Every time we release a book, we’ll post an interview with its author during the month before the book is published. Our next novel, Sand to Glass, comes out on November 1st. Sand to Glass is a dark literary fantasy about a kingdom on the edge of destruction, and we are interviewing Remy Apepp, who loves to explore characters’ psychology and transformations.
Thinklings: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Remy: Writing has been my raison d'être since high school. It’s practically all that I live for. However, I never actually said, “I want to be a writer.” Not to anyone, not even to myself. I didn’t feel like it was a viable or even a possible career. So I didn’t even try to write my own original stories until Thinklings reached out to me. So I guess you could say it was Thinklings Books’ message that first gave me hope that I could actually be a published author.
It’s all thanks to you guys, really.
T: Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
R: Sand to Glass is actually the second book I wrote. It started as the backstory of Luxanthus, who appears in the first book I wrote (which is going to be published as the second book because it needed much more editing). The relationships between the Madubabakar siblings and their parents, though, was actually inspired almost entirely by MISSIO’s song “Twisted” (POV Rezekyrios). Aside from that, though, I’m afraid I don’t remember at this point where the rest of the inspiration for the characters or the story came from....
T: Who is your biggest writing inspiration?
R: This may sound strange, but I don’t enjoy reading books that much. I’m more of a visual person, so I’ve always preferred comics/movies and manga/anime. In high school I was very much into Marvel, but since then I’ve moved on almost exclusively to Japanese manga and anime. If I had to cite one series as my main inspiration, it would be Tokyo Ghoul. My aesthetic has been described by others as “philosophical horror” and “tragic romanticism,” but if I had to try to describe it myself... I’m fascinated by questions of what it means to be human, what it means to be a monster, what it means to be alive in the world.
I think, though, that what inspires me most about Tokyo Ghoul is the transformation that all the characters go through – the characters are not static, they’re constantly changing: becoming darker, becoming lighter, switching alliances, changing the states of their minds, bodies, and more. It’s that kind of character development and transformation that is the focus of all my stories. I’m not really sure how to describe it, but I hope you’ll be able to see what I mean when you read my writing. I honestly don’t really care about plot; the entire point of my stories, as I see it, is the characters and their psychology.
T: Tell us one weird, interesting tidbit about yourself.
R: I suppose an interesting one is that I taught myself to write with my nondominant hand and am now ambidextrous (I actually now prefer writing with my nondominant hand, I think the handwriting looks cooler, and also it’s more fun).
T: How long have you been writing this book?
R: This book was written entirely between June 4, 2020, and June 18, 2020. You know when you get that inspiration and are just on a roll? That’s what this book was.
I then let the draft sit for over half a year, went through and edited it once in February of 2021 before submitting it to Thinklings.
Not all of my writing is this way – my first/second book was a significantly longer process, which I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to go into at some point. This one just happened to be like an inexplicable blessing from my muse. It happens on occasion, right?
T: Which character in your book do you identify the most with?
R: Rezekyrios Tmra. Enough so to be almost embarrassing.
Sand to Glass is available for preorder now - and we’re proud and excited to announce that it will be featured in Foreword Reviews’ holiday issue later this month! It’s a great honor to have one of our books featured in that excellent magazine!
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