I’ve had a lot of review requests from authors in the past month but it’s really difficult to offer everyone a review. So, I’ve decided to start a new feature on this blog: author interviews! Every second or third Wednesday of the month, I’ll be featuring an author here and we’ll learn a bit about them and their latest book. Some of the questions will stay the same from author to author but I also like to tailor some specifically to my interviewee.
Today we have E.E. Bertram stopping by with her new book, November Fox!
November Fox, Following Joy by E.E. Bertram
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy/NA/Metaphysical/Visionary Fiction
Audience: Broad age appeal: YA, New Adult & Adult
November Fox has never even heard of other dimensions when a teleporting magical cube appears on her doorstep. With a hole in her heart and a cosmic identity yet to be discovered, the orphan rock star accepts an invitation to find the key within herself that will unlock the mysteries of form.
An idiosyncratic fantasy/science fiction crossover, it is suitable for teens and adults alike. It comes with 39 illustrations with an Augmented Reality technology feature, enabling readers to further expand their experience. “Things aren’t always as they seem, do we wake or do we dream?”
Get it here: Amazon
Q: Let’s start off with a little game to learn more about you: what are two truths and a lie about yourself?
A: Ha ha great question. In any order? I stopped eating animals when I was 10 years old. Steve Jobs once kissed me on the cheek. I currently have 100 chilli plants in my small apartment living room.
Q: How did you get into writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: I started as a songwriter and that began when I was a child. I turn that into my career as it was the thing I was most passionate about. Writing the book for me was like extending a 4-minute song into a massive remix, that brought in all the subjects of all the songs combined, into one new big orchestration.
Q: What other jobs have you had?
A: Professional singer/songwriter touring and recording all over Europe, guitar teacher, media producer of videos, photos and web and marketing manager.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your book?
A: November Fox is a sci-fi fantasy that follows the quest of November Fox through multiple dimensions and realities to unlock a teleporting cube she finds on her doorstep. It is a provocative fable that inspire you to ask deeper questions and alters your perceptions of reality. I use augmented reality, which is accessed through the 39 pictures, to deepen the story and overall experience for the readers.
Q: What inspired you to tell this story?
A: On one hand it is the legacy of what I’ve experienced in my life up to now, the lucid dreams, the adventures from touring, the wisdom gained from inner and outer exploration etc, yet on the other it was a deep passion for helping the next generation find their way towards a life of deeper fulfillment, which seems increasingly hard to find, within this crazy time of speed and digital saturation.
Q: Your genre sounds very unique; how did you decide to write in this genre? Did you have any other books you could compare yours to?
A: It wasn’t a conscious decision to be a visionary fiction author. My first editor was actually the person who told me that I fall within this genre. I hadn’t even heard of it until after the book was written. The most famous Visionary Fiction book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and I suppose November Fox has some similarities in the fact that it is a fable and it has ancient wisdom mixed within the quest-like tale. Other reviewers have said it has Alice in Wonderland-like qualities, purely for its idiosyncratic nature and the fact that November Fox tumbles through a rainbow portal into the other dimensions, and meets fantastical characters along the way.
Q: Do you have a favourite character in your book or one you connect with most?
A: My favourite character is The Architect; he is the otherwordly narrator of the story. I wasn’t even sure he was male until quite far along the path, yet at one point of the writing, the story required him to take a form. I like him the most as I felt his energy almost as if I were just facilitating his voice to be spoken through me. I felt a presence around me when I was writing his parts. It may have been me tapping into a deeper, wise aspect of myself, or some kind of external force? It is hard to tell. It was quite a peculiar experience. Similar to when I write songs, yet his voice was very distinct and had a calming effect on me every time he spoke and I wrote his words. I like him as he questions things; he is very philosophical and also a little rebellious.
Q: There’s a really interesting aspect to your books with the augmented reality illustrations; can you explain more about what these are?
A: Yes. To enable me to better express the different layers of consciousness we have as human beings, I decided to employ a modern technology called augmented reality. This enables me to create even more layers to the tale. Back when I started 5 years ago, no one had heard of augmented reality. Thanks to the Pokemon craze this year, more people have now heard of it. Basically, readers can scan the images in the book and 3D elements will pop up. These are interactive and you can access more levels of the story via videos and music, etc. This view provides the perspective from The Architect, the narrator of November Fox’s story.
Q: What have you found most rewarding in your writing career?
A: From the selfish perspective, the most rewarding part of writing, either songs or books, is having a creative outlet for my deepest thoughts and feelings. Since I was a child, I have felt the need to externalize these, otherwise they just build up too much internally. Secondly, when you express in an authentic way, and someone else is able to connect with that, and they let you know how it has positively changed their life, it feels so wonderful to know that the art you’ve created serves a purpose beyond self-expression. It’s my biggest hope that my book serves as a vehicle for readers to take another step closer towards living in their highest potential, or at least entertains them in a way that brings them great joy.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: After the release and marketing needed for November Fox Book 1, I’ll commence work on Book 2 of the series, as well as some more music and video clips.
Q: And now for some fun questions! Favourite flavour of ice cream?
A: I’m Vegan so I don’t eat cow’s milk ice cream, yet I love coconut ice cream – all flavours.
Q: Dogs or cats?
A: I’d have to say both. I was always a cat person when I was younger, yet my best friend ever was my dog, Honey, who traveled with me around the world for 16 years. I miss her so much.
Q: And finally, where can we find you?
About the Author: E.E. Bertram (Esther Bertram) is an Author, Musician & Media Artist. Her dedication, creative mind, and technical skill set enable her to create innovative and original expressions, combining wisdom and fantasy, to assist her life’s mission – “To inspire wonder and growth.” After more than a decade of touring Europe and recording as a professional singer/songwriter and producer of electronic music, Esther has spent 5 years creating the media-fusion, metaphysical, fantasy, science fiction novel “November Fox.” The book incorporates Augmented Reality with a connected music project. This pioneering way of story telling is on the leading edge of what is possible when you combine technology with art.
Personal motivations & special thanks: As a creative artist, I like to inspire people to challenge their mental models of reality for the sake of growth and entertainment; to probe into the cosmic depths of existence, bring back my insights and express them in creative form. With a mother from Lapland/Finland and father from Melbourne/Australia, dualism has been in my genes from day one, and I have always felt best when balancing contrasting worlds; Organic/Inorganic, Acoustic/Digital, Adventurous/Reflective, Present/Escapist, Vegan/Indulgence etc. I’ve had lucid dreams since I was a child, so I’ve always enjoyed creating dreamscape realities and then applied the knowledge to manifest desired outcomes while I’m awake. The lessons I have learned and amazing experiences I have had, have been the prime inspiration in the creation of November Fox. I wanted an outlet to share what I have learned to hopefully help others, specifically the next generation, to create the realities of their dreams and find and achieve their purpose. Yet I’m too much of a dreamer and child at heart to write a normal self-help book, so I decided to put my discovered wisdom in the guise of a metaphysical, fantasy science fiction story. Technology then enables me to create layers within layers to aptly represent the depths of our own consciousness and take the fantasy world to new heights.
Thanks so much to E.E. Bertram for agreeing to this interview! It’s been really great getting to know you!
Now for you guys, do you know which was the lie from the first question? Let me know your guesses in the comments below! Stay tuned next month for another author interview!