Seven Tears Into the Sea
Phantom Stallion Series
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Squinting through the mist
SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA has stirred up a ton of questions & that makes sense. After all, I transplanted an ancient Celtic story to today's California coast, then plopped in a handful of teenagers instead of grizzled Irish fishermen or wise women in swirling cloaks (although Gwen's grandmother...never mind).
Before I answer, I have to warn you. SEVEN TEARS is a fantasy -- based on a story which pre-dates Christianity. The Old Ones didn't deal in absolutes. They scorned YES/NO, BLACK/WHITE answers, but you're welcome to peer at my answers through a fog and make out truths for yourself.
The most common question:
"Will there be a sequel?"
I don't think so. Even as I was writing, I'd feel my fingers typing slower and slower and I'd stare out the window and it was as if the power of the old tale was dragging my story back out to sea -- not necessarily where I wanted it to go.
But when I got there, I knew it was right.
I'm not saying it's impossible that I'd write a sequel. For now, though, even if the ending isn't turning-cartwheels-happy, it feels satisfying.
The second most common questions fall into the interpretation category, like:
"What did Gwen's jumping off the cliff signifiy?"
"For my book report, I need to know what is the theme of SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA?"
"This book feels like it has symbolism, but I don't like to wory about that stuff, do I have to?"
One of the best teachers I know asked a class -- "If it's important enough to write a whole book, play or poem about, why would an author hide the theme?"
I don't think most authors do. I DO think students and teachers (that would be me for 20 years) crave easy insight into an author's mind, so they decide on a single theme.
Readers see books, etc., through the magnifying glass of their own experiences and feelings.
Reader Eve thinks Gwen jumps off the cliff to show she's independent
Reader Clint says Gwen's trying to merge with Jesse's world
Reader Kate believes Gwen's got nothing left to lose & is asking the sea to decide her fate
Who's right? Can I go off on a teeny tangent and tell you my favorite theme is: There is no safety at the edge of the frontier. That frontier could be falling in love with a shape-shifter or seeking a lost horse, despite the physical danger of storms or rattlesnakes. And that theme doesn't rule out Eve, Clint or Kate's interpretation of my Gwen's act.
Okay, so who's right? Here's the thing -- Maybe all of them, maybe none. Maybe it's not symbolic at all...maybe Gwen's practicing a mega-plunge before getting back on the diving team. You get to decide. That's what makes reading such an adventure!
The third most common question, about the riddle of the sevens, will have to wait for later.
Thanks, though, for asking about SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA. I loved writing it.
Have a wonderful week,
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Posted by Terri Farley @ 8:54 AM
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