I’m back this week with another tag *cue cheers and shrieks!*. Once again, I was nominated by the lovely Katie @ The Act Diary to do the Rising Author Tag. I love tags…and writing…and writing tags, so this looks like a lot of fun. Are you ready? Forward to Katie’s epic questions!!
1. How many first drafts have you completed?
Hmmm….*counts on fingers and mumbles under breath* Otter Storm, Aimee, Hannah, The Blade of the Dragon, Shokan, Black and White, Kameradschaft, Rose Mask, The Stars Fill Infinity… Okay, five novels (over 50k words) and four novellas (under 50k). That’s my inventory of first drafts.
2. If you could write ANY story and didn’t have to worry about it being mediocre or falling apart in the middle, etc, what would you write?
I don’t know! A book that’s been on my mind (and my heart) for a long time is a retelling of The Lord of the Rings, but set on the Western Front during WW1. The Lord of the Rings is one of my absolutely favourite stories, and ever since I read it I’ve been fascinated by the effect that Tolkien and Lewis’ war service had on their writing. I’ve even written an essay on the subject of whether or not Tolkien was inspired by any of his wartime years (he claimed he wasn’t, I feel differently, especially during the Passage of the Marshes, and the ending chapters). But The Lord of the Rings is so deep, so complex and generally amazing, that I don’t feel I could write such a retelling, but…hey, the question said ANY story.
3. What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters?
Reuel, a minor character in Stars Fill Infinity, owns a cutlery manufacturing company. That has absolutely no bearing on the plot, but it’s canon, because it’s written down in the “Notes on Reuel”, section of my notebook.
4. If you could have any author edit your writing, who would it be?
Tolkien…or Lewis. Or Dickens. Unfortunately, I have a problem with run-on, confusing sentences, and I don’t think that any of those three could help me. They might just make the problem a billion times worse.
5. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?
Ha…ha…ha…the worst thing? Ever? Seriously? One of the stories that makes me cringe the most is “The Blue Moon Trilogy”, which is seriously a rip-off The Door Within Trilogy, and (since that book draws majorly from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) consequently a rip-off Tolkien’s books, though I’d only read The Hobbit at that stage.
Having said that, this is a pretty bad sentence too: “In front of him, Leonzio croaked like a toad so life like that Benito could not help but jump. Both Carlotta and Leonzio laughed heartily at his uncomfortableness.”
6. If your book was made into a movie, what would it be like?
It would be awesome, of course. It wouldn’t play with the themes or symbolism at all, it wouldn’t undermine anything, it would have a brilliant cast (handpicked by myself), a great score (which I would listen to during my writing sessions for the rest of my writing days), and hopefully it would be generally cool.
7. Which one of your characters are you most similar to?
I don’t think I’ve ever written a major character which isn’t similar to me in some respects. Parts of my personality, my beliefs, experiences and passions are spread around my characters, so that they’re all similar to me, but none are identical. Felicita Cristiano from Rose Mask and Chessy from The Stars Fill Infinity are quite similar to me, probably out of all them, the most like me.
8. Do you let other people read your writing?
Yes. Strangely enough, it’s not really a thing I struggle with either. The affliction of revealing your story to the world seems to plague a lot of authors, but I actually enjoy showing people my work. My mum, my lovely alpha reader (and dear, dear friend) Sarah, and my friends on Kingdom Pen get to see it most often. I have though, consented to having a poem read out in front of my entire church, on one occasion, but that was slightly more confronting.
9. Are there any objects/situations/etc that you’ve noticed tend to show up in a lot of your stories?
Yes, there’s a few. For one, my stories tend to end at daybreak, with the hope that comes at dawn. I can think of three stories (out of the nine mentioned earlier) that end with a sunrise. Another that seems to appear a bit is isolated characters (Violet, the otter main character of Otter Storm, my earliest novella, grows up inside a walled city; Felicita in Rose Mask, lives inside an enchanted castle; Chessy and Sapphire from The Stars Fill Infinity grow up inside an abandoned gated community and Justice, another character from the same novel, grows up isolated from the real world by his family’s wealth and privileged status.
When it comes to themes, my themes almost always include hope, whether that be the main theme, or a “subtheme” that appears in the writing. I’m a huge believer in the importance of hope, because without hope I see a lot of things as being, well, hopeless and useless, so that belief often echoes in my writing. Masks are another theme, whether that be a literal mask (like the one Felicita wears), or a figurative mask (like the ones Chessy and Sapphire wear).
10. Can you do other things while writing? (eg. Eating, listening to music, etc)
I am a brilliant multi-tasker. I literally write while I’m doing everything, even watching movies.
1. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
2. Do you lean towards writing male or female characters?
3. What themes/symbols/motifs tend to appear repeatedly in your writing?
4. Music while writing: yes or no?
5. Favourite character archetype (hero, mentor, love interest etc)?
6. Out of all your characters, which do you relate to the most?
7. What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters?
8. What’s one genre you’d like to try (writing or reading), but haven’t yet?
9. What’s the weirdest character you’ve written and why?
10. If you could write ANY story and didn’t have to worry about it being mediocre or falling apart in the middle, etc, what would you write?
And I Tag…
Even if you weren’t tagged, feel free to join in on the fun! Leave me a link in the comments too, so I can check it out 😊. So, what’s the worst thing you’ve written? What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters? Would you like your book made into a movie?