long, at the recent Book Festival in Collingswood NJ. His first work of fiction is the young adult fantasy novel, The Blood of Angels. He'll be here on Saturday for an unprecedented weekend edition of The Same Six Questions. See you then!