Find out about the book, Chronicles from the World of Guilt below the interview, with all the links etc.
Was there a main inspiration for Chronicles from the World of Guilt? And how do you get the ideas for your stories in general?
There were two really big inspirations: Final Fantasy X and Tales of Lunis Aquaria. FFX has this enormous creature, rather whale-like, called Sin – a lot of the game’s world is really about how people live with the knowledge that Sin is there, carrying on with their lives because they have to in spite of it. Then Lunis Aquaria is a fantastic collection of short stories that made me realise ‘hey, a bunch of shorts in the same world is a pretty sweet idea for a book’!
In general, I pretty much just jot down any thoughts I have about anything. When I have a lot of them, I look to see whether there might be some that share a common theme – then I pretty much just build a story around that theme and work in as many of those odd little thoughts as possible.
To write science fiction, how much worldbuilding do you have to do to create a sense of place for the reader that feels very much alive? For example, do the details about economy, trade and gender roles have a larger impact on sense of place than the hierarchy of government, etc?
Oh, gosh. I wouldn’t know! I’ve never really done worldbuilding, and I haven’t done a lot of it here either. In Chronicles from the World of Guilt, I explore a few little areas of what is definitely a much larger world, but most of it remains unseen. The main thing I know about it is that the presence of Guilt, the whale-like creature whose shadow twists everything it touches, makes the world ever stranger over time – so most of the worldbuilding here is really just around creating strange things and having people have to deal with them. It’s less about Guilt itself and more about people continuing to be people – hopeful, afraid, beautiful – despite the apocalypse.
What are some of your favourite recent reads?
I really loved Easy Life in Kamusari by Shion Miura and Forest of Wool and Steel by Natsu Miyashita; both captured this incredible sense of people just experiencing life, a flow, finding something they love and almost forgetting the rest of the world.
What does a typical writing day look like for you, if you have one, that is?
I’m incredibly inconsistent, unfortunately. Most of my writing is done in fits and spurts between my day job and taking care of my baby daughter!
When did you start reading? And what books/series did you read over and over again?
I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember – according to my mum, I taught myself to read at about 3 or so. I read a few fantasy books so many times the hard covers literally fell off – Eragon was one of them, I remember. I must also have read the Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion, and His Dark Materials, a good five or six times each. These days, sadly, I’ve got much less time to read so revisiting old favourites is much more of a luxury.
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing and reading?
I love being outside – I’m incredibly lucky to live half an hour away from two moors, two coastlines, and a bunch of forests and heathlands. And I make music with my friend Reed – we’ve released a few tracks under the name Cedarstone.
If you only had one piece of advice to give to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Ya just gotta do it, I’m afraid. Honestly, it’s weirdly easy to spend months thinking ‘aw, yeah, this is gonna be great’, and it just not clicking that you have to actually write the words. It is for me, anyway. If you’re the sort of person who can just write words, I’m very envious of your talents. To those who have words, I’d say do not underestimate the value of having other people read your work. You might be a genius, but nobody can properly appraise or edit their own work.
Are you working on any new books or other projects at the moment?
Indeed I am! There’s new music due out from Cedarstone soon (hopefully a full album within the year), and I think my next book will probably be here before too long. It’s finished, just need to get it out there. Keep an eye on my Twitter at @chrisdurstonish for updates, because there’s much more to come – books, music, and I’ve even been lucky enough to get to work on card games and role-playing games!
Chronicles from the World of Guilt by Chris Durston
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: August 26, 2022
Publisher: Three Ravens Publishing
Shown on Page (things clearly told to the reader):
- Large-scale disaster and death
- Children in danger
- Body horror
- Body transformation
- Harm to an animal
- Animal death
- Unpleasant eating
- Alluded to (things only mentioned in passing or hinted at):
- Brief mention of bigotry towards human-nonhuman hybrids
A breakdown of content by story can be found at https://chrisdurston.com/chronicles-from-the-world-of-guilt/
What is Guilt?
Is it an enormous flying whale? Maybe an alien, come from deep space to punish us? Some call it an angel or a god, others a demon.
What nobody can deny is that it is the end.
These tales chronicle the story of the Earth in the centuries after the apocalypse: struggles for survival against twisted, horrific foes; small moments of kindness and warmth in the dark; life going on, even as the whole world changes.
These are the Chronicles from the World of Guilt.
Universal Link: mybook.to/WorldOfGuilt
Author Bio & Information
Chris Durston is a writer, editor, and occasional musician from the South West of England, where (like everyone else who lives there) they spend their days scrumping, their nights cow-tipping, and the intervening periods hiding from irate farmers. Their debut novel Each Little Universe was self-published in April 2020 and republished by Skullgate Media in October 2021; their short stories appear in half a dozen or so other places. Future projects (as of the time of writing – with any luck, at least some of these will now be in your present) include work on storytelling card game Woad: Stone to Stone, more novels and whatnot, and Cthulhu Dreamt 2, a collaborative multimedia project including a metal album, a novel, and a role-playing game.
Find them at chrisdurston.com or on Twitter as @chrisdurstonish.
(Also on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/chrisdurstondoeswords/ and Instagram as chrisdurstondoeswords.)