For the first Friday in May, my author interview is with Elizabeth Roper, author of “Destiny.”
Where did you get the idea for your story?
I have a weakness for thieves, cat burglars specifically. I love heist movies like To Catch a Thief and wanted to write something similar. Stealing jewels felt boring, so I went with something a little more high stakes. It fit perfectly with the political situation that is developing in the setting.
I was watching the interactions between my friends and their siblings and then later the interactions between my two boys. They can either be best friends or worst enemies, depending on the minute. I am an only child, so that is foreign to me. I started developing the idea into what it would be like to have someone who is your biggest ally or your worst nightmare and never knowing which you’d get. Even though the centerpiece of the story is a theft, that is just the framework. It’s really about family ties and the knots they can develop into.
Do you plan to write more stories in that setting or with those characters?
The short answer is yes. The island of Barinth is the setting for a novel I’m writing and Tamsin is one of the key players. Short stories such as “Destiny” allows me to explore her background a bit before the events of the novel.
What was the appeal of Sojourn for you?
Being able to contribute something to the community that has become such a large part of our lives. It was really great to be a part of the effort and watch the anthology grow and succeed.
What was your favorite part about writing for the Sojourn anthology?
Being introduced to so many different worlds and characters through helping other members of the community with their stories.
Did you learn anything while writing your story, if so, what?
That I talk too much. In all seriousness, the plot I had set out was ambitious for the word limit, almost too ambitious. I had to really strip the narrative down. It is still more verbose in places, but it is better than it was.
Is there any trivia or behind-the-scenes information about your story you would like to share?
Another name for the Lia Fail is the Stone of Scone. It a large red sandstone block that has been used in Scottish coronations for centuries and English coronations since the uniting of the crowns. I know this doesn’t take place in Scotland, but with a name like the Stone of Destiny how could I pass it up?
What was the biggest influence on your story?
I am a student of history and am firmly convinced it is taught wrong. The behind the scenes stories of historical events are much more interesting than the dates and dry facts. I tried to tell the story I had with that view in mind.
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Thank you to everyone involved for the support and allowing me to be a part of the effort. A special thank-you to Branden Leavens. He really helped me step up my game and bring a lot of ideas into focus.