M. Eugene Weiss is a teacher of English in a public school in the Bronx. He has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in the hills of Connecticut with his brilliant and talented wife Betsy, and his three superlative children, Alden, Eowyn, and Athena.
The Forest Between is his first novel and he is rapidly nearing completion of volume two of this series that may yet achieve that most hallowed status in fantasy fiction: “The Trilogy.”
Please visit theforestbetween.com to read an excerpt from book two titled, The Rooftops of Lakortia.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a boring suburban town on Long Island east of New York City until my family moved to a boring suburban town north of New York City. Being near NYC was always important to me as a kid because it was so exciting and fascinating, forbidden and dangerous, and filled with unknown secrets. My father read Tolkein to my brother and me at bedtime, and my mother read us the Narnia books, and while this may not connect to NYC on the surface, my parents also made sure we saw the Cloisters around that time. For those who don’t know, the Cloisters is a museum in a medieval castle that some Rockefeller had shipped over to the US stone by stone and rebuilt on the top of a hill in northern Manhattan. It’s hard to express the effect of being a suburban kid, driving through what was then a questionable neighborhood, seeing the monstrous looking creatures out my car window, and ending up in a castle in a forest (really a park, but I was ten) filled with suits of armor and tapestries covered in kings and unicorns, and all surrounded by beautiful walled (see: cloistered) gardens. It was like stepping from one forbidden exotic mythical land, NYC, into another. Like stepping out of Moria and entering Lothlorian.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in High School, mostly terrible poetry, though fantasy was always on my mind. I remember writing a short piece of fiction for my 10th grade class where a young man is standing on a battlement, holding the hilt of his sword, waiting for something to happen (a fairly apt metaphor for my entire adolescence).
A knight and swordsman from an empty land. A thief from a hanging city. A Channeler of magic with no memory of his past. These three, brought together by chance, must join Syllay, a hunter-warrior of the most ancient tribe of the Forest Between, to drive out the depraved evil that has come to her land.