Wolf Majick reviews would like to thank Gwen Perkins author of The Universal Mirror.
Delia :Let's talk a little about The Universal Mirror, what gave you the idea for such an interesting story?
Gwen: The Universal Mirror was first conceived when I joined a writing community on LiveJournal and was working on it as part of a group of people who were spending a year to write a book. At the time, I'd been trying to write a SF novel about windfarms and failing. I decided to see if I could create an epic fantasy as a way of jogging my writer's block, not thinking that it would be anything more than a brief interlude from science fiction.
I went back to the community and found this snippet of apology to the fellow writers that I wrote when I switched projects: "… I beg your forgiveness that it isn't about windfarms or apocalypse and instead is something perhaps much more traditional." This is ironic since, in the end, The Universal Mirror didn't end up being the standard fantasy romance that I intended but instead, a series about grave robbing, defying authority, and trying to save a marriage while all of these things are happening around it.
Delia: Do you have a favorite character from The Universal Mirror? If so do they resemble anyone in your real life?
Gwen: I love all of the characters in Mirror, to be honest, although some also drive me a little insane. (Quentin would be the obvious one simply because he and I aren't nearly as alike in our attitudes towards other people.) There is a lot more coming for several of the characters in future books.
I don't intentionally model my characters after people in real life although I hope that they're real enough for others to find something in one or two of them that they can relate to. A lot of where any resemblance comes in is in everyday happenings or the culture around them. I often take conflicts that are happening in the media and translate those into how they would play out in Cercia. When you look at the plot of Mirror, for instance, one of the greatest problems experienced in that world is poverty and the inability of the poor to receive adequate healthcare and treatment. Cercia is quite definitely a culture in potential decline or transition, much as some would say our own is, and the novels discuss some of that within the context of that universe.
Delia: Would you want to live in the world of the Universal Mirror?
Gwen: To be honest, it would depend on who I was and how much money I had. ;) If I was a noble and a magician (and a man), my life would be pretty good. But there are a lot of prejudices within the island of Cercia towards women and the lower classes. We'll find as characters visit other parts of the world, however, that this greatly varies.
Delia: I hear your working on your next book, any hints for readers?
Gwen: Well, the next book is titled The Jealousy Glass and it's planned for release in February of next year, pending no major changes or production delays.
This novel takes place a year after The Universal Mirror and events have caused some significant changes in the status of both Asahel and Quentin. Asahel and Felix are sent overseas to the Empire of Anjdur as part of an attempt to stop a war but after they arrive, they discover that there is much more to the story than they ever could have expected. The Jealousy Glass is full of action--from shipwrecks to swordfights—and further delves into the magic and history of both Cercia and Anjdur. I think those who liked the first novel will like the second even more.
Now just for fun...
Delia: What is your favorite novel?
Gwen: Oh, it'd be hard to choose just one. Right now, I would say either Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, depending on my mood.
Delia: Do you believe in magic?
Gwen: Yes. I believe that any act of creation, be that art, writing, music, etc., is a kind of magic. People do wonderful things in their everyday lives all of the time without thinking about them that would have been considered magic even fifty years ago. (Think about your cell phone, for instance.) It's both amazing and terrifying living in times like these, when technology changes so rapidly.
Delia: What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Gwen: There are a few different parts. The act of writing itself fills me with joy. I love to create characters and give them life, hoping that some part of what I have made touches others.
I also love the community of readers that exists and supports the authors that they love. I have met some of the most wonderful people through this first book, both fellow writers and new fans, and I hope that I'm fortunate enough to keep in touch with them as more novels appear. I can't stress enough how encouraging it is to see a new Amazon review or chat with someone over Facebook or email about the story. It makes it all worthwhile.
Delia: Thanks for stopping by Gwen and for giving us some insight into your book
Gwen: Thank you so much for having me for this interview! And thanks to the readers for taking the time to learn more about my novel. If anyone wants to find out more about the book or get in touch, my website is at http://theuniversalmirror.com