The tale behind Tales (1)- Christopher Lee and Lore of Aos Si

Note from Moonlake: Don’t forget to pre-order on Inkshares if you like this work. There is also a Facebook page for the series. Me and Chris had lots of fun conducting this interview and it got a little long. If the length defeats your attention span, don’t forget to scroll to the end to read the exclusive secret that Chris is sharing with us only *wink*

Moonlake: Hi, I’m Moonlake Ku and welcome to the first episode of The Tale behind Tales. Today, we have Christopher Lee, the author of Lore of Aos Si , with us. Firstly, tell us about yourself and your journey into writing, Chris.

Chris: I’ve always been fascinated by the art of storytelling. From an early age I was enchanted by the vastness of human imagination. Whether it was in books, movies, or being told orally I’ve been captivated by the magic. Stories have been how I learn, how I grow, and these days what keep me going.

Moonlake: I think most humans are fascinated with stories, including myself. Interesting though that your fascination went so deep that you actually consciously recognise learning through stories. So when is it that you first decided to pursue writing in a serious way and what are the circumstances?

Chris: Well, in my teens I wrote a fair amount of absolutely putrid fan fiction. Mostly relating to star wars. Of course I didn’t know it was utter drivel, but hell I was having a blast. That carried me into my first collaborative effort which was a grand Space Opera that a friend and I worked on for over 12 years before I handed the reins over to him.

You see I went to school to study storytelling, and learned the craft but one professor said one thing that really stuck with me. He said, “You can’t tell a story about others, about life, or any of the grand philosophical questions, until you’ve lived.” In other words, we were all too young to take up the craft, because the craft itself had yet to grow within us. His philosophy was that you need to live life before you can really tell others what it’s about. I took that to heart and I put story telling away for many years before it reared its beautiful head once again.

Boy did I live lol

It wasn’t until about 2012 when I started to germinate a grand idea. And that was when I started studying the craft further.

Moonlake:I think that professor is right, speaking from personal experience. I assume this grand idea you are talking about now is the Lores of Aos Si?

Chris: Yes.

Moonlake: Now that you mention it, what is the tale behind Aos Si? What are the circumstances under which this story is born?

Chris: The Lore of the Aos Si is an examination of the human condition at its core. I know every book is in some way, but I wanted to go deeper. For years I sought answers in religions that I studied, in science, in the musings of the science fiction universes. I was concerned for our earth, for our future generations, for our legacy as a species.

I wanted to answer the questions, what was our big oops moment, some call it original sin, the fall of man, the rotten parts of what we are. What is our ultimate purpose.

For years I looked to the future for the answers when, all along I simply had to redirect my focus and look to the past.

Basically the story I want to tell is the greatest story never told

Moonlake: Ar ha, life’s purpose, I have a lot of empathy with that and looking to the past for answers. The past has a long shadow, I think. So what would you say are the biggest inspirations for the Lores of Aos Si during the course of your own introspection on the human condition?

Chris: Somewhere along the long line of the human experience we lost something. It’s sometimes called wisdom, sometimes it’s called magic. We lost a crucial part of our soul that links us to this shiny blue rock. Something came along and severed that connection between us and our mother, leaving us feeling alone and disconnected. Alien even. I wanted to go as far back as possible and examine what it was that we or someone else did that severed our relationship with the magical world of mythology.

Moonlake: I can see that Aos Si is a very internally driven project but have you read up on others’ work and incorporated that into the concept of Aos Si? In what way? When you talk about the magical world of mythology, what specific mythology are you thinking of?

Chris: As far as others’ work, I have to admit that a large part of my world comes from denying the standards that form the pillars of modern fantasy and SciFi. For instance, Tolkien’s mythology dominates the fantasy world. You almost have to use his work if you are going to be successful. This generation’s lack of imagination hampers the creative noose of the writer. Go too far and you’ll hang yourself. So much of modern mythology was influenced by Tolkien’s work, that I decided to dig deeper, and go further back, and fan out.

Aos Si is PanMythological, in that it takes the basis of most western mythological pantheon’s and works and combines them in a new and fresh way. For instance, Tolkien’s elves are freakishly different than those of mythology. Tall, slender, serious. In most mythological cycles they were small, impish, and playful. In Aos Si, they may be serious, but they are of average height, maybe a bit shorter, and share a distinct kinship with the moon and the moon’s familiar the wolf. They are shapeshifters who despise humankind almost entirely. They are obviously more. Complex than that, but the point is, that I bent and shaped my world to resemble the world of antediluvian history, the time before the Great Flood.

Moonlake: Of all your bending of existing work including Tolkien and what he establishes for modern fantasy, sci-fi and antediluvian history, what do you personally see as the most interesting that you’ve done? What is your personal favourite?

Chris: Honestly, it is how I chose to deal with Adam and Eve. In The Lore of the Aos Si, the part of Eve is played by the primordial goddess, the mother of creation. The part of Adam is played by, well Adam, the first man. Entrusted with unbelievable power as the steward of her creation, the keeper of her sacred word. Adam like all men, is fundamentally flawed, his curiosity and nativity drive him to crowning himself Elohim, the God of Mankind, and forsakes his mother, his lover, and thus begins the age old feud between man and fae, and the matriarchy and that patriarchy!

Moonlake: It’s certainly a new twist on Adam and Eve lore. And being a fan myself of Aos Si, I know there is an immense cast in the story. Which character is your absolute favourite, without giving away too much of the story?

Chris: I’d have to say it’s a grand tie, between Falbanach the beggar god, a druid of the first age and the Lord of Time, and what you can call our primary antagonist, Ensi Ubara Tutu the religious zealot and leader of the Cult of Empyrean, a group of exiled mankind that hails from ancient Sumeria.

Moonlake: Ah, I like Falbanach a fair bit too. Well, it is certainly my pleasure today to talk to you, Chris, but I think it’s time to draw to the close. So I would like to ask you whether you could share a little secret with me and our readers today? About current and upcoming project or about some of your secrets of trade?

Chris: Well as all Fantasy series go, The Lore of the Aos Si can’t end with one book. It is a sweeping epic that is meant to cover the breadth of human history. What I think will be the most fun is how I plan to release the tale. As many of the main characters are immortals the storylines will carry through over time. Basically the secret is this, I won’t be following up this book with the chronological next book, I’ll be jumping forward somewhat and I haven’t decided yet, but it could be set during the Crusades, or I might jump to the Gilded Age around 1893. I hope that my readers can hang with the jumping through time.

Moonlake: Wow, that is certainly an adventurous approach to take and I’m caught off guard. But still, I like the occasional surprise and I wonder how I will deal with the time jump. Well, thank you for your time today, Chris. Keep us informed of your progress.

Chris: Will do, I am glad we had the time to talk about the Lore of the Aos Si, I hope everyone else finds it as intriguing as you.

Moonlake: All the best, and hope that our readers have fun today as much as we two have.

Progress Tracker on Thread (4)

I went back to the drawing board this week to plan because it just came up that a loose end from previous chapters of Thread surfaced and I thought I should do something to tie it up. I’m not convinced that I resolved but it did give me an opportunity to further my pre-writing for later sections. I have to admit that I slacked off this week due to the grand final holiday we got for Friday which I leveraged to go shopping (mostly for my best friend) and then I didn’t really do anything on the long weekend. Plus the temptation of getting back into jigsaws, a childhood passion, proved to be too strong for me. It was to be a reward/motivation for me to keep to the schedule for novella conversion but then I told myself that there’s plenty of slack in it so the result is… ahem you get the picture.

The day to day break down is as follows:
Monday 26th September 2016: I just took today off, no sneaky start to the week.

Tuesday 27th Sept – I expanded out the 1st 2 paragraphs of scene 5, minimal work really but my planning week always involves relatively less work compared to writing, especially since I’m effectively working at draft 2 of Thread as a story (I actually wrote the ending already during the course of my involvement with the epub but feedback made me expand the story so basically the current round of writing is to fill in the gap between where the story left off from issue 2 and the original ending which I like and am not changing). In other words, it’s not really a new piece that I’m working on but rather all the character dynamics and plot arcs have been set already.

Wednesday 28th Sept – I had a major breakthrough today which was that I cleared up the clutter that I was originally going to write for the sidecast. But then I realised that it was just clutter, an artefact of the epub where I had to make what is now each chapter of Thread as a standalone even when everything is interconnected. Now that I’m converting into a novella, of course I don’t need to do that anymore but somehow my mindset hasn’t migrated fully away from the “mould of independence”. But I caught myself in time so all good.

Thursday 29th Sept – I quickly wrapped up planning for the week. Originally, I was going to forge back into writing from Friday but then the shopping trip threw me and in particular the temptation to finish the first jigsaw since my childhood (the prospect of conquering my first 1000 pieces) got too strong for me.