Author, Lorenzo Frau-Schneider
Short Story: Beyond the Moss-Covered Grave
Apologue of the Immortals
Tell us a little about your background and what led you to writing.
I am a Swiss writer with multicultural origins (Italian, American, Irish, Greek and Swedish), who writes stories across all the spectrum of the fantasy genre (with a particular preference for urban fantasy).
I am also an avid TTRPG player: I host a few regular D&D games and play in any game that will have me.
My road to writing happened in stages.
I’ve always loved stories. My sister and I would concoct elaborate adventures when we were kids and my mother would always read to us. Some of my fondest memories are of her reading passages from The Hobbit or from Harry Potter.
I wrote my first “real” story at the age of seven and was lucky enough to be able to read it in front of a large audience. The feeling was unlike any I’d ever felt before.
After that, I grew passionate about mythology and world legends, finally culminating in a fascination with comparative mythology and traditional storytelling.
How or when did you realize you wanted to be an author?
It took many years to openly admit that what I really wanted to do in life was tell stories, but when I did, that truth became irrefutable. Fundamentally, I realized that I wanted to be an author when I discovered that it was the closest I’d ever get to working magic.
What is your writing process like?
The process is the same, whether writing a short story or a book.
Initially I will have a few ideas, write them down, then brainstorm. When I have something that looks like an outline to a story, I will make a mind-map (followed by a detailed outline, in the case of a book). Then I will just write; without censor or editing. Once the writing is finished, I usually read the text out loud a first time and start editing. I’ll then repeatedly re-read and edit the story/chapter until I’m satisfied.
Then I’ll ask my wife to read it (this is the most important part: she is my first reader and the opinion I value the most).
Finally, I’ll post or submit the text, or query the book.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration often comes from small things: a music track, a stray thought in the shower, a twist in a conversation. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of my ideas from the desire to share concepts with others, to share messages, hopes and dreams. “Beyond the moss-covered grove” is a perfect example: I wanted to share my thoughts concerning our relationship with Nature. From there, ideas sort of snowballed into a tale, assisted by a few notions picked up from a podcast I’ve been listening to and brought together by some traditional Celtic melodies.
What part does writing play in your life?
It is an escape, a means of expression, but mostly an exploration. By writing, I can go to places and discover thoughts that I would otherwise be incapable of reaching. It is an act of magical creation and an endless playground. It is also something I’m trying to engage in a lot more often.
What are your aspirations for your writing journey?
Currently, my main goal is to publish a fantasy trilogy. Other than that, I would like to share my writing with more people and tell stories that resonate with readers. If I can truly touch the heart of even one person, then my aspirations will be met.
What is something you know now about writing you wish you knew when you started?
It doesn’t have to be perfect right away.
I started off thinking that if the first draft wasn’t also the final draft, then the story was garbage (and, by extension, so was the writer). The truth is that very often the final text is quite different from the first rough scribblings. I think that if I’d known that, I would have spent a less time being unhappy and more time writing.
Describe your favorite character (you created). Why?
One of my favorites (there could never be just one) would be Miranda, the Bubble-Mistress. I love her endless compassion, unfaltering light and unique way of helping those in need. She was inspired by a gifted street artist I saw one summer in Geneva. You can find her story (and a version narrated by me) on my website.
Which author(s) inspires you as a writer?
There are so many!
Neil Gaiman has inspired and influenced the construction and themes of my stories. His ability to coax the unexpected from the mundane is one that I greatly admire. Terry Pratchett is a constant inspiration: I believe that satirizing reality to better understand it is one of the perks of being a writer, and he did it beautifully. Stephen Fry taught me to love language, Patricia McKillip is often in my thoughts when I’m striving to write something oneiric and elaborately beautiful, while Louise Cooper inspires me when I want to deliver unparalleled visions of raw, untamed power.
What advice would you give newly aspiring authors?
My advice comes in the form of a triad.
Three are the paths of the writer:
The path that begins by writing for yourself,
The path that teaches you perseverance in the face of apathy,
And the road that lets your dreams free on the page.
What works can your readers expect to see in the near future?
I am planning to continue posting stories on my website. I will also be submitting more short stories to anthologies and magazines. Finally, I am working on a new book that I would like to start querying by the end of 2023.
How can your readers find more about you and your works?
I maintain a website where people can find more of my short stories and more about myself: https://pagesfromanotherplace.wordpress.com/
I am also active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pgsanotherplace