Saturday, 20 July 2013

Radio interview, why I chose Vikings and writing tips

Today I had my first radio interview with host Janice Ross. If you would like to listen you can here. Radio Interview. As this was my first interview and it was being conducted with an American host I required to use Skype to do the interview.

HOT TIPS for people using Skype to do their radio interviews:

1. Make sure you are signed in and online! Yes I know how can someone not sign in and be online.. well I managed it. Fortunately I noticed with 3 minutes to go and finally clicked myself to 'online'.

2. Close the window with the radio station on it if you don't you will hear yourself about one sentence behind. Again a rookie error in my book, but I realised quite quickly and turned it off.

3. Have notes, just wee reminders about things you want to talk about. I had my notes and we covered everything in them through the natural flow of the conversation. Still it was useful to have them just in case.

I really enjoyed the experience and would love to do more. I am booked on to Janice's show again on September the 28th. If anyone else would like to interview me please drop me a line. My contact details are at the end of this blog.


Something I am asked a lot is why I chose Vikings for my story. There are a couple of reasons. Growing up in Scotland every class at some point in primary school does a Viking project. This begins the interest in Vikings which never leaves us. These amazing people that traveled the seas, invaded and pillaged. Their fantastic ships cutting through the waves arriving on foreign shores.

The other reason is that there is a link between my clan, the clan McLeod, and Vikings. Olaf the 2nd of Iceland or Olaf the Black as he was known was a Viking king who had seven sons. One of these sons was Leod. Leod was a Viking who came to Scotland and never left the country. He married a Scottish woman and they had a son. That son became McLeod as Mc and Mac in Scotland mean 'son of''. The clan McLeod was born and Leod became the first chief. Leod lived from 1200 to 1280AD.

I hope that answers the question as to why I chose Vikings.

The role of the Vikings in my story is not that of the traditional pillaging invaders. They take on an almost heroic role. There are always two sides to every story after all, they can't always be the bad guys!

If anyone has any questions for me about the themes in my book I am always available to answer them. Feel free to contact me.

Writing tips

When I am talking to people about writing a comment I hear over and over goes along the lines of: 'I thought about writing a book, even started, then gave up on it.'
The first tip is you need to stick at it. If you are one of those people who has a story to tell then keep going until the story is told.

Set a deadline, in fact set several throughout the project. When will you have a chapter finished? When will you have the book finished? Setting deadlines gives you a goal to achieve, something to work too. Make the deadline realistic. If you have a day job, a family and other commitments you are not going to be able to devote hours a day to your writing. I set myself a deadline of two years for The Viking's Apprentice and completed the first draft with two weeks to spare.

Be prepared for your book to need work. No matter how good a writer you are an editor will find mistakes. Don't take the corrections to heart, each correction makes the story better for the reader.

I used a couple of editors for my book and a proof reader. I think this is a really important part of the process and one every writer cannot afford to skip. It is almost impossible to edit and proofread your own work. You are too close to it. You created the story so will miss small mistakes that an editor and proof reader will find.

Choose a title that makes sense to the story. Seems straight forward and obvious right? The Viking's Apprentice was originally called Campbell's Cove. I kept that title right through the first draft. It was feedback from the proof reader and my wife that convinced me to change the name. What did the title tell the reader about my book? The sum total of zero. So why was I convinced it was correct? I created the town of Campbell's Cove for my book so it meant a lot to me. I could connect too it, but readers wouldn't.

I read through my book three times before choosing the new title, The Viking's Apprentice. I love the title and readers seem to love it as well.

If you choose the path of trying to get an agent and/or publisher do not be disheartened by the word 'no'. Not everyone will share your vision of what a great book is. Harry Potter was passed on several times before someone took the chance on it. Every writer has rejection letters, go and ask any of them and I bet they all tell you they got rejections along the way. I remember a writer telling me they had enough rejection letters that they could redecorate their bathroom with them. They were a published author as they didn't give up and eventually got that yes.

In my next blog I will talk about character creation and development. A subject that is discussed in my radio interview.

If you are enjoying my blogs and would like to read The Viking's Apprentice please find the links below.

American and worldwide readers please click here: Viking Ebook

UK readers please click here: Viking Ebook

If you would like to contact me please do so through one of the following channels. I always respond personally to all emails, tweets etc.

Twitter: @bannon1975
Facebook: The Viking's Apprentice FB page
Goodreads: My author page

No comments:

Post a Comment