As part of the Pump Up Your Book Promotions tour for The Wolves Keeper Legend, Sylvia Weber was kind enough to takeÂ time from her schedule to answer a few interview questions via email.Â You’ll find her personal blog, Rock the Cage, on blogspot.Â I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!
Amber:Â You’ve lived in many places in Portugal. Is there any one place that you would call more beautiful than the others?
Sylvia:Â The most beautiful place in Portugal, one that I sometimes remember with a certain sorrow in my heart, is Serra da Estrela. There, among the mountains, is a small place called Ponte das TrÃªs Entradas, which is truly unique. It has a small crystalline river, tall majestic conifers, grey boulders that seem miraculously balanced upon each other. There we can see the beautiful giant, Serra da Estrela dog, and taste delicious cheeses and bacons. The people are simple and gentle. I know people, nature lovers, from several places in Europe who like to spend there all their holidays.
Amber:Â I noticed in your biography you spent some time in Scotland before settling in England. Did your stay in Scotland influence your use of Gaelic in the story or were you interested in Gaelic before then?
Syliva:Â My first contact with Gaelic was through the books of Enid Blyton, when I was still a young girl. I remember that the Author defined this Language as a melody and it sounded very beautiful.
Then, I had a new contact when I was in University, studying Linguistics. I always had the idea of doing research for my Masters Degree in Historical Linguistics, by comparing the medieval languages and studying their branches of evolution, specially in what they are still connected to each other.
Being in Scotland certainly changed everything.Â We went there decided to move to Aberdeen, the â€œall different; all equal; all togetherâ€ city.Â I fell in love with
Scotland and its people when we went there. While we were driving around, all night long, looking for a place to sleep, we met a man who worked in a reservation and were talking with him for a while.Â Thatâ€™s when I had the first contact with the real Gaelic, the spoken language. From there on, I decided to do more research.
Amber:Â Was it a practical choice or an artistic choice to have the vocabulary words italicized each time they are used?
Sylvia:Â At the beginning, there were some words that I italicized and some others that I didnâ€™t. In one of the revisions, I was advised to use one only criterion and then I decided to italicize them all. It has something to do with the fact that most of the words I use, as I researched, are from archaic Gaelic, and Latin, not from the actual one. I found this technique in books that make references to archaic Languages, such as, for example, The Tutankhamun prophecies, by Maurice Cotterell or Secrets from the Lost Bible, by Kenneth Hanson. The real purpose was highlighting the differences, making the Language more visible to the reader and, at the same time, showing deference.
Amber:Â Sealgair learned how to make fire from his father. Because of his curse he doesn’t know about the birth of his son. What do you think Sealgair would have taught Seanns?
Sylvia:Â In my opinion, the biggest legacy that Sealgair could teach Seanns would be his Art, his work with clay.Â There is something magic about clay, the primordial material. Iâ€™ve seen the clay being worked, when I was a child, and I consider it a fascinating Art. In a few years, unfortunately, it may be extinct.
Amber:Â Seanns is a wise boy. Are there more tales in the works featuring Seanns?
Sylvia:Â I love Seanns as a son, ever since I met him. Iâ€™m deeply interested in his growth and in his learning. I intend to make another journey with him… My journey hasnâ€™t finished yet, nor has his. Weâ€™ll cross the ocean together. Who knows what weâ€™ll find?
Amber:Â It can take a long time between writing a novel and publication. You wrote this when you were 12. How did you feel when you finally had a
printed copy of your book in your hands?
Sylvia:Â I felt fulfilled, finally. For the first time, and only so far, I felt that my journey was worth it. Leaving home, leaving everything behind, not being able to
find a job as a teacher, enduring so many difficulties. This publishing gave me a reason to go on. It gave hope for the future. It was like a breath after a long