I recently had a fun time interviewing author Matt Larkin creator of the ‘Skyfall trilogy’ talking about his first book ‘Children of the Sun and Moon’! In it we learn interesting facts about his upcoming book and his next series, more about his characters and even some of his favorite things. Enjoy!
Read the review for Children of the Sun here.
Caro: Why did you decide to write a history fantasy story as you first book?
Matt Larkin: I set my stories on an alternate Earth rather than a wholly made up world because I wanted to explore real world mythologies. These mythologies only make sense in the context of cultures similar to the ones that they belong to.
Caro:What is the inspiration behind the Children of the Sun and Moon?
Matt Larkin: While traveling in India I was inspired by the idea of the different lineages of the Kshatriya: descendants of Surya, Chandra, and Agni (and of nagas, which don’t appear in this book). As the story about the dynasties took shape I knew I wanted an archipelago for the location, in part because of the story of Kasusthali. I also had interest in Indonesian mythology, so the ideas merged.
Caro: There is a map included in the book; we see countries that look like part of Asia. How did you come up with their new names for the Children of the Sun and Moon story?
Matt Larkin: The names are historical ones. Most of the ones in the Skyfall Isles themselves come from old Sanskrit names. Others are from Arab geographers.
Caro: Is there a meaning behind the names of your characters?
Matt Larkin: Yes: they are characters from mythology. Mostly their stories are adapted and reinterpreted to fit this alternate universe, but the inspirations remain. Or maybe I’m giving away too much here…
Caro: I, myself had to look up some words while reading the book. How much research went into the book and how long did it take you to gather all the information needed?
Matt Larkin: A lot of research, done over several years of working on the book. It started with the mythology, but went far deeper than that.
Caro: Would you practice the Silat if you had the chance?
Matt Larkin: Well it would be interesting to learn more about that kind of thing. It’s not something usually taught to outsiders, but learning new things is always useful for a writer.
Caro: Chandi is quite a strong character, others would have hesitated to fight their loved one, but she made a quick decision once she saw Anusapati. How did you create a character like her?
Matt Larkin: Well, of course, she does hesitate before Rahu tells her to do it herself. Then she realizes, she could never leave it to someone else, which I guess brings us to your question. As the story evolved, I realized Chandi would become it’s heart. That’s a heavy burden to place on her, so she had to be strong but flawed. She’s one of the first characters in the story to have been fully realized. She’s spirited, tenacious, and above all passionate. She makes a lot of mistakes, but she does so by following her heart, and I’d like to think that makes her the kind of person most people want to be.
Caro: What exactly do the Moon Blessings do to turn someone into a lunatic? Will Chandi be able to use them in the future?
Matt Larkin: Drawing the Moon Blessings pulls on a human’s mind like tidal forces. The harder and more often you draw the Blessing, the worse the effect. It’s mentally addictive, both in the feeling it creates, and in the sense of divinity it endows a person with. Imagine the feeling of being stronger and faster than anyone around you. How long would it take before that started to affect your mind?
Chandi will be hesitant to use them in the future because of the fear of regressing into lunacy. But she’s the kind of person that lives on the edge, isn’t she?
Caro: Malin is an interesting character. Will we learn more about him in future books?
Matt Larkin: Yes. Malin will be a central character in book 2, with at least as much stage time as Chandi.
Caro: Out of curiosity, how does an Arun Guard know when its Sun Brand is fully charged? I just hope the sun doesn’t burn their skin that much.
Matt Larkin: To know exactly, they’d look at the tattoo and check its luster. Of course, from experience, they have an idea of about how full it would be after so much use or so much sunbathing.
Caro: What can readers look forward in Book Two, Legacy of Moon and Fire?
Matt Larkin: Things take a turn for the worse. Chandi and Naresh are in hiding, but the rising Lunar Empire is hardly going to leave in them peace. And Malin has his own agenda. He’s had enough of servitude and plans to shape the legacy of the Lunar Empire.
Caro: If you had the opportunity to write another series, what would it be based on and would you follow the same genre?
Matt Larkin: My next series is probably going to based on the story of Pandora. It will be historical fantasy again, yes.
Caro: It’s time for the readers to know a little more about you.
- Favorite color: Green. Or blue. Maybe black. I have to choose just one?
- Favorite food: Karela kima.
- Favorite movie: Stardust
- Favorite genre of music: Alt rock
- Favorite book: Dune
- Favorite place you would like to visit: Switzerland
Caro: Lastly, other than your book, of course, is there a book that has caught your attention recently that you would recommend to the readers?
Matt Larkin: Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy. I really enjoyed both the Caged series by Amber Lynn Natusch and the Mageri series by Dannika Dark.
I actually had a good time reading both his book and interview, it makes me want to ask more questions. It was good to know that he likes alternative rock and green! It will definitely be interesting to look forward for his next book.