Today I'm sharing a very special feature with one of my favorite authors! Don't skimp on reading the whole interview either ... there's a contest at the end of the post!
Christmas in July
Special Edition: Enigma I and II in one book, along with original art and a brand new story
Let me introduce you to Silver. He’s the sweetest and most innocent person I’ve ever met. You’d never guess he was once a sex slave. Snatched off the streets at twelve he was sent to a ‘Training Center’ where he was stripped of his memories and personality to the extent he couldn’t remember his own name. He was then given a new personality and Silver, the erotic dancer, singer and sex slave. Or at least they thought he had.
The truth was he’s managed to retain elements of his personality that shone through, especially when he was rescued from his own head where he’d retreated after being beaten and left for dead by his ‘Master’ and his men. River, the care assistant who brought him back to the land of the living was the first to hear his true name, Matthew Hart in nine years and that was the start of a journey that led them both to places neither would ever have imagined.
Cia has very kindly agreed to give you the opportunity to get to know Silver a little better and give you glimpse at the process by which he was born.
On to the interview!
Okay, I know it’s awkward to talk about yourself, but tell everyone this … Who IS Nephylim?
That's an interesting question, and not that easy to answer, or is it. Put simply Nephylim is the part of me that writes. Cheryl is the part that goes to work and brings up a son. Nephylim is the part that writes. Cheryl is the lawyer and Nephy the writer. on the whole, i like Nephy a whole lot more and wish I could be her all the time
We both have pink hair (At the moment), two black cats and two wonderful children.
Cheryl is a family lawyer. She works for a small, six man firm, which is struggling hard not to go under in the current climate of disaster for legal aid workers. Cheryl struggles with chronic pain and avoiding getting bitten by the hamster.
Nephylim lives in her head along with many beautiful but damaged men who look to her as their mother. Not that Nephylim is happy about that because their mother is the last thing she wants to be - especially with Silver, who unfortunately is absolutely convinced i am his Mam. Nephylim doesn't give a damn about pain or work problems, or any problems actually because she pours all of herself into her writing until there's no space left for bad things. By the time she comes out again the bad things don't matter so much at all
Nephylim is named after the Nephylim, the children of men and angels. Nephylim firmly believes they actually existed, although not in the way they have been depicted, and that she was partly responsible. Nephylim believes in reincarnation and vampires, because she's experienced both and she doesn't so much believe in magic as know absolutely.
You seem to come up with stories and then blast through writing them at the drop of a hat. I know you’ve said that is because you’re a natural born storyteller and let me tell you, I agree, but have you ever stopped and focused on writing—not a story, but the mechanics of the craft—and seen what happened, or do you only use techniques that fit the story you’re trying to tell?
Apart from at school, never. The mechanics of writing bore the hell out of me and completely stop up the creative flow. I get no enjoyment from it at all. I've heard many writers say they find great satisfaction in molding the raw materials of the first draft into the perfectly crafted final creation. Bleargh. It's nothing but painful hard work for me, that I shirk at any possible opportunity. I'm not a crafter, I'm a creator.
I guess the first thing I should ask about Silver is how you came up with his character? When did he first ‘come’ to you?
i was in the shower. Oooh now there's an image, being in the shower with Silver :) I was feeling a bit melancholy and drawing circles in the mist. I was feeling quite blank in a kind of fuzzy way and this character came to me, someone who felt blank all the time, who needed to be told what to do and who was totally detached, like i was feeling in that moment. I took the idea and ran with it.
When a character comes to me, i 'live' them. I wash the dishes as they would, walk down the street and see the things they would see, have conversations with them or as them in my head (and sometimes out loud which causes some issues if I'm in public) i quite often find myself getting lost in a conversation with a character and get shocked out of it by someone i was supposed to have been listening to, or spending time with.
Silver in particular took me over. He has such an unique world view, such a sweet optimism and innocence that it was amazing to 'be' him. it would be going a little too far to say he completely changed the way i look at the world but he certainly gave me an entirely new perspective. Seeing the world through Silver's eyes is something that everyone should do and is extremely refreshing.
What scene do you think, in all of Silver’s stories, shows who he is the most?
The very last scene in book II
Sliding carefully out from under Silver’s arm I cross to the window and open the curtains. A cold but very bright moon shines through and lights up the room. I stare in wonder. Impulsively, I slip out of the room and, without even putting my shoes on, I open the back door and step out into the moonlight and the swirling white flakes that land on me, catching in my hair and eyelashes.
It’s beautiful. Everything’s clean and fresh and new and...I look around quickly, taking in the garden, the street beyond. It was all the same, but so different. The blanket of snow made everything different. The whole world is magical, beautiful, enhanced. It hits me like a brick. This is Silver. He’s different—on the outside he’s different. The way he dresses, the way he looks, even the way he thinks...but that’s just snow. Underneath, everything’s just the same as it always was.
The rose bushes are beautiful, glittering with crystals, white and sparkling like diamond. But they’re not as beautiful as when they’re blushing pink, their petals swollen by the attention of bees. The lawn is an expanse of soft whiteness, but when we walk across it there’ll be holes and, in a few days it will melt and disappear...but the grass will always be there and the snow could never smell like cut grass on a warm day. It was different but it was all...still...there.
“What is it?”
Silver is always so silent. As usual, I jump. If I’d been holding a coffee cup I’d have dropped it. He wraps his arms around me and I lean back into him, with a sigh.
“It’s beautiful. Have I seen snow before?” He asks thoughtfully.
“I don’t know. I expect so.”
“I don’t remember. I like it.”
“It’s water, frozen mist.”
Silver holds out his hand and watches the fat white snowflakes land on his palm. He laughs and the sound of that laugh, that sweet, unrestrained laugh melts the very last of the ice around my heart. In this moment I’m happy, as happy as I’ve ever been. I’m his and he’s mine and there’s nothing...nothing else that matters. Well almost....
I smile at the sound of heavy footsteps, running down the stairs behind us.
“River. Silver. It’s snowing. Have you seen the snow?”
“Yes, come and see it,” Silver calls. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”
“I love it, I love it, I love it.” Ben sings, and we both wrap him in our arms, clinging together to keep warm.
Suddenly Silver laughs, as if he’s been trying to hold something inside that won’t be held any longer and then...then he dances. Under the cold blue moon, with the swirling snowflakes and air so cold it crystallises our breath, he dances. Like a snow angel, red and black with wings on his feet, he dances. My Silver...dances.
So, if he was gonna answer my question personally, what would Silver consider to be the most important thing in life in general? Freedom, Love, Loyalty …?
Love. To Silver love is freedom. It was his love for David that first caused him to fight for freedom and it was eventually his love for River and River's for him, that set him free. His love for River, for Ben, for Ariel and all his friends is the one thing that keeps him going and keeps him earthed. He has a joy of life that shines through everything, but it's fragile and it's only love that gives him the strength and courage to experience it.
Silver’s changed a lot over your published works that tell the events of his life after he was thrown away. Has his voice changed to you, as his author, as well?
No, not in the slightest. Yes, he's changed. He's come out into the world, conquered his fear to an extent and learned to function in the world with some kind of independence, put the person he is underneath, the one who looks at the world with such innocence and sees so much beauty where others might not see any. That's the essence of Silver and that never had and never will change. I've just finished working on the book where Silver has his thirtieth birthday and he's no different then than he was at the start. Oh, he's braver and he understands the world a lot better but that's outside things. Inside he's as pure and innocent as ever.
You mentioned you were working on something new with Silver … how is that coming? Do you know the entire story waiting to be told, or is he being mysterious while the story is a work-in-progress?
Silver is always mysterious. He's an enigma. Right now, I'm working on a short story for the Special Collection but I want to write a new book. Silver has stories that haven't been told yet and he's started nagging at me to write him again. I don't have a story yet. all I have is a knowledge that i have to write more about him.
Okay, I’ve given you some complicated questions … how about a few easy ones before we wrap this up? It’s up to you if you want to answer these, or let Silver take a stab at them.
Me: My favorite drink is ginger beer.
Silver; Silver likes milk. He likes the really thick creamy milk especially when it settles out and the cream rises to the top. He likes bottles and not cartons, so he can sneak the cream off the top. River, of course, notices when he does it, but he never says anything.
Do you make your bed?
Me: Never :)
Silver: Every day without fail. He changes the sheets every couple of days because he loves the smell of fresh bedding and the feeling of clean cold cotton on his skin. He hates silk sheets. He likes crisp white linen best, but usually had black cotton
Eat your veggies … or hide them away when no one’s looking?
Both me and Silver love all kinds of vegetables. Neither of us like pulses except peas and broad beans. Although Silver LOVES Chilli, especially the Chilli he makes himself, but he picks the red beans out.
Chocolate, vanilla, or all the colors of the rainbow?
Me: All the colours of the rainbow... as long as they're black :)
Silver; All the colours of the rainbow...period
Favorite moment of the day?
Me: The moment when my son goes to bed and I heave a huge sigh of relief, make a coffee and sit back on the computer to write.
Silver: Dawn and dusk
Hardest thing you’ve ever had to give up?
Me; Once, we had a situation where bad karma was hurting one of my children badly. She was suffering terribly and in order to release the karma I made a sacrifice of one of my paintings. it was like putting a knife into a living body. i completely destroyed it, sobbing the whole time. I've kept the pieces of canvas. By definition a sacrifice has to be hard to give up. Fortunately this sacrifice worked and the .... curse for want of a better word, was lifted.
Silver: it might sound strange but the hardest thing he had to give up was his life as a slave.
Favorite sensation, and no holding back now!
Both Silver and I are sensation sluts. We are totally tactile and love to touch and be touched.
Both of us love the feel of fresh cotton on naked skin. We both love having our hair played with, we could sit for hours having our hair brushed or scalp massaged.
Silver's favourite sensation is dancing, i think.
it's hard for me to say what exactly my favourite sensation is. stroking my cat, holding my hamster, standing under the shower, looking out over the sea. drinking dark chocolate over red wine. No, i think my absolute favourite is dancing or kissing in the rain
And last but not least, what else is coming up? Any new releases, projects, special life events … What can you tell us about what Nephylim the author has going on?
lots and lots and lots going on. The most immediate thing is, of course, our special event. In a once only giveaway my publisher and I are offering a special two in one offer on Enigma I and II. Both books will be combined into one special edition, with original art work and new material, namely a short story that hasn't actually been written yet, and an interview with Silver i did some time ago on my blog.
a number of questions will be popping up through the promotion, i'll be posting them on my blog, other people's blogs, twitter, facebook etc. The names of everyone who answers all the question will be put in a draw and the winner will receive a signed poster taken from one of the paintings.
I've also got Book III in the Upstaged series I'm writing with S L Danielson is due out in the next couple of months.
I'm very very excited that my book The Face in the Window is to be published by Featherweight Publishing at the end of the year and i've two new works submitted with them.
Then of course I have some stories lined up for posting on Gay Authors :)
Silver’s story is told in two books Enigma, and Enigma II Fighting the Man. For a limited period only you can get both books in one Special Edition, along with original art and a brand new story Silver’s first Christmas.
I can’t say no to Silver. He has this way of looking at me, a way of promising so much with a single glance and, at the same time, showing a vulnerability that melts my heart. Last week I was trying to explain it to Sam, but I couldn’t. Silver’s indescribable.
I’m constantly surprised by the things he doesn’t know. He’d no idea who the Prime Minister is, or even what a prime minister is. He didn’t know how to use a PC or telephone. He can’t remember ever having travelled on a bus or train. He’s got no concept of personal space or freedom. To him there’s no such thing. He’s so used to being nothing more than someone else’s property, owned by one master after another, it took a long time to convince him he belongs to himself now. To be honest I think it’s one lesson he still hasn’t learned. I think it’s going to take a long time.
In the early days, when he was still weak and in pain, we spent hours watching films and television. It was something we’d enjoyed together at the care home. However, this time it was different. Silver still loves the closeness, we always cuddled up together on the sofa to watch, but this time he’s more...aware. Our discussions have become less abstract and more focussed. Many times he’s wept or became angry and upset. He hates the fact people are so cruel to each other, so uncaring. For a long time it made him even more afraid of the world. I’ve learned to be very discerning in what we choose to watch or listen to.
In many ways it’s like having a small child in the house. In many ways Silver is a child. Even though he’s very knowledgeable about the pleasures of the flesh and, even though he’s been a sex slave for more than half his life, he has a childlike quality of pure innocence. His soul has been untouched by anything it’s experienced. That innocence is the thing I love most about him. It shines out of his eyes, even when they’re grey and stormy.
I’d never dream of saying it to him, never, but—sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I wish Silver was more—normal. Usually, I find his innocence and childlike wonder refreshing and endearing but sometimes....It’s hard work, remembering he doesn’t understand. I have to keep sharp all the time, keep thinking of him and the way he’s likely to react to everything I say or do. It’s not as if I mind. Silver is so beautiful and so sweet it’s never a chore, not really but...sometimes....
Nephy's offering a free copy of the special edition and a signed poster. To win, answer this question in your comment and then follow the links to the other 5 blogs, over the next week, and answer their questions as well! The contest runs through July 1st when a winner will be announced as part of the release party.
Question: What is Silver's favorite sensation?
6/4: MA Church
6/6: Andrew Q Gordon
6/7: Tali Spencer
6/8: Chris T. Kat
6/4: MA Church
6/6: Andrew Q Gordon
6/7: Tali Spencer
6/8: Chris T. Kat