Firstly I wish to thank Jon Henry of Prodigy Gold Books for inviting me to post ‘a get to know the author’ question and answer session with MOSS WHELAN about himself and his new book GRAY HAWK OF TERRAPIN. Super author and brilliant book
To be published 23rd January 2018
Gray Hawk of Terrapin is a heart-wrenching Y/A fantasy by Moss Whelan that introduces Melanie (Mool) Fraser.
Ever since her father’s death, Mool has been talking with an imaginary green lion named Inberl. When Mool’s mysterious uncle gets sick, she and her mother take the train from Vancouver, Canada to the inner world of Terrapin, where Inberl is arrested because he’s looking for Gray Hawk. Springing into action, Mool sets out to rescue Inberl.
Mool’s know-it-all cousin, Olga, helps track down family friend Parshmander who might know how to save Inberl. They corner Parshmander at home, where they overhear mention of Gray Hawk, but the girls are captured and interrogated. Upon release, Mool feels success when she sees a secret map, finds a hidden bridge and crosses it with Olga. On the other side of the bridge, they find a secret city that keeps Terrapin at war.
Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey laced with evil, chronicling histories of cruelty, kidnapping, and false imprisonment in search of meaning and justice.
HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO FIND OUT A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT MOSS WHELAN BELOW
Here’s my talk with Moss Whelan about his upcoming freight train to Faerie: Gray Hawk of Terrapin available January 23rd 2018. Moss is a Canadian author from Vancouver, British Columbia which he says is “the farthest outpost of the British Empire”.
SH: As we approach Christmas, with this magical feeling in the air, would you say that the childlike wonder in your book is similar to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe?
MW: Terrapin is akin to Narnia. There was an influence especially after reading Planet Narnia. That cemented Gray Hawk’s setting and agenda.
SH: The Narnia Code is all about classical pagan influence in The Narnia Chronicles. Is this exploration of the classical something that carries over into your own work?
MW: I didn’t grow up with the Narnia books as a child, and I saw the BBC series via public broadcasting as a teen. I remember the role of Aslan had a profound effect on me even though I didn’t have the Christian framework. The story transcended religion and I liked that.
SH: Is there a parallel between Aslan and your own green lion Inberl?
MW: That was unavoidable. But I welcomed it. I wanted to explore and play with the meaning of Aslan. Why does the Narnia lion have a Turkish name? Isn’t he supposed to be a lamb? Aren’t kings dictators? I had many questions.
SH: What about Father Christmas in your own work? Does that jovial figure show up in Terrapin
MW: He’s part of the mythos but with a Terrapin spin. Publishing Gray Hawk has been an opportunity to explore the belief systems and celebrations that have preceded Christmas. The world tree strong with lights. Nature spirits building toys. Sharing “presence”.
SH: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
MW: We’re myth machines. We live and breath the stuff. As you said, there is a “magical feeling in the air”. But you go to another country and they have something equally loaded, like Buddha’s birthday. And even though some people want to chuck the whole thing, I think it’s a case of the baby and bathwater. You’ve got to have something to believe in or you will go berzerk. Have you seen The School of Life’s video “The Perfect Country” on Youtube? In my most optimistic we-can-survive-mass-extinction moment, I think that’s where we’re headed. We’ll strip off the facade and deal with the purpose. What is Santa’s purpose? What is his cultural function? How can we keep the baby of meaning while chucking the dirty water.
SH: Speaking of dirty water, how about the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? How does the pagan equate there? Is this misogyny?
MW: My own take is a bit counter to the normal route. I was raised in a pseudo-pagan environment where my parents wanted to storm the gates of heaven. The etymology of witch is “wise woman” but we don’t see a demonized, shamanic figure in Narnia. In The Magician’s Nephew, she is a queen who has survived the extinction of her people. I look at that as a critique of Queen Victoria, Christendom, and the bloodbath of World War One. The White Witch is a savage critique of monarchy. This is not a wise woman. This is someone who perverts the message of peace for money, power, and fame.
SH: So you don’t look at her as a demonised pagan but rather a diabolical role within the religion itself.
WH: It happens all the time. A corrupt leader who is willing to sell out their people for self gain. That’s greed that needs to be cut out or it will destroy everyone.
SH: Looking at the other classical pagan influences in Narnia, such as Bacchus the wine god, how do you address them?
WH: In the Terrapin version of Faerie, we tackle stereotypes. We have a goblin who is good and an elf who is bad. I wanted Gray Hawk of Terrapin to have a more accurate representation of the real world and less the spiritual or psychological world of black and white, good and evil.
SH: Let’s address the portal into Terrapin. In the Narnia books, the wardrobe is made from an apple tree. We have the symbolism of moving through a tree into another world. Terrapin has its own portal. Why did present it the way you did?
MW: A fellow writer, Mike Aaron, asked about that as well. What is the pink fog and what’s going on with the pink policeman inside the fog? That’s connected to my upbringing where police were called pigs. It’s is a border crossing from the outside world to the inside world, so the pink policeman is a threshold guardian. It’s a pun on a “pig in a poke” and “the cat is out of the bag” and questioning whether this so-called pig has a cat inside of him. Is it a con? Who is the pink policeman working for? Why is it important for there to be a border between the outside world and the inside world?
SH: In reading the Narnia Chronicles there is a kind of clarity to the first book that slowly evaporates through the series. We leave the main characters and we go and explore new characters. Something is lost on the way. Even though The Magician’s Nephew has a renewed spark to it, the final book has a distance.
MW: I think part of the problem is the development process that the first book went through. It was edited and honed for the audience. Gray Hawk of Terrapin went through that process. The finished product ends up nothing like the first manuscript. The main character is there but the story has been broken open, explored, and improved. The later Narnia books feel like they didn’t see the same amount of editing, attention, and critique that the first book went through.
SH: On that note, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to talk about one of the influences and inspirations on Gray Hawk of Terrapin. Merry Christmas!
MW: It’s been fantastic! Have a Joyeux Noel!
HERE IS A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LINKS TO THIS AUTHOR:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT