by Alecia Stone
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.
When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He's afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.
Charlie doesn't know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.
He belongs with the others.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Alecia Stone. I majored in film at university and have a great love for films and an even greater love for literature. For me the two kind of go hand in hand. I can’t live without either. When I’m not writing, I like to listen to music – and sing along until I’m told to be quiet – hang out with friends and go to the movies. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d probably me working in the film industry or floating around somewhere at NASA, exploring the universe.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes. I was about fourteen when I started reading Pride and Prejudice by the wonderful Jane Austen. It’s my favourite book to this day. I remember finishing the book and thinking, ‘I wished I’d written that’. I fell in love with the story and the characters (Mr. Darcy, in particular). I felt as though the author had a great passion for her story that I greatly admired. It’s a great feeling to love a book but an even greater feeling to fall in love with the art of storytelling.
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
Well, I didn’t anticipate how often you had to edit a book before it was in pristine condition. Editing, for me, was the most time consuming of the writing process, but I liked the fact that I had something to work with, so I didn’t complain.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don’t have a formula, so to speak – I haven’t developed one yet. Once I have a character in mind, I jot down a few notes to get a sense of who they are and what their goals are. Sometimes the plot unfolds around the character’s goals and vice versa. I jot things down according to how information come to me, but generally, once I have a sense of where I want to go with the story, I just start writing and let the story lead me the rest of the way. When I’m done, I can look at the whole picture and see what I have to work with.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
I would say a story has to connect with its readers. Regardless of the genre, the readers have to feel in some sense as if the world the author has created is real. The characters also have to be believable. If you can’t connect with the characters then you won’t care about their story.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Talisman Of El is a story about a young orphan trying to find his place in the world. Charlie Blake doesn’t quite feel as though he belongs in the world he lives in, but he longs to be part of it. He hears things others don’t, and sees things others can’t. He has no idea where his abilities come from – but Candra does. She knows everything about him, including his past ... the life he lived before. As Charlie ventures out to find the truth about who he is, he unveils a shocking reality about himself – one that threatens to destroy everything he thought he knew.
In Twitter Fashion, use 140 characters or less to sum up Talisman Of El for us.
Two worlds. One destiny. Mankind’s only hope is not human.
How did you come up with a story that was such a whirlwind of events?
To be honest, this story just sort of popped into my head unexpectedly. It started with just a character, Charlie Blake, whose world started to invade my life. I came across an article one day about a farmer that vanished into thin air right in front of his two children, and so many possibilities of what could have happened to this farmer materialized. I’m a huge fan of mythology, so of course, that played a great part in how Talisman Of El panned out. Writing this book was quite an exhilarating adventure.
How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
I have yet to experience writer’s block, thank God. It took me seven months to write the first draft, but with the editing and research, overall, it took me roughly two years to complete the book.
Will we be seeing a following book to this story?
You certainly will. Talisman Of El is a planned trilogy. The second book, currently untitled, will be released in 2013.
How did you come up with the character name Candra?
With character names, I either have a name right away or I play Scramble to get my brain fluid flowing. So, I’d get out a few letters and jumble them around until I found something I was happy with. That’s how I came up with the name Candra. I quite like that name.
I always must ask, If you could pick one actor to portray Charlie Blake on the big screen who would it be and why?
Okay, so I had to go check out some current actors viable to play the role of Charlie Blake, and I would have to pick Joel Courtney from Stephen Spielberg’s sci-fi movie, Super 8. I recently watched the film, and I thought there was an essence of authenticity in Joel’s acting. He has great potential to go far.
Was there anything you found particularly challenging when writing this book?
Writing the first draft was quite challenging in the sense that I didn’t have an outline, so I had to rely on my instincts. I hate seeing blank pages, as I get a headache thinking of how I’m going to fill those pages, but usually once I get started, I can’t seem to stop, which is a good thing, I suppose. I can’t say I had many extremely challenging moments when writing this book. I guess just starting off was a little daunting, mostly because I was worrying if I was going to get to the end, but apart from that, it was quite a smooth journey.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
I was overwhelmed. There were a number of options to choose from, which were all great, but the one chosen for Talisman Of El was perfect. I thought it was a great representation of the book.
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