Again Porch Guide Chat: W. R. Gingell (Creator)
Back Porch Book Chat: An informal, virtual conversation about books. Chat with us with book lovers like us about a topic we all love! Today's guest is W. R. Gingell from Australia. She talks to us about fantasy, books and authors who shaped her, why she writes "clean" fiction and much more!
The interview was conducted by Hayley.
Get to know W. R. Gingell
We call this our "Back Porch Book Chats". So first I'm going to ask: if we were sitting on a porch, what would you sip?
Here in Australia it would be the veranda: D – and I would definitely drink tea, summer or winter.
I think I would enjoy an iced coffee! Speaking of porch, yours would be in Tasmania, right? I enjoyed learning a little about Hobart through your books. How much did your environment influence your books?
Yes, I am in Tasmania! My environment has definitely influenced my books in terms of geography. I am used to writing fantasy in which the world is composed and the geography is the way I want it to be.
When I write urban fantasy, I have to be more or less correct (I say "more or less" because I change things a little, put the police station one block in front of them, or change the position of two restaurants, etc.).
When it comes to geography, I am very much influenced by my surroundings these days. I am never in Hobart and I see nothing to make me think: "Oh, I have to write that in a book."
Photo by Deeva Sood on Unsplash
If I look at photos of Hobart, I can see why! Well, you're a writer and a fantasy writer, to be precise – right? Why fantasy and why fairies? (I ask because I LOVE fantasy and books about fairies, but they are a niche and I always wonder what the writing prompts.)
I actually write a few different genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci Fi and a little bit of horror. I also write contemporary, but these are strictly backward at the moment. I don't want to get stuck in a box. But fantasy is my first love, and fairies have always been of particular interest. Ever since I was a child, I've loved the idea of dangerous, random beings that you could negotiate with unless you argued with them. Plus magic is fair. . . Magic.
About reading and writing
Which authors influenced your writing? (And what were your favorite books when you grew up?)
A recent photo by W. R. Gingell
Big influences and big loved ones when I grew up were: Jane Austen, Antonia Forest, Diana Wynne Jones, Steven Brust, R.L. Stevenson, P.L. Travers, Alan Garner, Elisabeth Marie Pope and Nicholas Fisk.
Favorite books should include (but are not limited to): Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Kidnapped, Treasure Island, A Rag, A Bone And A Streak Of Hair, Mary Poppins, The Moon From Gomrath, Hexwood, Dogsbody, The Dangerous Gard. So many more, but I only have so much space. . . .
I definitely see some favorites that we loved too! We are happy to give general age recommendations for our audience. I think your books would appeal to the YA crowd, but also fantasy-loving adults. Would you agree?
In my experience, my readers fall into a broad spectrum. I have readers from the age of 13 and many in the eighties. Most of my books have adult protagonists (17 is usually the youngest, although I have one or two that break this generality) and are very much enjoyed by adults. Since I write "cleanly" (ie no sex scenes, no bad language – unless you are one of the people who think "swear" and "flamin"), they are also mainly suitable for younger readers.
I'm exploring some heavier issues in my urban imagination, so I would normally recommend these for 15+, but apart from a few bloody deaths, 13+ is usually my age recommendation. The + includes any other age. . . .
I really appreciate that your books don't press the cover with curses or sexuality. Can you tell a little about your philosophy, why you avoid this?
I love reading books that are about the characters and the plot, not sex. I also don't particularly like to swear. When I started writing, of course, I wrote for people like me. I have moral objections to sex outside of marriage, but not to sex itself, but I found that I didn't want to write sex scenes between married couples either.
Many of my contemporaries are happy when they swear in their books, and I don't think it's wrong for them, but I personally don't want to do it. I wouldn't feel light in my conscience. I also want my books to be as accessible as possible for all ages. Since I don't swear in real life, it's not a difficult way to write. And of course the biggest reason is that I still want to honor God with what I write, whether it's fantasy or contemporary fiction. I try to keep the standards that I have in real life in my books.
Where to start – and the Daily Writer
If readers are reading all of this and want to read your books now, where do you recommend that they start? I know I loved your twelve days of fairies. But Masque is another big favorite – and I know we have a lot of fans of Beauty and the Beast.
For fairytale fantasy lovers, I recommend starting with Spindle, the first book in my Two Monarchies Sequence that ends with Masque. For slightly sideways fantasy lovers who like something out of the ordinary, Twelve Days of Faery is the first book in the trilogy Shards of a Broken Sword and a great place to start. If you love urban fantasy, look no further than jobs for your wild human girl, freezing cold fairies, and sloppy Korean vampire vibes. Sci Fi? Hopefully a time traveler's best friend will fry your brain in the best way 😉
I still have to read your science fiction. I wanted to ask one more question. What does a day of writing look like for you? And you publish yourself, right? (I want to give our readers some insight into why your books may be harder to find, but it's worth buying if you like imagination.)
I am a self-published (or indie-published) author, so a day of writing looks something like this: about 3-5 hours of actual writing (which often means going to a cafe for a few hours) A lot of delay between These hours, as much walking as I can force myself to make plenty of tea for writing, plus a few hours to answer fan emails / messages, set up ads, and track business emails.
Even though my books have been published by myself, they are very easy to find in e-book form: you can find them practically anywhere you buy e-books (including the ability to borrow them from the library – and request them when they do not already exist). . The paperback options are a bit more limited, but still include Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Book Depository.
And some of them are also available on Kindle Unlimited! Thanks for your time; We look forward to introducing you to our readers.