Saturday, July 31

Eddy Boudel Tan: Five Things I Learned Writing After Elias

When the aircraft piloted by Elias Santos crashes one week prior to their big day, Coen Caraway loses the guy he enjoys and the impression of joy he has worked so hard to create. The only thing Elias leaves is a recording of his final words, and even Coen is baffled by the puzzling message.

Numb with sorrow, he takes haven on the Mexican island that was suggested to host their wedding. As pieces of the past come to the surface area in the consequences of the disaster, Coen is forced to question whatever he thought he understood about Elias and their life together. Underneath his problematic memory lies the reality about Elias– and himself.

From the wet concrete of Vancouver to the spoiled coasts of Mexico, After Elias weaves the past with today to tell a story of doubt, regret, and the fear of losing whatever.

When everyone is grieving, it isnt simple being amusing

My novel is not a dark funny, but I do desire readers to come up for air and laugh at times. My preferred evaluations are the ones from readers who found themselves laughing and weeping at different points throughout the story.

My novel is about death. A pilot flies an aircraft into the sea one week before his wedding day, and the story follows the fiancé as he attempts to make sense of the after-effects.

This story isnt bleak and entirely grim. I decided early on that there would be an undercurrent of lightness– the difficult part was having this exist together with the novels darker themes without trivializing them. A few of the subject is major, and its crucial to me to treat it with regard. Like life itself, this story has minutes of happiness and moments of pain, plus whatever in between, and I desire readers to feel the full variety of these things.

Mexico City stands on the ruins of an ancient Aztec capital

I took an impromptu journey to Mexico City when I was writing the novel, wishing to see and touch residues of the Aztecs. These individuals survive on through their genes and their heritage, and Mexico has been independent from Europe for nearly 2 centuries, however I cant help but lament what might have been, had it not been for manifest destiny.

This story might just be set in Mexico. These traditions, from both their Indigenous and colonial cultures, are common throughout the novel.

Fragments of Aztec mythology and history emerge, and I fell into a research study bunny hole discovering their remarkable beliefs and beats. I discovered Tenochtitlan, the magnificent island fortress that was as soon as the Aztec capital in the middle of a valley lake. When Hernán Cortés and his Spanish conquistadors shown up with their weapons that shot thunder and foreign diseases, the Aztecs were overtaken and their city destroyed. The capital of New Spain was built on the ashes of Tenochtitlan, now referred to as Mexico City. The ruins of the pyramids can be seen today next to the congested central square.

Perspective is essential, however voice is a bolt cutter

In the end, I discovered that there is no right or incorrect method. Some choices are much safer than others, but do I aim to be safe? Is that what I desire my work to be known for? Whats most important is how all of it comes together. That frequently involves a bit of magic, something hard to specify, however one vital ingredient is voice. Thats what brings a story to life, perhaps more so when its a very first person perspective. Individuals wish to get lost in a story. When the reader is mesmerized, Technical sins can be forgiven. Ive liked a lot of books with generous loads of head-hopping, informing (rather than revealing), and all manner of things authors are informed to avoid. I didnt notice or care, due to the fact that I was immersed, the characters felt real, and I bought it all.

The story is informed through a first individual point of view, mainly in the present tense. I battled the choice for a while prior to understanding there was no other way to inform this story the method I wanted to tell it.

There are readers (not to point out agents and editors) who may evaluate a book more roughly based on its tense or point of view. I d rather link deeply with a smaller group of readers through a distinct voice than be thought about safe enough by the masses.

Music is as close a pal as coffee

While I composed my first novel, After Elias, I had 2 albums playing on repeat: Battle Born by The Killers, and Conscious by Broods. “Le lac” by Julien Doré and “Holy Ghost” by BØRNS are also songs that I associate carefully with the story.

I end up being rather focused when in the throes of writing a book. I understand the story wont work unless Im obsessed with it.

These tunes inscribe themselves onto the DNA of the story, catching its mood and environment. Ill listen to them prior to a writing session to assist myself slip into the right mindset, or while Im considering the storys detailed information or bigger shape.

Theres no such thing as a British accent

One of the characters is a female honeymooning alone on the Mexican island where the book is set. English-speaking North Americans, such as myself, tend to swelling together all things British.


Eddy Boudel Tan is the author of After Elias (Fall 2020) and The Rebellious Tide (Summer 2021). His work portrays a world just like our own– the heroes are flawed, fact is misshaped, and there is as much hope as there is heartbreak. Hes currently writing his 3rd book at house in Vancouver.

Eddy Boudel Tan: Website|Twitter|Instagram


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My preferred evaluations are the ones from readers who discovered themselves laughing and crying at various points throughout the story. I battled the choice for a while before recognizing there was no other way to inform this story the method I wanted to tell it. Ill listen to them before a composing session to help myself slip into the best frame of mind, or while Im considering the storys intricate details or bigger shape.

A pilot flies a plane into the sea one week before his wedding event day, and the story follows the fiancé as he attempts to make sense of the after-effects. Like life itself, this story has minutes of joy and minutes of pain, plus everything in between, and I want readers to feel the complete variety of these things.

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