My guest author today is Cynthia A. Morgan. She’s chatting with me about her newest release, Dark Fey: Standing in Shadows, which is the second installment of the Dark Fey Trilogy, her WIP. The Trilogy’s finale, Dark Fey: Breaking into the Light is due out in the early part of next year.
Welcome, Cynthia. Please tell us a little bit about your newest release.
Standing in Shadows delves deeper into the mystery and suspense of the tale initiated in book one: The Reviled. In book two, readers discover the history behind the main character, Gairynzvl, in greater detail as they learn about the harrowing life he endured among the Reviled Fey of the Uunglarda, as well as the terrors of The Integration; the process of intentional cruelty and neglect designed to twist childfey into Dark Ones. Although Standing in Shadows reaches deeper into the shadows, it never strays entirely out of the Light, relating a tale of both fear and hope as readers share Gairynzvl’s challenges to return into a restored life.
What inspired you to write this book?
Although certainly darker than book one, Standing in Shadows does not incorporate this level of horror simply for the sake of it. One does not need to open the pages of a book to discover the unthinkable, as the darkness typically embodied in fantasy genre stories by some terrifying being or creature is very much alive in our own reality and this is the underlying motivation for the darkness woven into Dark Fey. Standing in Shadows was inspired in great part by the terrifying, yet true-life events of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, a rebel militant group in Uganda that has for over 20 years abducted children from their homes; forcing them to commit horrifying acts of violence against each other and their own people. These children suffer a very real Integration and, like the childfey of Jyndari, they endure violence, starvation, multiple rapes and beatings at the hands of truly sadistic overlords. This is how the Reviled came to life and became the horrifyingly cruel beings depicted in Dark Fey.
Did you have to research for this novel and if so, why?
Jyndari is a realm of my own making and the Fey who abide there are unlike fairies in a typical fantasy genre, so I did not need to research them. They are their own creation; however, I did research the LRA to understand more fully what happens to the children they abduct. Much of what happens to them is represented through intimation in the story of the childfey of Jyndari, not to add any measure of sadistic horror to the tale, but to bring to light the horrifying truths of our own world.
What surprised you most to learn and why?
Learning that such atrocities happen in our own world was heartbreaking to me. We like to think that such darkness only exists in books, but fact actually IS much stranger than any fiction.
Is there anything specific you want readers to know about this piece of work?
The story itself is fantasy, but the underlying significance lies in how we deal with tragedy and hardship; how the choices we make affect others, and the decision to live a purposeful life that will have a positive contribution. Heavy stuff for a fantasy, I know. It is also my greatest hope to be able to ultimately provide some percentage of its royalties to the work UNICEF does, specifically in Uganda.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always been a writer. Even as a child I wrote poems, in crayon! I have an abiding love of words, beautiful phrases, creating images through lyrical descriptions and weaving stories.
Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
I love sharing my love of words with others who feel the same and being able to do something I enjoy so passionately, ultimately for employment as well as for the sheer joy of it, is a Blessing to be forever thankful for.
Thanks for being here today, Cynthia!