I had the pleasure of interviewing both Canadian authors, Angella Cormier and Pierre C Arsenault, about their newest release – Oakwood Island. I’m going to post their responses in separate parts so you can enjoy meeting them both: Angella this week and Pierre will be next week.
Check out my review of the book here.
1) How old were you when you read your first nightmare inducing book? Did it cause you to have nightmares?
Pierre: I’ve never had a book induced nightmare, ever. The only book I ever read that made me squirm a little was Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. One scene in the book was hard to read and made me squirm due to what he was describing in pretty gory detail. But with that said, no nightmares for this guy.
2) When did you fall in love with this genre?
Pierre: I’ve always loved the mysterious. It doesn’t matter the genre for me as long as you make it mysterious. With that said, horror or supernatural and suspense make great bedfellows with mystery.
3) Who in this book do you feel you’re most like and why?
Pierre: I don’t see much of myself in the characters in this book. They’re all fictional but if I had to name one then perhaps Burke as he is sarcastic at the wrong times just like I tend to be.
4) Has any book or movie scared you yet?
Pierre: When it comes to movies sure, but not enough to make me fear the boogie man. Some movies are just too well made. Also there’s the boo factor in them as well. Where they set scenes to make you soil your trousers, but I’ve never read a book yet that has had the same effect. Not that they’re not well written, but I just can’t get past the words on the page and am usually too engrossed in knowing what comes next to worry about getting scared. The only thing that scares me is that as a species, we condone violence but find ourselves entertained by it. That is scary.
5) I find your writing is much like the infamous and very successful Stephen King and you say he’s a favourite of yours so I wonder: What is your favourite Stephen King book?
Pierre: I have two favorite books which makes this an interesting question.
First, my all-time favorite story is The Green Mile. The tale and how it unfolds is sheer master storytelling. And the movie adaptation was so incredibly well done by some talented people that it helped catapult actors into stardom. Actors like Sam Rockwell and Michael Clarke Duncan’s careers were made by those roles created by King.
My second favorite book is at the top of this list, not just for the amazing grand story that it is but the experience it was to the read it. This was a book that as I was reading it, I would get home from work the first thing I would do is sit on the stoop and read a few pages. Under The Dome has a large cast of fantastic characters who all have their own struggles under the one thing that plagues them all. One of the best page turners I’ve ever read and a really inspiring book to a would-be writer like myself.
6) How do you write collaboratively – do you each write in sections and mash it together or do you pick up where the other gets stuck? Have you ever had any dramatic creative differences in this book or any others you’ve worked on together?
Pierre: Collaborations are probably different for everybody that attempts them. Angella and I work well together, however after publishing six short stories and one novel together, I feel that we’ve not yet found our groove at this time and I think we never truly will. I say this because, depending on the project, depending on what said groove requires. For instance, not all the stories started the same way. Some started with a seed of an idea that came from myself or Angella and then were developed. Each story is a bit different on how they came to be. Some tales I wrote the bulk of the dialogue, others I merely helped plot it out. One thing’s for sure is that in our collaborations, what you’re reading is usually written into story form by Angella as she is a much better word crafter than I. But with all that said, Oakwood Island is a different beast on its own as it was not written like the rest of our collaborations. The setting of Oakwood Island and some of its inhabitants like Maggie, Ryan, Norah and Amy, Nancy and Robert and more were all created by Angella before I ever took the ferry and made it to the island. Once I was there though I was enthralled. To this day, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Angella and create the rest of the characters and turn three short stories into the novel that it is now. This was an amazing adventure and I hope to go back to Oakwood Island with Angella sometime in the future.
7) What’s next for both of you?
Pierre: I will let Angella divulge her works and pursuits but as for me, I’ve started what I hope to be my first solo novel and it’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve written so far. A murder mystery that is a bit light hearted. How can a tale of murder be light hearted, you’re wondering? Bear with me and I will hopefully share it with you once it’s done. With that said, that is one project. I’m also putting together a multi-authored anthology and with the stories that I’ve got coming, I will finally have enough to complete the manuscript. This will be a fascinating project as it will feature short stories from many writers, including myself and Angella; although those will not be collaborations but solo written stories. As for works together, we have many ideas in the bank but both of us are doing some solo works at this time. But we do plan to work together again. That’s just way too much fun not to, not to mention the reward of sharing accomplishments with a great friend.
8) If Oakwood Island was made into a theme park which character would you play or would you prefer to be a spectator or not go at all?
Pierre: I’d want to live there. Just for a while though as I have other places that I must see as well. But if I had to be a character I think I’d want to be Jack for one day. Just for one day. Although I’m tempted to say I’d also like to be the thing with the teeth that eats people. But we’ll leave it at that so I don’t give too much away.
9) Of all the animals mentioned in this book- crows, moose, werewolves, humans – which animal is your favourite?
10) Is there anything more you’d like to add?
Angella: Yes, a huge THANK YOU, to you, for having us on your blog once more. To your readers, for taking the time to learn more about us. To our readers (new and seasoned) for their support and for following us on this road and for reading our stories. We will have our official Oakwood Island Book Launch on Saturday October 8th from 1PM to 3PM, at the Moncton Public Library. For more information, contact me at Angella@MysteriousInk.ca or by visiting our Facebook page or website (www.mysteriousink.ca).
Pierre: I always wanted to tell stories, though as a movie buff I always assumed that if I ever did it would be in the movies somehow. But now having discovered that I love writing, more than my other passions I want to continue to tell stories. Whether they be in collaboration or on my own. And I hope that I get to continue sharing them with the readers who take a chance on my works. Also I hope I get to collaborate with Angella on many-many more works. We already have a lot of ideas brewing or noted for future works and so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading,