This was actually the first book I ever read in the Ceristen series a few years ago when Verity was writing them on Wattpad. They always say don’t read a series out of order and I can tell you from experience it’s a bad idea. I still enjoyed the series minus the first book, but things made so much more sense once I read The Journey first!
That being said, The Village is probably my favorite (if not second favorite) in the Ceristen series. I love the quiet, if at times complicated, village life, which is reminiscent of the English countryside. (If I could compare it to the classics, I’d say think of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell!) There is a peaceful, almost romantic aesthetic about the whole book, even with the dangers that abound (because after all, fantasy and plotlinesss!). I love the relationships that begin and grow in this book, some from our friends in The Journey, some new faces as well. I love the relationships, yes, because of the way they grow. Everyone is so human, so real, that you feel as much a part of them and the village (sorry for the lame title call, haha) as the characters themselves. But I suppose you better grab your own copy to see what I mean before I accidentally spoil. 😉
Huge thanks to my friend for letting me do a second interview with her for this book’s release!
1. Did you plan to write a sequel when you originally wrote The Journey?
The Journey was planned as a stand-alone. However, I’d got maybe six chapters into it at most when I realized I needed to tell the story of The Village, too.
Interesting, I never knew that!
2. Who is your favorite character from The Village?
Wrong question. I love all my babies. *squishes protectively*
However, if I can narrow it down to absolutely awesome characters who get overshadowed by the buzz around the main protagonists… I would 10/10 say Laufeia.
Laufeia is a survivor who’s committed to making her family survive as well. She fights to keep food on the table, the house clean, and her brother out of his own pit of cynical prejudice. She’s a mother-figure to Fenris and a balance to Mordred, and fiercely loyal to them both. She’s sternness and love, tenacity and tenderness, reservation and fire, and I love her to bits.
I was going to ask why you didn’t say Mordred, but you managed to sneak him in there anyway so I won’t make a fuss… (Yes, he’s my favorite for those of you who don’t know.) #dreamsandvolcanoesboi Laufeia is Queen MotherTM though…
3. What was your main goal when writing The Village as compared with The Journey?
With The Journey, I wanted to tell the story of Fred accepting his burden of responsibility. With The Village, it’s a little more complex because I had three goals, all of which changed to one extent or another as I wrote.
The first goal was to tell Fred’s romance. Granted, his romance altered quite a bit from the original conception (less melodrama; more fluff), but by the end, that was still the goal.
The second was to show Mordred’s initial steps toward healing from his guilt, trauma, and abuse. He has a long road to go, and we haven’t even seen half of it by the end of The Village, but I knew I needed to show how the village helped him, prepared him, if you will, to walk that path.
Originally, I thought the second thread would be focused on Fenris. But the more I wrote and the more I understood the Kenhelms’ past, the more I realized it was Mordred whose wounds went deepest.
The third goal was to show the village. Just the village. Ceristen has been a part of my life for ten years now, and it means so much to me for other people to meet that beautiful little community. As I wrote the book, however, it deepened into something slightly more — and that was to show a community that wasn’t as accepting as it assumed, and show it growing into a truer, transparent fellowship.
That’s so interesting! I never knew that, though I daresay you succeeded in those goals. 🙂 And yes, Friona is one of my favorite ships of all time. And Mordred is… T_T
4. If you wished people to take one thing away from The Village, what would it be?
The message of forgiveness and reconciliation. So often there’s wrong on both sides of a conflict, and it takes humility and honesty to confess whatever part you had in building up the wall of hurt; and even when you were the one more wronged, your response to those who hurt you matters. Reconciliation isn’t reached by repaying evil for evil. That’s a theme that surfaced several times in The Village, and an issue that’s very important to me personally.
Either that, or Mirda’s stern rebuke in Chapter 4 — “You cannot condemn him, not before you know his side.” — prejudice and self-righteousness being another central theme to the book.
Yes, I agree. I only wish I was that good at writing such messages in my books. *sighs in author goals*
5. What’s your favorite scene in The Village?
The first candidate that came to me was the conversation between Mordred, Sandy, and Jerithan. We get to see Mordred being civil in a casual encounter — and not just civil, but actually friendly — something that turns heads with characters and readers alike. I get too few opportunities to showcase Mordred enjoying himself in The Village, and this was one of them.
Plus, Sandy is a showstealer in any case. And so is Jerithan. Three showstealers in one place? Can the world handle this greatness?
Haha yes, that was a very endearing scene!
6. What is The Village‘s aesthetic?
Wind blowing snow over a hill-crest at night, tree-shadows, tight hug, the echoing silence after a shout, whisk broom on dirt floor, winter sunrise, slow smile stealing, clarity, whispers over the hearth, sudden laugh.
*dies in greatness* I wish I could be that good at thinking of aesthetics for my own story. *dies in feels* Now onto the next question…
7. What’s a word of advice to aspiring series writers?
I’d like to caveat my advice with the remark that I may know what I’m doing when it comes to writing, but only by instinct. I know what feels right when it comes to writing. I don’t know so well how to articulate those feelings into advice that makes sense.
For myself, I do remember that at several points in the Ceristen Series I found it necessary to go back and alter a previous scene based on the way a later one unfolded. Or insert extra foreshadowing where I’d thought less would be needed. Sometimes I even dropped an Easter Egg into an earlier book for fun. Based on the length and nature of another person’s series, it may be different, but I was glad that I hadn’t published any earlier books in the series before completing the latter.
I hope that helps someone!
Thanks for hosting me, Cheyenne! These were great questions!
Absolutely! I really enjoyed this and I hope my readers did too. 😀 I shall leave you all with one last quote before posting the links below.
Here’s the link to get your own copy of The Village: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JVLNFNZ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
The first book in the Ceristen series, The Journey, is currently on sale for both ebook and paperback, and you can also get it on audiobook! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JVLNFNZ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
And if you would like to follow Verity on her website or any of her social media, the links are below!
Thanks again to the author for letting me feature her!
And one more thing.