JM Reinbold: Sherry, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Sherry Thompson: I’m in my sixties, retired, and fairly unconventional. Storytelling is my second career but my first love. I’m servant to two cats: Khiva, the seal-point Siamese, and Vartha, a black foundling with Maine Coon mixed in. I have a variety of hobbies, including jewelry-making. I love filk (folk music of the science fiction and fantasy community), world and folk music. I also enjoy virtually all forms of guitar music, Celtic music and most Christian music.
JMR: Your book, Earthbow, has received excellent reviews. What is it about?
ST: Earthbow Volume 1 has gotten great reviews, because only half the book is out. Gryphonwood Press decided that Earthbow was too long to be published as a single book. Earthbow Volume 2 will be published later this summer. Earthbow tells the story of the 2nd Narentan Tumult, just as Seabird, my first book, related the story of the 1st Narentan Tumult. Tumults are cataclysmic periods of plotting, murder and battle during which parts of Narenta, my fictional world, are threatened by various forces of evil. Frequently, these include sorcerers, and the 2nd Tumult is no exception. Madness, the blind striving for power, the possible destruction of whole ecosystems are also involved. Because the Earthbow story is so complex, parts of the tale are experienced by certain characters, while other parts are experienced by others. Consequently, Earthbow has an ensemble cast and several plot threads. It all comes together near the end of Earthbow Volume 2.
JMR: Earthbow is a high fantasy work. Describe what that genre is for those who may not know.
ST: Backtracking to my first book, Seabird is high fantasy because it is set in a fictional location. In the case of Seabird, this other world of Narenta may or may not be part of our universe. Occasionally, Earth inhabitants or people from other worlds are brought to Narenta—otherwise Earth would know nothing about it. Seabird is also “epic” in that a major part of the plot involves two or more forces struggling against each other. Earthbow certainly fits these definitions up to a point. That particular point is when the sorcerer, Mexat, and a young fighter named Coris strolled into my group of characters. Coris took a nearly instant dislike to Cenoc (Lord of Latimus) and Beroc (leader of Cenoc’s guards), while they didn’t much like him either. In the meantime, Harone (an initiate enchanter) caught on to Mexat’s machinations and knew he had to be stopped. Voila: Sword and Sorcery. So, just to confuse things, I look at it like this: the world of Narenta is definitely an epic high fantasy setting. However, the plot of Earthbow has strong characteristics of Sword and Sorcery, in which individual battles between wizards and/or fighters take place.
JMR: What other authors or books have significantly influenced your writing?
ST: My influences have been George MacDonald, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. Also, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series. Barbara Hambly’s excellent and out-of-print fantasy series, Lewis Carroll and Poul Anderson.
JMR: What inspired you to write Earthbow?
ST: I was inspired to write Earthbow at the same time I was inspired to write Seabird. I had finished reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and C.S. Lewis’ the Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy. I was just starting on the other Inkling, Charles Williams, with his seven urban fantasy novels and his Arthurian poetry. But I was running out of fantasy to read. In danger of running out of subject matter, I wrote some for myself at first, just as I used to tell myself stories. I very specifically began with an audience of one, then expanded to see how other people might like theses stories, too.
To learn more about Sherry Thompson and her books, visit her website at http://sites.google.com/site/khivasmommy/home.
Read an exclusive extract from Earthbow: http://writtenremains.blogspot.com/2010/06/earthbow-week-continues-with-exclusive.html and an interview with Sherry Thompson discussing the Art & Symbolism of the Earthbow covers on the Written Remains Writers Guild blog: http://writtenremains.blogspot.com/2010/06/earthbow-week-continues-with-artwork.html.