Interview With Chris Pavesic Author of The Caelimane Operation

Monday, February 16, 2015

Paper Bindings | Interview With Chris Pavesic Author of The Caelimane Operation


Paper Bindings is pleased to have Chris Pavesic, author of The Caelimane Operation join us today.


The Caelimane Operation is part of the Darkside Codex, a world that several other authors write stories in. Was it hard to write a book set in a world that other authors get to play with? How do you think all the stories connect to each other?

author chris pavesicThe Caelimane Operation is set in the shared world of the Darkside Codex. This world, which revolves around the city of Southwatch, was created by Celina Summers and Richard C. White. Stories in this world are based in the steampunk genre, but can have additional elements of science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, paranormal, and/or noir. After reading the Darkside Codex bible (a text which provides authors the basic concepts of a shared world) I was drawn to the religious concepts outlined by Summers and White. The Caelimane Temple is a powerful organization in the world they created, but it has been gradually losing influence with the general population due to many factors, including the Temple’s inability to banish the dark cloud of pollution that plagues Southwatch. I found it interesting that the Temple elders routinely send out members of the clergy on secret missions, called penusms, to spy on both the human population and the fae. From this scenario my story began to develop.

In a way it is difficult to write in a shared-world series because I cannot just “run” with my own ideas. I always have to check to see if something has been created in the Darkside Codex bible or if I can be the innovator. When I come up with what I believe to be a “good idea” for my story, I have to consider whether or not it fits into the shared world. When working on The Caelimane Operation, I would spend hours poring over the Darkside Codex to see if what I wanted to do would contradict something else established by another author. I think I almost had the bible memorized by the time I finished my first draft. Of course, every novel published adds characters, settings, and events to the world of the Darkside Codex, so it is a never-ending cycle of new ideas and creativity.

the caelimane operation by chris pavesicIt is also helpful in a way to work in a shared-world series because I have a group of authors I can talk to regularly about the work. Eric James Spannerman, Daniel Ausema, and Andrew Leon Hudson all have written Darkside Codex novels, and we enjoy getting together online to discuss our current projects, and the steampunk genre. Dianna Gunn, who runs the Darkside Codex blog, is also a member of our group. Before this series, writing had always been a solitary activity for me. Now I have a group of extremely talented and creative individuals to work with and to help brainstorm ideas.

That certainly sounds more in depth that I would have thought. Have you read the other books in the Darkside Codex? Would you say they've influenced The Caelimane Operation any?

I have read all of the books in the series, although the only one that had been published prior to my writing The Caelimane Operation was Storm Angel. The influence should grow in the future as more books are published and the “world” of The Darkside Codex becomes more defined.

The world is pretty complex already, this book has a little bit of everything: steampunk, fantasy, faeries. What was your favorite part to write?

I like the interaction between the industrial aspects of steampunk and the natural world of the fae, especially given the fact that the two worlds are incompatible. The fae’s magical nature causes human technology to act in unpredictable ways and the pollution created by the factories in Southwatch are responsible for killing the fae. This adds so many interesting dimensions to the stories when they have to interact and find a way to co-exist.

Any behind the scene stories you'd like to share with us?

So far, all of the authors that write for this series are night owls. It is not unusual to find any one (or all) of us online throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning.

the caelimane operation by chris pavesic
Quick, what are the first three items you see on your writing desk?

I see a laptop computer. The mouse pad has a sketch of Nikola Tesla and Tesla Coils. Next to the computer is a spiral notepad with a drawing of an airship on the cover.

When was the moment you knew that you wanted to be a writer?

I have written stories, poems, and novels since I can remember. When I was nine or ten years old I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Around the same time I also learned that Adams had written several episodes of one of my favorite television shows—Doctor Who. (Living in America I watched the re-runs on P.B.S.) Somehow at that age I put it together that this was his job; Adams earned a living putting these wonderful, funny, poignant, and exciting ideas down on paper for the world to enjoy. Prior to this, I never realized that “writer” was a career option. It has taken some time for me to pursue this as more than a hobby, though. Over the years I had several short stories and poems published in small print local venues. These are wonderful publications that I enjoy, but they paid in contributor’s copies. The turning point in my writing career came when I decided to write the type of novels and stories that I enjoyed reading. Speculative fiction, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, young adult, and noir—these are the types of novels that fill my bookshelves. J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Agatha Christie, Piers Anthony, Douglas Adams, H.G. Wells, and Stephen King—these are the authors who have created story worlds that I have inhabited in my imagination. Two years ago I made my first professional sale to Penumbra eMag. “Going Home” was the featured story in the H.G. Wells-inspired issue and today my own steampunk/fantasy/horror novel, The Caelimane Operation, sits on the virtual bookshelves next to my favorite authors.

Thank you taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

About the Book


the caelimane operation - the Darkside Codex - by chris pavesic
Title: The Caelimane Operation
Author: Chris Pavesic
Release Date: January 16th, 2015
Genre: Fantasy - Steampunk - Faeries
Age Group: YA or older

“In Southwatch it's important to keep the faith.

When the Temples to the Goddess north of Southwatch are burned and followers of Dione are murdered, Hierocrat Catherine, a bard of the Caelimane Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed, but will she succeed when she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogue members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead? ”

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