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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blog Tour: The Verona Trilogy - Interview with Lory Kaufman and GIVEAWAY

“I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. The LENS and the LOOKER, and all my History Camp stories, are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter.”
-Lory Kaufman

On the artistic side of Lory’s career, he’s written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. He enjoys art, especially sculpture. He loves science fiction and historical fiction and he has been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. All this shows through when you read his work. Lory has three grown children and works and lives in Kingston, Canada.

Interview with Lory Kaufman, author of The Verona Trilogy

1. QUESTION: Can you tell us a little about the Verona Trilogy?

ANSWER: The Verona Trilogy is the first set of stories in the History Camp Series. They are, what I am calling, post-dystopian stories. That is, they are the adventures of humans creating a civilization to last tens of thousands of years and how youth learns to be part of that. It’s called History Camp because one of the ways society creates citizens who appreciate their almost perfect world is by spending time in recreations of cities from the past and having to experience how hard life was, so they’ll appreciate their modern world. However, in this series, the stubborn youth who continue to shun these valuable lessons end up being spirited away to 14th Verona Italy, where they are abandoned. Now they must adapt to the hard, medieval life or die.

2. QUESTION: What was the inspiration for writing the Verona Trilogy?

ANSWER: In high school I loved the futuristic stories like 1984, Brave New World, and especially Lord of the Flies. That was the book that made me want to be a writer. I also loved Shakespeare and especially the Romeo and Juliet play. There’s a bit of the Romeo and Juliet story here, plus time travel, holographic A.I.s, sword fights, and more.

3. QUESTION: The Verona Trilogy is mainly set in the 1300s. What kind of research did you have to do to make your books as accurate as possible?

ANSWER: Oh, I spent over a year researching so many things. All the dress wear, cooking, lens grinding, lifestyles of adults and children, churches, the palaces, the historical characters I’ve woven into the story, names, and so much more. The best part of the research was, after I finished the rough draft, I spent four days in Verona, walking the streets and seeing all the well preserved places I had researched and worked into my story. It allowed me to walk in the boots of my characters and I am told by many readers that they feel they get a history lesson without the lesson. That is, the research is worked into smoothly and doesn’t slow down the story.

4. QUESTION: Who was your favorite character to write? Why?

ANSWER: Now that’s a hard question. It’s important to make even a character who is evil, despicable or even ugly, appealing in some way. The reader has to at least be intrigued by them. If I have to pick I would say Ugilino. He’s a 14th century character who is very ugly, brain damaged, but not stupid, and has had a very hard life. I like to write characters who remind me of the colorful, off-the-wall, but poignant characters Mark Twain and Charles Dickens wrote. Ugilino is the most extreme of this type of character in my book.

5. QUESTION: Who was the hardest character to write? Why?

ANSWER: I would say the hardest character to write would be the Signora. She’s another 14th character and is mentally ill. In modern terms she is a paranoid schizophrenic, but they didn’t know about those things back then. Again, like Ugilino, she had to be sympathetic, you had to love and hate her sometimes, sometimes she’s used for comic relief and sometimes she’s used to make an ugly point.

6. QUESTION: Are you working on anything new?

ANSWER: As you know, it’s called the VERONA TRILOGY. The first two books, The Lens and the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone are out. I’m now about 65% through the third book, The Loved and the Lost. It is scheduled to be out by Spring of 2012.

Thanks, Anna, for the opportunity to tell your readers a bit about The History Camp series. I would like to wish both you and all your audience, HAPPY READING.

Giveaway Details
- Winner will receive a signed copy of both THE LENS AND THE LOOKER and THE BRONZE AND THE BRIMSTONE by Lory Kaufman
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged materials
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond

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