Keven Newsome is the author of Winter and an upcoming sequel. For my review of Winter, go here.
Chapman: Tell us more about the demon Xaphan.
Newsome: According to actual demonology, Xaphan was the demon whose idea it was to set fire to Heaven during the angelic revolt. When the fallen angels were cast out Xaphan was punished, given the task of fanning the flames of Hell. Google him or look him up in Wikipedia.
Chapman: Winter contains two parallel narratives about the protagonist separated by four years. How did you develop the novel's structure of parallel stories? Which story came first?
Newsome: What a tricky question! I'll answer the second first. Neither story came first. The story is ultimately about Winter's fall and restoration. It was always about who she is and how she became that way. In order to tell that story I felt it best to use two parallel timelines, one to show her before her fall and the other to show her after her redemption. As I developed the structure, originally I wrote single chapters from the primary (current) time with a short parallel scene stuck in the middle somewhere. Those short scenes sometimes grew into full chapters or sometimes got moved around to better build the story. Did I outline them separately? No.
Chapman: Did this story grow out of your interest in supernatural theology?
Newsome: I've always had some interest in supernatural theology, but the answer is no. I knew I wanted to write about a girl with prophecy long before I knew I wanted to study supernatural theology. The two things, though related, really grew separately in my life. The Winter books are the only ones I have planed right now that deal with the supernatural in a realistic manner.
Chapman: Winter and Claire experiment with magic. The first spell appears to work but the second set of spells appears to backfire. Please comment on Winter's dabbling in spell casting.
Newsome: Sorry. Spoilers. You're asking about information that will be in the 2nd book!
Chapman: God communicates to Winter through cryptic dreams and premonitions. In one instance, phone numbers are recorded as the number of times a bell rings. Why doesn't God speak directly to Winter as He did to Moses through a burning bush?
Newsome: It would be nice if God did that same thing twice. But he seems to enjoy being creative. I'm sure Joseph would like to ask the same question.
You've got to look at the substance of what's happening with each occurrence. When someone in the Bible has a dream, is it cryptic? Usually. The Interpretation of Dreams was a gift. Joseph and Daniel both did this. When God actually showed up, did he look the same? Nope. A man (Abraham), burning bush, wheel within a wheel, cloud, pillar of fire.
And when God spoke directly to the prophets, he was giving them a message to deliver. Winter hasn't received her message yet.
Chapman: What can you tell us about the next book? Will you continue with the dual narrative structure?
Newsome: The dual structure will continue through the entire four book series, ending in the past timeline where the present timeline began in the first book. It'll come full circle to show the reader eight years of Winter's life. As for book 2? I'm not telling anyone anything. Yet.