Monday, July 19, 2010

Author Interview: James Boyle

Dropping by today is James Boyle, author of Ni'il: The Awakening, a blending of legend and fiction focused around Indian shamans charged with keeping the balance between humans and the natural world- and committing murder in a small town to ensure it is maintained.

In the book, it is a recent string of strange things that makes the Police Chief question whether the killings are the result of an animal. What is one of the strangest things that you've experienced?

When I was in college at the U of Oregon, I had to walk past the student union to get from my dorm to the classroom buildings. One bright spring day, a lovely young lady approached me. She had long blond hair and was wearing a simple dress. "Excuse me," she asked me. "Have you seen a white rabbit around here." The look on my face must have betrayed my thoughts because she pointed to the student day care center. "The children's pet rabbit got out of its cage. We're trying to find it." I told her that I had seen no rabbit. She thanked me and went about her search. I continued on to my class. In the classroom, I settled into a desk, and took a moment to survey the generations of graffitit previous students had carved into the desk's wooden surface. There, written in pen, was the following inscription: "Alice in Wonderland is alive and well and living in Eugene, Oregon."

I never saw the girl again.

If you were told local killings are the result of the Ni'il, how would you react?

Like most people. "Yeah. Right. Whatever." But then, because I do have a bit of an open mind, I would ask them for proof.

There are several arcs to this book- which line was the most fun for you to write?

Definitely the chess game between ni'ilaquo and Dan and Stephanie. It was fun because I wanted each move to surprise the reader as much as it did the characters, yet I wanted to keep each move in keeping with some sort of logic. For example, why didn't the monster just kill them early on when it clearly could? There had to be an explanation that made sense. (At least to me.)

What is the most private thing you're willing to share here?

I suffer, at least a little bit, from social anxiety disorder. Though I enjoy the company of others, I am much more comfortable in solitude.

What kind of cake or confection would you describe yourself as?

Chocolate-covered ants. At first, I can be something of a nasty surprise; but then, once you give me a chance, you find out it's really pretty good.

Thanks again, James! Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my review of this book!


  1. Great interview! I read this book a while back and I must say it WAS rather enjoyable! Reminds me in general context of THE RAVEN STOLE THE MOON by Garth Stein..another one I'd recommend if you enjoy this type of novel. Definitely understand the solitary answer there, and the chocolate covered ants...interesting choice! Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

  2. That Alice incident is book-worthy! o.O His answer for what type of edible food he'd be is perhaps the most creative I've read so far in your interviews! "A nasty surprise" <--LOVE.

  3. All that being said, I can see the benefits to going and being with "others of my kind." You've given me something to think about. I enjoyed your piece very much. Don't be such a stranger.

  4. Great Book. Great author. Cant go wrong with either. I have read all his books and will read them again.