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EJ Norris (Writer)

Are There Limits To Human Creativity?

What an interesting question! There are no official limits on human creativity, but we can impose our own limits based on fear or a lack of willingness.

This isn't always a bad thing. Knowing some of my personal limits helps me set realistic goals and expectations, just like the difficulty settings on hiking trails or in video games.

Setting limits doesn't mean that you'll never get to the next level. They're just a reminder of where you're currently at and an indication of when you're ready to move up.

What’s The One Piece Of Advice You Would Give Others About Life?

At the moment, the biggest piece of advice I'd pass along is not to get hung up on the intervals others expect. Graduate college by this age, get married by that age, it's all subjective and making self comparisons can get really unhealthy.

No matter how much you've accomplished for however old you are, there will always be someone who seems to be doing more or seems to be doing better.

I've played this game a lot with myself and, trust me, there is no winning at it. Grow at your own pace and don't feel the need to be sorry.

What Comes To Mind When You Hear The Word ‘Life’?

A journey or a path we take. Where it leads and what we carry along the way all comes down to our choices.

Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

Norhythe Under Siege came from a pretty sad and lonely place. About three or four years ago, I was in a writing dead zone brought on by the failure of my fantasy series, The Knight's Chronicle. The first book of that series, The Mirror and The Sword, had been published by a vanity press. But I terminated the contract because I wasn't keen on how they handling certain things and didn't see a productive future ahead. Soon after, they went out of business. Despite trying to take the failure as an opportunity and revamp the story, it eventually withered and I realized it was time to let go.

After letting go, I was sad, creatively drained, and wondering why I'd even bothered putting pen to paper in the first place.

It was time to dive back to the core of what I was doing and why I was doing it. So, I found a quiet spot and prayed. Maybe this was all just a huge waste of time and I just needed to learn to accept it.

Shortly after praying though, to my delight, an idea ember began to glow. In my mind's eye, I saw an abbey garden during midsummer. Peaceful and welcoming. There, Abbess Christa was telling a youngster to get down from a tree.

From then on, the idea grew ever so slowly from a few pleasant images into a story that set my pen ablaze all over again.

How does your faith life/ethical outlook inform your writing?

Writing is one of my foremost expressions of faith. So, Christian themes and ideas are at the center of almost every project.

Part of this is, of course, to entertain, but it's also my way of sorting through deeper lines of spiritual thoughts and experiences.

My first attempts at this were symbolic and bordered on portal fiction. Fun as that can be, my current project requires a much more literal, down to earth approach. For example, in previous narratives the characters weren't exactly Christians themselves per say. It was more about a figurative battle between good and evil. Whereas for Norhythe Under Siege, faith is more front and center. Rorie and his friends live in an abbey.

So, naturally, much of their day to day lives involve legitimate and recognizable religious practices. Rorie's journey is also very much about the cultivation of his beliefs and the battle between good and evil is more of an undercurrent theme than a literal, external force. All in all, it feels more genuine than leaving things open to interpretation. It's also opened the door to a more clear commentary about misapplications of the faith.

As I continue to grow as a writer, I sincerely hope that others will share the journey with me and gain a new hope from these stories.


- Ask your follow-up questions below, subject for editor approval. 
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