Saturday, November 7, 2020

Inside the Mind: Krisley Jior Castillo


Welcome to Inside the Mind where we here at The Faerie Review interview authors and creators.
Our guest today is Krisley Jior Castillo, the author behind AURA: Revive Edition.

Lily: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview Krisley I enjoyed reading AURA. The way you open the book, the descriptions made me feel like I was watching an anime unfold. Was that intentional or do I just have anime on the brain? (note this was before I watched the trailers) 

Krisley: Thank you for enjoying it! For me it was half-intentional, as AURA was always inspired by anime. But when I was writing it, I decided to make it the least anime it could be. I wanted to play to the strengths of the book format and I wasn’t confident I could translate well the more conventional anime elements and tropes. But whenever I’m reading it, I couldn’t visualize it any other way than in an anime artstyle. So I guess we both have anime on our brains ^__^

Lily: I love it. Was Ren inspired by anyone? 

Krisley: Yep! His main inspirations were Kira Yamato, the protagonist from the anime Gundam SEED, and Riou, the protagonist of the PS1 Game, Suikoden II. Though it’s more like I was inspired by the situation they were put in- immature characters put in a mature situation like war.

Lily: I haven't seen those yet, but now I need to watch them and see if I can spot your inspiration! Where did the idea for AURA spring from?

Krisley:   It was inspired by an anime, a game, and a song. The anime and game was Gundam SEED and Suikoden II, and the song was Yuuzura no Kamihikouki, the ending theme for Hajime no Ippo. Those inspirations came around when I was around 10 years old. I was exposed first to Gundam, so the earliest version of AURA would take place in modern day New York, and Ren, instead of bearing the Crescent Moon Aura, would transform into a 10-foot robot. It was when I was exposed to the other two inspirations that I changed it to a medieval setting. And when I watched Toaru Kagaku no Railgun a few years later, I decided to make it a bit more modern and futuristic while maintaining some medieval elements like the Kingdoms.

Lily: That's a beautiful journey for the story to go through. I loved the trailers, did you do them entirely by yourself? 

Krisley:  Thank you so much! Yep! The images, the music, the editing, I did them all myself. The images took weeks and weeks of work, and I’m so happy how it turned out. The music used was my first piano composition, “Mirage” and was composed over 4 years ago when I published the first version of AURA (The Revive Edition is the definitive edition of the story, the first version isn’t canon anymore).

Lily: They're perfect and I love that you did it all yourself! Now we’d like to talk about you as a writer. Do you have a ritual to get into the right headspace to write? 

Krisley:   Yep! I have a playlist of songs I use to get in the right headspace. Most of them are J-Pop and/or anime. Some of them are OSTs from video games. Most of the J-Pop and anime songs are from Kalafina and Aimer, as them and their songs are just completely epic. For video game OSTs, it’s mostly from Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series. Most of the time when I’m writing, I’m playing one of FF15’s soundtracks- Somnus for the more mellow and melancholic moments, and Somnus Ultima, Hellfire, and Magna Insomnia for the big battles. Ven’s theme from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep for the peaceful and happy moments.

Lily: That sounds like a great soundtrack to write to. Can you describe your favorite place to write for us?

Krisley:  I love to write (or work in general) at my dining room table. Lots of wide and open windows, and just outside are lots and lots of trees making it very invigorating to be in.

Lily: I'd love to have that view when working! How do you keep track of ideas when inspiration strikes? 

Krisley:  I always tell myself to write inspiration down in case I forget… but I always forget to write them down. Fortunately, I don’t forget the inspiration itself. I always play it out in my head like a scene from a movie, and do a little (a lot) tweaking to make it better fit the story. This would often last hours to days, so I guess that’s why I never forget them.

Lily: That's the perfect way to keep track I think. Let’s finish up with some fun questions and get inside your mind. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 

Krisley:  Japan! Setting aside anime, I really like Japanese culture and would like to settle down in its countryside or Kyoto.

Lily: The Japanese countryside would be such a beautiful place to live! What do you like to do in your free time? 

Krisley: Piano (right now I’m trying to learn jazz), drawing (barely), building and painting Gunpla (procrastinating on my work-in-progress), video games (catching up on my “it’s been 10 years and you still haven’t finished us?!” list), and watching Hermitcraft (I mostly watch Grian, Mambo, Scar, False, and Xisuma).

Lily:  You definitely keep busy! But as long as you enjoy it that's all that matters. Would you rather never be able to use a fork or a spoon again?​ 

Krisley:   A fork. I feel like I’m much more deft with a spoon.

Lily:  Same! And no one said you can't use chopsticks. Are you more productive at night or in the morning?​ 

Krisley:  Definitely in the night. But that resulted in poor sleeping habits. I think I’ve gotten it fixed now, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a morning person.

Lily:  I'm a complete night owl, always have been hehe. I'm a bit of a grump in the morning. If you could come back to life as any animal what animal would you be?​ 

Krisley:  Either a hummingbird (so I can live in gardens and forests) or a seagull (so I can travel the seas).

Lily:  Both would be filled with new advntures I think. What's your perfect dessert? Can you describe it?

Krisley:  Blueberry Cheescake! A subtle sweetness, a bit of fruityness, milk and cheese are a nice touch, and a crunchy base.

Lily:  That sound delicious! (I'm totally not pulling up my shopping list and adding blueberry cheesecake ingredients). Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?​ 

Krisley:  A sequel is in the works! And it’s going to be massive! There will now be a total of 6 POV characters, and the first 3 POV characters are: Lily, Gem, and Cindy.

Lily:  I can't wait to read it. How can readers discover more about you and you work?​ 

Krisley:  You can find me on my Website and YouTube channel. The book is available on Google Play and all the trailers are on the AURA YouTube. You can add to your TBR list here. Thank you so much Lily for the interview! I had a very fun time.

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