What inspired you to write Orrleth?
Thomas McClellan: The story of Orrleth came to me in a dream one night, and I could not keep myself from writing down every shred of every detail before I might have forgotten. Luckily, I wrote down everything that I wanted. Luckier still, is the fact that I did not forget the dream and merely have to base the story off of written recordings. After being gifted with a sturdy base for the storyline, I incorporated elements from my own life and the lives of my brothers to connect the main sequences. Anything that was not from the original dream and personal history was more or less made up on the spot.
Orrleth is a world, a school, a living being walking the same world? Is there a symbolism here, or theme woven throughout?
TM: Although Orrleth is all three, there is little that I would like to divulge at the moment. At the very least, however, the three uses of the name “Orrleth” are in fact connected. Some further clarification goes far back into the history of the world and its associated beings, but the base concept is to be that of a United Nations organization, or something of the like. It is supposed to be an ideal body of the best to which all can look to and aspire, especially with the current corrupt government of the Luemin.
Which character was the most challenging to create, and why?
TM: All of the characters were difficult in their own right to create, but I must go with Lospeck Vontef as being the most cumbersome to construct. There is more that is said in his words than just base meaning alone. Even more is said in his absence of clarity. I wanted to scream out all of his secrets so that people can know how he ticks, but that will be saved for another day. Keep trying to draw your own conclusions in the meantime. Maybe your predictions will be correct. The second book will illuminate the shadow over Lospeck.
TM: I like different parts of the first book more or less depending on mood and circumstance, but the final storyline arc remains constantly among my favorites. Everything that the book has been building up reaches its crescendo near the end, and the link between brothers is strengthened through the hardship. All loose ends are not tied up, nor are all the mysteries solved, but the conclusiveness and rightness are without parallel anywhere else in the story.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer, and/or inspires/inspired your writing?
TM: Nothing and no one inspired me to become a writer, nor is my writing influenced by any sort of idol. I simply had a dream, found it to be worthwhile, and put my pen to the paper. My own personal belief is to be someone others could pattern their lives after, not simply a disciple condemned to self-restraint under a hero. My advice is to make your own advice. Don’t shackle yourself to the ground when you could fly.
Who, or what do you credit for your education and/or training as a writer?
TM: Credit must be given where credit is due, and I must give some credit to my high school AP English teacher, Ms. Sharon Smith. I spent a year in her class, and it was brutally effective. There’s nothing quite like a teacher whose dedication to her field leaves such a lasting, positive impression. Ms. Smith’s zeal for the subject must be commended. That class was pivotal in cultivating my insanity and refining it into a make meet for literature.
Please post/send me some questions for following interviews. There are copious amounts of secrets in the world of Orrleth. Suspicions often lead to truth.
—Thomas McClellan, Author of Orrleth
Text, images, and logos ©2014, Thomas McClellan; all rights reserved.