Category Archives: Eladria

An author in the spotlight: Rory Mackay answers 4 questions!

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Nothing beats the power of a good question. Questions make us think, reflect and explore things in different ways. I’m all for questions, and I always endeavour to give good answers! So here I am taking part in a challenge I saw online several months back, in which an author answers four simple questions. Well, I’m an author, and without any further ado, here are the questions…

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since childhood. Creativity was an innate and essential part of my nature as far back as I can remember. When I was younger I was more visually focused, as I loved drawing and painting. What I did was always connected with storytelling, however. I created characters, worlds and adventures and made my own comic books from the time I was about 7 or 8 years old. My longest running series was called King Croc, a quirky and comical fantasy series about a reptilian anti-hero whose job was to conquer the galaxy but who really couldn’t be bothered. He would rather sit at home eating doughnuts that conquer planets. Who wouldn’t? I still have some of those comics in a drawer.

When I was in my teens I began work on a very different project; laying the groundwork for what would eventually become the novel I am about to publish, The Key of Alanar! This was originally intended as a serialised television series or series of movies, but not knowing how to even begin with such a lofty project, I decided to make it a series of novels instead. Having worked on this for the best part of my life, and invested so much time, energy and love in it, I’m truly excited that I am finally able to share this creative vision with the world. (The Key of Alanar is already available to preorder on Amazon for a 14 September release!)

What inspired me to write my first books?

I grew up with a great love of science fiction and fantasy. Already something of a dreamer, it really stirred my imagination and I loved nothing more than to transport myself to other worlds, times and places. But for me the genre was far more than simple escapism. Even in my early teens I really loved that sci-fi and fantasy could be used as a means of exploring ideas, themes and human potential. I was always a bit of a deep thinker, and I loved when books, films and television had a little depth; a purpose behind telling a story.

As I grew up, I became fascinated by mythology and archetypal tales of heroic quests and journeys. Initially my first series of books was called ‘The Journey’, as a reflection of the journey we all take through life, in search of happiness and wholeness. I wanted to explore what makes us tick, and why we live as we do. I didn’t just want to entertain people, I wanted to make people think and say something about life. The development of my books ran parallel to my development as a person as I grew up, learned, experienced many things, and ultimately devoted myself to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge, truth and understanding the nature of life and who we are. I like telling fantastical stories that fire the imagination, stir the emotions and, above all, make people think. In my view, the greatest stories inspire, challenge and enlighten. They are stories that heal. They leave people the better for having read them; a kind of gift shared between author and reader. That is why I wanted to write and why I still keep writing.

How do you write?

I need to be clear about what I’m writing before I start the first sentence. I learned early on the necessity of starting with a blueprint, or at least a firm plan of how the novel will begin, develop and end. My stories are quite complex and multi-layered, so I need to make sure I’ve worked everything beforehand or else I would be liable to write myself into a sticky corner and waste significant time on something that just doesn’t work out. One day I’d actually like to just start writing with no idea in ind how it will end, but it certainly won’t be for my current series, which requires forward planning. There are simply too many balls to potentially drop otherwise!

So, I wait for the ideas to start flowing. It’s almost like my mind is working on the story even when I’m not consciously thinking about it. There comes a time when I can feel the creative energy flowing and I just sit down with paper and a pen and allow the ideas to spill out. I get them structured into a clear framework, and then, when I’m satisfied with what I’ve got, I start writing away. First drafts are usually best written as quickly as possible, to keep the creative momentum flowing smoothly. Then I’ll write three, four or more subsequent drafts and spend a long time editing. With my first published novel, Eladria, I spent one year writing the first few drafts and then another 18 months or so editing and polishing it. As Phyllis A Whitney said: “a good book isn’t written, it is rewritten.” The key is really in taking that mud-covered diamond and scraping and polishing it until it gleams.

Do you have any writing advice you would like to share?

Yes. Write because you love to write. Have no expectations. Follow your passion and pour your heart and soul into it. Don’t expect anything back; even if you write a complete masterpiece, there are so many books being written and published right now that it’s hard to get anyone’s attention. Have no expectation, but stay true to your own unique creative vision. Write a story you feel needs to be told. Share ideas, share experiences and dreams and thoughts. Write a book that will make the world a better place for your having written it. Think of it as part of your legacy, which it is, and make it as wonderful as you can. Don’t rush it necessarily, take your time and let your heart guide you. Whether you then sell ten copies or ten thousand, you’ll have contributed something special to the world. And that why being a writer is one of the coolest things in the world.

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Why Books Have Become Devalued

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These are interesting yet precarious times for fiction writers. Although the digital revolution has given authors an unprecedented opportunity to share their work, it has come at a price.

The landscape has changed almost beyond recognition. It’s much easier to ‘be’ a writer now. Anyone and their uncle can churn out a book and have it published on Amazon Kindle that afternoon. In spite of this, it’s actually much harder to ‘make it’ as a writer, due to complete over-saturation of the market. Something in the range of 4,000 books are being published every single day. Competition can be a good thing, but it also has its downside. What happens when a market is oversaturated? The product in question inevitably becomes devalued, and so does the supplier of that product.

I believe the devaluing of fiction started off with supermarkets and online stores such as Amazon artificially slashing the prices of books. Publishers were in many cases willing to make only a marginal profit (if any) per unit in exchange for selling in greater quantity. I always suspected that mass market paperbacks had an adverse effect on other publishers and lesser known authors unable  to sell their product at such low prices.

In terms of Amazon Kindle, the leading ebook store by a wide margin, what I’ve seen happening is authors and publishers pitching their products at the lowest possible prices in order to stand above the competition. While this is good for the consumer in many respects–they can afford to buy more ebooks!– what it means is that artificially low prices have become the norm.

The reader clearly isn’t to blame. If there are so many books out there at 99 cents/pence or less, why should they be willing to pay more? The publisher of my first novel, Eladria, doesn’t seem to know how to deal with this, having charged everything from 99p to £6.49 for the ebook. I can’t see many willing to pay the latter price for a book by a first-time, sadly quite unknown author, even though the book in question took three years to write and garnered pretty impressive reviews. The only exceptions to the “pay cheap” rule are the big-name authors and they have the backing of big publishing houses behind them. And even a number of them are struggling in the new publishing landscape.

Again, this is good for the reader in the short term. It’s a buyer’s market without a doubt. But I fear that in the long term everyone may suffer. Writing is and always has been a very labour-intensive process. Some writers have the ability to churn out book after book in a conveyor belt-like process. If anything I’m a little envious of them. But I contend that the best books take time and care to write; not weeks, but months and possibly years. Unfortunately, authors who invest such time and care in their work are struggling to survive. The new model of cheap fiction is only viable if an author can release a LOT of work, very often.

I’m concerned that what the digital revolution has seen in terms of fiction is a shift to quantity over quality.

Unless they already have money in the bank, writers can no longer spend years on a single project. The focus is now on producing more, more often and selling it at knock-down prices. It’s inevitable that the quality of the output will suffer in some way. This looks set to continue and perhaps even get worse. Is the publishing industry on the verge of disintegration or can it, by picking itself up and adapting to changing times, create a radical new renaissance?

Rory’s Writing – Four Questions, Four Answers! – Blog Tour

Howdy! First of all, I know things have become pretty quiet and sporadic on the blog front, for which I apologise. There are a number of reasons for this, but  I will try and contribute more often to the blog, even if it’s just in the form of ‘baby blog’ entries. I also intend to get caught up with everyone else’s blogs as soon as I can.

Without further ado — I’m very grateful to Rohan Healy for awakening me from my blog slumber by tagging me for the Blog Tour! Rohan is a multi-talented guy, musician and author of several non-fiction books as well as an action-packed science-fiction novel called “Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron”, all of which I have read, enjoyed and highly recommend.

As for the Blog Tour, I’m delighted to have been included. It’s quite simple — I have four questions to answer. So, here goes…

Question 1: What am I working on?

I am working on my second novel, The Key of Alanar, which will hopefully be published later this year or early next year. It is the second novel in The Alanar Ascendant series, the first being Eladria. This book has a long genesis; it’s a story I first started working on when I was only 16. I actually originally wrote the book between 2001 and 2007, but it was never published. I’ve gone back and rewritten it substantially. The story is the still same more or less (it’s a good story! haha) but I have added different elements and fleshed a lot of things out. It’s essentially a different book and I’m very pleased with it so far. I’m now about a third of the way through it. I’m several months behind for various reasons, but I am not rushing it. I want to do it right. I can’t wait to finally share this book with the world; the stories, world and characters are very special to me and have been with me most of my life.

Question 2: How does my work differ to others of its genre?

My books combine fantasy with science-fiction in a way that’s fairly fresh, I think. They also have a certain metaphorical, allegorical component to them. If you look beneath the surface, the stories I write deal with philosophical, spiritual and existential themes and issues. But rather than bash the reader over the head with this, I try to weave these themes rather subtly. For instance, when it came to Eladria, most readers just seemed to enjoy it as an action-packed adventure story, while others also picked up on and really engaged with the philosophical content. Someone actually told me the book had really helped them and changed the way they look at life. So, I think my work can be taken on multiple levels; the reader can engage with it on whichever level they want.

Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?

I don’t know. Why do birds sing, I guess? It’s just part of me. It’s what I do. What I have to do. I’ve always had stories in me; stories that gripped, captivated and consumed me — and which wouldn’t let me go until I’d found some way to get them onto paper. There’s nothing particularly glamorous or exciting about writing. It’s a hard slog, to be honest but I couldn’t live without it. As Rohan said in his answer, it’s as natural to me as breathing.

Question 4: How does your writing/creating process work?

I come up with a story and spend a lot of time working out the details before I write my first word. I learned a long time ago the necessity of having a fairly clear blueprint before you start writing. That doesn’t mean I can’t make changes as I go along, but I always need to have a clear outline of the beginning, middle and end, and how I’m going to join all the dots. I like to be clear about what the story is about and why I’m telling it and how the characters change, grow and develop as the story unfolds. To me the plot and characters are of equal importance and are inseparably interwoven. When it comes to writing, I just shut myself away, sit and type. It’s helpful to have a daily page quota, which is usually 3 pages a day. Then when it comes to the endless rewriting, again I just have to shut myself away and go over it again and again until I’m happy. During the rewriting stages I often listen to music, usually ambient electronica or other instrumental music that enhances the mood I’m trying to create in whichever part of the book. It’s just really a case of write, write, write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

So, finally I’m gonna tag three other authors and invite them to take part in the Blog Tour, answering the questions themselves:

Adrian Lupsa

Julianne Victoria

Barbara G Tarn

Have fun guys 🙂

Amazing 5 star review of ELADRIA by Adrian Lupsa

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I’m pleased to share the review fellow blogger and author Adrian Lupsa has just posted of my novel ELADRIA!

Check out the review on Adrian’s writing blog here! 

And that’s not the only great review I’ve had recently, they’re starting to build up — most of them are on Amazon UK as being from the UK I guess that’s where most of my readership has started off.

Seip Fine Art gave another great 5 star review:

Rory Mackay’s debut novel ‘Eladria’ is a tale that is …Timeless, Thought-Provoking, Brilliant, Exciting, Beautiful, Adventurous, Fanciful, Wise, Complex, and woven into it all is a stunningly simple twist that you won’t see coming, that ties everything together!

Connie said:

From the first page, a very well written story of epic magnitude, drawing you in to a fantastical world. Princess Eladria takes you on a brilliant & exhilarating journey.

Holly said:

I normally have to force myself to read a book but Eladria is the first book I have literally not been able to put down! It is well written, easy to read with a gripping and exciting story which takes you on a powerful journey along with great characters, who you really feel like you know personally!
Whats different about Eladria is the deeper meanings with the story and the chatacters. This element adds an extra depth and sets Eladria worlds apart from other books in this genre. It is unique and truly a must read!

And according to Glitzblue:

This brilliantly written and truly innovative story left me wanting more. From the first page I was led on a journey into epic worlds full of interesting characters, places, plots and sub-plots, ‘Eladria’ kept my imagination and curiosity fired all the way to the last page. A must for any reader!

It’s amazing to get such great feedback! If you didn’t see Rohan Healy’s ELADRIA review back in May, it’s incredible! Someone contacted me and said it was “the most beautiful and thought-provoking book” they had ever read. Such comments motivate me to keep going — and at the moment I’m hard at work on the next novel in the series, which I’m hoping to get published in 2014. The journey is only just beginning.

ELADRIA is available in both paperback and ebook format! You can buy a signed copy direct from me via my website.

Alternatively you’ll find it on Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Barnes & NobleWaterstones (UK) / Book Depository and many other online stores.

An Interview with Writer Rory Mackay

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The final day of the Eladria blog tour (although there will be more blog-hopping to come!). This is a really cool interview with Eliza Gale, who is an excellent interviewer who asked some interesting and challenging questions!

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Rory Mackay is a blogger and author of the book Eladria; Here is a link to his blog:

www.dreamlight-fugitive.co.uk

 

 

Q:  What is Eladria about?

A: ‘Eladria’ is a fantasy novel with a slight twist of science-fiction and metaphysics. It tells the story of the titular character, a seventeen year-old princess whose home is invaded and overthrown by a militant religious order. She’s forced to witness the destruction of her home and the execution of her father, but she manages to escape and spends much of the novel on the run, a fugitive in her own land. Before long she learns of an even greater danger that’s been lurking in the shadows for millennia, an ancient evil that’s trying to claw its way back into a universe it was long ago banished from.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Although ‘Eladria’ is pretty much…

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Author Feature 5: Rory Mackay – Eladria

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An author feature on the amazing and talented Lada Ray’s blog! Check it out 🙂

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From mystical Scotland, I’m enchanted to welcome metaphysical fantasy author, Rory Mackay, and his debut novel, ELADRIA! Rory is a member of our YA Revolution and spiritual blogger – both huge pluses in my book. 😉 Congratulations on your new book, Rory! The cover looks great and the story sounds very intriguing!

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Myth, Storytelling & the Journey of a Writer

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The blog tour continues, and it’s been great fun. Today I’m sharing a guest blog I wrote for my publisher, Cosmic Egg Books, which is a brand new imprint of John Hunt publishing. I put quite a bit of thought into this one, relating my creative process and the power and importance of mythology and its relationship to storytelling and why, as a culture we desperately need stories with depth and substance. Hope you find it insightful.

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This Week Our Guest Blog is from Rory B Mackay, Author of Eladria, First Of an Epic Fantasy Series

I always knew I wanted to be a writer or storyteller of some kind. I can remember sitting in my room when I was only about six or seven and, with a pad of paper and felt tip pens in hand, I let my imagination soar freely as I conjured whole new worlds, with all kinds of characters and fantastical adventures. I had a rich and colourful inner world (the ‘real world’ simply paled in comparison!) and I knew I somehow wanted to be able to share it with others.  I started off with a story called “The Lost World”, although my dad informed me that there was already a book by that title. I’d been beaten to it — by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, no less! But that was only a minor setback for this young writer…

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