Now that Xavier Axelson’s emotional story of a father take his daughter his daughter back from the wild, I took some time to sit down with Xavier and talk to him a bit about the new edition of Lily, his writing and what he has coming up.
Lily was revised and re-edited. Can you tell me about what it was like to visit a story you’ve already completed.
It’s been about 3 years since Lily first came out, and I was surprised at how much more the characters had to say, and how quickly they came back to me. The story I thought was over, wasn’t.
Although there aren’t a lot of changes to the story itself, what part of the revisions do you think enhanced the story most.
The climatic scenes between Lily and Pryor are really amped up on the chill factor. The characters tell me what they’re going to do, I’m just along for the ride. Lily really came into her own horrific self. I was truly scared for her father…and everyone else in the house.
Lily is probably your most emotional story thus far. What is it about the story that you think connected most with your readers?
Lily is based on a news story I read about a little girl being dragged off her swing set by a coyote, and I couldn’t imagine a worse nightmare then seeing your child being taken into the woods by a wild animal, truly horrific stuff, so that emotional gut grab is something everyone can relate too, whether you’re a parent or not. The relationship between Pryor and Lily is traumatic and his pain overshadows everything. He has to learn to live and love again. Who hasn’t suffered some great loss, only to have to get up the next day?
You’re known for very strong characters grappling with their inner demons and relationships that range from toxic to healing, do you draw from your own experiences when writing about these relationships?
Absolutely not! I’m perfect in every way… J Actually, my relationships don’t manifest in the writing, at least not consciously, but readers often give feedback that makes me pause and wonder if I’ve revealed something about past relationships. Writing is terrifying because there’s always potential to expose yourself.
Family always plays a big role you your stories, especially aunts and mothers. How much of an influence is your family to you?
Families are beasts made of many pieces (claws, teeth and heart) and we are part of the monster whether it is comforting or biting us, so of course I am influenced. Usually, it isn’t until I look back that I notice echoes of people I love…and hate.
You have a full length novel coming up. Can you tell us a bit about it?
The novel is part one of a dark fantasy/horror series involving a group of men, and yes there is a father among them, that unknowingly possess elemental energies. Its only when a stranger comes to town that their true natures are revealed. Chaos ensues.
Will you be writing more paranormal stories? Do you think paranormal is your niche or can we expect you to surprise us with something else?
I’m working on several stories right now; one involves an apple farm, the other is a spin on fairy folklore…so who knows… Wait and see!
Lily by Xavier Axelson is available at: