Thursday, November 29, 2018

#004 Inside The Emotion of Fiction Christian Fennell's "The Fiddler in the Night"

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***Christian Fennell’s The Fiddler In The Night is the fourth in a never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt.  All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece. 

The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished fiction genre writers for INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION.  Contact CRC Blog via email at or personal Facebook messaging at

Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us?  I have just recently, this past week finished a novel The Fiddler in the Night.

For the longest time the working title of the novel was Urram Hill.  Urram being a Gaelic word meaning dignity.  It’s the name of the farm where the main character is from. (Right:  On the Pain Beyond The Trees attributed and copyright permission granted by Christian Fennell for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

Fiction genre?  Ex science fiction, short story, fantasy novella, romance, drama, crime, plays, flash fiction, historical, comedy,  etc.  And how many pages long?   Literary Fiction, but not by choice, it just comes out that way.  Although, I’m not a big subscriber to the genre definitions.

Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no.   If yes, what publisher and what publication date?   The book has not been published, as I have only just finished.  Let’s hope. (Winter Writing attributed and copyright permission granted by Christian Fennell for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction?   Six years, but, also working on my second novel, which I’m half done, entitled The Monkey King.  So I'm a little neurotic that way, I like the variety of changing it up.  I'd work on the novel for two or three moths, then leave it and write a short story or two or three, then go back to the novel.  In that time, I was also contributing a monthly column to the Prague Review, which was nice to be able to leave fiction and write some nonfiction.   

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work?  And please describe in detail.  And can you please include a photo?  I had been a writer of screenplays in my early days of working in film and television, and having had to pack that world in, I needed something I could do on my own, and writing fiction was it.  It was like coming back full circle.  I moved us to our cabin in rural Ontario and I went at it – the novel and writing short stories.  We were there for a year.  The fact that it is now five years beyond that is somewhat astonishing to me, in a wtf kinda way. (Right:  Christian writing at his desk.  Copyright permission granted by Christian Fennell for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day?   I like to write in the mornings.  For the longest time, 4-7 a.m., which was the only tie I had for writing.  With fiction, I like to let my fingers do the thinking, and so I type.  With nonfiction, I start with a pad and pen, as much of nonfiction is research and thinking, both of which I try and avoid when writing fiction.  (Left:  Christian Fennell in August of 2018.  Copyright permission granted by Christian Fennell for this CRC Blog Post Only)

What is the summary of your fiction work The Fiddler in the Night?  Cody McLean’s mother disappears the night of her husband’s wake.  The orphaned teen sets out to pursue a suspicious stranger.  On the road he meets a variety of people, all with advice for the young boy, all a potential thread.  He continues to track the stranger and soon there is a trail of dead bodies.  He meets Holly Morningstar, a girl his own age, held captive, prostituted and beaten by her guardian.  Cody frees Holly and she joins him on his hunt for the stranger.   They fall in love and soon they are the ones being hunted.  In the name love, does Cody abandon is pursuit of the stranger, the man he is convinced murdered his mother, or does he keep going, to satisfy revenge.          

Please include excerpt and include page numbers as reference.  The excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.  On either side of the road appeared large outcroppings of shield rock streaked with black and pink and where alder bushes, raspberry bushes and trees grew from crevices.  He saw ancient trees grown too tall and heavy for their rocky moorings, having fallen onto their sides, great circular walls of exposed roots and dirt pointing to the sky.  He rode past dark and vacant lakes and he rode past narrow long stretches of washed-out lowlands, sun-bleached trees still standing, dead and broken.   

Why is this excerpt so emotional for you?  And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt?   It’s simple descriptive passage (where) the setting gives birth to the characters, and through them, the story itself.  It is my hope, that the setting can, in some ways, highlight, or accentuate, the theme of the story.      
Other works you have published?   I have published multiple short stories and essays in various literary journals.  They have appeared in a number of literary magazines and collected works, including:  Wilderness House Literary Review, Spark:  A Creative Anthology, Carnival Magazine, Tincture, Liars’ League London, Liquid Imagination, and Kingston University of London: Words, Pauses, Noises, among others.  My short story “Under the Midnight Sun” was an Eric Hoffer Award, 2015 Best new Writing finalist. (Right Eric Hoffer)

Anything you would like to add?  Writing is faith and way down in the dark hole of that, the light of trust and hope.  Find those things.
Contact link for you?  If the weather is nice, hopefully, I’m out on the water fishing. Try me there. (Left:  Christian Fennell Blog Logo Page Photo)


001   11 15 2018 Nathaniel Kaine’s
Thriller Novel
John Hunter – The Veteran

002   11 18 2018 Ed Protzzel’s
The Antiquities Dealer 

003   11 23 2018 Janice Seagraves’s
Science Fiction Romance
Exodus Arcon

004   11 29 2018 Christian Fennell’s
Literary Fiction Novel
The Fiddler in the Night

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