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Monday 10 October 2016

ℚ The Ferryman Institute - Colin Gigl

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with debut author to talk about The Ferryman Institute (, Gallery Books, 432 pages), a Fantasy.

“Delightful….Top notch world building and a compelling storyline. Colin Gigl is a great new voice in contemporary fantasy!” —KIM HARRISON, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author |

A very warm welcome to Colin Gigl; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Ferryman Institute?

"Considering it's a book with a thoroughly fantastical core, a large part of it came from the real world, oddly enough. Someone very important to me was battling with severe depression at the time. I remember waking up one morning, staring at the ceiling, and just thinking what would it be like if you tried to kill yourself but couldn't?

It wasn't exactly the most optimistic, cheerful morning I've ever had (I'm usually not that morbid until at least lunchtime), but that was the seed the story ended up growing around.

A few days later, the phrase Ferryman Institute popped into my head, and after that, other bits and pieces — the mythos behind it, characters, etc. — started to fall into place."

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

"Honestly, probably too much, but I happen to be of the opinion any Colin is too much Colin. There are definitely a few pieces of me in there though, whether I'd like to admit that or not. Sometimes they pop up as story details, other times I think it's more stylistic. I tend to have a drier sense of humor (if you can even call it that), for example, and I think there's definitely of whiff of that in the book."
Ah - I am liking the sound of Colin and the dry humour.

Why should we read The Ferryman Institute and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"Well, there's immortal dudes and a hidden world and narrow escapes and intrigue and terrible jokes and maybe a kiss or two, which I think is a pretty unique combination. At its core, though, I tried to write a human story with a real message about hope. There's also a healthy dose of humor and tragedy layered throughout, and I think there's a certain poignancy you can only get when you can find laughter in the sadness.

Neil Gaiman, in a foreword to the late Terry Pratchett's A SLIP OF THE KEYBOARD, described Pratchett as having a frustration at, among other things, "those who think serious is the opposite of funny". I know I'm already asking for trouble referencing two extraordinarily talented writers, but I do so only because I feel that Gaiman's turn of phrase is one of the most eloquent ways someone has ever put that sentiment. It's that sentiment that I hope embodies THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE, and it’s why I think the book is not only unique, but why someone should give it a chance: it's not afraid to be a story that is serious and funny. And to me, that's a big part of what the human condition is about."
I could not agree more; you need to be able to find the funny in the tragedy.

Can you tell us something quirky about The Ferryman Institute, its story and characters?

"THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE has quirks aplenty, so if you're in search of a few, you've come to the right place.

There are a few nods to other works and myths sprinkled throughout, particularly as far as psychopomps go. For the most part, there's also a little something special behind each character's name. Some are pretty obvious, like Alice's or Javrouche's (whose name gets explained in the book), but others are a bit more subtle, I think. Or maybe they're not, and I'm not half as clever as I think I am."
Who would you recommend The Ferryman Institute to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Maybe this is just me being wildly idealistic here — okay, this is me being wildly idealistic here — but I like to think that there's a little something for everyone in there. I know how "early 20th century movie promo" that sounds (Action! Suspense! Romance!), but at its heart, this really is a story about two beaten down people at the end of their respective roads who find hope in the other.

That, and its got at least a dozen awful puns in it, so, sign me up, right?

If there's one disclaimer I have, it's that this book is not a light-hearted comedy. For me, at least, THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE is a book that sort of floats between lines, whether that be genre-wise or emotion-wise. I sincerely hope it earns a laugh or two along the way, but if you're not looking for some sadness or, at the least, introspection with your humor, you may want to come back at a later date."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Hmm, tough question. I like to read or tell stories (try to tell, anyway) that are about people. While I personally enjoy putting those people under the umbrella of speculative fiction, mostly because it's such a big sandbox to play in, the characters are my primary concern, be that in writing or reading. For example, I loved Chad Harbach's THE ART OF FIELDING, a book that's pretty much on the opposite end of the speculative spectrum, because I thought he did a magnificent job bringing his cast to life.

When it comes down to it, give me a set of characters I care about and I'll be pretty happy."
What is your writing process?
"Imagine the proverbial infinite amount of monkeys banging away on typewriters trying to recreate the works of Shakespeare. Now imagine they're drunk, sleep deprived, and all their keyboards have a sticky "O" key."
LOL That sounds like me on a good day

What is in store next?

"As a debut author, I'm just trying to get through this first one before I start making plans. However, I'd love to tell another story or two in the Ferryman universe, so, fingers crossed."
Ah-ah! I will, and now I cannot wait to read my copy of the Ferryman Institute! Thank you so much for being with us and we hope you are having a great release!

The Ferryman Institute
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

Lauren Stoolfire said...

This sounds like a great book! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!