So today I am introducing you to the wonderful Ciye Cho, author of Florence. I will be asking him some questions for you all to read over and enjoy!
Hope it helps you get a better insight into him and his novel!
Hi Ciye, welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! Let’s start with the basics, tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you would like your readers to know.
Hi… my name’s Ciye Cho, and I live on the Gold Coast in Australia. Beaches, oceans, and marine life were a large part of my childhood… along with mer mythology.
Australia is such a magical place! But I’m curious, how long have you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember the exact time, but I’ve always been a chronic daydreamer. Growing up, I was painfully shy, so writing stories was a great way for me to express myself and communicate with other people.
It certainly sounds like a brilliant way to communicate! So, when you’re not typing away at the keyboard coming up with new ideas, what do you do?
When I’m not writing, I like to illustrate the things that I dream about. I also work as a freelance graphic designer.
The synopsis for Florence sounds incredibly intriguing, can you tell us what inspired you to create a story set in the ocean?
I’m obsessed with merfolk. I draw pictures of them, have weird dreams about them, and really wanted to present a fresh take on mer mythology. I wanted to create a story full of psychedelic coral architecture and merfolk who came in more colors than a pack of jellybeans.
I thought it would be cool to place these merpeople in a coral dome somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. A dome surrounded by deep-sea volcanoes.
Sounds really interesting! With that in mind, what key themes or messages were you trying to get across in your novel, if any at all?
The main theme behind “Florence” is the idea that we’re all outsiders looking for somewhere to belong–and maybe something to believe in. A smaller theme is the idea that people need to respect the ocean and all its animals. The animals and merpeople of Niemela live and work in harmony with each other, from the giant sea snails that plow kelp fields… to the whales that ferry people from place to place.
They are some great themes and messages! Tell me, are any of the characters in your story based on people you know?
I didn’t base the characters on anyone specific. However, a lot of the characters in this book were based off that central theme about outsiders. A lot of the characters in “Florence” are outsiders who don’t fit in within their world (i.e. Prince Rolan who uses rules to distance himself from others, and Princess Yolee who creates art in a world of extreme pragmatism). In particular, Florence Waverley spent most of her life feeling like a fish out of water… but ends up experiencing the flipside when she becomes trapped in a world of merfolk.
Intriguing. Now, during those long hours creating your new novels, were there any bad habits you fell into (eating lots of ben and jerry’s for encouragement, perhaps)?
I sometimes forget to breathe when I concentrate too hard. That often leads to weird dizzy spells and ocular migraines.
Oh, not good but at least we know you’re taking your work seriously! So, if you had to review your own book, honestly, what three words would you use to best describe it?
Imaginative. Wonderific. Merpeople.
And finally, do you have any advice for any aspiring writers out there?Never stop writing.
Quick Fire Round
ebooks or hard copies?
day or night?
reading or writing?
paper or computer?
tea or coffee?
favourite book of the moment?
Laini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone.” From the first line to the last page, every bit of it was a truly magical experience.
most memorable book?
Antoine de-Saint Exupery’s “The Little Prince.” It’s one of the first books I read as a kid, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.
Thank you so much for spending the time talking with me today Ciye! It was great to get to know you a little better and I’m certainly more intrigued about Florence, as I’m sure my readers are!
In case you are all interested, below is more info on the book.
Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and her very soul.