Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review & writing exercise with the incredibly talented @micheal_rivers





Moonlight is a book that draws you into a beautiful sanctuary, snuggled up against the Nantahala River.  Close enough to hear the waterfalls.  You will relax as you settle into the slow pace of life in this scenic mountainside haven.  You might take a short walk to the falls- if you dare.  

The spirits may tell you things you may not want to hear.

Edward will bring you back to simpler times, simple joy.  Although he carries a deep loss in his heart, he lives his life lovingly with those he encounters.  However, his greatest love is one that has transcended death.  His beloved wife, Celia, is gone, but her spirit remains.  The house that Edward built with love is unchanged.  It is her sanctuary.

Fate brings about an unexpected friendship between the elderly Edward and the young, troubled Lena.  Their relationship shows us the value of friendship.  One person can change your life forever.  Everything seems to happen for a reason. 

Destiny.

It is what keeps Edward clinging to life, even though he feels the draw to join his beloved wife.  He will not leave until he is sure that Lena will be safe and happy.  He takes some unusual steps to ensure this.
When the time is right, and Edward joins his beloved Celia, he leaves a legacy of love.  Friendship is precious and if your heart is open, the universe brings people together to fill empty gaps and make their lives complete.

Interview with Micheal Rivers

K- You know that I am a huge fan.  I loved ‘The Black Witch’ and I really enjoyed Moonlight on the Nantahala.  I know that you grew up in North Carolina; did you live anywhere near Edwards’ house?

M- I was originally raised on the coast of North Carolina and have traveled and stayed in the mountains most of my life.  Sometimes it is a small wonder to go from towns called Whale Bone Junction to Tuckasegee.

I currently live about 15 miles from where Edward’s home would have been located.  The Nantahala Gorge is a sight visitors never forget.  Every day in this land of beauty no two days will be the same.  True it is the same mountains and rivers but they have a personality all their own.

I traveled extensively before ever settling down and decided I would live here among these mountains.  There are several rivers in this area, but the Nantahala is my favorite.  For those who enjoy Kayaking we have category four waters as well as the romantic side with smooth flowing streams surrounded by the best nature has to offer.

K- It sounds like a magical place.  Your descriptions are so vivid; I fell in love with the Nantahala. I plan to visit  the unforgettable gorge one day.  What was your inspiration for this story?

M- I understand there was a gentleman close in this area much like Edward, but the story is not about him.  It is actually a story fashioned from several people I know who lost their love and there was nobody that could fill their shoes.

 For those who have never taken the time to listen to the old it is a learning experience.  What we take for granted every day the elderly find slowly drifting away from them.  They have a lot to offer if the young will listen.  The housekeeper, Betty, is a true character and I knew her well.

I felt by writing Moonlight on the Nantahala some would see the road we often trod when age has taken its toll and life is still to be held as a precious thing.

K- You are so right Micheal.  It's very sad the way our culture brushes aside the elderly- where they are revered for their knowledge and experience in other cultures.  

I got the feeling there was more of a connection between Edward and Lena- as though they were related somehow.  Could there be a sequel in the works? 

M- Lena and Edward are not genetically related.  It is a connection of kinship through a need they can fulfill for each other.  Life has a strange way of drawing people together.  You can call it Karma, fate, or a dozen other names, but possibly, it is a relationship drawn together from a higher power.
I have been asked to produce a sequel for this book, but I have nothing on the storyboard for it at this time.  If the demand grows, I will give my readers a sequel for it.

K- If you made this into a movie, have you thought about who would play the roles?  I see Harrison Ford playing Edward, maybe Angelina Jolie for Lena, Drew Barrymore for Celia and then someone feisty like for Betty.  What do you think?

M- Kathy Bates is the ultimate Betty, trust me on that one, Harrison Ford would work as well as a few others as Edward, Kirsten Dunst as Lena, and Ashley Greene as Celia.

K- If you would like, I would love to do an exercise with you.  I will show you a scene and then you re-write it in your lyrical style.  Are you up for it?

M- I’ll give it a shot and see what we come up with.

K- Okay, here it is:

There were rumors about Kamlesh.  He had powers.  They were magical gifts.  This magic frightened the people of the village.  An untouchable could never become a guru of God, so they believed that he was evil.
"He has evil powers- dark powers.  An untouchable cannot be a guru of God."
Dadoo had insisted on the marriage between Pratibha and Anil.  It was a good match.  Anil was of a higher caste.  He belonged to the same caste as their family.  Pratibha cried every day and every night.  Her beautiful face became gaunt as her petite frame became thinner and thinner.
"Please Pratibha- eat something.  You want to be a healthy, beautiful bride, don't you?"
"I don't even want to live if I have to marry Anil!"
She had no appetite- she could not bear to eat a bite when her happy future was disappearing.  She begged her parents to stop the wedding and break the engagement.  They would not listen.  They thought that they were doing the right thing by arranging this marriage.  It was their custom.  They thought they had found a good man that could provide for their daughter and give her a good life.”  M]

M-

There were whispers in the night that told of the powers of Kamlesh.  His magic frightened people of the village unless they were in need of him.  The village elders had a name for those like Kamlesh; he was an untouchable, a being unlike those around them, a power so dark and evil his name they feared to speak.  While some deemed him as a guru to God, the blessed saw him as a curse and a Bain to mankind.
Dadoo stood upon his balcony looking toward the top of the mountain professed to be the home of Kamlesh- a fortnight before he had gone to Kamlesh and begged favor of him to unite his daughter with Anil.  Being a higher caste, he knew it was a good match for his daughter, Pratibha.

Staying within their caste made perfect sense to Dadoo. Pratibha wanted nothing to do with Anil, considering him an ill-mannered oaf with the face of an Ox.  She felt no love for him and excused herself from his company at every turn.

Day and night she wept, cursing God for being absent in her time of need. She ate nothing and had become a mere shadow in comparison to the beauty she once held.

 "Please Pratibha- eat something.  You want to be a healthy, beautiful bride, don't you?" Her father pleaded with her.Pratibha looked woefully at her father in disbelief. “You demand I marry Anil.  Your customs are not the wishes of my heart.  I would see myself in a death shroud before I would wear the wedding dress of the man you have chosen for me.  Deny this wedding, father and I will do as you wish.
Dadoo stood to his feet staring at her.  Her mother bowed her head refusing to look at them.
“I will hear none of this.  You will marry Anil and be the mother of his children.  He is a good provider and landowner.  It is the right thing for you and your future when I am no longer able to provide for you and protect you.  I am sure you would not be well suited stitching your life away in the hut of a shoemaker.”

K- Wow!  I love it- you are unbelievable.  I am in awe, Sir!

M-Thank you very much for having me with you today and I have enjoyed talking with you.

K- Thank you very much for joining me and doing this interview and “exercise”.   It’s always a pleasure chatting with you.

The  Nantahala Gorge:


Buy Micheal Rivers books here

His website is here

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2 comments:

Micheal Rivers said...

You amaze me with your generosity Kathleen, thank you for running this review/interview.

Kathleen Patel said...

It's my pleasure, Micheal. You amaze me with your enchanting prose : ))