Thursday, October 1, 2015

Author of the Month: Alec Emerine

A few weeks ago I interviewed Alec Emerine from Lake Mary, aka Merman Dylan, who is currently working on his book "Where the Tides Take Us." I had a wonderful time chatting with him. We may or may not have gone off topic :P Since this was my first chat-style interview, it's a bit longer and there were a lot of questions I wanted to ask him. I hope you enjoy!!

S: Let's start off with a little bit about you. How did you first start writing?

D: I first started writing a long time ago. Before I started working on any of my book series I would write fanfiction stories about video games and stuff. In elementary school, I remember creating my own creatures and a world they lived in that was inspired by Video Games and Cartoons. I remember trying to create different races for an online game, and then, I decided to write books. Now I'm working on writing my book series.
S: What is the current inspiration for your story?
D: The inspiration for my current story is my interest in light and darkness, good and evil. I find duality interesting. I don't want my story to be about good and evil, but I do think duality is a simple concept that can be used to create a complex story. Although my characters live in a world where there is good and evil, I want there to be a place in between for some of the characters to interact in. Another source of inspiration is the vastness of the sea and how under the sea and on land are two different worlds. My biggest hope is that the duality in the story helps people see the place in between that is our world. While light and darkness does exist, there is also a twilight that allows us to connect to each other in spite of our differences. With all the differences that exist between us, I want to write a story that shows how two worlds are actually smaller pieces of a much bigger world that involves both the worlds that one would think are too different to coexist.
S: I find the duality theme really interesting. As it turns out the current shows on tv and in the movies have that light and dark aspect to their stories too. Maybe it's just me but I've been noticing it a lot more recently. Do you think that it's a recurring theme?
D: Duality has appeared on lots of TV Shows. Recently, Once Upon a Time features a strong element of good and evil. In my personal opinion, there use of light and dark magic has created a major separation of good and evil. Many of their strongest characters are the ones that shift sides because they travel through that gray area. Who doesn't want to see Snow White try to kill the blue bird of happiness or see the evil queen get redeemed for her evil deeds. The characters that travel through the twilight are the ones that change and stay on the show. I believe that it's a recurring theme that is a simple concept that leads to a complex story many don't really have a good way to illustrate. The walking dead, for example, is an incredible story. You can't really say anyone is a good guy or bad guy. Some are more bad while others are more good, but every single one of the characters are constantly shifting around between the duality. Duality sets the boundaries, but the change in the characters make the story.
Often times, a story will give the characters their just deserves in the end for continuing to do evil deeds or continuing to do good deeds. Duality sets those boundaries. The important thing is that the characters don't interact only from the boundaries. They need to cross through the twilight to grow.
S: Funny you should mention Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time as those were the shows I was just thinking about when I posed the question lol!
D: They are great shows. I think Once Upon a Time needs to make more use of that place in between good and evil more. They seem very focused on the opposing sides. That's just my two cents. The Walking Dead makes great use of all three areas. You know what the boundaries are, but you also know that none of the main characters are stuck on one side or another.
S: Your main character, are they sort of in that grey area as well or are they gonna be exploring all three areas?
D: The character that I named my mersona self after is going to be an interesting case. Dylan Zalrian's name literally means born from the waves and strength of the sea. Dylan is unique because he's more like a gate keeper between the two places. Dylan is one half of a single whole, and there will be something about him that is greatly desired by both sides. Dylan exists in the light, but he has another half that exists in the darkness. They both play a major rule in the story. The evil that everyone has to fear is still something not even the dark half of Dylan has witnessed beyond small glimpses of the world the evil desires.
Dylan will be travelling from light toward darkness, and this transition plays a major role in the plot. However, this character isn't so simple of a character to say that he travels from light to darkness. He's the character that light and darkness pivots around. You'll have to read to find out how. All I want to say is, his dark half plays a similar major role, and the forces from both sides will be trying to obtain what the character doesn't know he has. Him and his dark half are like gate keepers in the sense that the other characters will change depending on how they go about trying to claim what they have.
S: Almost sounds like Anakin Skywalker. But a merman. 
D: He's not an easy character to talk bout because of how close to the plot he is. He's not a character that goes from good to evil or evil to good. Dylan is a character that is good with a few faults, but he never becomes evil. His fall means Evil's rise. This affects his dark half too. When Dylan falls into darkness, his dark half rises into light. One doesn't become the other but they are inverted from each other. If you think of it this way and I'm trying to be very careful with my words, if the big evil get the world that he wants, then Dylan's dark half becomes good while Dylan becomes evil. It's a mind bender, but Dylan can't be evil unless the bad guy gets what he wants. His absence of evil takes form as his Dark half as another character.
S: That does sound really complicated. What else can you tell us about the main plot of the story?
D: The main plot of the story or the first book involves a sea witch who is trying to lay claim to Dylan's home. She's having hard time claiming the last remnants of Marianous, and she doesn't figure out why until later. The story begins with a mysterious meteor shower that Adrian, Dylan, Lord William, Prince Andrew, and Rachel witness. The meteor shower means many different things for all of them. To some it's a very bad omen, and to others, it's a sign of change or adventure. The meteor shower kicks off the story by forming a connection between most of the characters. They all witnessed a celestial event that was bigger than normally ever was.
S: Were there any difficulties coming up with your story or characters?
D: Well, I think I had the most trouble with both. The characters are the story and the story is about the characters. They are two parts of a single whole. I found it easier to create the plot, but I found it harder to give the characters the spot light. As a writer, I find it easy to start making it sound like you are in the story hogging that spotlight. Writing good characters are the part I spend the most time on because they are the story because their actions make the story happen.
S: Besides Dylan, who was your other favourite character to work with?
D: I know I'm talking a lot about Dylan, but I have several major characters that play major roles throughout the story and the series. One of my other favourites is going to be the twist in the plot between Cecilia and William. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Cecilia is a character that is very important, and the reason the Sea Witch has set her sights on this part of the world. She's the last of an island the witch claimed, and her story will be interesting. William is also another character I like. The biggest problem with asking about the characters is how dependent the story's plot is to the characters and their choices. I can say that William and Cecilia will have some very interesting interaction between each other that involves the Royal Family of Seasafair. Adrian is cursed by the Sea Witch, and Dylan is the only one holding back the curse even if he doesn't know it. Serena is a close friend to Dylan and Adrian. She made the Friendship Bracelets that she and her close friends share. Andrew wants to see the world. I love all of my characters, and I put a lot of work into them. There are just some things that are killing me not to share, but I don't want to spoil the story.
S: How far into the story are you?
D: I've completed almost 20 different chapters. Right now they are just drafts, and I'm working hard to tie those chapters into my story. I even have beginning plans for my second book. I'm just trying to finish my first story. I can't find enough time alone to focus on my writing... one of those things that comes with a busy life.
S: Thanks so much for doing this!
D: No Problem.
This pretty much concludes the interview! Just to get your feet wet though, Merman Dylan has graciously allowed me to share an excerpt from his book:
Before the Ancient World descended into darkness, the last friendship with humans ended in tragedy, and no one believed friendship was possible. He floated alone in the sea with this belief. Something in his heart told him that it was possible. No one else would entertain the idea.

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