Helloo everyone, today I have got another interview with an author, this time I have questions with Ewa Zwonarz, author of Moonchild. You can check out my review here, I absolutely loved Moonchild and I so excited when Ewa agreed to an interview. Ewa’s writing is always so captivating and I loved reading her answers! I hope you enjoy…
1. Where did the inspiration for Moonchild come from?
E- The myth of the fallen angels of course was a huge inspiration with its haunting element of forbidden love between male angles and human women and its consequences that according to some sources, can still be felt today. I wanted to explore avenues to understanding what might have actually happened there and create an alternative to the tragic ending the myths tend to highlight. There is certainly an aura of warning contained within them as well as irresistible temptation. I wanted to bring my readers face to face with the surge of emotions that surfaces when we fall in love with someone we shouldn’t, and struggle with the tension that arises between feelings and reason.
Music and ancient history also played a significant role in inspiring many scenes. Since I was a teen, much like the protagonist of the story, I was constantly looking for clues that would point me in the direction of unraveling the mystery of our human heritage. Who are we really? What do we look the way we do? Questions like these would fill my mind and pages upon pages of my journal. When my best friend Greg brought me a tape of Fields of the Nephilim and later books filled with occult knowledge, and Sumerian and Egyptian texts, I instinctively felt I had found a significant trace to something that would take me deeper towards something significant. Realize, that this was before internet and I lived in a very small town, so finding these sorts of gems in my native language was an almost impossible rarity. So I started pulling on that thread. As we listened to the music, I would get visions of flying over sand dunes of ancient cities shrouded with mystery where the echoes of forbidden love still lingered. That was the beginning, the conception. It took twice that many years until the book finally materialized.
2. If Eve had a blog, what would she blog about?
E- If Eve had a blog…wow, what a cool question! Back when the story takes place (mid 90s) the internet was not yet available to most people in Poland. But if we were to assume that it was available, since Eve was a voracious reader and writer, mostly in her private diaries, I would say if she had had the opportunity, her public posts would concern her explorations of myths and the occult, sprinkled by stories excavated from dusty vaults of forgotten libraries and colored by her own imagination. She would also likely write about the new music she just stumbled upon, ruminate about the complexities of life and share Daniel’s pearls of wisdom. Her posts would also contain stories of forbidden love and perhaps giving the readers a peek into her extraordinary relationship with Sariel. And of course, she would document her journey of discovering her own secret family legacy that in the end connected all the dots.
3. A lot of characters in Moonchild were inspired by your family members, but if your family had to choose a book character to describe you the best, who would they choose?
E- If my family had to choose from amongst the characters in Moonchild, it would be the character of Eve. Her story and mine are intertwined and in some places quite parallel. As a matter of fact, most of what’s described in part one of the book actually took place, just in a much more spread out sequence. However, if they had a choice from other books, I think I could be likened to Sebastian (yes, I know, he’s a little boy!) from “Neverending Story.” I can very much relate to his way of thinking of being so completely absorbed in a story, where the barrier between reality and fiction blurs and the latter begins to seep into the former.
4. What character in Moonchild would you aspire to be more like?
E- Daniel is a character that is largely idealized, because he is so wise. His wisdom, however, comes at a hefty price. This boy had suffered so much in his life. The pain of abandonment, facing death and a host of other dealings with the harshness of life, polished him the way water polishes a stone. In my own life, I aspire to be a deeper, more understanding and compassionate person, without having to face all the challenges that Daniel did. However, I also liked the lightness of being that surrounds Punk. He has an edge to him and is much more prone to laughter and letting things just fall off his shoulders, less than Daniel. He is also very sharp and confrontational, while Daniel is ethereal and supremely gentle. They compliment each other in a way, each one possessing valuable qualities I’d like to keep growing within myself. Thank you for asking – great question! Next time I face a challenge in my personal life, I might ask myself what would Daniel/Punk do now?
5. If Moonchild was made into a movie, who would play the lead roles?
E- We would need to find a rock star with long black hair and a chiseled body to play Sariel. If Peter Steele was still alive, I think he would fill that role quite well. I think that Douglas Booth would make a great Punk, a Polish actor Jakub Gierszal as Daniel would be amazing, Max Irons could be Ben, and Jamie Campbell Bower could very well portray Crass. For Eve, I am thinking Lily Collins, Abigail Breslin, or if a Polish choice – Joanna Kulig. Now, wouldn’t that be a dream come true!
6. What character in Moonchild do you relate to most?
E- Again that would have to be Eve, as I know her so well. She is a daring spirit and crosses barriers that would frighten most people because of her unquenchable curiosity and a stubborn pursuit of what is true. But I could as well relate to Punk. He is almost like an extended version of Eve – while she gets most of her experiences from exploring her mind, he lives though them. I think that during their first encounter Eve is drawn to him precisely because he embodies what is possible when you life on the edge, an incredibly alluring quality to Eve. Punk externalizes her internal self.
7. What was the hardest scene to write?
E- The most complex scene was the climax, because it was meant to tie all the loose strings together, explain lingering questions, which by then were copious, and resolve the mystery, just enough to satisfy the reader, but while still leaving enough room for further contemplation. I wanted the story to be poignant in the end and for the readers to become enchanted with the myths of our origin and continue to mine them. Writing about Eve’s night with Daniel required a lot of concentrated effort, as it was filled with so much deep emotion. And finally, bringing the angel to life and making him seem as real as possible was an ongoing task. Sariel embodies that forbidden element, that gray mixture of virtue and sin, which can be challenging to write about because it is inherently so complex, not to mention that he is not human. I received a letter from a reader recently who said that she was weary to turn off the lights at night, afraid that Sariel might come to haunt her in that semi-dream state. While I certainly did not want to create too much angst in my readers, I must say that this was such a rewarding thing to hear!
8. Were there any specific books/authors/songs that influenced your writing in Moonchild?
E- Many songs influenced the story, and I made sure to list the most impactful tracks on my website, so the readers can dive in and hear what I used to listen to when I was Eve’s age as well as while writing the novel. The list is of course condensed, as there were many more songs that I did not include. The title song by Fields of the Nephilim naturally sparked some of the concepts I explored in the book, although the saga of the fallen is much deeper explored the band’s “Zoon” album, which I could not list, as the LP came out a year after the story took place. As for other authors, I’m a huge fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s writing. He is a Spanish author my mother found whose words are tinged with gothic flavors and poetic depth. “Shadow of the Wind” definitely influenced “Moonchild” and if you read it, you should be able to spot exactly how.
9. What do you hope readers can take away from reading Moonchild?
E- My hope is that the story will first and foremost be an entertaining, thrilling adventure. If we were go a layer deeper, I’d hope that it could serve as a catalyst for individual exploration of themselves and our ancient origins. I believe that records exist, some perhaps shrouded in secrecy though most are likely lost, yet indecipherable or still buried, that contain clues to what happened on our planet many millennia ago. Based on some of the texts I’ve been exposed to, that primarily include Sumerian, Egyptian, Nordic, East Indian and and Meso-American creation myths and of course the Bible, something cataclysmic took place around 13 thousand years ago. Some say that it was the ice sheets melting, but I am tempted to question that because melting of glaciers, while no doubt unleashing massive powers of nature, does not annihilate entire species such as mammoths in an instant. Such changes unfold more gradually. So when I was reading the war stories of the Sumerians or the Mahabharata text from India, it becomes apparent that the civilizations that lived on earth during those forlorn epochs were quite advanced and using technology capable of wiping out entire cities. I do not have answers to what exactly had happened but this is where I like to employ my imagination and use such findings as launchpads for creating entertaining stories that hopefully inspire the next generations to dig deeper.
10. Are you planning on writing/releasing another book?
E- Yes! I am currently working on two stories simultaneously. One is a sensual adventure drama with thriller elements that exposes the lures and perils of the show business world. It follows a young girl’s quest towards finding her own truth and sovereignty among the ensuing chaos. The second is a science fiction story about a crew of young prodigies on a mission to explore how space and the mind are linked. They get lost in the folds of spacetime and my protagonist is on a search to locate their ship. Little does she know that in the process, she will discover not only the key to her own psyche but also the meaning of true love.
Thank you for reading, and thank you Ewa for writing such detailed and interesting responses! Have a wonderful day.