I'm honored and pleased to host author A.R. Silverberry on my blog today as he shares some of his most personal thoughts and writing methods with us. So please pull up a seat, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy!
Is there a specific reason you’ve decided to pen young adult/children’s books, or is it because of that inner child deep within you?
I was drawn into writing after rereading a bunch of the Oz books back in 1998. My first stories were about younger characters, but as the years past, they started maturing. By the time I got to Wyndano’s Cloak, the main character was fourteen. At the beginning of The Stream, the main character is five and matures to his late teens or early twenties by the end of the book. I don’t consider it a YA novel, though teens might enjoy it. It’s really a book for adults, or anyone who enjoys books like The Alchemist.
child is definitely in my personality. Because I wrote about three teenage
girls in Wyndano’s Cloak, some people think that child is female! I
connect easily with my feminine side, so it wasn’t hard to feel those
characters. Truthfully, a writer worth his or her salt should be able to write
any gender. I hope I proved that in The Stream! There’s a whole lot of
male energy in that story, though it might be argued that Leena, Wend’s wife,
is the hero of the story.
Tell us about how you came up with the idea for The Stream. I for one found the premise and the messages in your story most profound. Please elaborate.
From a conversation I was
having where I used the metaphor of a stream. I kept thinking about that
metaphor. In a few hours, the character of a small boy, alone, defenseless,
trying to understand the ways of the world, popped into my mind. I saw images
of him confronting the challenges we all face: love, loss, pain, losing your
way. The next morning, I put aside the novel I was working on (it wasn’t
working anyway), and started writing. It pretty much tumbled out of me and
didn’t let me go until it was done.
When people ask me what the story is about, I tell them this: It’s a fable about the soul’s adventure in the world.
Are you planning any sequels for Wyndano’s Cloak or The Stream? And please tell us what you’re currently working on.
Wyndano’s Cloak was conceived as a stand-alone novel. There is a prequel sitting in my dresser, where first attempts at a novel belong. I love the story, but it’s anyone’s guess whether I’ll revise it. People have asked for a sequel to Wyndano’s Cloak. I gave it a stab, writing about a third of it, but I wasn’t happy with the way it was going, so I set it aside to incubate and wrote The Stream instead.
I’m working on the first book of a trilogy, a science fiction fantasy set in a
dystopian future. My wife calls it a psychological thriller. Who am I to
What would you consider your most interesting/weird writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk, but I wrote a lot of Wyndano’s Cloak commuting on a train. It was great. The trip to work was 75 minutes. The sound of the train became a trigger for my creativity. The conversations around me quickly faded and I was in Aerdem, the land where the plot unfolds. After disembarking, I walked twenty minutes to work, scrawling snippets of dialogue and description. Everything rolled to the back of my mind on the job, but then the whole process reversed itself at the end of the workday. The walk back primed the pumps. By the time I hit the train, I was raring to type. The biggest loss to my writing was when we moved away from that train!
How does your family feel about your writing? Also, does anyone close to you have any influence on how you write, or which genre you favor?
My parents are gone, in the case of my father, long before I got into writing. My mother was dying of cancer when I finished Wyndano’s Cloak. She was too weak and fuzzy headed to read it, but she pointed to it sitting on her stereo and told my brother, “See that? That’s important.” I’ll always treasure that.
My wife is
very supportive of my writing. She’ll give me hell, though, if something isn’t
working. I value her input above anyone else’s. She used to lobby for this or
that kind of story, but now she let’s me go where the muse takes me.
What have you learned from writing Wyndano’s Cloak and The Stream?
to crafting the two novel was very different. I consider Wyndano’s Cloak a transitional
novel in the sense that I became aware of the writer’s craft. The first draft
was written instinctively. Afterward, I went back and reworked it so the theme,
characters, and plot would all fit together. At one point, I spent six month
agonizing over what the theme was. There seemed to be four of them! Finally I
got it clarified, and everything worked out beautifully. But I vowed never to
put myself into that position again. As an allegory, The Stream is a
theme driven story, so that came first. I chose the characters to fit the
theme, and then the plot flowed from there. Truthfully, I can’t really say this
or that is my process. It’s always evolving, and I think each novel has its own
set of problems to be worked out.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? Go ahead, don’t be shy
Not you specifically. I’ve been thinking a lot how to improve my own. I think it boils down to two things: Write with passion; write the truth.
Well said, A.R.! Thank you for stopping by and people, please continue to scroll down for the synopsis of his latest creation, The Stream, and the links where you can purchase a copy of your own!
What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?
After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?
Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.
Purchase The Stream:
Purchase Wyndano’s Cloak:
Limited first edition Hardback:
Signed and unsigned copies available only from the author
Follow A. R. Silverberry:
A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. THE STREAM is his second novel.
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