We have a date! Lorraine Wilson's second novel, The Way The Light Bends, will be out on August 2, 2022.
Since releasing her debut novel last August, the fabulous speculative This Is Our Undoing, Lorraine Wilson has not rested, but has continued to create beautiful stories with the power to transport us into familiar yet treacherous worlds, accompanied by believable and compelling characters. Lorraine's skills as word-weaver are captivating, bringing life to characters and locations alike. If you haven't yet discover her work, take a look at This Is Our Undoing, her debut novel, and read some of the many reviews on the store page.
We were, therefore, absolutely delighted to hear her announcement, in December, that Lorraine found an agent. She is now represented by Robbie Guillory of Underline Literary Agency: #LunaProudParents!
Back in October, we shared the news of The Way The Light Bends, and if you have missed the post about the book and its background, you can read it here. Lorraine is ready to take us back into the world of dark fantasy and folklore, this time set in Scotland.
Lorraine on folklore:
The mythology of my story settings is always in my mind as I write, and is far more in the foreground of The Way The Light Bends than it was in This Is Our Undoing. One of the reasons I find folklore endlessly fascinating is because it tells us so much about ourselves. It obviously casts a light on the societies that birthed those mythologies, but it also reveals parts of our modern, atheistic (or a-folkloric?) selves. We have not, of course, moved beyond our folklore at all, despite what we like to tell ourselves, it is just that those beliefs fed to us through childhood books and grandparents’ stories generally live in a subliminal, near-instinctive part of ourselves. Call it our hearts, if you like. We don’t, using Scotland as an example, generally believe in the Cat Sidh as a thief of souls anymore, and yet black cats are the hardest, by a long way, to rehome from shelters. We knock on wood, we shiver at the full moon. We don’t believe there are monsters in the woods, and we know there aren’t wolves. But if I were to take you into the forest in the dark of night, and leave you there, your faith in both those truths would become whisper-thin. My inner biologist sees social learning that has evolved to aid safe navigation of both community and environment; my writer self sees a veritable playground!
The intersection between our sublimated folklore and our everyday selves is emotion; it is the capacity of the human heart to transmute emotion into a myriad other forms. So when we write stories full of love or fear or grief, what is more natural, more utterly human, than to have those emotions turn into superstition or symbolism or fantasy? When I started planning a story about two sisters searching for a way through grief, the presence of folklore as one of the pathways before them felt very right. The lure of the unknown when the known is hard to endure is an incredibly powerful thing, I think. Who wouldn’t be tempted to believe in something unfathomable if it might ease their pain?
One of the recurring images in The Way The Light Bends is the liminal space – the light beneath an archway, the surface of the water, the moment of sunrise. There’s an indefinable pull to such moments or places, of looking at them and thinking … well, thinking what if? And what is any cataclysm, especially grief, riddled with if not what ifs? How many myths promise salvation if you are only brave enough to seek it out?
The folklore in The Way The Light Bends is, perhaps, my take on the idea that the cracks in ourselves are where the light gets in. It is when we are most broken that we let the unknown in, both light and dark; we turn from comfortless reality to foundless hope and fantasy in search of healing. That can be a good thing, of course, but it can also be terrible. There are monsters in the dark, after all, even if we have stopped believing in them.
As we get closer to the summer, you'll learn more about the book. Meantime, discover This Is Our Undoing and immerse yourself in the life of a conservation biologist, intrigues and a near-future Europe.