Today, I have the pleasure to interview Nadine C. Keels. She is the author of several books from different genres such as contemporary romance, Christian, fantasy, and more. I have read and enjoyed the first two books of her The Movement of Crowns trilogy. She kindly agreed to grant me an interview with her about The Movement of Crowns trilogy and about writing in general. I hope you enjoy this insight into her world of fantasy. Thank you, Ms. Keels.
1. What inspired you to write The Movement of Crowns trilogy?
I drafted the first scenes of The Movement of Crowns nearly fifteen years ago, inspired by the thought that although the rest of my generation and I were young, our youth didn’t preclude us from doing great things. Hence, the young woman leading off the series, Constance, is just coming of age.
2. How is the pacing of the story in a trilogy different from writing a standalone?
Honestly, I didn’t start off with a trilogy in mind. The Movement of Crowns was indeed a standalone book in my head for over a decade. Even after I finally wrote it and first published it in 2012, I had no thought or intention of writing a sequel. It was a spring afternoon of the following year, while I was organizing my bookshelf at home, when the “other side” of the Crowns story, The Movement of Rings, suddenly came to me, pretty much all at once. So, the pacing of Rings is closely based on the pacing of Crowns. The Movement of Kings, the last book in the series, is paced much the same way, so that it continues the story without deviating far from the feel of it.
3. Which do you find easier, writing a trilogy or a standalone?
There are both easier and more challenging aspects to writing either. It’s nice writing a sequel so closely linked to the book that came before it because a lot of foundational information is already laid out in my mind from the first book. The challenge comes in keeping important details in line from one book to the next without merely rehashing information that the reader likely read already in the other book. You want the new story to be consistent with the first but still fresh at the same time. With a book that completely stands alone, I don’t have to worry about adhering to technical story details from another book, but I also have the challenge of laying down an entirely new foundation with no prior map as a guide.
4. When building a fantasy world, do you have a clear vision of the entire world or does it evolve as you write?
Both, in a sense. I see more of the world than actually makes it into the written story, but I also discover more things about the world as I go along, as if I’m walking through it and exploring. Like, I knew more about the country of Munda than I said about it when I wrote Crowns, but it’s as if I knew about it from the outside, much like Constance did before she actually went there. I didn’t “go” to Munda for myself until I thought up Rings.
5. Can you explain more about the world building of Diachona and Munda and the different religions?
The world where Diachona and Munda exist is like both history and folklore. The nations are imagined up as kingdoms that might truly have been, reflecting on the human condition with the spirit of history without actual historical figures or facts. Yet, the books are written with the influence of folktales, like cultural legends that might not be factually true but are still designed to convey and resonate with truth.
As far as the religions of the Diachonian and Mundayne peoples go, I, even as a Christian, purposely aimed to keep much of that vague. Yes, many readers of Christian Fiction will interpret material in the Crowns books from a Christian worldview, particularly on account of the literary references to Scripture included in the series, which is good. Still, Diachonians and Mundaynes live in a world different from ours, and their world may not have organized Christianity or any religion we’ve heard of. Christianity and any number of other faiths we can name haven’t been around forever in the way that we know or learn about them today. So I steered away from adding many specifics that might inevitably restrict the characters’ beliefs and practices too tightly into ancient or modern parameters we know about. The specifics of Diachonian and Mundayne religions weren’t as important as it generally being clear that these peoples have spiritual awareness and God-consciousness.
6. Are there any lessons readers can take away from reading the series?
I tucked a number of nuggets into the books that I hope readers can reflect on, but the main thing I’d like them to take away is that their destiny is a perfect fit for them, and they can walk deeper into it step by step, never throwing their hope away.
7. Are the heroines based off of any real-life influences or were they completely your imagination?
Oh, a little of me ends up in all of my main characters’ souls and personalities, and sometimes I purposely base their other aspects on real-life folks. However, Constance and Naona are mostly imaginary. Mostly.
8. What is your next future project?
Currently, I’m writing a sequel to Love Unfeigned, one of my contemporary romances. The inspiration of this sequel is much like The Movement of Rings, showing a previous story from another angle with a different protagonist, and then taking the story further. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing my second book with a male character in the leading role, and I hope to finish it this year, if not in early 2016. (My first leading man is the protagonist of The Movement of Kings.)
Nadine C. Keels is an author, editor, and speaker. She is from Seattle, Washington and is most known for her poetry work, The Song of Nadine. Nadine is also the founder of Prismatic Prospects, a Seattle-based communication company. She has also edited and co-edited numerous works, and her aim is to spread inspiration and innovation into the marketplace.
Also, check out my reviews of Nadine C. Keels' books: