Interview with Nick Wilford, author of YA scifi The Becalmer
Harica is gifted with the ability to defuse conflicts using her mind. When she is recruited to assist in resolving a war via an arranged marriage, she discovers that the reluctant bride-to-be has similar powers. Princess Jasmila doesn’t use her powers for good and when Harica arrives to help with the marriage arrangements, she fights back and sends Harica into a coma.
It is through this comatose state that Harica discovers a mysterious liminal space populated by others who share her gift. In this new realm, she learns to do things she never believed possible, but soon things spiral out of control.
In the face of a terrifying and seemingly unstoppable adversary, Harica wrestles with the decision to come to terms with the dark side of her gift.
Will she take ownership of it or turn her back on it forever?
Excerpt from The Becalmer
I tried to get a handle on the energy and interplay between the two minds. Jasmila’s was, as I’d expected, much stronger, practically drowning out Narbert’s signals by sheer force, but that didn’t put me off. There would be something I could latch onto, a vulnerable side, even if it was buried deep. Obviously, I would have to concentrate on Jasmila first.
The princess’s complacency was what I was counting on. If she already thought she had me beat, hopefully her guard would be down.
Subtlety wouldn’t be the watchword here. I didn’t want to give her time to sense her own plan hadn’t worked because then she would fight back all the more. I charged like a battering ram but quickly realized this wasn’t going to work. Pulling off something like this was a delicate operation that needed both parties to play along. The “bull in a china shop” approach wasn’t going to cut it. Although there was a bit of give from Jasmila at first, once she rumbled my attack, her mind turned into a brick wall that I bounced off like a tennis ball. I tried to come back for more, attempting a more measured approach, looking for a crack somewhere, even a hairline one, but it was hopeless. It was like trying to tunnel under a mountain with my bare hands. Somewhere in the vicinity I sensed Narbert, bobbing haplessly about, buffeted by the slipstream caused by the battle between me and Jasmila. I couldn’t help him. And we were both caught up in her orbit now, spinning helplessly.
Interview with Nick Wilford
-What inspired you to become a writer?
It’s something I’ve always done going back to when I was a kid, but back then it was tied up with wanting to be an actor – I’d write sketches and shows that I’d perform with a drama group, but I realized I liked the process of brainstorming and coming up with ideas more than trying to embody them on stage! After a few false starts, I started writing my first book in 26 and haven’t looked back since. I enjoy the total freedom to go anywhere. You can’t get that anywhere else.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
The action takes place on a moon surrounding a planet. Things are a bit hairy with conflict down on the planet’s surface, so that wouldn’t be the place to go. The moon is quite scenic with a breathable atmosphere, and offers some good walks. Harica describes a walk she took with her family to one of the craters. It’s full of mist at the beginning of the day, and then they wait a while and the mist clears away under the sun to resemble a glorious vista with vegetation and even some grazing animals. That would be nice to do!
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
My protagonist, Harica, might have a little crush on her best friend, Miriam. Keen eyed readers might spot that. She admires Miriam’s elegant, designer style, whereas Harica is more grungey in her look. I didn’t know if something would happen, but things are kind of awkward at that age obviously, and then Harica gets too busy with saving the world. However, there’s clearly a very sweet bond between the two.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I think it would have to be Princess Jasmila, my antagonist. It would be a hell of a night out, although probably slightly terrifying. Keeping up would be a challenge! And, although straight answers would be far from guaranteed, it might be a chance to probe into her psyche and why she treats people as commodities for her personal gain.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
I would defuse the situation by checking the terms and conditions – could the duel take the form of a tavern-based pursuit such as darts or dominoes? If he agrees and then beats me at his chosen game, I would agree to meet him atop the nearest hill at dawn the next day… but I probably wouldn’t show up.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
It would have to be romance. Perhaps that’s already clear from my answer earlier. I did have a romance between the two lead characters in my dystopian series, but it’s never a main focus. I think it requires a particular skill set to do something different and original with it, and I always have other story elements that take up my bandwidth. I’m full of admiration for those who do it well!
About Nick Wilford
Nick Wilford is originally from Brighton, England and now lives in a quiet town in Scotland with his wife, three daughters and six rescue dogs. Wanting to make a career from writing, he trained in journalism, but soon realized that the fictional realm was where his true passion lay. He enjoys writing speculative fiction, exploring the things that cannot be seen and “making the impossible reality.” Nick is the author of the Black & White YA dystopian series and has also published a collection of shorter fiction as well as curating, editing and publishing a fundraising anthology featuring a diverse array of talent. By day, he works as a freelance editor, and he also enjoys travelling to inspiring locations with his family, listening to music and helping unwanted dogs find loving homes.
Nick Wilford will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.