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Virtual Interview with Stifyn Emrys, author of The Gospel of the Phoenix

This week, The Geek Girl Project interviews author and journalist Stifn Emrys.

What is the title of your most recently published book(s)?

Requiem for a Phantom God (August 2012) and The Gospel of the Phoenix (July 2012).

 

What would you say the book is about?

Phoenix is a look at the life of Jesus, written in biblical style, from a variety of ancient sources. It portrays him as a sage, mystic and healer, in a decidedly Pagan light, honoring both masculine and feminine principles. Requiem is a critical look at the inherent flaws of monotheism, specifically the tension between a universal deity and a god who fights on behalf of a specific tribe or nation.

 

Who is your favorite character, and why? 

I’d have to say Jesus, as depicted here. I’ve always had a fondness for the sage Jesus (as opposed to the orthodox view of him as a human sacrifice and hellfire preacher).

 

What type of person do you believe this book will appeal to?

Open-minded individuals who aren’t threatened by perspectives that differ from the traditional views; those willing to think outside the box; people hungry for a more objective view of history; critical thinkers who aren’t content to merely accept the status quo as authoritative.

 

Can you tell us about one challenge you had to overcome in order to make this book a reality?

I’ve always had confidence in myself as a writer. I’ve been a professional journalist and editor for more than two decades. What I didn’t feel comfortable doing was shopping my manuscript around to a bunch of publishing houses and groveling at their feet to give me the time of day. With the advent of self-publishing, all that has changed. I can take my case directly to the readers. With the roadblock of the publishing house removed, the greatest challenge is simply to get my material out there and noticed. It’s an interesting challenge, to say the least.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to every aspiring author, what would it be?

You have to enjoy the language and thrive on making it come to life. You’ve got to enjoy drawing vivid word pictures and really empathize with your own characters – this goes for historical figures as well as fictional characters. I know that’s more than one piece of advice, but it’s all necessary, in my opinion.

 

What three words best describe your writing process?

Research. Write. Refine.

 

What authors or novels have influenced your writing or style?

I strive to write in a conversational and active voice as much as possible. Even when my works tackle nonfiction subjects, I don’t want them to seem tedious or “textbookish.” I enjoy the wry sense of humor in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens book. I love the action and character development in Samaire Provost’s “Mad World” series. Tolkien’s writing has always been a favorite of mine, and I’ve always been attracted to the fantasy genre, as far as fiction is concerned. Robert Lynn Asprin’s “Myth” series is a guilty pleasure for its puns and humor.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m between books right now. I just finished Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great and served as the editor on Samaire Provost’s Mad World: Sanctuary. I’d like to read the new biography of Freddie Mercury and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Mostly, though, I’m writing so much I don’t have much time to actually read outside my day job as a newspaper editor.

 

Do you have any new projects in the works?

Several. One is a comprehensive (nearly 1,000 pages) scholarly companion to The Gospel of the Phoenix. Another is a prequel to that same work, and a third is a book on real – and not so real – magic.

 

Is your work available in print, as a ebook, or both? Why did you decide to (or not to) publish in each format?

Both my books are available in paperback and Kindle forms. I chose to use both platforms because I want to disseminate my work as widely as possible.

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Stifn Emrys!

The Gospel of the Phoenix and Requiem for a Phantom God can both be purchased on amazon.com.

 

Happy writing and reading until next time!

~Amy

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Stifyn Emrys is the pen name of a veteran journalist and educator who has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language. He has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects, and his first book, The Gospel of the Phoenix, was published in the summer of 2012. This work examines the life of Jesus in biblical style through the lens of sources including the canonical gospels, the Jesus sutras, the Gnostic gospels and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The author has lectured occasionally on the pagan origins of Christianity and continues to research the development of religious traditions. He has worked as an editor, columnist, educator and reporter. He lives in California with his wife, stepson, one cat and one dog.

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