The incredible E.G Radcliff agreed to join me in my first ever author interview! Ever since I read her book, The Hidden King, I haven't been able to keep it out of my mind and I just knew that I wanted her to be an author that I had on the Best Book Today Blog.
I found her book via twitter when I first posted my #IndieApril tweet to read the #writingcommunity 's work. I picked five random books and hers happened to be one of those lucky winners. More like lucky me. Now last but not least, after you're done with this video don't forget to check out her website, Twitter, Instagram, and follow her on Goodreads.
So if you don't know E.G. Radcliff, here is a short bio:
E.G. RADCLIFF IS AN INCURABLE WRITER, lifelong imaginer of worlds, and author of the first-in-series coming of age dark fantasy novel The Hidden King. An insatiable reader and researcher with a penchant for all things Celtic and a love of the mysterious and magical, she brings a knowing touch to her Young Adult fiction. She enjoys adventure, reading on the train, and dreams about flying. She is a Chicago native and is based in Illinois.
First of all, the one thing that confused me a lot was the language. This book has Irish Gaelic culture tied to it that I couldn't figure out until I googled your book. I found it so fascinating to learn little bits of that language. What gave you the idea to use it in your story and why?
There were a couple of reasons I included the little snippets of Irish Gaelic. Firstly, I thought it would solidify the setting’s nature as a sort of fantastical, historical Ireland, which was important to the aesthetic I hoped to achieve; secondly, I wanted to use it to highlight the differences between the Maze and the White City. In the world of The Hidden King, Irish Gaelic is used as the language of the Maze--it’s a common tongue, a colloquial language of the people. It’s woven into the culture as fluidly as it’s interspersed in the people’s speech.
And nobody from the White City speaks it at all.
I wanted to use linguistic differences to highlight the social and cultural dichotomy of the Maze and the White City, the two major components of the Gut. It branded our main character even more clearly as an outsider in this new place where anyone who knows his origin is likely to see him as little more than an unwelcome alien. As Áed struggles to train himself out of his linguistic habits, he’s also coming to terms with what his old home actually means to him, and how much of it he’s actually willing to relinquish in order to survive in the White City.
As a writer, did you develop the scenery or the characters first? Why?
Both the characters and the setting came to me at about the same time: I woke up from a particularly wild dream, and had to scramble to get the bones of the story down on paper. In this first, chaotic step, the setting informed the characters as much as the characters informed the setting.
As the book began to progress, I put more focus on the scenery. I needed to at least pencil in the basics of the world, since I knew it would have a very formative influence on the characters. When I was done with the basics, however, I turned my attention fully to the characters--their reactions, learned from their environments as well as their innate qualities, were the driving force of the plot. I did my best to make sure that no two characters were interchangeable, and that each person’s personality had a direct influence on the decisions they made.
Áed is a gay teenager/man. Which I absolutely loved!! The next book you have coming out is meant to be a prequel, telling us more about Ninian. Will you be telling us (the readers) more details about their relationship?
I most certainly will! Áed and Ninian have a very complicated past, and in terms of the growth of their relationship, there are a lot of ways in which they act as each other's saviors. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye.
Do you have a sequel planned out for The Hidden King?
I do. The Hidden King is, of course, centered around Áed; the prequel (book 2, planned for summer 2020) will highlight Ninian. The sequel to The Hidden King (book 3) will focus on Ronan, and without spoiling anything, I can tell you that through Ronan’s eyes, you’ll start seeing parts of the world that are neither the Maze, nor the White City… and that perhaps are not in the Gut at all.
One of my biggest loves about your book is how well it was written. You didn't spend so much time on one specific part of the story which I liked, but I was expecting to be left in a cliff hanger at the end. Is there a reason you didn't want to leave your readers in suspense?
Since the time elapsing in-world between books is a bit lengthy, and since the central character will change by book, I wanted to make sure that The Hidden King could stand on its own. The sequel will continue the events of The Hidden King, but I plan for the plot to pick up some years later; it wouldn’t make sense to leave a cliffhanger, since they tend to require swift resolution.
There you have it!! I really hope you enjoyed this interview. Don't forget to check out her book, The Hidden King, as well as book two which will be out later this year!