Welcome to a new feature here at Astounding Books. Each weekend we hope to bring you a new Astonishing interview with an Astounding Author.
We recently sat down for a virtual drink in the Last Cafe at the End of the Internet with Elí Freysson. Eli is the author of several novels, including The Call, the first in a trilogy about Katja, a rowdy tomboy who has been haunted by premonitions that she will face terrible foes and a lifetime of violence. Her dreams finally come to a frightening reality when she faces a marauding demon and meets Serdra, a mysterious warrior woman, who introduces Katja to the supernatural gifts they share – and the responsibilities that come with them.
Born in the town of Akureyri in northern Iceland in 1982, Elí Freysson spent a part of his early childhood in Norway, before going back to Iceland just in time to start school in Reykjavík. He moved back to good old Akureyri, where he lives today. He graduated high school in 2004, after which he started getting serious about writing an actual, full-length story. Thirteen months later Elí had the first draft of Lord of the Blind, which was published in 2011. He has since published four more novels in Icelandic, and is working to translate them into English.
Astounding Books (AB): Elí, thank you for joining us today. As we are in a virtual cafe I’ll ask, What are you drinking?
ElÍ Freysson (EF) I’ve decided to abandon the Icelandic tradition of getting terribly drunk every weekend in favour of spreading alcohol consumption out over more days. So I’m currently enjoying a Carlsberg lager beer.
AB: Very good. We need more of these cafes! What drew you to writing novels in the fantasy genre?
EF: The sheer, limitless freedom. In fantasy an author is limited by absolutely nothing save for their own imagination. Also, I’m most pleased with my own writing when I feel I have achieved an image that would look good on a poster. Y’kno, Deviantart-fodder. Fantasy is, in my mind, uniquely well suited to that. Just look at all those iconic moments from Lord of the Rings.
EF: Firemoon, the third in my fantasy series about Katja, is coming out this spring. I’m currently doing proofreading. I’m also working on a space opera short story serial, The Golden Throne. I’m experimenting a bit with storytelling format, and telling the story of a huge space war in ten shorts. Each one is about a different character, experiencing a different turning point in the war in a different year and place. The overall war, and certain recurring characters, form an ongoing metaplot. I’m finding it an interesting approach to world-building.
I’ll also start to translate Lord of the Blind into English, but I’ll let that wait until after Firemoon comes out.
AB: If you could hang out with one of your characters who would it be and what would you do?
EF: Well, I would probably go with Princess Maraka from The Golden Throne. Since she’s the heir to a vast space monarchy, and being friends with someone like that is sure to have some benefits. Though what we would actually do together… well, I could give her a unique first-hand account of the far distant past. I’m sure she would find that interesting.
AB: Let’s try something different. If you were sitting my seat, what question would you ask yourself?
EF: Who is your favourite character, and why? The answer? That would be Katja. Her combination of excitement and terror at the developments in her life, her understanding just how fresh she is to this stage, yet being determined to carve out her own legend, her sazz and humanity, and overall arc through the trilogy… it’s fun to work with.
AB: Where is your favorite place to write?
EF: I do find getting out of the house is good for writing. I often take a notebook to a café and jot down ideas with nothing to distract me except tea. The swimming pool is also good for the brain, I’ve discovered.
AB: Any Guilty pleasures?
EF: Well, being into my thirties now I’ve started to feel guilty immediately after eating chocolate cake. I have a suspicion that in a hundred years or so our consumption of sugar will be seen in much the same light as smoking.
AB: What current trend would you eliminate?
EF: Revenge porn. I know that’s not a witty answer, but given the chance I’d like to do a little good in the world.
AB: Now Some fun questions now: Cats, Dogs, Fish or other?
EF: I have two nine-month old cats in my apartment, named Lakkrís and Skotti. A dog is too much work for me, and I really don’t see the point in goldfish.
AB: Finally, probably the most important question: Who Shot First: Han or Greedo?
Thank you Elí Freysson for joining us for a drink and a few questions at the Internet Crossroads Cafe. Good luck with your career.