Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Greetings from a fellow Avenir Eclectian

Greeting, Avenir Eclectians, from author Mary Pursselley!
I'm a 23-year-old Christian writer with a love of speculative fiction and all sub-genres therein. I work as a music teacher to support my writing habit, as well as doing some freelance editing work when I can get it. I'm currently working on editing my own first novel and writing the sequel.
I'm so happy to be a part of such a unique and exciting project as AE, and now to be part of the 'Inside' group as well. You can read all my stories on AE by clicking Here.
From the first moment I read the invitation to "Come play in our world", I was intrigued. The background information on the site was interesting, so I read a few stories. They were all very good and I enjoyed them. As a writer, I knew it would be a fun learning experience and a good project for me to be a part of.
For a while, though, I came up empty on ideas. I knew about the world of Avenir Eclectia from reading, but couldn't seem to come up with a story line that grabbed me.
A few days after first discovering AE, I was watching an archaeology documentary about Pompeii and Herculaneum, the cities that were buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. As I watched archaeologists excavate ash-buried remains, an idea sparked. Eclectia is highly volcanic. There must be cities and settlements that were buried in eruptions over the years, right?
You probably guessed it. I had a story cooking. "Tomb Raider" was the first chapter of a story about a girl struggling to provide for her younger sister in the harsh and merciless environment of Eclectia. I'm delighted with the way the story is growing and developing. At the moment I'm playing with a couple different options for upcoming turning points in the plot. I guess we'll see what happens! : ) I've thought about the possibility of eventually writing a novel that expands on the lives and adventures of Celeste and Celia--maybe even tying Joy into their story--but at this point I'm still not certain. Again, I guess we'll see.
Personally, I think my favorite thing about Avenir Eclectia is the fact that it's not just fun to read; it's every bit as enjoyable for the authors who write it as it is for the readers who read it (it is for this author, anyway). To an author's ears, an invitation to "Come play in our world" almost sounds too good to be true. But in the case of Avenir Eclectia, it means just what it says: "Come in, explore, embellish, create, and have a wonderful time doing it!"
Of course, a huge 'Thank you!' goes to Grace, for not only reading, editing, and publishing my stories, but for patiently putting up with all of my absent-minded shenanigans (e.g. forgetting to include the story title in the story, forgetting to attach attachments to emails, etc.). You rock, Grace!

I'm interested to know: how did other people get their ideas for the stories they've written for AE?


  1. Hi Mary.
    I'm looking forward to whatever you are doing with your archeologist, Robin. I just know that he knows my characters, the miners, because he must have traveled with them to visit the Hermits (characters I haven't introduced yet) who live in the ruins of the towns around Mt. Olympus. I'm sure he's gotten some really good pieces from them. It will be fun to figure out his relationship and what he found and learned and whether he likes my characters or thinks they are a nuisance or if perhaps he actually hasn't been out that way for reasons to be determined. :)

  2. In answer to your question about the origin of our ideas, Mary, most of the time, they seem come to me while I'm at Mass (I'm the one scribbling madly on a 3 X 5 card in the middle of Father's homily).

  3. Ooh, that is an awesome idea, Kaye! I can't wait to see how that develops! And it will be interesting to see what the miners and hermits think of Robin as well. That could be so much fun!
    Walt, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets great ideas in church. : ) Although I do get a lot while I'm doing the dishes, too.

  4. Aw, thanks, Mary! But this wouldn't be what it is without every one of you. I love what you are doing with it!
    Ideas? Yep, church is is the beach... I usually begin by thinking about a character and the next step in their personal journey, be it ever so small. As long as the emotion is there, it can be a powerful story.

  5. Well let's see. probably about 20 years ago I had a story going through my head that involved space travel to different planets where life was fizzling out for one reason or another.

    One of those planets involved intense pollution and three social classes. Those that lived in a pure contained inner city (which also contributed to the continued pollution of the planet), those that lived in a cleaned up but not sealed off nor completely pure outer city, and then everybody else who lived out in the polluted areas where they had to breath smoky, contaminated air. The insiders lived on the backs of the outsiders and the story line followed one of the insiders as she gained a social conscious and started working to make changes so that more of the outsiders would have better lives.

    Eclectia reminded me of the outsiders, the ones who worked to death dealing with harsh elements and impossible situations to support the lifestyles of the insiders (Avenir) and the middle city folk (undersea). That's where I started, anyway. But my AE stories have morphed into quite a different direction where Aid Work is actually only a layer or subplot now and has little to do with the direction of my present story thread. (Sorry so long. Believe it or not, this was the short answer.)

  6. I know what you mean. Sometimes people ask me a question about something in my writing and I think to myself 'If they knew how complicated the answer to that is, they might have thought twice about asking.'
    But it's okay. I give lots of long answers to questions, and I don't mind hearing long answers a bit. : )