This is cool — my first blog hop. Many thanks to Rohan Healy of the amazing Rohan 7 Things blog for nominating me. This takes the form of a simple Q&A and the topic will be my first published novel, ELADRIA, which is due to be released on May 31st. The countdown has officially begun and here is my first interview about it.
What is the (working) title of your book?
My book is called ELADRIA, which is the name of the protagonist.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It has an interesting history. This is actually the second book I’ve written and although my first book hasn’t been published yet (it’s coming next!), ELADRIA serves as the prelude. I knew I had a book I wanted to write and I had a vague idea about what it would be about, but I was hazy on the details. It sparked from an image I had in my mind of a royal family ruling a planet from an orbiting moon and of a teenage princess having to flee her home and travel to the planet to escape an invading force. That was my starting point. The rest of the story and the characters came to me one day when I was sitting in the garden. It was almost as though I was witnessing a film unfolding in my head and I got a pen and paper and began scribbling furiously for an hour or so. The blueprint for the entire novel was born in that short space of time and it was an almost effortless process; I didn’t have to struggle to figure out details or plot points, the whole thing was almost fully-formed in my mind.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a fantasy/science-fiction novel combining action/adventure with elements of mystery and metaphysics.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, this is a tough one! Very tough. It’s not something I’ve actually given much thought to, so I may have to get back to you on that (you say Spielberg’s on the phone? Tell him I’ll call him back!). Every so often I see an actress who I think looks quite like I’d envisaged Eladria, the most recent being Jenna Louise Coleman, the new assistant in Doctor Who. But I don’t know if she’d quite have the fire I’d want brought to the part. I’d quite like a relatively unknown actress to play the lead, and maybe have some better known actors play characters such as Zinn and Van’garat (for some reason I’m thinking Anthony Hopkins for the latter). A number of advance readers have commented that ELADRIA would make a fantastic movie, so fingers crossed and watch this space!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a dying world, a fugitive princess must embark on a journey that will take her to the limits of the human experience and beyond.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It is being published by Cosmic Egg books, a new imprint of John Hunt Publishing. Self-publishing is definitely something I would consider in the future, especially once I am established. It took me years and more rejection letters than I’d care to count (my favourite being my original letter returned with the words “No thanks” scrawled at the bottom!). So I’m delighted that I finally found one. The publishing industry continues to transform at a remarkable rate, so I’m open to all possibilities for future releases.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took just under a year. I’m a fairly slow writer and had a number of constraints, but that’s about standard time for me. It’s a huge undertaking. It took another year to complete subsequent drafts and I was still rewriting bits a year after that. So it was about three years in all (on and off) from start to finish.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not entirely sure. I fused elements from a couple of different genres, combining fantasy elements with a science-fiction type setting. I wanted to write a fantasy novel that was set on a world that was more advanced technologically than our own. It’s still relatively rare to have a female lead character in a fantasy or sci-fi book but there was never any question in my mind that Eladria was a girl (although admittedly very much a tomboy!). Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy was certainly an inspiration, and I think there are some similar elements between ‘Northern Lights’/’The Golden Compass’ and ELADRIA, although it wasn’t until after I wrote it that I realised this. If you enjoyed those books you’ll hopefully enjoy ELADRIA.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve wanted to write books since I was a little kid. I was always creating my own fantasy worlds and writing and drawing stories and comic books. I can’t say what exactly inspired me. It’s just in my blood somehow; it’s my nature. I’m a storyteller and I feel I have a number of things I want to express and share with the world.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s a book I think will appeal to different people for different reasons. It can be read as a straight-up action/adventure filled with mysteries, reversals and twists (including some very big twists toward the end — so far no one I know has seen them coming!), or it can also be read on a slightly deeper level. By deeper level, I mean there’s a philosophical undertone, although you don’t need to be aware of it in order to ‘get’ the book. It’s a story with some themes and depth, about dealing with adversity (both outward and inward), vanquishing our demons and realising the true power that lies within us. It also raises some questions about the nature of life, identity, society and the disparity between religion and spirituality. It’s really up to the reader on what level they enjoy the book and what they want to take out if it.
And finally, I’m passing this along to someone I know is working on a book (and already has released one). I will come back and add more people to the blog hop later 😉