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1) What is your name and bio?
My name is Emily C. A. Snyder, a theatre director, playwright and novelist, who has a yen for the language of Shakespeare, Dickens and Wilde, and the unknown authors who passed down our fairy tales.
2) What is your book title, synopsis, and where can readers find it?
My most recent novel, Nachtsturm Castle is published through Girlebooks.com, who provides wonderful e-and-paperback books of books by the gals for the gals.
Nachtsturm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel is a sequel and pastiche of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Happily married Catherine and Henry Tilney set off to the Alps for a long delayed honeymoon. Catherine, having grown up in Austen's novel, therefore refuses to believe anything extraordinary or Gothic can possibly be real. But as the Tilneys' stay at Nachtsturm Castle proves, sometimes the fantastical becomes reality!
Actually, a recent reviewer, Jeffrey Ward, probably summed it up best:
Moonlight! Castles! Ghosts! Storms! Secret trap doors! Suicide! Grave yards! Mistaken Identities! Carriage accidents! Gypsies! Hauntings! A kidnapping! Purloined letters! A duel! Swooning! Wild Pursuits! Demonic possession! A disputed inheritance! Three romances! A ransacking! Ancient curses! A stolen will and testament! Dank subterranean passageways!
Multi-talented Emily C. A. Snyder has managed to pack the above list (and more) into the 139 page Nachtstürm Castle, a sophisticated Gothic fantasy sequel, taking up the further adventures of Henry and Catherine Tilney where our divine Miss Austen finished the last lines of Northanger Abbey.
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Nachtsturm Castle is available through Girlebooks.com and Amazon.com, in e-book and in paperback!
3) Where do you come up with your ideas?
Terry Pratchett said that ideas sleet through the multiverse and there are some people whose brains just attract a lot of celestial detritus. I think I'm one of those. It's harder not to come up with new ideas. Ideas aren't the hard part; getting ideas down in a satisfactory manner in a reasonable amount of time is the hard part!
However, the germinus for Nachtsturm Castle was, to be frank, the desire to help Austen prove her point that Catherine had difficulty with issues of what to believe and what not to believe. I love Austen very much (I think Persuasion is divine), but Northanger Abbey - being her first novel, and therefore not as formed as her later works - seemed fair game for paraliterature. Besides, the set-up to mirror the original, the opportunity to make fun of and pay homage to the over-purpled prose of Gothic literature, and my own pleasure of returning at least in word to Austria (where I spent a very happy semester with the foothills of the Alps five feet out my window) proved irresistable. Moreover, I was going crazy at a desk job. (A good reason to write a novel if there ever was one!)
The idea for Niamh and the Hermit came from my college professor pointing out that man cannot stand sustained beauty in this fallen world, and my own love of inventing fairy tales. Charming the Moon which takes place in the same world, are two folk tales about how the Sun and the Moon returned to the sky. I told those stories to my youngest brother when I didn't want to read him Goodnight Moon for the umpteenth time...which was often. (Good book! Just not for weeks on end.) You can read more here!
4) What books/authors do you like to read?
Terry Pratchett - if he writes it, I will read it. Numerous times. Again.
For classics, I like Austen, Chesterton, Lewis, Dante, Wilde, and Shakespeare, with a side of Sayers (the perfect mystery writer).
I'm also a fan of non-fiction: Chesterton, Lewis, Aristotle, and several current Catholic apologists. If it's a good book pertaining to Shakespearean performance, or the history or theory of theatre, either as a source document (Brook's "The Empty Space") or as commentary, I'll read it, underline it, and write a dialogue in the margins!
5) What's your next writing project?
I'm taking a break from playwriting for the nonce, since I wrote and either directed or had performed seven original plays since January 2011 (phew), but in novels I'm working on another Twelve Kingdoms piece, about the fall of the princes to the ShadowQueen. Originally, this was the longest of the stories I told to my brother to get him to sleep, and it was called Tamerin and Isllel for the main characters: the last of the princes, and the princess who saves him. ShadowQueen is a better title. However, I've had those seven plays and thirteen-ish performances and my novel writing schedule has been out of whack.
And there's good news for my Austen paraliterature likers: I've got another novel to revise, called "Presumption" based on the romance between Col. Fitzwilliam and Maria Lucas from Pride and Prejudice!
Anyone who wants to specially request something, and then to bug me about it, is more likely to receive a finished product. So...nudge away!