Today, my guest is MuseItUp young adult author, David Normyle, discussing his recent release, Crimson Dream.
Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.
About eight years ago, I was traveling in Latin America and started emailing detailed travel stories back home and caught the bug. When I returned home, I began my first novel. It was a stop/start affair; at the time I didn't realize what I was letting myself in for. Now that the novel is published, I've started giving writing more time, so it won't take as long to get by second one written.
Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I'm a part-time writer. I don't really organize my time that well, but at the moment I'm managing to devote a few hours a day to my writing.
What influences your writing?
It's hard to say. I think ultimately many of the books read, movies watched and life experiences had all influence your writing in some way. I'm a big fan of fantasy novels and read them more than anything else--it's what I'm driven to write, so I guess that's a definite influence.
Is this your first published work? What other types of writing have you done?
Yes, my first published work. The only other writing I'd done previously was essays in school and those travel stories I mentioned. Presently working on a second novel and then hope to try my hand at short stories after that to get more stories under my belt and hopefully some more publishing credits.
Why did you choose to write a young adult story?
I didn't choose it; perhaps young adult chose me. I wrote a story with teenagers as the main characters and when I finished, I realized that young adult was its natural home. I tend to avoid description and try to get to the heart of the action quickly and so far my novels come out on the shorter side for mainstream (particularly mainstream fantasy) so I intend to focus on young adult novels for now.
What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
Well, I just started with a basic idea and started writing. I knew nothing when I started. Whenever I reached a point where I didn't have a clue what would happen I'd get out a refill pad and jot out notes and ideas and expand on those as needed. Then back to writing again. As I wrote I started learning the craft of writing from books and websites. Once I was finished, it needed a lot of work--as you can imagine--especially the early chapters. However, I find editing much easier than facing the blank page of a first draft.
What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
I'm more in favour of traditional publishing. I think it helps readers to have the inbuilt quality control which is provided by people whose job it is to sell books. Self publishing allows really bad books to get published. The disadvantage, of course, is that it's really hard to break into the traditional sphere. However, this is a good thing for readers who ultimately pay for the industry. I think it's better to have 1000 authors selling 10,000 books each than it is for 100,000 authors selling 100 books each.
What is your marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy--yes, I should probably get one of those. I've got a website, facebook page and I'm trying to get my name out there by doing a few interviews and blog posts. However, I'm not interested in that aspect of the writing business; I prefer to concentrate on my writing. I guess the prevailing wisdom is that the marketing part is more important than the writing part these days. However, I'm going to concentrate on writing and see where it gets me.
What are your thoughts about young adult writers needing an agent or not needing one?
Well, I'd prefer to get an agent. I think they are the best way into the traditional publishing sphere which is where I'd like to be. I haven't managed to catch the interest of any yet--hopefully with my next novel.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Do you have any tips for writers who are new to young adult literature?
It's the same advice I'd give to any writer of any other type. The first thing is to read a lot. I don't think anyone should be a writer unless they are a reader first. The second is to write. That's the easy part of course, just open a vein and bleed for a few hours a day. And the third, fourth and fifth thing is: rewrite, rewrite and then rewrite some more.
Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.
Centuries ago, Deren's people fled to a hidden valley deep in the mountains chased by the Domain, whose powerful Seers could not find them.
Deren’s safe world disintegrates when his vision foretells his sister’s death by a Domain soldier. Deren can't defend Bennie because of his asthmatic attacks, so he trains her in archery and prepares his people for war against their ancient foe.
As the invasion advances, Bennie's mastery of the bow leads her along unexpected paths. Although she hates killing, she must make hard choices. Her loved ones will die if she doesn't help them.
Will Bennie’s encounter with an enemy prince prove the key to survival? Can Deren overcome his physical weaknesses and the doubts of his own father to lead his people?
With fate and overwhelming force stacked against them, it seems their best efforts will be in vain.
Available at my publishers website: http://HYPERLINK "http://www.tinyurl.com/CrimsonDream" www.tinyurl.com/CrimsonDream
Or on Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/KindCrimsonDream