Tag: romance

Carolyn Denman: A journey to the Garden of Eden

Carolyn Denman: A journey to the Garden of Eden

Carolyn Denman is the author of an amazing YA Australian fantasy series, The Sentinels of Eden. Set in the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, the books feature a young woman called Lainie, who, it turns out, is so powerful even the moon would obey her commands – if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school.  Lainie is tasked with keeping an ancient gateway to the Garden of Eden hidden and safe, which becomes increasingly difficult as interested parties get hints of its existence. The third book in the series, Sympath, is being launched tomorrow, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I’m very excited to have Carolyn on the blog today.

Carolyn lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, two daughters, and her parents. The fact that she always has at least three of her pets following her around at any one time in no way means that she is the fairest in the land. They probably just like her taste in music. As well as her novels, Carolyn has written stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazinesVisit her website here.

Which writer or writers opened your eyes to the magic of storytelling and why?

I remember as a child poring over maps of the Snowy Mountains and feeling a thrill whenever I came across names of places I recognised. At nine years old, having never even been there, I was deeply in love with those mountains. Even at that age I felt there was something majestic and sacred about that place because I’d read a series of books by Elyne Mitchell that swept me off my horse-addicted feet. The author’s deep love for those mountains shone through her writing – even in a story told from a brumby’s point of view. There was mystery without magic. Or at least, something deeper than the sort of magic I’d seen in other books. The stories were woven through with a sense of ancient wisdom and connection to the land. Elyne Mitchell shifted me from a simple enjoyment of colourful kid’s books to something much more profound and addictive.

Why do you think people need stories in their lives?

For me, the simple answer to that is insight. Humans have evolved to live in relationships, which rely on effective communication. Stories are an essential way for us to get meaningful insight into other people’s perspectives. Such insight helps us to empathise and to communicate effectively. It encourages us to imagine new places, new experiences, and invent new possibilities. Quite simply, without stories we can’t grow up, either as individuals, or as a society.

What is your greatest magical power as a writer?

I can influence your dreams. Occasionally. If you’ve had pizza for dinner and then read my book late into the night. I think that’s pretty cool.

Which mythic archetype or magical character most resonates with you and why?

I am rather partial to elves, particularly their more peace-loving representations. The idea of a race of people living in harmony with their environment, untainted by fear of death, designed to create music and art and to dance. With a wisdom and maturity that comes from living in relationship with other elves for thousands of years, and a sacred respect for children because they are so rare and precious. Don’t we all yearn for humanity to become just like that? Perhaps we will. Perhaps, in Eden, we already are.

What themes or ideas do you find keep arising in your writing?

Well…I’m a sucker for romance *author blushes*. Not the sort of romance that involves bare-chested men with abdominal muscles on the cover. I mean the stories that make your heart lurch at completely unexpected moments because someone just put their partner’s ego before their own. Have you noticed the pattern yet? That moment at the end of the movie when the guy gives that public display, making a fool of himself in front of crowds of strangers, just to prove how much he cares? It’s the moment we start to believe it. Displays of love aren’t enough. Displays of respect are much more important. When they prove that their self-pride is not as important to them as their partner’s – that’s when we really get the feels. So yes, I keep looking for new ways to explore that theme in nearly everything I write.

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Want to read more? Songlines and Sanguine, are available now through Odyssey Books and all the usual online bookstores. Book 3, Sympath, is being launched tomorrow – click here for details if you’re in Melbourne. The final book in the series is due for release early 2019.