Today, I have author Mandy Eve-Barnett on my site discussing writing and her fantasy novel, The Rython Kingdom.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Zambia, South Africa as my parents was posted there, prior to their marriage and my birth a year later. My home in my heart is England but for self-expression and finding my writing obsession I would have to say Canada.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When members of my writing circle were astonished with my submissions for the sharing meetings and the subsequent publishing of my books.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
I was working on how to brand myself and this subject came up. The common theme is ‘love’ in its many guises. A foundation my parents showed me in their love for each other and their children. I also use life experiences from each continent I have lived on – Africa, England, and Canada.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
I always seem to have multiple projects running – I have just finished collaboration with two writing friends for a How To workbook on memoirs, which will be released in October. My current WIP is in the editing phrase and is a children’s chapter book about healer sprites helping forest animals. In addition I am drafting my next NaNoWriMo novel plot in a new genre for me.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
I love creating characters, environments for them and letting them lead me into a story. Not having enough time to write is my bane – as I have to work fulltime to pay the bills…one day I can just write.
How do you conceive your plot ideas?
My ideas are many and their sources are as varied. Conversations overheard, a photograph or even a prompt have all resulted in stories becoming a reality. I find the more open you are the more you perceive.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I’m a seat of my pants writer 95% of the time and go with the flow as my characters speak to me. However, my newest narrative for NaNo has required some plotting and research. It has been a learning curve.
Please tell us about your current release.
My ebook, The Rython Kingdom, is set in medieval England and follows the adventures of a traveling troubadour. He is the unwitting pawn for a vengeful witch determined to kill the King and all his courtiers.
What inspired you to write this book?
It started with several prompts that linked together over several months. The story grew from there as well as my interest in historical sites in England.
How did you come up with the title?
I have a vivid imagination and wanted a mysterious word in the title. The Rython is a creature in the story.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
No, my characters are purely my own creations. I decide on how I want them to react to a situation and tailor their personality to that.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
This is a difficult question – I love my little monster Rumble and also a villain in a manuscript called The Twesome Loop. He is seriously flawed and although many people who have read the story hate him, I feel happy I have created him so well.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
There are several black moments but one that springs to mind is when the witch creates a spell to make soldiers devour each other.
What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?
A scene near the end when the troubadour and sorceress combine in a vortex.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
As I have an aversion to planning too much, I like to let the story or characters lead me. It is like channeling. I’m surprised by the twists and turns as anyone else in some instances. That is the fun of writing.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
May I have two? Melissa from The Twesome Loop finds love in an Italian villa and as I love Italy it would be perfect for me. I would love to have the powers Juliana in The Rython Kingdom.
If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Ferney by James Long. To experience reincarnation would be incredible.
Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I have gradually created a writing space for myself at one end of the living/dining room. Once I am an empty nester I will have a whole room to myself.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
Not really a cup of English tea or a glass of wine depending on the time of day and vegetable chips (crisps) are favored though.
What book are you reading right now?
The Map of the Sky by Felix de Palma. It is the sequel to The Map of Time. Both are excellent.
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
I would have to pick Stephen King as his story telling is incredible and Kate Morton as her style is enthralling.
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I did not start writing until I was 51…
The famed troubadour, Guillem, attends the king’s court to recite a marvelous tale but his suspicions are raised by a strange servant. With the help of a wizened old woman and her beautiful granddaughter, Guillem attempts to outwit a witch to save the kingdom from murder and mayhem. He then finds himself part of a ritual for life everlasting with the entrancing and mysterious Juliana.
About the Author
A Canadian resident, Mandy Eve-Barnett has a wealth of experiences to draw from for her writing. She has lived in South Africa, England and Canada and the uniqueness of each continent left its essence within her. An avid reader her whole life, it wasn’t until she joined a local writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, that the writing ‘bug’ gripped her. Now Mandy writes with an all-encompassing passion and is deeply involved with the foundation and its members. Writing in various genres, Mandy has been published in anthologies, on numerous web sites and in the local newspaper as well as regularly blogging about her writing journey.
You can find out more about Mandy on her website.