CS Sealey

New Zealand-based sub-editor, writer and author

Humble beginnings

My writing obsession began, like many things in my life, with my brother doing it first. I had the classic younger sister syndrome. Everything my brother did, I had to do too, whether that meant climbing trees, flicking my food off my plate, learning guitar, playing soccer or writing. I was his second shadow, the whiny one with pigtails.

To save my brother no small amount of embarrassment, I won’t delve too deeply into the series of stories he wrote that inspired me to write for myself. However, I will say the stories were so fantastic, so imaginative and catered so completely to my interests that I thought I’d try my hand at writing one for myself. It was terrible, absolutely terrible. From memory, it was a story about the Cat Kingdom, led by King Shan (the name of our cat at the time), going to war against the Dogs in AT-ATs. Hey, why not? It was called The Land of Kittens and Cats and consisted of a single story, the only record remaining being a recording made by the author herself when she was about eight or nine.

UPDATE: I had a clean-out and found the printed script. It’s… horrendous!

Since then, I have written many short stories about witches and wizards, shape-shifters, vampires and werewolves, pirates, mercenaries, brigands, elves and regular humans, most of which you will hopefully never read!

My first attempt at a novel began when I was still in primary school. It was the story of the Chosen One, a wizard whose fate it was to seal some weird magical portal that had opened up in the world, unleashing all sorts of demons. The premise was okay but I didn’t have the experience nor the knowledge of how to make the story interesting or the characters well rounded. A few fan fictions later—one of which was a Harry Potter story joint-written by my friend Sarah—I decided that writing was more than just a hobby of mine, it was a real passion.

When I was 15, an idea came to me. Angora, a young girl who lived in a small coastal town, had been born with the curse of magic. Little did she know, she had been chosen by a dying goddess to be her successor. Tiderius, a local boy who had once teased her about her curse, eventually fell in love with her (as you do) and tried to tell her that she didn’t have to become a goddess, a process which would slowly kill her mortal body and cause her great pain, and that she could continue to live as a mortal with him. Soppy, I know. This premise grew and changed, got scrapped, then changed again. For 12 years, this story morphed from a love story involving fairies and gods, midnight rituals and prophecies into my debut novel The Spirits’ Equilibrium—later to be changed to simply Equilibrium—a tale of war and those who take part in it or are trapped in the middle.

I enjoyed the writing process immensely and learnt a lot as a writer and a person along the way. Writing for me is more than a passion now, it’s part of my life. Without writing, I don’t know where I would be, who I would be or what I would be doing.

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