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It is with the greatest of pleasure that I hand over the blog today to the lovely Sanda Bard. Please give her a warm welcome!

* * *

Thanks for having me over. I never seemed to have much luck with blog posts so really appreciate the opportunity. I guess I should mention my writing. I wrote as a child but nothing ever came of it and I eventually stopped.

When I started writing again, I was home after a long time, having lost my—everything. I had had a life of my own; my own flat, my friends and a future to look forward to. Then, in a series of events I’d lost everything and in the space of a couple of months I was home, living with my parents again. It’s funny how when things go wrong, everything else pales in comparison. I was healthy (though when I was going through this rough patch, I seemed to catch colds and flues every week), my parents didn’t mind me coming back home (though my father still speaks of it) and I was young enough to start all over again.

But I just lay around the house and did nothing, hoping I’d eventually get the courage to face people. While sitting around at home, I thought about picking up writing—something I’d I actually wanted do. What I had in mind was a fantasy-action story for so long, I decided, since I had the free time, I would start on it. I made several attempts; I still have most of them in my hard drive, saved in some obscure folder. When I went through them recently, I realised I might not have been in the right state of mind to type a coherent sentence.

There are disjointed sentences and paragraphs and in some places, I hadn’t even bothered to use word spell-check. It was pathetic. It made sense at the time to pull out something I’d stopped working on ages (about two years) ago and start on it. Bound by Guilt was a rather angst filled book and perhaps not my best. But it will also remain my favourite since it helped me pull out of my depression.

I think when I wrote about a disabled main character, I was reflecting my mental shortcomings onto him in a physical way. Making the wounds more obvious.

BoundByGuilt_postcard_front_DSP

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I still had the idea of a fantasy-magic sort of story in my mind. It always started with a prince being found out—by some magical means, of possessing tainted blood. I would sometimes lie in bed and build my characters around it, in a series of random episodes without making any progress.

Then one day, I decided to write it down. I started building characters, and then I planned the city. It was important for me that this City be divided into three main parts according to the status of people. Then I started to map out the different types of people in the city.

Rights of Inheritance - Map 2(1)

There had to be a king, and where there’s a king, there had to be bastard prince as well, but I wanted to do something different with it. Keiran, the bastard royal offspring in my book has a back story of his own and his own stand in society. Gareth, my main character wasn’t royalty either but he was intelligent and the opposite of Keiran in a lot of ways.

While Keiran and Gareth interested, people around them wrote themselves in. Half siblings, queens, magical creatures, warriors, foreign dignitaries. I ended up with a much larger cast that I’d originally wanted.

Of course, by the time the book ended, I realised I hadn’t even scratched the surface of what I wanted to write about. The stories of some people were incomplete; there were people I wanted to write about, places to describe and more of the Kingdom to explore. So the first book in the series ended with just two people getting together and disappointment and hurt for some characters, betrayal and murder for others.

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I believe in happy endings. Just not right away. Everyone has to work hard for it.

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