It gives me great pleasure to introduce the next author, my fellow fantasy enthusiast and teacher. Check out her fantasy world of Eshla, feel like a teenager again and travel in time.
1. You are currently promoting book 2 from The Lost Heirs series. When did it first start seeing the light of day?
I started book 2, The Second Stone, early last Summer. It was much quicker than the first book because the story continues, so I had it all planned out. It took about three months to finish the first draft, and almost as long again to get the cover and editing done.
2. Why do you write fantasy books?
I loved them so much when I was growing up. I spent hours looking in the back of wardrobes for a way into Narnia! There’s also a real freedom in writing fantasy; for example, if you need to get a character form A-B you can invent the machine of your choice, or conjure up an animal for the purpose.
3. Do you already have a plan for sequels?
Yes. The Eshla adventures are a trilogy – I’m a third of the way through the third and final book – The King’s Chamber.
4. What inspired you to create Eshla?
To be honest, it’s a very self-indulgent creation made up of my favourite things. I love steampunk and wanted to create that feel with the main city – mainly through inventions and flying machines. I’m a big fan of the 1920’s and also love the idea of living in tree houses (like the Ewok village in the last Star Wars movie!) so Cedwigod became a combination of those two things. Elgion was inspired by Venice – one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I have a bit of a thing about the sea too! Finally, there’s a place in Derbyshire called Black Rock, that I used to climb all over in my teens – Caregon is inspired by that.
5. Are your teenage characters inspired by real people you know?
Originally, Eric was inspired by my son Pierce, but he’s grown into his own character since then and pierce, if anything, is more like Corbin (a gadget freak!). Other than that, I’ve tried hard to keep my characters original in my head – I’m a teacher and don’t want to picture anyone specific when I’m writing them. I think it would put me off!
6. If your books were turned into movies, would you prefer an animated picture or a full-feature motion picture?
Full feature. The Harry Potter movies are so fantastic, I think any author would be blown away to see their story interpreted like that. CGI has developed so much that fantasy movies are in a league of their own now.
7. What do you think your readers like about your book? What do you like about it?
For me, it’s just about escapism. I love dabbling in the past and the time travel sections are some of my favourite parts. I also like the bits in the book where Eric is discovering the different regions, and I can be really descriptive.
The feedback I’ve had tends to mention the time travel aspects and Espog! He provides a lot of the humour.
8. Which part of the writing process was/is the most interesting for you?
Trying to write the battle scenes – I thought I’d struggle but they really flowed in the end. I like dialogue too, longer conversations. I found I could visualise these and write them more fluently than the straight forward narrative.
9. What is the one genre you think you would never write?
Horror – the gory stuff. I can’t read it either – I’m too prone to nightmares!
10. Whose critical opinion do you value the most?
My brother’s. He’s always been a really honest person and says it as it is.
11. Was there ever a point when you just wanted to give up? What would you say to aspiring beginner writers out there.
Yes – various times during the twelve years it took me to write the first book! I stopped regularly for periods of a year or more because I just didn’t think anyone else would like it. My advice would be to ignore self-doubt. You have to just get it out. Once you’ve completed the first book it gets a lot easier.
I hope you enjoy meeting new authors. Do check out their books and leave your public rating and review! It matters!
Amanda’s book on Amazon
(Check out the rest as well!)