When History Meets Fantasy: An Interview With Author CL Jarvis

Dive into a conversation with CL Jarvis, historical fantasy author, as she talks world-building, writing process, and her debut novel.

Get ready to be transported to a world of magic and science as we talk to historical fantasy author CL Jarvis.

With a passion for history and a love of science, CL Jarvis has created a world filled with magic and intrigue.

In this interview, we’ll dive into the inspiration behind her world, her writing process, and what readers can expect from her series.

So grab a cup of tea and join us on this journey into the world of historical fantasy with CL Jarvis.

How do you approach world-building in your stories?

My stories are set in a historical Edinburgh with added magic, so some of the world-building is already done for me. But it requires a lot of research to ensure it’s historically accurate (without drowning the reader in info). My goal is to nail the sensory, geographical experience of being in this world.

Can you walk us through your writing process?

I’m an intuitive/pantser writer. Any project starts with 1-2 key scenes that first spark my imagination, so I write those out first. Then I’ll write a few more exciting scenes, step back, and try to figure how to fit a plot in there. I prefer a simple three-act structure—I don’t need to reinvent the wheel with my story arcs. If I was sensible, I’d outline more…but I find the most interesting, original bits of sparkle/insight come out when I’m writing on the fly, and they’re what make the writing process exciting to me.

Would you survive in your own fantasy world?

They have coffee, so probably.

What themes do you explore in your work?

Though there are plenty of ribald jokes and fight scenes, my debut novel also asks questions about access to knowledge: when “trust the experts” becomes elitist gatekeeping, and making medical/scientific knowledge accessible flips into propagating inaccuracies. These were issues in the 18th century with the rise of the professional class (and greater access to university education/newspapers), and it’s an issue today.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?

Period-appropriate swearing and foods are the most fun.

What do you hope readers take away from your stories?

The Georgian era is a fascinating time period: weird, scandalous, grubby…but modern in surprising ways. While these are adventure fantasies, I hope readers come away with a bit of my enthusiasm for the era.

Would you rather have a pet dragon or a unicorn, why?

Dragon. Who wouldn’t want the perk of flying?

And what would you name them?


Where is the best place to start reading your work?

The Doctrines of Fire is my series starter.

About the author:

In my 9-5 life I’m a mixture of writer and scientist. I’m from Scotland (currently based in Edinburgh) but have lived in the US long enough to mess up my grammar and spelling. I have a vociferous cat and drink a lot of coffee.

Find out more

Website: clairejarvis.com

Instagram: instragram.com/cljarvisauthor

TikTok: tiktok.com/@cljarvisauthor