One of the most enjoyable parts of my working for Biff Bam Pop is that I get to interview some pretty amazing and talented people. As an author, I particularly enjoy interviewing other authors about their work. I recently read Mischief and Mayhem by S.D. Nicholson. I really enjoyed reading this adult fantasy book that is packed with action and features not one, but two strong female protagonists. There is a dark force invading the realm of Faers, but can Ophelia Maplewood and her companions protect the realms? They do have the help of a human, but he hides a dark secret. Join me as I ask the author about the first book in his series.
Gilbert: What was your inspiration to write a novel, and why did you choose adult fantasy?
S.D. Nicholson: I started writing TFC as a hobby in my free time when I wasn’t at my day job for commercial real estate. I felt the story developing and created an outline, soon realizing that a simple concept had the potential for a series. Since I was a child, I’ve always had a vivid imagination and love for middle-earth/alternative worlds/races. I specifically chose to write about the world of the Faers, because I felt like they didn’t get the same kind of love as elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. This attachment definitely comes from my parents taking my sister and I to an annual, local “Fairy Festival” in Pennsylvania as kids. I saw the potential to have an elegant race, capable (like all) of brutality, all the while having the capability to fly, which I thought to be perfect for battles and world-building.
Gilbert: You have two strong female characters in Mischief and Mayhem, Ophelia and Thaalia, but did you originally plan to make them both the favored protagonist, because I found myself jumping back and forth on who was my favorite, and I think this made your book a more enjoyable read.
S.D. Nicholson: I’m pleased you, and I hope others, find attachment and relations with more of the characters. I love O and she was definitely the intended protagonist, but Thaalia’s role was always to be the “elder/guiding figure” in her life. Turok was originally supposed to the dual protagonist, as he is a human entering this new world. Part 1 focused a lot on developing Ophelia’s inner demons and conflicts, while letting Turok see things from afar. I can happily say that all of our surviving characters are elaborated much more with backstory and their own individual struggles in Part 2. Turok has a huge role to play in the greater picture of TFC as the world continues to grow.
Gilbert: Because this is adult fantasy, will you be including more romance in the second book of the series?
S.D. Nicholson: There is certainly the potential for it, but as the story unfolds in Part 2 and the entirety of the world is revealed, we will see how difficult it could be for any of our characters to focus on a romance while being caught up in war. Without giving too much away, The Faerlands Chronicles as a series will be the history of this specific turning point in the Faerlands and how our characters were involved.
Gilbert: Which is hardest for you, building the world in which your characters live in, or creating a complete backstory for each character?
S.D. Nicholson: For me, it’s finding a balance between the two. I wouldn’t say either is difficult, but they have their own levels of depth. Luckily for me, with the way I can tell the tale with multiple storylines, the world is now growing in multiple directions and the characters are split enough that they each are focused on more individually. It definitely allows me to take the time and give each the screen time they deserve, as well as introducing many more characters with their own unique views and story.
Gilbert: If there was a book to film opportunity for Mischief and Mayhem, who would you want to play Ophelia?
S.D. Nicholson: That is a great question and I’m really not too sure. Ophelia, being as complex as she is, would require a strong, yet corky personality to play her, as well as pulling off the red hair. I never really had a specific person in mind when writing her, which is why I feel she is so unique. My answer…I don’t know, who do you picture?
These were some great questions, thank you for letting me share some additional insight into my first novel! I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope others dive right into the Faerlands and have fun too
Gilbert: Thank you so much, Samuel. I did enjoy the book, and I will be recommending it to all my friends.