Sunday, October 30, 2011

Follow Up To Forsaken by Andrew Van Wey

I wrote, perhaps two days ago, about Forsaken by Andrew Van Wey, and more or less gushed over it. Now, by virtue of the fact that I live in Singapore, the only books I can ever receive (so far anyway), are ebooks. Most authors seem to send a generic template with the book (or smashwords coupon), with maybe a link to where they want you to review. Mr Van Wey was probably the first author that invited you to reply (tell him where you reviewed), and the really friendly tone encouraged me to send a gushing fan-letter.

I don't normally write to authors unless I'm really really moved, so by nature, I don't expect a reply. So I'm quite surprised that I got a rather friendly reply. Here's a transcript (or "copy" a better term) or the email I sent, and its reply:

Dear Mr Van Wey (Or whoever screens your emails),

Thank you so much for the copy of your thriller. I read it within two days, which is amazing for me since I'm technically having exams :p 

If it's not too much of a bother, can I ask you how you came up with the idea for the book? It ties together the supernatural with art, which are two subjects that I didn't see as connected before. Was there any particular art legend/myth/story that inspired you? (Apart from Stephen King's books)

Yours sincerely,


P.s oops, almost forgot, here's the link to the review on
And the reply:

Hi Eustacia,

Thanks so much for the kind email, although I assure you, no one screens my emails :-)  Although I should have someone screen me from using the internet during the day as I always end out distracted.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read and review FORSAKEN.  I hope your exams go well and wish you all the best with your studies!  

As for your question, how I came up with FORSAKEN, it all goes back to about 2004 when I got really interested in the idea of haunted art.  There were a lot of stories about haunted paintings, haunted boxes, haunted museums or artifacts stolen from crypts of pharaohs and such.  While I find that fascinating, I always wondered how, specifically, something haunted is created?  How does a ghost, physically, get into an object?

At some point I realized that the object itself had to be the message, that there had to be a reason why the ghost would choose to possess something, and that's where art came in.  People always discuss how paintings have messages, meanings, etc., all created by an artist.  I realized that this painting, specifically, was a message to a person who had long ago forgotten something bad he had done.  Essentially, this is the story of a person who has forgotten a terrible accident, and how the ghost of that accident brings about the remembrance of that.  People sometimes say: "That painting speaks to me," but in the case of Daniel/David, it literally does.  It was made by the entity his dead brother became in order to exact 'balance' over his death.  And he used art, something he loved as a child, to enact this vengeance because it was something his brother understood.  Perhaps, if his brother had been a famous musician, perhaps he would've used music instead, but art was a common language they both spoke, and one that I've always found rather creepy.  We generally don't hang photos of people we don't know on the walls of our houses, yet we hang paintings of people we don't know from them.  I always thought that dynamic was interesting.

I hope that answers your question.  Thanks again for taking the time to read and review Forsaken!  

With Warmest Regards,

Andrew Van Wey  

And before I end, here's a link to his site (he blogs too): The stuff he writes are quite interesting, although I haven't read enough to make an informed judgement yet

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