|Photo courtesy of Alaska Michael's Recipes.|
I know you have been working on the release of this book while also dealing with your father's cancer. Do you want to share anything about the challenges of doing that?
Challenge is a good word. There's been nothing but challenges since his diagnosis in September of last year. My dad’s cancer is pretty aggressive, he went from stage three to four in the space of a month and he’s currently in hospice. It was important to him that the book be published before he dies, so I had to push to get it done. I can’t lie, the pressure was enormous because most of my time was spent caring for him, taking him to radiation and helping to get his affairs in order. I did get a lot of help and support from great friends, and this probably wouldn’t have happened without them.
How long did it take you to write The Last Prospector, and where did the story idea originate?
It took about four months to write the first three installments of the Song of Solstice. The Last Prospector and book two, Travellers &Tramps were originally one long book. Thinking a 900+ page novel might be a bit frightful from an unknown novelist, I split it into two books. The idea started when I finished reading the fifth book of another wildly popular fantasy series. It really dissatisfied me because I felt the author was just milking his success at the expense of the story. That’s when I started thinking about what it would take for a series that would satisfy me, which led to me actually having to write.
Writing the story is the easy part. One of the most sublime pleasures of my life is being in Solstice, exploring it as I write. It’s everything after that is so daunting. Being a first time novelist, and a self-published one, makes the hills much higher to climb. This blog tour is a great opportunity to talk about The Last Prospector and all the aspects of Solstice. Recently, I wrote about the influence of colors on the story on Alberta Ross’ blog, and yesterday I addressed Bruce Springsteen’s large contribution on The Doglady’s Den.
If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change about yourself?
I would have taken better care of my teeth! Seriously. My life-long terror about dentists was a fear that has cost me dearly in the long run. Running from, or catering to, our fears is the worst form of self-sabotage. Now I’m confronting those fears and taking some positive, but very costly, steps towards good oral hygiene.
What other creative things do you do?
I really enjoy creating goofy art installations in my backyard. Generally, it’s a way of using things that might otherwise be tossed away, such as the old rusted, dented wheelbarrow that became a portable floating candle pond. Last year’s big install was the rubber duck pond and for the upcoming season, I’m planning something I call Boulevard of Broken Pottery.
Do you have a pet?
Of course! We took in a lutino cockatiel last summer and named her Tyra Jackson. She is a very reserved and somewhat hostile beast, but has loosened up quite a bit since we adopted a kitten in December. Viva is sweet gray and white tabby and Tyra loves her to pieces. Every morning, they meet at Ty’s water bowl for a very complex bird bath and chit chat session.
How did you come to write in the genre you chose?
Because fantasy is carte blanche to spin a really fantastic tale. There aren’t the constraints of other forms of fiction, such as historical, where there is a body of known facts needing acknowledgement. With fantasy, it can be anything, anything at all and the rules are made up by the writer. The opposite side of that is that readers need to have a certain amount of trust to embark on a fantasy read. They want to know the story will explain itself, that the author won’t leave them confused about the rules of the world they’re entering.
Now that you have met Cairn and learned a bit more about The Last Prospector, I'm sure you would like this convenient little BUY BUTTON to get your very own copy. And if you want to know more about Cairn, you can visit: The Cairn Rodrigues Amazon Page * The Light Stealers Song Blog * FaceBook * Twitter – @CairnRodrigues * Google Ploo [This blog always uses the French pronunciation of Google + since it makes Google + sound slightly more interesting] * Cairn on Goodreads