Today, I am thrilled to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, a really intriguing new novel that sets out to answer the question, what happens after you die? And when that answer isn’t all harps and clouds, she addresses: how can you fight back from the afterlife?
For today’s blog tour, we have an interview with Elliot, the father to main character, Felicia. Her dad may not be a huge character in Level 2, but I chose to interview him because his influence is a big part of the book and is clearly an important part of Felicia’s life (and afterlife). And from talking to Lenore, I get the sense that Elliot will continue to be an important, underlying presence in the sequel!
What’s the most outrageous inspiration you’ve ever used to write your music?
My current project is based on a rumor my Serrada Escrima Sifu told me about a herd of musical goats in his native country of Turkey. People from his hometown were all talking about a former blacksmith who outfitted his goats with bells of various sizes. Supposedly he was training them to jump in a certain sequence in order to create a piece of music. I was utterly fascinated and had to see this spectacle for myself.
We successfully tracked them down and recorded them, and now I’m nearly done composing my Prancing Goats Symphony. I’m in talks with some European venues to stage a performance.
Have you ever written anything inspired by or about your daughter, Felicia?
Felicia started having really bad nightmares after an incident that occurred when we were living in Nairobi, Kenya. I sang her lullabies to calm her down. Around the same time, we took a trip to Maasai Mara National Park and heard a performance by the Maasai, who are big into polyphonic syncopation. That inspired me to compose a series of lullabies mixing my Irish tradition with the Maasai call-and-response pattern, creating a sort of chant-like effect. The rhythmic nature of it always soothed Felicia.
Your daughter’s life spiraled wildly out of control not too long ago. How did it feel to have to have to send her away?
It’s been a very trying time. I always try to tell myself that she’s nearly eighteen and would be going off to university soon enough anyway, but this forced separation still hurts, especially considering the circumstances.
If you could redo anything in your daughter’s life, what would it be?
As a parent, the inclination is to protect our children. I hate knowing that Felicia is in any kind of pain. But children will never learn or grow emotionally if they can’t make mistakes for themselves.
What is one memory you would relive over and over again, if you could?
Evie, Felicia’s mother, never wanted to have children, so I resigned myself to never getting to be a dad. But then, Felicia came into our lives and I remember the first time I cradled her to my chest. It was the most magical moment of my life.
Learn more about Level 2 and connect with Lenore online:
Read an excerpt of the first 50 pages of Level 2 here.
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