An Interview with Carole McDonnell

About the Book:

Sickly fifteen year old Prince Psal, the son of the nature-blessed warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. A priest-physician like his friend Ephan, Psal lacks a warrior’s heart, yet he desires to earn Nahas’s respect and become a clan chief. If he cannot do this, he must escape his clan altogether. But his love for Cassia, the daughter of his father’s enemy, and his own weaknesses work against him.


When war comes, Psal defends Ktwala and her daughter Mahari, wronged by Nahas, and speaks out against the atrocities his clan commits, further jeopardizing his future. And now the mysterious towers that keep humans safe from the Creator’s ancient curse are rebelling. A prophecy exists—not that Psal believes such matters—of three great ones who will find the Constant Tower and break the power of the third moon. Could Psal, Ephan, and Mahari be those great ones? Psal must risk losing his father’s respect to find his destiny, and with his friends face the dangers of the unmaking night to find the Constant Tower and save all of humanity.


“Carole McDonnell is a first-class world-builder. A unique, powerhouse epic, The Constant Towers is a treasure trove of great characters, compelling cultural details and political machinations, all lovingly detailed in evocative prose. Yay!” – Stefan Petrucha, author Dead Mann Walking

The Interview:


Sith With: How would you describe your book? What kind of story are you trying to convey?


Carole: It’s an anti-fantasy fantasy, I guess. Many fantasies are about “a boy going on a journey” –the Heroes’ Journey, etc. But I’ve always wondered about stasis. What if the hero could not go on a journey? What if the warrior was stuck? What if the warrior did not have a warrior’s heart? Heck, what if the warrior was sick and puny? So here we have Psal, the hero. He doesn’t like his clan. But he can’t escape it because the night prevents journeys. I suppose I want to convey the idea of children being controlled by their parent’s, wives being caught in their husband’s wake, people being stuck in their own tribe/clan and having no choice of escape.


Sith With:Where did the idea for the book come from? What was it’s inspiration?


Carole: I had a dream in which someone said to me, “But the towers are constant.” In the dream, every morning people would wake to find the geography of their city moved about, as in a puzzle. So everyday on waking they had to discover the paths of their cities again. But there was always a tower which was constant and which didn’t move. That would’ve been a fun story to write but I decided I would write a story where the world’s regions stayed the same but the people in that world would be tossed around all over the planet. Unless they had some control over how they were tossed. The idea of how it was controlled led to figuring out what kind of technology they had, and that’s how the towers fit in.


Sith With:How would you describe the main characters in your book? What is the nature of their relationship?


Carole: The main characters are relatives, friends, allies, adversaries. There are so many small and large wars going on in Constant Tower. It’s a world of different clans and cultures and relationships. Very few of the relationships are smooth. They — like we– are fighting each other when all around them the world is falling apart. They are fighting each other when there are larger foes outside.


Sith With: When a reader finishes the book, what is it you hope they will walk away with?


Carole: Perhaps it will make the reader ponder what it is that keeps people chained or fearful of leaving. There is also the religious element. How do we forgive those inside our own clan — whether it’s those who are our own sex, our own race, our own religion?


Sith With: Do you have any current projects that you are working on? What can you share about any upcoming works?


Carole: I’m working on a YA book called My Life as an Onion. I’ll self-publish that because it’s a bit odd –being very Christian, very sexual, very fantastical– and I don’t think a publishing company would allow me to do what I want to do with it. Most of my stories are about young people but this is my first contemporary story and it’ll be somewhat semi-auto-biographical (but not really.) It’ll have my own life’s issues and my might-have-been life. I’ve always wanted to have a rich flaky lover.


Sith With: Who are some of your inspirations as a writer? Which other authors do you look to for inspiration and motivation?


Carole: I read tons of poetry. I love Shakespeare. I love Henry James. The Bible. James Joyce.


Sith With: If they made a movie of your book, who would you cast in the lead roles?


Carole: I still don’t know who would be the lead. Psal is hard to cast. But his father, the king could be Julian Sand, Ben Cross, or Jason Statham. And weirdly, the bad guy, Cyrt, could be any of those actors as well.


Sith With: When not writing, what other hobbies and interests do you have?


Carole: I love anthropology, linguistics, learning languages, Korean Dramas, and Japanese Dramas.


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