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An Interview with Natacha Guyot, Author of Clairvoyance Chronicles

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For the past two years I’ve been following the blog of a young French author and scholar, Natacha Guyot, who already in her young career has published works of both fiction and non-fiction. Clairvoyance Chronicles is her latest fiction offering, and I am honored to be her host today as part of her blog tour to celebrate her latest book. As a writer I am interested in the writing process. Natacha graciously answered the interview questions I sent her, which focused on her creative process.

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  • How do you craft your story and characters?

The original ideas come via characters or settings, though most often via the characters. From there, I take a lot of notes and build the world, seeing where things are going until I have a structure I can write from. I like having a solid and detailed structure, but not something that is so tight I can’t make things evolve as the characters surprise me as I write.

  • How much research is involved?

It depends though I am mostly a plotter for fiction. If I write nonfiction, a lot of research and planning happens, but plotting fiction still takes time. Some more recent projects were more on the pantser writing side. Clairvoyance Chronicles took more research for me besides my usual world building because I based it in real life. I had to research some geographical, historical and cultural aspects, especially with characters from so many different backgrounds. It was a different approach for me and it was a learning experience as a writer.

  • How long did it take from idea to finished book?

I had the original concept in 2010 – if I recall correctly. I took notes about some characters and world building then let it stay in a drawer until 2014. When I picked my notes up, it turned into a collection of short stories with more main characters. I worked on outlines in Fall 2014, then was writing the first drafts until Spring 2015. Then came revision and preparing for the November release.

  • Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

Not really. My process is rather organic. The one habit I would really have is being a plotter. Besides enjoying structure, I go with how the muses are working at a given moment. I am unable to write two projects at the same time. I can revise, promote, format several ones simultaneously but if I am in the first writing phase, I must focus on a single project. For years, I also had to have a definitive title if writing. These last two years, I have become more flexible on the topic.

  • What is your favorite theme?

Becoming a better person. Growing as an individual is a theme that always comes up in my projects, fiction or nonfiction. Friends, family and faith are also central themes that run through my work.

  • Do you have a favorite character? Why?

I don’t. It would be like asking a parent who their favorite child is. I love all of them. I even find interest in my villains, although some really scare the hell out of me, especially Keno. I have some characters I like more than others, but picking up a single (or even a trio of) favorite isn’t something I can see myself do.

  • Is Adaira your alter ego?

No, she isn’t. Are there elements of me in her? Yes. Her devotion to her people, her faith and her want of a family are elements important to me too. Yet, I would gravitate more towards Mairi as some vague alter ego, than Adaira. Tania reminds me of me a few years ago.

  • Are any of your life experiences reflected in your book?

I originally came up with the story with Tania as main character, before it evolved into a multiple narrator book. Her studying abroad in London is inspired by my own experience. I even found it amusing to have her live close to where I used to during my time in the UK. Situating some of the scenes in Oxford is also dear to me because I have fond memories of trips there.

  • What do you hope readers take away from your books? This book in particular?

I always hope that my readers have a good time reading my books. I’d like that they feel and think thanks to my stories, whether fiction or nonfiction. In the end, what matters to me most is that they enjoy them, regardless of their personal experience generally speaking. As for Clairvoyance Chronicles, I hope they fall in love with the characters and want to come back to see what happen to them in the next volumes.

  • How do you like to connect with readers?

Social media makes it quite easy to connect. I always enjoy reviews, but exchanging via emails or comments on my blog or other pages is a great way to find out more about my readers and their experiences, too. This is why I do my best to be reachable via several online platforms.

CLAIRVOYANCE CHRONICLES VOLUME ONE

Old enemies never truly disappear. When they return, peace becomes fragile and clans are on the brink of destruction.

 Were Saber-toothed Cat Neyla relives her real-life nightmares upon Keno’s reappearance. Her longtime nemesis is scheming to overthrow the supernatural society. With Keno’s followers growing each day, Fae, Weres, Shifters and others with special gifts, are at risk.

 In these dark times, everyone must join ranks and keep faith in a better tomorrow.

 Unfortunately, the price may be high.

Goodreads page, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia.

About NATACHA GUYOT

Natacha Guyot is a French author, scholar and public speaker. She is passionate about Science Fiction, Fantasy, Transmedia, Gender Studies, Children’s Media and Fan Studies.

She holds two Master’s degrees: Film and Media Studies (Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Digital Culture and Technology (King’s College London). Since 2012, she has been published in several countries and was a guest speaker at academic conferences and university lectures in both Europe and North America.

Her released titles include A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars, Feminist Bloggers: The 2014 Collection (editor), and La Cité de Sharianth.

Besides her nonfiction and research work, she also writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories.

She considers herself a feminist, Science Fiction and Fantasy nerd, fangirl, book worm, vidder, gamer and cat lover.

Publications | Upcoming Publications | Appearances

SOCIAL MEDIA–Here’s how to connect with and support Natacha:

 

Feminist Friday: What Are Strong Female Characters?

As part of the Feminist Friday postings organized by GeneO, I am posting Hannah Givens’ contribution. Let’s keep the discussion going. Please visit her blog and leave a comment.

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You may have noticed I’ve been blogging about female characters all week! Well, there’s a reason: I want to discuss the concept of “strong female characters” today. That phrase gets thrown around a lot, but people have widely varying ideas of a) what a strong female character is, and b) what a strong female character is supposed to accomplish in the real world. So, let’s compare notes.

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In its most casual usage, the phrase seems to mean either a female warrior or a female character who gets a lot of “screentime” in the story. Both of these things can certainly be important. Women are traditionally not portrayed as warriors or physically/emotionally “strong,” and as we talked about two weeks ago, the Bechdel Test illustrates that women are often only present as token supporting characters in a male character’s story. (There’s nothing wrong with telling stories…

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Feminist Friday: “It is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it”

Here is another contribution to the Feminist Friday discussions. This one focuses on Emma Watson’s plea for gender equality at the United Nations this week. Join the discussion!