Tell me what you thought about the “twists” in this episode.
The Rest Is Illusion is a gripping tale of discovering oneself while accepting the things in life you can and can’t control. Dashel “Dash” Yarnsbrook is a college student gripped in a painful illness. As the story unfolds the reader is drawn not only into the life of Dash, but his friends Ahsley and Sara. Then there is the villain of the story, Wilder Rawls, who makes life hell for just about everyone he meets.
Dash, Sarah, and Ashley like many students in college must face issues that many students come up against. There are issues relating to trusting their own decisions and discovering that not everyone in the world is full of good intentions.
Readers can find a little of themselves in each of the characters. We’ve all been in a place where we are not sure of how we feel about each other, the opposite sex, or even how we would react when faced with death. The Rest Is Illusion touches on these subjects as well as giving readers a look on how far a little faith can change a life.
As I read this story I was touched by the realistic approach to the feelings of the characters. I contacted author Eric Arvin requesting an interview and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions. I invite you to meet Eric Arvin. He answers the questions with warmth and an openness that makes you feel like a life long friend.
The character’s perspective of their lives we interesting. As a writer did you plan these perspectives or did they just fall into place?
Eric Arvin: “They very much evolved over time. The tale was originally a short story wherein Dashel was a supporting character and Wilder was the lead, and he was a decent guy, too. But things happened in my life and the personalities of the characters shifted. There’s a psychological aspect to these changes, but that would take way too long to get into.”
You had mentioned this was your first novel. Was this the first novel you ever wrote?
Eric Arvin: ” The first book I ever wrote – if you don’t count the two I did for the Young Authors program when I was a wee thing – was a book about a boy born with wings called The Demon of Jericho. I’ve just recently shortened and tinkered with that book for publication in the anthology Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open, due out in May from The Barn Cats. Meow.”
Is there a bit of you in these characters?
Eric Arvin: ” There is a bit of me in every character I write, from the most hateful devil to the most beautiful…devil.”
Wilder is the epitome of the villain you love to hate. Have you ever met anyone like Wilder Rawls?
Eric Arvin: ” Not exactly like him. But there were a couple guys in college that came terribly close. Fellas with political aspirations who had no issue with using others to achieve their goals. AND NOW, I SHALL EXPOSE THEM!!! …Not really.”
I love the menagerie of characters such as Ashley being an Albino. Was he intentionally made to be an Albino or did he just evolve?
Eric Arvin: ” Again, that was total evolution. His character wasn’t even in the first version of the story, nor the second. But by the time I began to write the third I realized I needed someone to balance out Wilder Rawls’ character. Ashley is the closest thing to an angel in the book. I reference that in a few scenes, including one at the falls.”
Are there any new novels or writings in the works?
Eric Arvin: ” Aside from the anthology mentioned above, I have written a novella with Tj Klune, Ghouls Gym, for Empire Press’s Zombie Boyz anthology. Also from Empire I have The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles & Men and its prequel Azrael & The Light Bringer set for release this year, both of these set in the same valley as The Rest Is Illusion. The audio book of Woke Up in a Strange Place, as read by Charlie David (Bump, Dante’s Cove), should be out soon. I’ve just finished writing a spec fic epic called Terms We Have For Dreaming, but that won’t be seen by a publisher for a while.”
Are any of your novels being consider for a film?
Eric Arvin: “The Rest Is Illusion is making the rounds, as is a telescript for Subsurdity.”