Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar is delighted to welcome Eldon Farrell–author of Stillness and the soon-to-be-released novels Taken and Realm of Shadows.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a proud Canadian, born and raised in South Western Ontario where I still live with my very energetic son Connor and wonderfully supportive wife Emily. Writing for me is my hobby; it’s what I love to do but it’s too much fun to think of it as a career. My career is numbers as a designated accountant where creativity is less prized (lol). Don’t judge me too harshly for this but…I’m a bit of an Excel junkie as well; crafting ever more elaborate formulas in my ever dwindling spare time (my son is just past six months old now, so you know!) Stillness is my first published novel but it will soon be joined on the shelves by the follow up Taken and a third Realm of Shadows all by the end of summer. I hope anyway; best laid plans and all that…
2. When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing now since I was in grade five, which would’ve made me about 9 or ten years old. With a little break in between, I’ve been writing for over 25 years now which as I say that makes me feel really old.
3. Why did you start writing?
This is a good question. I would say the reason I started writing had a lot to do with my older brother Sean. He really taught me about the wonders of imagination, and how it could take you to these amazing places within your own mind. After that, the ideas just blossomed and I had to write them down just to get them out!
4. Does your story have a moral? What are the major themes present?
I don’t really think that there is a moral to Stillness. It’s not the type of story that you’re going to read and feel like some great lesson has been imparted to you. It’s more the type of story that you read and just enjoy the ride. That being said though, it does have its major themes. I don’t want to say too much, or give away too much, but suffice to say it borrows a lot from my own thoughts on power, authority, and the perils of trusting those who have either.
5. Of the characters you’re created, which one is your favorite?
Another great question! Of all the characters I’ve created (and that’s a lot as I have a penchant for filling up the book with characters!) I think my favorite would surprise…and maybe disturb my readers. He comes into his own in my second novel, Taken, as the serial killer that Caleb Fine is tasked with finding. I dubbed him The Toymaker. The reason he’s my favorite is because he’s so unlike every other character I’ve created. My characters tend to be a blend of good and evil—shades of grey if you will. He wasn’t. With The Toymaker I could just let go. In my opinion he steals every scene I put him in.
6. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I must have an outline—very strongly for them. I tried writing off the cuff once but it ended in total disaster. I don’t know, I just require that structure of knowing where the story is going before I can sit down to write it. Having said that though, I’m also not married to that original outline and have on several occasions made revisions as the book unfolds to its own beat.
7. What is your favorite book genre?
My favorite book genre would be suspenseful thrillers—exactly what I write. There is nothing like a well-crafted piece of fiction to give you the shivers in the middle of the night. I remember the first time I read The Tell Tale Heart under just such conditions—pure magic. But my tastes run to more than just thrillers. I routinely read biographies (both of persons and businesses), courtroom dramas, literature (both historical and otherwise), the odd family drama, and of course…lots of comic books!! Since I was a kid I’ve loved the basic stories within them—you always know the good guys from the bad guys and there’s something so reassuring about that given the world we live in. Plus they keep me young 😉
8. What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished Red Notice by Bill Browder; a true life story of murder and corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. A riveting read that was quite eye opening. I’m about to start Yellow Death by Alex Lettau, a fellow Indie scribe. A quick glance at my to-read shelf gives you a sense of my diverse tastes as I have All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, and Now That We’re Adults by Lynn Almengor to name just a few of the ever growing list.
9. What is your favorite book?
My absolute favorite book has to be The Wishing Game by Patrick Redmond. I have read it numerous times and it still gives me chills. The plotting, the style, the slow buildup of psychological terror, the pacing…this book highlights a master at the height of his craft.
10. Any project in the works?
I’m currently two-thirds of the way finished what will be my fourth published novel, titled Singularity. It’s a departure for me in that it is set in the year 2035 and deals with an evolutionary jump forward for mankind. I’m having a ton of fun writing this one as I feel it combines both my love of writing with my love of comics. It will of course though retain my signature story telling elements by being character driven and realistic. Or as realistic as any dystopian future premise can be!
11. In your opinion, what makes a story good?
This is an intriguing question in that no matter how I answer it someone reading this will disagree with me. What makes a story good is such a personal thing and that’s why we have so many diverse talents writing out there! It’s awesome! For me for a story to be good it only has to have one element—it has to be enjoyable to read.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Once was a time I would’ve said movies but with an infant son at home these days it’s books all the way.
2. Summer or winter?
Winter for sure—get more writing done 😉
3. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book. I did just purchase an e-reader though, so it may change.
4. Nights out or nights in?
5. Living in the city or living in the country?
Living in the city
6. Working in a group or working alone?
Working alone—like most of us creative types I imagine
7. To find true love or to win the lottery?
True love, definitely true love. Cause when you find true love, like I have with my wife, you have won the lottery!!
8. Being Spiderman for a day or being Batman for a day?
I so love DC but I have to go with Spiderman; he just has more fun!
9. Reading or writing?
Writing; nothing like it!
10. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
I did mention the infant at home right? I’m already going without TV so sign me up for that.
11. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Never drink a cup of coffee again—why start drinking it now?
12. Finding yourself trapped in the universe of The Walking Dead or finding yourself trapped in a slasher film?
The Walking Dead…easier to outrun!