And here we have the last of our initial interviews with the creators, this time featuring me, Brad Castles, the writer of Not Our Eden, and the other half of Lyrebird Tales. As always, click below to see the full interview.
As with the other interviews, the questions asked are in italics, and the responses are in plain text.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a relatively normal 30ish year old from Melbourne, Australia. I live near the city centre and work in Tourism. I’m also one half of Lyrebird Tales.
When did you start writing? When did you start writing comic scripts?
I can’t remember I time when I didn’t write creative works, but it was probably some time in primary school. EDEN is my first graphic novel script.
What was the first thing you ever wrote?
I honestly can’t remember. The earliest thing I still have access to is a fan-fiction piece I wrote in the Ravnica plane of the Magic the Gathering setting, before it’s release. It became part of a larger work which has now been abandoned called Defying Fate. I might get back to it one day.
What's your favourite graphic novel?
I’m not sure if it technically counts, but the Brass Sun series is my favourite. Mostly due to a very inventive setting.
Which creatives influenced you most in writing Not Our EDEN?
That’s a tough one. Beyond being mostly inspired by their writing, the collaboration of Stephen Baxter & Terry Pratchett pushed my thinking on what would happen to earth without humans. Also the works of Studio Ghibli, such as Spirited Away.
Where did the idea for Not Our EDEN come from?
Matt & I sat down one night to hash out what sort of story we could tell together, and we decided on a post-apocalyptic story. I tend to like doing things differently, and I’d seen a documentary series called Life After People which intrigued me, so I suggested a “green” apocalypse. It went from there.
Any advice for other writers?
Keep yourself going. Long-form works like novels and graphic novels are definitely a marathon, and you’ve just gotta keep yourself moving towards the finish line. I personally make sure I write things by hand first, which means I edit the original work less, but that may not work for everyone. My only other piece of advice is to find a quirk in each character you love. That will make writing them easier.
Anything you wish you could tell non-writers about the realities of writing?
Two things; firstly, that each writer works differently, and that the image they have of how a writer “works” daily may be the opposite of what actually happens for each writer. Second is that for some of us, myself included, the process is more about creating a world & characters and then following them around and noting their exploits than writing. This often creates a need to write rather than a want, which can be hard and make your friendly writer sound a little different to other people, but stick with it and you’ll eventually see the rewards.
Anything you wish you could tell other writers working with an artist to bring their graphic novel to life?
There is a quite a bit, but there a three important things;
1.) You’re only 40% of the work, at most.
2.) It’s going to take more time than you can imagine to do properly, and you won’t be a part of it during this process.
3.) It’s not just your work. Give the artist as much creative freedom as you can afford (ie, don’t let them miss vital cues, but don’t jump up and down when a character looks different to how you pictured them) and you’ll be surprised how stunning the work will turn out.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Just to thank Matt for his hard work and dedication on EDEN so far, and to implore anyone who is interested to pick up a copy when it releases later this year. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, and it’ll mean we can get to our next work all the easier, which is shaping up to be very different.
Thanks for your time Brad.
Happy to give it.
That concludes the interviews with our initial creators. Come back for something different next week.