1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Oh it was yonks ago. My youngest brother wanted a book written for him, about a man snatching bloody vengeance. I took the idea, chopped it into a trilogy, made the protagonist a pacifist and gave the first volume to my brother for his birthday. Believe it or not, I think he enjoyed it.
Since then, years have passed and now it is time to revisit and rewrite it.
2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
Because I’ll be revisiting and revamping the first book I ever truly finished. The characters – oh the characters! I love them to death and treat them rather horribly. Robert – the protagonist – is rather battered, bruised and broken during the course of the tale, poor thing.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
What’s it about? Like a house of falling cards, his life collapses about him. He seeks vengeance and finds an adventure – one which will change the course of his life.
There are conquering kingdoms, near hangings, spies, missing princes, friendships – wonderful, glorious friendships – sword fights, plots and the ever-present storm cloud of potential death and dastardly danger.
And the title?
Very well, I’ll admit it: it was entitled Knight of Destiny, and the story I’ll be rewriting was called Knight of Destiny: Beginnings. It had burgeoning prose and somewhat overtly dramatic moments.
Now, for reference I’ve somewhat tongue in cheek called it: The Many Trials of a Blacksmith: Part 1. (Because Robert becomes a blacksmith and he has many trials. I know, I’m a genius.)
4. Sum up your characters in one word each.
Oof. That’s hard. Er … Robert: solid. Timothy: loyal. Custer: fierce.
5. Which characters do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
Robert. Something awful happens to him in the beginning and his world is turned upside down. He has one thought: vengeance. As he grew up on a farm, he uses plenty of farming analogies which drives the people about him to distraction.
The Duke of Fordio – who is one of my favourite villains. I might change his name. It might be too poetic to be evil. Or perhaps it suits him. He’s evil but not for the sake of it, he has goals and woe betide any who get in his way – he will crush you with his booted foot and sip the finest wine whilst doing it.
6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Robert wants vengeance. But soon he sees the bigger picture – why cut out a piece of a rotten apple when you can throw it away all together? Naturally, the government, the ruling nobility and the powerful army of his nation’s oppressors have a little to say about this.
7. Where is your novel set?
In the green land of Cade, in large cities and narrow alleyways, in dark inns and a blacksmith’s forge, in palaces and forests, in healer’s huts and along winding lanes.
8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
At the beginning? His brother. Their parents have long since passed and Ethan has practically raised him BUT THEN … [dun dun dunnn]
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
He is older, more mature, more weathered. The protective bubble of his boyhood has burst and at the end of this tale, he’s learned that the world is a bigger, harsher place then he ever realised. Also, he has finally accepted that he is awful at using a bow and arrow. Awful I tell you!
10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Hmmm … triumphantly wistful?
11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
- If you set boundaries in your mind and tell yourself you can’t get passed them – you won’t. So be positive. Disgustingly, sickeningly positive. It’s the only way.
- Don’t be frightened or in awe of the story you are going to tell. They are just words and it is just a story and you can do it. You are a writer and therefore you write.
- Take it one step, one hundred words at a time. You can do it.