I’m not sure that I’ll ever be 100% used to the fact that I’m a published author. I mean, seriously, what in the heck have I done to deserve that? There are better writers than I will ever be that will never see professional publication, and even more folks walking around with sheepskin-diplomas that will never bounce to the top of that hellish slush pile. I graduated high school on the barest of margins, slept through a few community college classes, and worked as a body piercer for almost seventeen years, so how in the hell did I get so lucky to wind up with a publisher like Thomas and Mercer, when so many others fall by the wayside? This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder if I’m dreaming this whole writer gig sometimes.
Thankfully, this has yet to be proven as just a hallucination. Being published professionally was a dream that I never thought I could accomplish, but thanks to an understanding family, an ability to not be shattered to my core by over 400 rejection letters, and an utterly tenacious attitude to writing, I have found myself in a position that I was once too scared to even imagine. I write fiction for a living from the comfort of my kitchen table, and I sure do love it.
This is what happened:
In 2006 I started writing a novel just to see if I could do it. As it turned out, I was in a perfect position to write a novel that absolutely no one wanted to publish, so I borrowed money from my mother and self-pubbed a novel called From Ashes Rise. Ashes never dragged me into the winners circle in the way that so many other self-published authors have been, but I did sell 200 copies, and my desperation to do it again was animalistic. Undeterred by weak sales and far weaker responses from the world of agents and editors, I stepped back into the fire. Five manuscripts and four years after I’d begun work on Ashes, I finally talked to someone in publishing that was interested in hearing what I had to say.
A year before I got that magical email, my wife and I were woken by the sound of her phone ringing, it was her mother, and she had bad news. Really bad. A family outing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula had turned to tragedy, and a drunk driver veering off the road had resulted in over ten members of our family being hospitalized, three of them dead on the scene. To say I was pissed would be an understatement, I was gutted and I was furious. I wanted revenge-I still do-but instead of buying myself time in prison with a few ounces of well-placed and well-deserved lead, I wrote.
The book I completed that summer, Nickel Plated, wound up being submitted to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. If you don’t remember my name from that cold winter, it’s because I didn’t win. I left my name on some piece of documentation where names were a no-no, and I was bounced after a few rounds. The miracle was that though I had been bounced, I had reviewed well enough that inexplicably my manuscript had wound up on the desk of my editor, Terry. A few months after I was rejected, I got an email from him offering to publish my book.
As any aspiring writer would do, I immediately assumed that this was one of those scams where you pay to play, but I was wrong. The offer was legit, and I walked out of my basement with my laptop under my arms and tears welling in my eyes. I set the computer in front of my wife and told her to read. She did, had the exact same reaction I did, and it slowly began to dawn on us that the years of rejection might just have been worth it. A few days later I talked to Terry over the phone while I was between piercings in the tattoo shop, and then later inked a contract.
Somehow, things got better from there. My publisher cared about my thoughts on the cover, they cared about my thoughts on edits, and they cared about me. Everything I had been told about the bad old world of publishing had been a lie, these people weren’t just good to me, they treated me like a friend. I was in heaven, to be perfectly honest. Conference call? Hey, I’ve never been on one, but now I was participating in one every few months. A publicist? Sure, why not. A content editor? Yes please. Even now, five works later, the fact that I have these people working with me is nearly impossible to believe. I’m just some tattooed scribbler, I wanted to tell them, you’ve got the wrong guy.
How does this happen? Well, in my case it happened because I read Stephen King’s brilliant On Writing, and I decided that I was going to be published or die trying. There was a lot of luck involved, but the real trick was making myself suffer, reading every rejection letter word for word and then getting back to those keys and punching them as hard as I could. I listened to songs that made me feel horrible and beautiful all at once, studied the bills that piercing was barely paying, and said, I can do this. I had no choice, that was the attitude that I took, and I pounded keys until my fingers were raw.
You can too. Write when the wind is full of the noise of friends laughing and talking, write when you’re at your happiest or most miserable, and write while the soundtrack to your heart blares through your headphones. Just write, and submit, and suffer, and by God, keep your fingers crossed.
Aric Davis’ novel The Fort is available now on Amazon.com. At turns heartbreaking and breathtakingly thrilling, The Fort perfectly renders a coming-of-age story in the 1980s, in those final days of childhood independence, discovery, and paradise lost.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
I’m giving away TWO FREE COPIES of The Fort to US residents. Enter for your chance to win here!
It takes a special person to be able to captivate an audience with merely words. But Charlie Lovett has this gift. He was immersed in words from a young age, through his father’s book collecting and his own love of reading, which eventually led to career in words: book collecting and selling, screenplay and essay writing, and now book authoring. He even had the exciting opportunity to live in England for six months with his family. I had the most wonderful chance of getting to take a glimpse into his life and his new book, The Bookman’s Tale, which hit bookstores yesterday.
Before tackling writing, you first went into the antiquarian book business. What made you so passionate about the written word and, particularly, what drew you to collecting old pieces of literature?
My father, to whom The Bookman’s Tale is dedicated, was both a professor of English Literature and a book collector, so I grew up in a home where the written word was loved and valued. My father recently donated his collection of over 700 editions of Robinson Crusoe to the Emory University Library Special Collections Department. Crusoe is a great book to collect, because it has been constantly in print since 1719. When I first began to travel without my family, as a teenager, I used to scout old bookshops for copies of Crusoe, so even before I began collecting books on my own I was having that experience of both collecting and of haunting old bookshops, and I found that I liked both of those things. As I moved into adulthood I thought I’d like to try book collecting for myself and it didn’t take me long to get hooked. Every book is an adventure and going through the process of the editing, design, and marketing of The Bookman’s Tale makes me even more appreciative of what went into every book that sits on my shelves.
Lewis Carroll has been a big part of your life. Why?
As a child I used to listen to records of Cyril Ritchard reading the Alice books. When I started to think about what I would like to collect as a young man, Alice seemed a natural choice. I thought there would likely be lots of different editions (there were more than I could ever have imagined). At the time I knew nothing about Lewis Carroll or his other works. I just wanted to collect books and my father had introduced me to the idea of single title collecting, so I landed on Alice. Only later did I begin to read biographies of Carroll and his letters and diaries and discover not only what an interesting person he was but what an interesting time he lived in. My collection now is much more than an Alice in Wonderland collection. It’s really more a “Lewis Carroll and the world he lived in” collection. I have first editions of all his books and many of the hundreds of pamphlets and periodical articles he produced in his lifetime along with photographs of people he knew, copies of books he owned, playbills from productions he attended, and even Lewis Carroll’s own 1888 Hammond typewriter. I’ve found that investigating the life and works of Lewis Carroll has made for a good passion—it’s taken me all over the world and introduced me to people I never would have met otherwise, many of whom are now close friends. Most importantly, it’s taught me the value of passion. Everyone should have one, and it doesn’t much matter what it is. It only matters that you pursue it with relish. That will enrich your life in so many ways.
Were you ever nervous about entering the book business? What made you decide to sell and collect old books rather than choosing a more “stable” career path?
I don’t think I thought of it in those terms at the time. I graduated from college with a B.A. in theatre, so by comparison going into retail seemed pretty stable. Having learned to build sets while doing summer theatre, I was pretty good at building bookcases. I worked for another bookseller for nearly a year before my first wife and I decided to go out on our own. In those days there was no internet, so the business was very different—slower, more personal, and more oriented around retail shops. The two things I loved most about the antiquarian book business were the fun of the “treasure hunt” (something Peter talks about in The Bookman’s Tale) and the fun of simply driving by my bookshop and seeing people coming out with books in their hands and smiles on their faces and thinking “I did that!”
What made you leave your book shop in in the 1990s?
The early 1990s were a big transition for me. My marriage ended and I found myself at a crossroads both personally and professionally. That was when I decided I wanted to get more serious about writing. I had always loved to write and had already published a couple of non-fiction books, but I certainly had dreams (which are now coming true) of being a novelist. When I made that decision to make writing the center of my career instead of ancillary to it, I started on the path that has led me to May 28, 2013—the publication of my breakthrough novel.
The Bookman’s Tale follows the story of a recently widowed man who travels to England to grieve and fall back in love with his passion for book collecting and restoring. When he comes across a watercolor of a woman in a Shakespeare book that looks strikingly like his deceased wife, he becomes engulfed in a storm of history, secrets and his own past.
The premise of this book sounds fascinating. Clearly you connect with your main character, Peter, through your love of books—but how else did you connect with your characters?
More than anything I have ever written, The Bookman’s Tale is populated with characters that are based neither on me nor on anyone I know. That being said, there is a lot about Peter and other characters I can relate to. I’m not crazy about phoning strangers or knocking on doors, but Peter’s phobia is far beyond my own. Still, I think we all can relate to his shyness in some way. And of course anyone who has ever been in love can, I hope, relate to the story of Peter and Amanda. Certainly my own passion for rare books is echoed by Peter and many other characters, both in the modern story and in the historic parts of the novel. And I have to admit, though I hope it is not taken from my own character, I like the roguishness of Bartholomew Harbottle. I like the idea that loving books is not an activity restricted to tweed-wearing, upright and completely moral university professors. The booklovers of The Bookman’s Tale are of many stripes.
What inspired you to write this story?
The story grew out of my love for rare books and for the English countryside. The genesis of The Bookman’s Tale came in 2005. I was walking alone in the Yorkshire countryside on a chilly day. I had just finished devouring the latest Harry Potter book and I was thinking about what I might like to write next when I hit on the idea of a hiding a secret in an old family chapel. I think this idea must have come from recalling a previous trip to the north of England during which some friends had taken me to see a tomb in just such a chapel. Like my fictional Evenlode House, the house near the chapel had fallen into disrepair and the residents lived in trailers in the garden. When I returned from my walk, I began to make notes and ended up with several pages of ideas about a Victorian English painter and a modern day American expatriate bookseller. With the exception of those two characters and the settings of the falling down house and the hidden chapel, almost nothing of my original notes made it into the novel. In fact, it was two years later before I started working on the book in earnest. During the same time that I was working on revising the early drafts of the novel, my wife and I bought and renovated our cottage in Kingham. With a few modifications, our cottage became Peter’s cottage, and my own familiarity with rare books and the English countryside helped me create the world of the novel. It took me about four months to write the first draft, and I worked through several other drafts (and several rejections by agents) before, in 2011, I found an agent who was as excited about the story as I was.
Who were your biggest supporters for this novel and how did they help you?
My wife Janice has always been a great early reader. I have written nearly twenty plays for children that she has directed the premieres of and she is a great editor. Playwriting is, by its very nature collaborative and working with her has helped me appreciate the power of collaboration. Anna Worrall at The Gernert Company was the first person in the professional book world who both read and loved the manuscript. She and David Gernert have been extremely supportive and gave great editorial guidance as we prepared the book for submission. Kathryn Court, my editor at Penguin Books has been amazing in both her enthusiastic support for the book and her wise editing. I did a major rewrite of the book for David and another for Kathryn and the result was a much stronger story. Kathryn’s assistant at the time the book came to Penguin, Tara Singh, has also been a great supporter of the book and full of wisdom and advice. The entire sales and marketing team at Penguin, whom I got the chance to meet last week, have been amazing. There is a lot of excitement there about the selection as a Barnes and Noble Recommends title. This is the first title Penguin has had in that program and I’m proud to represent a great publisher. That all sounded a little like an Oscar acceptance speech, but it takes a lot of supportive people to publish a book.
What is your writing routine like? Do you listen to particular types of music? Drink certain beverages? Write in certain locations?
I am very project-oriented. When I do not have a current project, I may not write at all for days or even weeks. But I’m always thinking about the next project, making little notes and leaving them around the house (my wife has learned never to throw away a credit card receipt or junk mail envelope that has my inscrutable scrawl on it). When I am in the midst of a project I usually write first thing in the morning. I drink an ice-cold Coca-Cola and eat a Kind Bar at my desk and work at least five and often seven days a week. Often I make a sandwich for lunch and take it up to my office and keep going. My desk looks out over our back garden (including the rooftop garden on top of our screen porch). It’s nice to glance up once in a while and see nature. When the weather is nice I open a window and I can hear the waterfall behind our house. I wrote the first draft of The Bookman’s Tale in four months, but I had been thinking about it for three years. The first
draft for my new novel, First Impressions, took only about three months, but I was at my desk every single day for several hours. From Christmas until mid-March (other than a couple of trips out of town) I didn’t schedule anything before 1:30 p.m. so I could have several solid hours of writing every day. And of course, the first draft is a long way from being the novel. For me there can be months or years of thinking before I begin a first draft and there is a lot of revision that comes after.
After writing for so many years, what is some advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Read a lot, write a lot, and make your own opportunities. I bullied my way into a job as a children’s playwright at my old school, but the result was more than a dozen published plays with over 3000 productions worldwide. In the digital age, anyone can share their writing with anyone. There’s no excuse for not writing and sharing and getting feedback and then making it better. And remember—anyone can write a first draft; revision is where the real work takes place.
For fun, give me your favourite author, book, city, musician/musical group, and historical moment:
I had a conversation with my editor about this question last weekend, because it had been nagging at me. I don’t really have favorites. But Kathryn pointed out that often our favorite books are those we read at wonderful times in our lives—on holiday for instance. So: I loved reading The World According to Garp at age 19 while backpacking through Europe, I loved reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay while vacationing in the Canadian Rockies. I first read Pride and Prejudice at age 12 and thought it was a boring soap opera. I read it for about the fifth time last summer in the peaceful surroundings of Kingham and I think it’s just about a perfect novel. So maybe favorites are just all about timing.
Cities? I love my hometown of Winston-Salem; I love New York for theatre and food; but if I had to live in a major metropolitan area, I’d probably pick London. There is just so much to it and so much of it is so beautiful or fascinating.
Historical Moment: Impossible to say. I love a great museum exhibit that delves into a particular moment in history—the most recent one I saw was one about New York in WWII at the New York Historical Society.
Musician? That’s the hardest, because it’s always changing. I love Handel and I love the Beatles; I love show tunes and I love the Doobie Brothers (my first concert); and then I just heard a new song in a Bollywood movie that I’m crazy about. So I guess eclectic is the best word to describe my taste. But then, that’s what keeps life interesting!
And now for some exciting news! You can win a copy of this fantastic book by clicking on this link! (Please note: only enter if you have a US address.) Good luck everyone!
If you’re anything like myself, you probably dream of traveling the world one day, meeting lots of people and being inspired by the places you see and the people that enter your lives in these unknown lands. I would give anything to just leave Calgary and go to Europe for a year, but sadly I can only imagine it. Beverly Swerling, however, has done that. In fact, she’s lived all of Europe. She’s a simply fascinating woman and I recently had the chance to chat with her about her life, her experiences, her career and her newest book Bristol House.
Life is as busy as ever nowadays. How do you find the time to sit down and write?
I’m a very disciplined writer. Once I begin a book I write every morning—truly every single morning, unless someone dies or I am so ill I cannot lift my head—from around 6 a.m. until 10 to 10:30 a.m. Then I open my office door, pick up my e-mail, and let the world in. The key to the above is that little phrase, “Once I begin…” Getting to that critical moment is sometimes pure hell. I can find a million reasons why now is not the time to start a new book.
You’ve been writing for many years now… At what point in your life did you realize that writing was the path you were going to follow in life, abandoning the idea of a stable career in another field?
It’s what I wanted to do from the time I was around 9. After college I took any kind of cockamamie job I could find—file clerk, waiting tables—until I was finally eking out a bare living stringing words together. Mind you, not novels in those days. I didn’t have the guts to try a novel until I’d been a freelance journalist for nearly a decade. Fiction is way harder than non-fiction.
You’ve lived in Europe twice. What made you decide to leave everything behind and start somewhere new? Where did you live in Europe and what drew you there?
The first time my reasoning was simply that it was another of those things I’d always wanted to do. I had the chance and took it. (Interviewing for hospitals who wanted to hire Irish nurses. Then writing their stories for various mags.) Second time was more complicated and based on family considerations. I’ve lived in Ireland, England, France, Spain, and the Canary Islands (which belong to Spain and where Spanish is spoken—but different from Spain in many ways).
Do you think you were, in any way, influenced by your life in Europe when it comes to your stories?
Definitely! It’s not only the places I’ve lived that add to my novels in description, etc. I think “place” is hugely important in fiction. Almost another character. And I’m frequently interested in/writing about the reactions of an American to other places. Which is usually coloured by the fact that, except for native Americans, all of us came from “other places” one, two, three generations back…
What events in your life led you to write Bristol House? What were your inspirations for writing such a novel?
Bristol House has been lying in wait for me for 20+ years. The saga began the first time I saw the London flat in the story—No 8 Bristol House on Southampton Row—which belongs to my son’s in-laws. I was overwhelmed by how quintessentially English it was and knew I’d put it in a book someday. Soon after that we were loaned the flat for a London stay. One day I was walking down a nearby street and I heard a group of very plumy English accents behind me, women talking and laughing. When I turned around no one was there. Then I noticed that the house beside me had a plaque commemorating the fact that Lady Ottoline Morrell had lived there. She was a great patron of the arts who helped T.S. Eliot, and was close to one of my heroines, Virginia Woolf. I felt as if I’d stumbled on a “wrinkle in time,” though I could never reproduce the experience. All of that combined to become a novel in which the back bedroom of No. 8 is a place where two different eras meet, though in the case of Bristol House the historical section is based on Tudor times, not the time of the Bloomsbury Group.
As you began to write Bristol House, what were your fears?
That I could not do justice to a novel that combined the really complex contemporary plot I envisioned for the modern thriller section, and the very human drama of the Tudor period—which I knew right away had to be told by two different first person voices who were, I knew, speaking from “after death.” None of that was going to be easy to pull off.
What challenges and obstacles did you face as you wrote your novel? What was surprisingly easy for you?
I’m trying to tell a story about profound and ongoing Anti-Semitism through the ages, that also addresses real questions of religious belief. The hard part is doing that in a way that readers will find believable. The easy part was getting into the minds of both the Jewish and Catholic characters. Happens my background includes both traditions—so whichever side you’re on, I’ve got skin in the game.
Who were your biggest supporters for this novel? How did they help you?
My biggest supporter is always my wonderful husband, and in the case of Bristol House, my agent Marly Rusoff. And Clare Ferraro, editor of Viking, who got what I was trying to do with this book from the first minute. And Carole DeSanti, my editor at Viking, who was willing to aggressively engage with a strong willed author—so in the end we got something better than either of us could produce alone. And the publicity and marketing people at Viking have been wonderful.
What is the most important lesson readers can take away from Bristol House, and what will surprise them?
I hope what they’ll take away is that nothing is necessarily what it seems. And that truth is not always limited to what we can perceive with our five senses. As for the surprise…in a novel planned to work first as a thriller, I hope the ending is a real surprise.
Can you relate to any of the characters in Bristol House? If so, how?
I’m always a little bit of all my characters. Mostly, though I am not an alcoholic, I relate to Annie’s wish to have been able to better use her gifts, and to forgive herself for her failings.
In a Tweet-sized summary (150 characters or less), tell me what Bristol House is about!
A tale set in the 16th and 21st centuries, wherein a monk and historian meet and hurtle toward destinies 500 years apart, yet on a collision course.
What was your writing routine like? Did you listen to certain types of music? Drink certain beverages? Write in certain locations? Is your writing routine the same for each novel you write or does it vary?
As above, I write every morning, in my office, for 3 to 3.5 hours minimum. No music. Have to have complete silence. I’m afraid I scream if I hear anyone else in the house talking too loud.
Just for fun, I want to know your five favourites: author, musician/musical group, city, historical moment, animal—and why.
Well, authors: James Clavell, Donna Leon, Gillian Flynn, Emma Donoghue and Virginia Woolf’s non-fiction.
Music: Itzhak Perelman on the violin, Yo Yo Ma on the cello—also Jacqueline DuPre on the same instrument. And the NY Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. And I adore Cold Play. And Gregorian chant, particularly as done by the nuns of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem CT.
Cities: New York, London and Paris. But I also love Arrecife, capital of Lanzarote in the Canaries.
Too many historical moments to name, but examples: Lincoln speaking at his second inaugural. What the founding fathers said to each other in that conference that came up with the US Constitution. The liberation of Paris at the end of WWII.
Animal: My darling little mutt, Daisy, 20 lbs of pure unadulterated love.
What has your writing experience been like so far?
In the words of the L. I. Medium (see, I’m confessing to watching endless hours of trash TV—my favorite relaxation) “This is not just my work, it’s my life.”
You’re a seasoned writer. What advice would you give to aspiring authors or those early on in their writing career?
Decide if it’s worth it to you, if you really HAVE to do it. Because the price you’ll pay is very high. The lows are abysmal. You can spend years on a book that goes nowhere. But the highs, the rewards, can be enormous in terms of satisfaction, and yes, very, very occasionally economic. (Though it will help a very great deal if you can marry well. Or claim a comfortable trust fund.)
If you would like to win a copy of Bristol House, enter here! (Unfortunately this giveaway is restricted to US residents only.)
Otherwise the book hits shelves today!
In today’s hectic world, it seems almost impossible for one to sit down, collect his or her thoughts and write a novel from pure imagination. Even more rare is when that person puts everything they’ve got into their work and sees their story published to the very last page. But amazingly, Tamar Hela has done it. This twenty-something young lady has put her heart and soul into her novel Feast Island for the past three years and, finally, it has hit bookshelves across the country and online. But how did she do it? What made her pick up that pen (or open up her laptop) and begin writing? What were her inspirations? And who is the girl behind this fantastically new coming-of-age fantasy novel? Well, I had the chance to talk with Tamar and not only is she incredibly talented, but she’s fresh and fun to listen to.
You’ve been writing since the age of ten… At what point in your life did you realize that writing was the path you were going to follow in life, abandoning the idea of a stable career in another field?
Honestly, it’s still something I am realizing. I have a day job, among other projects and endeavors, and I’m so busy that I sometimes forget I’ve written a novel! I don’t think I would be happy in life by sticking to just one thing. However, I am working on some plans to get to the place where writing is the top priority in my life, as I take on other projects to give back to others. That’s really why I do what I do: I want to give back to others, to the community, while utilizing the gifts I’ve been given. Writing is one of those gifts and I hope that I can be an inspiration to others.
Life is as busy as ever nowadays. How did you find the time to sit down and write the first novel in your series?
This was especially hard for me, especially since I am involved with many things. I had to schedule writing into my planner like an appointment. I must admit, I couldn’t always stick with it, but I tried my best. Also, trying to stick to word count deadlines helped, as well as being pushed by a good friend. She continually asked for more and more material from my novel and that kept me on track the most.
What events in your life led you to Feast Island? What were your inspirations for writing such a novel?
I had a dream about Feast Island over three years ago. I have the craziest dreams, all the time. This one in particular would not go away, however. Since I could not get the images out of my head, I decided that it was time to check something off my bucket list: writing a fictional novel. And that’s just what I did.
Who were your biggest supporters for this first novel? How did they help you?
My biggest supporter was my friend and now manager, Jessica. She read the story from the very beginning and was the one who continually prompted me to finish. And here I sit, answering interview questions, all because of her support to get me to this point. The book would not have been finished without her.
As you began to write Feast Island, what were your fears?
My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t finish! I tend to take on too many projects and sometimes end up leaving a few hanging here and there, unfinished. Another fear, which is something I think most writers can relate to, is whether I would have an audience. Just because YOU think your writing is good, or at least decent, doesn’t mean that someone else will. Once I began to receive positive feedback, however, those fears were assuaged.
What challenges and obstacles did you face as you wrote your novel? What was surprisingly easy for you?
Writer’s block was a HUGE setback. That’s why it took me almost three years to finish the novel. Mostly, it was the dialogue portions that were the most challenging. The easiest thing was putting the overall storyline and the rest of the series together. Outlining is my best friend when it comes to building a story and new worlds.
What was your writing routine like? Did you listen to certain types of music? Drink certain beverages? Write in certain locations?
I would try to write on the weekends at local coffee shops and in the evening, when everyone in my house was asleep. As for music, one of my favorite bands to listen to while writing is Radiohead. The droning sounds actually help me concentrate. I also have a playlist for Feast Island as well. The song list in my iTunes library is one that evokes emotion with many developments or actions in the novel. Each song helped me visualize a character or scene in the story. And my favorite beverage to drink while writing was a soy white mocha!
What has your writing experience been like so far?
It has been amazing and has far outweighed anything I’ve imagined. It is still surreal to sign books for people. I recently had a signing at a local Barnes & Noble and that was a huge deal! The people my team and I have connected with have been mostly warm and friendly and so inviting. I look forward to continue to build these relationships, especially in my community, and grow my business of writing.
In a Tweet-sized summary, tell me what Feast Island is about!
Feast Island is to where seven teenagers are magically transported on the planet Cantelia. If they want to go home, they must break a curse.
What is the most important lesson readers can take away from Feast Island, and what will surprise them?
One of the most important lessons is that it doesn’t matter how insignificant you think you are; you can make a difference if you are willing to take a leap of faith. What may surprise readers are the gory and gruesome scenes.
Just for fun, I want to know your five favourites: author, musician/musical group, city, historical moment, animal — and why.
Author: C.S. Lewis because his writing is so diverse and intriguing. I am still in love with the Narnia series to this day and used it as part of my teaching curriculum over the past three years.
Musical Group: Keane because I love their sound and style.
City: Alicante, Spain because I lived there for a little bit in the summer of 2008 while studying abroad. I fell in love with the culture and people there.
Historical moment: When America was recovering from the 9/11 attacks. In a time where great tragedy occurred, my country stood firm and really became a community again. It’s sad that we don’t always keep that spirit of camaraderie, however.
Animal: A bear. I’ve just always thought they were cute since my childhood.