We’ll start today with a few questions on the book The Druid and his journey to publication.
Describe your book ‘The Druid’ in five words or less.
Girl saves the world.
How did the ideas for this book come to you?
After I wrote my first novel – The Runes of Ire – the question came to me, ‘How come the people of this world speak a kind of English? I don’t like it when all the aliens mysteriously speak English. The answer is that the first person to come to this place was from a place that has some variety of English as the Mother tongue. This meant I had a girl tending sheep in that English speaking world, and worrying about Swarthymen and Mystals.
Why did you choose to write in the fantasy genre?
I write in several genres – fantasy, future fiction (like Michael Crichton) but I liked The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I guess this book is somewhere in the middle.
Did you have to do much research for this book?
I read up about Druids, but knowledge of their practices a long time ago is fairly scant, so pretty much anything goes.
Can you tell me about the main character, and what you like/dislike about her?
Titian is a very sincere person who feels things very deeply, yet has a great inner strength. Only once does she doubt herself.
Is there something that sets this book apart from others?
Several readers have noted that this book has an odd characteristic –the story seems to get quieter and quieter, until you feel like you are in a vast, empty room. It’s almost like falling through space.
Did you have the manuscripts professionally edited before they went to the publisher?
No, but I took on board the advice of many people in the industry as I wrote the books.
I learned some good advice from an agent. She said – ‘Show, don’t tell!’
I learned some good advice from Stephen King. He said – ‘Ditch the adverbs!’
I gained some good experience from writing screenplays and learned – ‘Just tell the story!’
If you take this on board, it means you have to write sparsely – maximum story in minimum words. If you do this, there isn’t much left to edit.
Did you submit your manuscripts to many publishers before you had an offer to publish?
Only three publishers, but then I just sat and stared at the manuscript. It’s not the rejection, just the emptiness of enquiry. The big two liked them very much ... but. The manuscript for The Druid was shortlisted for a Varuna Award, strong evidence that the writing was fine.
Do you have any tips for writers about the writing process or the path to publishing?
Show, don’t tell! Ditch the adverbs – use ‘power verbs’. Just tell the story – in a modern world of bites, long winded is a death sigh. Dropping the verbose adds air and light, and turns verbal heartburn into prose. Never give up on your dream.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
As well as the next two books in the series Mathemagicians of Yore, and The Land of the Rainbow’d Sun, I am also presently working on several other novels – Carlisle’s Mind, a Crichtonesque future fiction which explores the rise to sentience of a computer, and its way of sorting out the problem of humans, and also ‘The Brotherhood of the Apocalypse’ a chiller that also looks at an endpoint scenario for the problem of humans. And a book that will cause great cntroversy – my theory of evolution – a theory not supported by the many other books on the subject.
Visit with these tour hosts to learn more.
April 23rd: http://carolwarner.wordpress.com - Interview
April 24th: http://elaineoustonauthor.com - Interview and review
April 25th: http://misshelenwrites.wordpress.com Helen Ross - Interview
April 26th: http://bluedingo.ning.com - guest post.
April 27th: http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com Jill Smith Review.
April 28th: http://www.kids-bookreview.com reviews.
May 1st: www.buzzwordsmagazine.blogspot.com Vicki Stanton - Review Anastasia Gonis.
May 8th: http://bugreviews.wordpress.com reviews by Angela Hall.
Date to be advised: www.sherfordbear.co.uk Deb Cullen – Review.
The Runes of Ire and The Druid are available from your local bookshop. They may not be in stock, but the store can order it through distributor Dennis Jones and Associates. They are also available in many on-line stores as a paperback and as an eBook. Signed copies can be purchased from http://morrispublishingaustralia.com.
You can win a signed copy of either book in a competition we are running as a part of this promotional tour. One of each book is up for grabs. To go in the draw, simply go to the website by the link above and on the contact page form write: Stephen’s competition, your name, email address, and your book preference.