Simple Pleasures are the Most Rewarding

Pasquale Di Falco Author Interview

Duskborn Radiance: A Mother’s Question follows three young people that develop magical powers that their people thought were long gone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

To answer your question, I have to start by asking one of my own. From where does inspiration come?

Here’s the thing. Duskborn Radiance is not the product of conscious choices. The story simply came to me. Better yet, the story simply came through me. More often than not, the book wrote itself. There were long stretches when my mind was quiet while my fingers hammered away of their own accord. I felt as if I was the co-pilot in my own body. In those moments, my intuition told me that I was in the grip of something far greater than myself, and my only thoughts were visual ones: scenes of what I was writing, while I was writing it, all coming through the characters’ eyes. The physical sensations were new to me, and they were profound; there was lightning in my blood, my third eye was wide open, I felt at one and at peace with the entire Universe, and the spiritual love that the ancient Greeks called agape coursed through every fiber of my being. On some level, I was aware of what was happening to me, yet the awareness was something apart from myself, like the waking version of a lucid dream. At times, it was . . . maybe not scary, but definitely unsettling. I wish that I could describe it better, but the truth is that these experiences defy language and the rational mind, as they live in and come from the heart, not the brain. The entire ordeal was both incredibly humbling and absolutely divine.

I understand that, to some, all this sounds pompous or self-important, and to others, it sounds delusional. I’ve shared these experiences with people who are close to me, and I’ve heard all the doubt and disbelief that there is to hear. I’m not trying to convince anyone, nor do I feel the need to defend myself against skepticism. When you’ve been through something like that, your priorities and your perspective change on a fundamental level, to the point that trying to convince the skeptics feels not only unimportant but also counter-productive, like you’re cheapening or betraying the experiences by defending them. I simply speak my truth, and people can take it however they want to take it.

Now, having said all that, I can still offer a more direct answer to your question. Duskborn Radiance purports to be a fantasy series, yet underneath the story’s surface, it’s all about us and our world. Some truths are best shared through fiction. Human beings are capable of real, awesome magic, and we have the ability to thwart evil. Over the past two centuries, we’ve drifted away from our inner power, yet it’s still there, and it’s impossible to destroy. Indeed, if you turn off the news, filter out all the noise on social media, and look past partisan politics, you can see that humanity is in the midst of a great reawakening. It’s messy and uncomfortable, and we’re still in the earliest stages, but it’s happening nonetheless, and it’s inevitable. Not even World War III can stop it.

So Dominic, Caterina, and Amadeus coming into their magic—their people’s first sorcerers in centuries—is emblematic of the human reawakening that’s happening here and now. It also symbolizes the simple fact that there is no hero coming to save us. We have to save ourselves, to be our own heroes, and the way to do so is by reconnecting with our inner power. But again, I didn’t choose to write any of this. I simply sat down and wrote, with the plot, characters, symbols, and themes coming of their own volition. Only after the fact, when the book was finished, did I interpret and understand it all.

Dominic, Caterina, and Amadeus start off as simple farmers and realize they have a higher purpose in life. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Well, I disagree with the choice of the word “higher.” Say rather that they have a different purpose and leave it at that. One theme in the book is that, in the end, the simple pleasures are the most rewarding ones, and the simple life serves great purpose. Indeed, to answer your question, this very theme is one of the ideals behind the characters’ development. As Dominic, Caterina, and Amadeus are thrust further and further into the overarching conflict, we see that their humble beginnings and the lessons learned during their formative years are so often what give them the strength, courage, and perspective to overcome the many challenges that await them.

Beyond that, I hesitate to say more. Duskborn Radiance is character-driven, so saying too much about character development risks spoiling the series, at least in part.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

So we’ve already discussed some, but there are more. One fundamental theme is about the nature of good and evil, and the related yet distinct concept of light and dark. Though this is a common theme in literature, I think that Duskborn Radiance offers a lot of new insight. In particular, these books expose the moral relativism of today for what it is: pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Today’s pop-culture moral relativism is a knee-jerk reaction to religion by contemporary atheists and agnostics. Of course there is an objective basis for distinguishing good and evil. Furthermore, the root of evil is not at all difficult to understand. Evil comes from the biological, psychological, and spiritual shortcomings that we call sociopathy and psychopathy.

Sociopaths and psychopaths rule the world. Why? Because they’re equipped for domination. Their hallmark lack of empathy, coupled with their invariably oversized egos, enables them to do things that good men and women cannot even conceive of doing. This, in turn, enables the sociopaths and psychopaths to hide in plain sight; when people can’t conceive of doing something, they have a hard time believing that anyone would do it. Over time, as these evil-doers continue to shape societies in their own image, our systems and our cultures reward sociopathy and psychopathy more and more. In other words, there is a cumulative effect, especially in law and politics.

Note too that these people don’t consider themselves to be evil. Every single villain is the hero of his or her own story—every single villain thinks that he or she is good—yet this doesn’t mean that they’re objectively good.

Thank you for allowing me that rant. There are other themes that Duskborn Radiance explores, though I prefer not to divulge too much more here, lest your readers tire of me, or I inadvertently spoil something. Instead, here’s a short list of my favorite themes in the books: synchronicity and divine orchestration, which is synchronicity writ large; universal oneness, or the energetic interconnectedness of all things; fundamental, immutable truth and the ways in which it manifests; divinity’s alchemical transmutation into physical energy through human power, wisdom, and love; and the role of consciousness in our Universe.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I appreciate this question. For a while, I wasn’t certain whether I would ever finish the Duskborn Radiance series. I love it in every way, and the characters are as real to me as my flesh-and-blood friends and family are. I’m grateful beyond words for the opportunity to be the story’s vessel. All the same, writing it takes a huge emotional toll, and it’s a major time commitment too. Worse, like every other author, I had periods of doubt.

Now, I feel like I have no choice but to finish the series. The response to A Mother’s Question has been so amazing—from the reviewers, yes, but first and foremost from the readers. The way I see it, if people are kind and good enough to read your work, then you owe them an ending. Furthermore, I owe the characters an ending too, and I owe it to myself to see this journey through to the finale. So next up is Volume II, Rising from Ashes. I hope to publish it in 2023, though I may need longer, as I prefer to let my writing flow organically.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

As the forces of tyranny run rampant, the Universe needs a hero, and a mysterious sorceress is almost ready to answer the call. But first, she needs answers to her oldest questions. Without them, she cannot hope to prevail. Strange, then, that with so much on her shoulders, she takes such keen interest in three ordinary teenagers.

Dominic, Caterina, and Amadeus live a simple life in a little village. All they want is to tend the gardens and fall in love, yet as they grow older, they begin to notice peculiarities in their environment. Further, they’re aware of something brewing inside themselves: an indescribable feeling in their minds, hearts, and guts. Nonetheless, their people’s power has long since faded, so the sensations that the three share, well, they simply can’t be signs of magic.

With Duskborn Radiance, author Pasquale di Falco rewrites the rulebook. Forget what you know about fantasy and sci-fi; about genre fiction, literary fiction, and the novel form; about reality and time; A Mother’s Question shows us that they are so much more. Di Falco tells an epic and symbolic tale while leading readers on a journey into our own selves. Read Duskborn Radiance, and discover your own magic.

Posted on March 29, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


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