If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ~Henry David Thoreau
I’m featured over at the Magic Nutschell today. Stop in and say hello. :)
Today in the lounge of Spacedock 19, author Madeleine Sara of Scribble and Edit is joining me. She recently released the novella, Ultimate Sacrifice. She’s also quite the poetess.
MP: Do you use your poetic chops when writing fiction, Madeleine?
MS: I’m fairly new to poetry so I guess I find I have to set my mind to poems to write them while prose seems to come more readily, so probably not. I had a go at poetry when I was very young (6yrs) and then nothing until I was much older. In fact I found poetry mostly scary and incomprehensible at school. Later, when I came across poets like Pam Ayres and Roger McGough I realised there was more to poetry than the classical romantic poets that had eluded my sensibilites growing up. I started writing poems properly in 2009 when I took a creative writing course. The death of our beloved cat, Comfrey, sparked my first poem Grief’s Bouquet Garni.
MP: Your book, Ultimate Sacrifice, deals with war time drama. Which war did you use for the story, and why did you decide to create a story using it?
MS: Yes Ultimate Sacrifice deals with the war in Afghanistan. It is current/ topical and will resonate with many people; both those who have direct contact with the soldiers and their families and those who hear about it on the news broadcasts.
MP: How do you breathe life into your characters? What do you think are the most important things for a writer to keep in mind when creating characters?
MS: They say that the best writing comes from what you know, so I do my best to emulate that by taking traits and situations from people I have known and weave them into my characters. If a character I think should be sympathetic is misunderstood and disliked by the readers, then that interests and surprises me and if my unsympathetic characters are pitied and rooted for then that also interests and surprises me, though out of context anyone’s actions can be perceived very differently. I also enjoy behavioural psychology, so that influences my character themes.
MP: Interesting. Can you give an example of how you’ve used behavioral psychology in the creation of a character?
MS: Behavioural psychology is based on the proposition that everything a person does: their actions, thoughts and feelings, shape their behaviour and that of everyone with whom they interact. So any personality trait can be viewed in behavioural psychology terms. I guess that is how I perceive all my main characters, once they begin to develop in my writing. The support characters less so as I gerenally regard them more as plot devices. The behaviour of the MCs mother in Ultimate Sacrifice is one example of a psychological study, because mothers are regarded as nurturing, caring and supportive…
MP: Do you have any marketing advice for other authors out there in the trenches?
MS: There’s lots of advice out there if you Google it, so before you embark on the final launch of your eBook read the information about formatting your MS and what you need to do to raise awareness, such as interviews, reviews (especially good ones on Amazon and the other relevant sites as well as people’s blogs) etc.
You can use the Free promotion option (ie. make the book available for free download on certain days).
If you use the Amazon KDP select, which helps to promote your book too, though you can’t then publish it with Smashwords etc. until the 90 days are up, but apparently it’s worth doing.
Also promote Free “kindle for pc download“ so that those without a Kindle can still read your book.
MP: Thanks for joining me at Spacedock 19, Madeleine. It was a great chat.
MS: My pleasure, thank you for hosting me. Bless you Mary for such an illuminating Q&A session. It really got me thinking about my approaches to my characters and writing, too.
Purchase Ultimate Sacrifice at: Amazon.com / Amazon. UK / Amazon FR / Amazon de
In the Backworlds series, chocolate is as valuable as gold is to our world. What does chocolate mean to you? Join the What’s Your Chocolate? bloghop on Monday, September 10th and tell us. Sign up HERE
Excellent on the psychology and science. Do you use science in creating characters? If so, what? If not, how do you breathe life into them?
Don’t forget to pop in at the Magic Nutschell. Where you can see the rare event of me having a clean desk.
Monday I won a $50 Amazon gift card from Ian Walkley. Excellent. After ordering his book, No Remorse, I will order season 2 of Walking Dead for the husband unit. It’s understood I will not be watching it with him. Just like it was understood he wouldn’t be participating in the Downton Abbey season 2 marathon with me.