Interview with Amy Kuivalainen, Author of The Immortal City
23 Sep 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Immortal City?
‘The Immortal City’ is a murder mystery with lots of magic and ancient history. It follows the story of Penelope Bryne, an archaeologist, who has been ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis. Then an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, similar to that on a stone tablet she discovered, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again. There she gets caught up in the investigation and meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato. He has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth about Atlantis – that there were seven magicians who survived and who he has a duty to protect. In the end they have to work together to stop the murderer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I really loved fairy tales, mythology and ancient history growing up and devoured everything from Bible stories, to The Hobbit, to Norse Myth. I loved anything with magic or miracles. If I had to pick two authors who really made me want to write I’d have to say J RR Tolkien and Stephen R Lawhead. I found Stephen’s books when I was thirteen and he blew my mind (still does) and really pushed me to want to write something myself.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Merlin by Stephen Lawhead
Djinn City by Saad Z. Hossain
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Susanna Clarke and ‘What does Vinculus’s new tattoos mean?’
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love creating magical demi-mondes that sit behind modern society. It makes the mundane magical, and creating a world that people could believe in the magic happening around them is always fun.
What is a typical day like for you?
At the moment I’m still working a day job so I usually will write on my commute and during lunch breaks, and then when I get home I’ll review what I’ve written that day. It can be a real juggle but I’m not happy unless I’ve written something every day.
What scene in The Immortal City was your favorite to write?
Oh this question is so hard because there are so many…I really loved writing the first time Penelope goes into Alexis’s tower because I could write in all these relics of his life and who wouldn’t love to explore a magicians tower?
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I was fifteen and it’s never steered me wrong – Adapt and Overcome.
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