Kev’s Author Interviews, Presents…
Name: Fiona Tarr
A Short Bio
I am a wife, mum and fulltime business owner. A few years ago I tried writing fiction and loved it. After taking nearly six years to finish my first book, I was determined to write a book a year. With my second novel just launched; taking a little over a year, I am on target to do just that. I love writing, but when I am not writing I enjoy kite-surfing, stand up paddle boarding and reading a lot of non-fiction as well as fiction.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
A little background Synopsis:
Seed of Hope is the second book in my first series Covenant of Grace. Although book one was a complete story, it obviously left room for a sequel, so Seed of Hope picks up two years after Destiny of Kings finished.
The King calls his general Martinez back from retirement to seek the Ark of God, just as Martinez is finally pursuing some personal happiness. Martinez is an extremely honourable warrior and once again resigns himself to fulfilling his duty.
His old enemy the Egyptian Princess Jezebel; the witch who sent King Saul slowly mad in book one is back, to seek revenge against King David, the General and the Priestess Francesca. Martinez still harbours animosity towards the Egyptian Princess as he blames her for Saul’s death.
All the old favourite characters reappear and this book goes much deeper into some of the characters in the book, particularly Jezebel who is dark and damaged. A little bit of her past is revealed slowly throughout the book and I think return readers will be really surprised; my beta readers were.
The official Blurb:
The untold story of King David…… Good and evil with never be the same again…..
As rumours surface about the new King, his young wife and her unborn child, the prophet Nathaniel will insist that King David seek the Ark of the Covenant of God. Yet, with a trail of tortured bodies appearing from nowhere, with no explanation, it will be clear that General Martinez must be called back from retirement.
As General Martinez leaves his quiet and comfortable days in the field behind him, he will realise that a return to the service of the King must once more take priority over the pursuit of love.
The Egyptian Princess Jezebel will push the pain of betrayal from her mind, instead, replacing it with rage and a longing for revenge. Her magic and powers of seduction may not have been enough to bring the Israeli Kingdom to its knees, but now, the General, the King, and the Priestess will all pay for the death of her father and her banishment from the Royal Palace of the Pharaoh.
As the King seeks the Ark, a new mystery will arise. A newborn child will be prophesied; a child of great influence and power. Many men of God will make claim to know the origin of the child, but only the little Holy man will truly know and understand. Old enemies will conspire, as the Universe will reunite old friends to save the life of a loved one, to find the Ark and to fight to restore balance once more.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
I am very determined to keep writing. I have found it so enjoyable to get lost in a different time and immerse my imagination into so many different characters’ perspectives.
I think the influence to write book two was there from the beginning but many of my readers finished book one and asked me to keep writing. I like the idea of developing the intimate story between the lines of what was some very course and confronting Old Testament scripture.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
I always make sure my historical content is as accurate as is creatively possible. (Smile). The artefacts mentioned are real, the King’s of foreign lands are correct and the biblical base is researched. I also researched the concepts of astral travel and medicinal herbs fairly well, but I have a friend who helps me out in this area because my background is theology not mysticism, although they overlap a lot.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
I learnt so much when I wrote my first book, that this second book in the series seemed much easier. Of course when I got to the editing phase I was once again humbled by the revision process. The time challenge is always there but if you want to write, you have to make the time.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Because I use a number of points of view I guess there are a number of protagonists in this book, but as previously in book one, most of the book is felt and understood through the eyes of general Martinez.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
The General is guarded and likes to keep his emotions and problems close. This causes a number of delays in resolving some very serious issues he faces in the plot.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
I am not sure if Jezebel’s naivety or ignorance could really be classified as strength but it does keep her focussed on her path. She can certainly wield magic like a demon and she has plenty to throw around in this book.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Of course, no spoilers though…
She slowed her breathing, focussing her energy to a single spot high in her mind’s eye. Her heart began to beat more quickly, lights appeared before her vision and then darkness. As her spirit was freed from her body, the silver cord floated before her. She took a hold of it, knowing how important it was that she did not let it go at this time, no matter what happened.
Kev: Do you use some kind of formula when you write?
Yes, of sorts. I start out with a basic plot and timeline. Often though, while writing the characters personalities will dictate a change in direction. As I write I keep track of these changes down the bottom of my page. It looks messy, but I understand what is going on. The changes the characters create can sometime cause a temporary shift in the story, or the change can be permanent, but the end pay off of the plot still remains as planned.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
I write after work at night once the household has settled down. I actually find the busyness of my day seems to regurgitate out through my writing. It is like therapy. You never know when that obnoxious customer I had during the day might appear on the page. No offense to any of my customers of course!
Kev: What is your editing process?
Oh, that changes all the time as I learn more but I am developing a style. I go over my work to do a preliminary copy edit, checking for any spelling or grammar errors which I can find myself; which isn’t a lot because I am really not great with grammar.
Then I run through the story again, this time making sure all my time lines work and characters stay true to their personalities etc. I recently read a book called The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne and I think this will slightly alter the way I track time lines and characters in the future.
Then I make sure every chapter is interesting, engaging and has a beginning, middle and end of sorts. Something many story editors emphasize, some with more complexity than I just used, but the idea is the same.
Once that is all done I hand it over to a couple of trusted beta/proof readers. The beta readers ask me to expand certain characters or provide more lead up to a particular scene. They point out all the times I put the wrong characters name somewhere and basically find any holes in the story. After I apply all the changes necessary the manuscript it goes to a professional copy editor for a final grammar check.
Kev: Who creates your book covers?
I wish I could say they are professional done. One day I hope they will be. For the time being, my son is awesome with graphics so I find the front cover image I like and he puts it together for me.
Kev: How do you promote your work?
I am constantly learning and looking for promotional opportunities. For example, on the release of Seed of Hope I am offering all buyers a free copy of book one Destiny of Kings. This way they get two books for the price of one and can read book one first if they like.
I have a Facebook page for my writing, a blog and Twitter. I share all blog posts on all social media but this alone isn’t the key to promoting my work.
The best way to get my work seen is to offer my work in competitions, guest post on other blogs, do author interview like this one which you have kindly supported me with and finally I offer my book up for review to as many people who are willing to formally post their reviews online. These, along with all my author interviews, characters interviews and free give-aways are widely spread around social media.
I hope that in time, with a lot more books written, my work might start to promote itself. If it doesn’t, then I will just need to get better at what I do.
Kev: What advice would you offer to new authors?
Fight that little voice inside you head; yes we have all had it. Share your work with the world because if you don’t, you will never know and it is the not knowing which will drive you crazy. Once you release your work you will get a much better idea of where to go from there.
We all like the idea of being discovered, but we all know that the most successful people out there, be they actors, authors or business people have worked hard to get where they are. Just keep working and producing and see where the journey takes you. Most of all, if it isn’t fun anymore, then stop doing it.
Kev: Which two social media platforms do you use the most and why?
I use Facebook quite a lot because it is so user friendly. Twitter does seem to be the favourite of the entertainment world and books are entertainment, so I am using Twitter more and more and beginning to really see the benefits.
Someone once explained social media to me as being like parties. One is business networking, one is a cocktail party, one is a work party etc.
Facebook is the business networking party or the conference, where you share the big stories and the nuts and bolts no more than once a day. Twitter is like the industry cocktail or after conference party, where you chat and chat and share ideas and chat some more. At least that is how I see them.
Kev: Do you have a website?
Yes absolutely. I use my website for a number of activities. There is my regular blog where I share posts about my work, but also about world ideas which grab me. I have recently branched out into receiving guest posts which I am really looking forward to.
I also have a book page for each of my books and I am gradually expanding these to tell a little more of the story behind the writing of them.
Here is the link to the Seed of Hope book page.
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks very much for hosting me again Kev. It was once again a real pleasure.
I have the free giveaway of book 1, Destiny of Kings with any purchase of book 2, Seed of Hope. All readers have to do is buy book 2 online through their choice of e-book supplier, subscribe to my mailing list and email the receipt of their book 2 purchase. I can email them a free download voucher for book 1.
Here is my subscribe now link:
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Website Book Page: http://atime2write.com.au/books/seed-of-hope/