KK: Hi there, W.R.! Please – tell us about yourself.
WRG: I’m a Christian, a Tasmanian, and a lover of anything to do with bacon. I have a rather hobbitish Hubby (and the photos from Hobbiton to prove it!) and one lovely little dog who knows it’s a lost cause to beg food from me but still tries anyway.
I love jigsaw puzzles and knitting, and though I love my violin I do NOT practice as I ought to practice.
The word most often used to describe me when I was growing up was ‘dreamer’, though with my parents, the phrase ‘off with the fairies’ was probably more often used.
KK: I’m the exact same way with my flute. I love it, but it spends most of its time lying lonely and sad in a cupboard. *sigh*
Anyway…Tell us about Spindle! What’s it all about?
WRG: Spindle is about a young woman who is certainly not a princess but who has been cursed into a 300-year sleep anyway. Poly is woken by an enchanter, Luck, who rather lackadaisically shepherds her into an utterly confusing and often dangerous journey to discover who cursed her to sleep and why. Since some of her memories have been stolen from her, it’s a rather bewildering and hectic voyage of discovery.
KK: What inspired you to write this story?
WRG: It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact starting point for this story. I think it began with Luck, who had his own personality from the very start. Then it was the tower room where Poly wakes up, and then the shift in reality for her, having woken up after 300 years. Everything just built on that, really. The plot didn’t actually come into its own until this version of the MS, however. There was an earlier version, but I rewrote it from the ground up because I wasn’t happy with it. I did leave in some references to the earlier version that some of my beta readers saw and appreciated, but by and large it was a complete rewrite.
KK: What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
WRG: My favourite part is when the story is really flowing and I can’t even stop long enough to eat or go to the toilet. It’s like being high on writing. The ideas are pouring out so fast that I can’t stop or I’ll lose ‘em. My least favourite would probably be the down from that high. It’s where you know what the story should be doing, you know where it’s going and who the characters are, but you’re just really burnt out and lethargic and unwilling to write.
KK: I know exactly what you mean – I’m currently coming down from a writing high, and it’s a miserable experience. Do you write in any other genres, or is fantasy it for you?
WRG: I dabble in a little scifi (my Time-Traveller’s Best Friend Series) and I also write YA Christian fiction, but the Christian fic is VERY difficult to write and won’t see the light of day for a few years yet. There’s an awfully delicate balance between being true to the Christian way of life as a paradigm and preaching to your readers. I don’t want to preach, but a Christian protag. has to ring true to paradigm, and that affects everything about the book. So, a lot of work still to go on those.
KK:What initially interested you in writing fantasy?
WRG: It’s always really been fantasy with me. Even my sci-fi, to a certain extent, has always felt more like fantasy to me: just a techy sort of fantasy. I love dragons, and prophecies, and magic that doesn’t always go right. I love quests and adventures and unexpected heroes. Fantasy was what I began reading as soon as I was done with Treasure Island, Coral Island, Kidnapped, etc.
KK: What made you decide to pursue self-publishing?
WRG: There were a few things that made me decide on self-publishing. One was the huge amount of control over my own book. I very much like being able to control what price, what stores, what covers, etc., go with each of my books. There was also the fact that as a self-published author I would get a greater cut of the profits of my own book- always providing that I can actually turn a profit!
I like the freedom. I love the journey. I love all the things that I’m learning as I go, and the people I’m meeting on the way.
KK: Will Spindle have a sequel?
WRG: Certainly! Spindle is only the first book in my Two Monarchies Sequence. There are currently three other books planned for the Sequence (my current WIP Blackfoot, another entitled The Staff & The Crown, and an as-yet-untitled third). They will all be able to be read as stand-alone titles, but they’ll have an overarching storyline and quite a few recurring characters.
KK: If you could visit any fantastical place, where would you go and why?
WRG: It’s probably old-fashioned now, but definitely Narnia. I love Middle Earth as well, and it’s an awfully close second, but Narnia was my first fantasy love.
KK: Finally, if you could recommend one book, what would it be and why?
WRG: I always find recs so hard! Not because I can’t think of any, but because I have so many really great recommends! Okay, just the one…well, there’s one I remember from quite a few years ago that I found in a library and immediately fell in love with. It’s called The Ordinary Princess and it’s by M.M. Kaye. One of the most delightful fairytales you’ll come across, with a beautifully ordinary princess who has a sensible turn of mind.
KK: I have the same trouble with book recommendations, but there are just so many great books out there! Thanks for being a great guest!
Don’t forget: Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Spindle – you won’t want to miss it! 🙂
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