Cynthia A. Morgan is an award-winning author; columnist for a national magazine, and a member of the Poetry Society of America and Artists for Peace. Creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, Morgan’s powerful story relates how the power of hope, acceptance and forgiveness can change the world, when positive action is taken to create change. The only way to achieve peace is to become peace. Morgan is also the author of the popular blog Booknvolume where over 18K followers can explore Morgan’s own brand of poetry and English Sonnets, musings about life, personal recipes, photography, book reviews and more. Upcoming projects include a fictional drama in Regency Period England; a foray into the lives of a young housemaid and an immortal archangel in French post-Armageddon earth; a non-fiction exploration of the supernatural/paranormal and beliefs around the world; and a return to the realms of Dark Fey in a prequel/sequel.
How did you get into writing?
I have been creating stories and poems since I was old enough to hold a crayon, so I guess I was born a writer, but until 2014 I had no idea how to take the step from hobbyist to published author. It was only when a friend took an invested interest in my story Dark Fey and helped me figure out how to turn my manuscript into a Kindle Direct Publishing-ready document that I could realize the dream. She even went so far as to hold a publishing party for me with my closest friends and family. (Thanks Jena!)
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits?
I am a discovery writer in every sense of the word. I do not outline and I don’t pre-plot; I write what the story dictates. I know, that sounds perplexing, but typically I will only think through the scene I’m about to write minimally. I usually just start writing and the story tells itself. This does mean, however, that I usually will go back through the first half of the story when I reach the middle to revise, tighten-up, and tie together, and then the second half once completing it, and ultimately a final revision to make sure everything makes sense, but I really couldn’t write any other way.
How do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
Dark Fey came to me initially as a vivid dream that I could not stop thinking about. As I thought about it, the story unfolded, until finally I sat down and wrote what is now chapter six in The Reviled. I met the main character, Gairynzvl, who began to tell me his story.
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
Part of the inspiration for Dark Fey is the true life story and plight of child soldiers, particularly those who have been forced to fight in the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda. I was moved to tears when I learned their story, which is mirrored by the plight of the child fey and the Reviled of Dark Fey
I explain more in the Behind The Scenes post I wrote for my blog: https://booknvolume.com/2016/05/20/friday-fantasy-standing-in-shadows-behindthescenes/
(Book One of the Dark Fey Trilogy)
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers?
Dark Fey The Reviled begins gently enough. It’s a story about a young shefey discovering who she is and how to incorporate her unique gifts into everyday life. Like most teens, she’s uncertain and, because she is inexperienced, she’s a bit fragile; nevertheless, through the course of the tale she finds an inner strength she doesn’t realize she possesses. It’s also about a young malefey who has endured tragedy in his life on an unparalleled scale. He has lived through the horrors of abduction, abuse, neglect and has been forced to commit terrible acts of violence. His life mirrors those of child soldiers who face very similar atrocities, not in the pages of a fictional story, but in the reality they must bear each day.
Dark Fey Standing in Shadows focuses more greatly on the growing friendships between characters and how those relationships build bonds strong enough to face previously unthinkable possibilities, but, as in real life, strong relationships are built upon foundations that have been tested. The story invites the reader to experience how disagreements are the doorway to understanding, and how trials that challenge can motivate decisions to create Positive Change. It also begins to reveal the ugly truth behind the accepted norm. Expressed through scenes that left me crying after I wrote them, readers start to understand what The Reviled (our child soldiers) have suffered and continue to endure. Dark Fey Breaking into the Light asks the questions; can we truly understand another’s misery without knowing the extent to which they suffer? Would we willingly risk our lives for someone without experiencing some measure of their pain, despair, or anger? Like any good fantasy, this final saga of the trilogy sets the stage with dramatic events that test boundaries and push characters to their limits. Readers learn what it’s like to be one of the Reviled through descriptions that are darker and more intense than either of the previous books, but with good reason. I hope to elicit a reaction in the reader similar to those the Fey of the Light experience by showing them firsthand what the Reviled (our child soldiers) have suffered. I also pose the most important concept of the trilogy: The only way the achieve Peace is by becoming Peace. Through this thought-provoking concept, I open the door to an unexpected and powerful conclusion.
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
I don’t think there’s a movie out there that would parallel Dark Fey, although I’ve been told on multiple occasions that readers could easily see the trilogy as a movie series. If I had to liken it to anything, perhaps Hunger Games or Lord of the Rings.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
Dark Fey The Reviled is an epic fantasy filled with suspense, mystery, action, magic and romance. It shares the inspiration of hope; the resilience of love, and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is rich with beauty and horror alike. It explores our stance and perception of “evil”, and it offers a thought-provoking alternative to how we might typically relate to those we don’t understand.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
Very Very much so. The level of horror in Dark Fey is not incorporated simply for the sake of it. One does not need to open the pages of a book to discover the unthinkable, as the darkness typically embodied in fantasy genre stories by some terrifying being or creature is very much alive in our own reality and this is the underlying motivation for the darkness woven into Dark Fey. It was based in great part on the terrifying, yet true-life events of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, a rebel militant group in Uganda that has for over 20 years abducted children from their homes; forcing them to commit horrifying acts of violence against each other and their own people. These children suffer a very real Integration and, like the childfey of Jyndari, they endure violence and cruelty at the hands of truly sadistic overlords. This is how the Reviled came to life and became the horrifyingly cruel beings depicted in Dark Fey.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
Although their two realms exist in close proximity, most Fey of the Light have never seen an actual Dark Fey and many Dark Fey only encounter very young Fey of the Light; yet crossings and abductions happen every day. As their temples are desecrated, homes are pillaged and plundered, and the peaceful tranquility so important to the Fey of the Light is repeatedly shattered, the Fey Guard stand as protectors. They are mighty in battle and fierce in their vigilance to protect the fragile balance of life for the peaceful Fey of Light.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
All Fey are born with special abilities, or gifts, such as telepathy, empathy, discernment, or the ability to dream walk. Many also have a gift of magic, though not all, such as spell-casting, enchantment, light bending or element wielding. While the Fey of the Light are beautiful and live harmoniously, the Reviled Fey are the opposite; they revere darkness and fill their lives with cruelty and evil, but all Reviled Fey begin their lives as Fey of the Light. The change comes only if they are abducted as childfey and forced to undergo the Integration, a process of intentional neglect and cruelty designed to twist them away from the Light.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
The village of Hwyndarin where The Fey of the Light, who are Light loving Fey, reside is only one half of the mythical, enchanted realm of Jyndari. Where there is Light there is also darkness and the Fey of the Light live in careful vigilance, protecting themselves from the Dark Fey, known by many names, such as the Fallen, the Dark Ones, and most particularly The Reviled, who live in a realm of darkness and shadow known as the Uunglarda.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
Dark Fey is filled with vibrant and relatable characters who struggle with some aspect of life just like we do. Ayla, the main female protagonist, is young and inexperienced, and often overwhelmed by her rare and unique gifts of empathy and telepathy. She is insecure and, like many teens, impulsive. Gairynzvl, the main male protagonist, has suffered abduction as a child and the neglect and cruelty of the Reviled. He is strong-willed and determined; he is the personification of hope. Other characters reflect other similar traits:
The Temple Healer Veryth represents compassion.
Mardan, Ayla’s companion and Gairynzvl’s rival is a complex individual whose passionate nature leads him to act first and think second.
Evondair is the embodiment of Peace.
Ilys is a young female Dark Fey who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which seems very reasonable given all she suffered at the hands of the Reviled.
Rehstaed is a slightly older male fey who has lost all he’s ever loved, his wife and child, and cannot cope with the tragedy. Instead, he turns to wine to mask his pain and make life bearable.
All Things Dark Fey Website: https://allthingsdarkfey.wixsite.com/feyandmusings
Publisher’s Author Page : https://www.creativia.org/cynthia-morgan-fantasy-author.html