Today I’d like to welcome Dawn Chapman, SciFi/Fantasy author of The Secret King: Lethao.
Can you give us your quickest description of your book?
The Secret King – Book 1 – Lethao. Short description: With the death of their planet a world must unite. Kendro, last King of the Aonise, plays a desperate gambit: keeping secret their destination, an heir, and visions of genocide. The King leads his people into uncertain space where treachery and an ancient enemy awaits.
Oooh. That’s my kind of read! What are you working on currently?
I’m finishing up edits of book 2 – First Contact. Shortish Description: After the evacuation from the Aonise home world and their devastating battle with the Zefron. Kendro, and House Niakrex must negotiate for their safety on Earth. But, Kendro’s nemesis, Dalamaar uses the King’s second in Command and forces a human to abuse the Ainoren, breaking him emotionally and separating the King’s House. With the Ainoren out of kilter, Dalamaar kidnaps several key members of the houses, using them as a diversion, his main goal to kill Kendro’s unborn son and take the throne.
It sounds like you have a lot of interesting world-building in these books. Is that something you enjoy – creating new peoples, cultures, futures, etc.?
I really do enjoy creating. For me it’s all about making their world as believable as our own. And one of the biggest decisions I made as an author because of how big the project is, was to bring in a constructed language specialist to aid. We now have a full language designed specifically for TSK, called Lacria, by a very talented gent, called Trent Pehrson. Working with Trent has been fab and his language brought a unique side to TSK that I think many people will enjoy.
What is your favorite scene you’ve written? Can you give us a peek?
From book 2 – defo a sneak peek, as it’s not been to final edits/proofing yet…
A loud ringing echoed through the house. Prime Minister, Robert Walker, bolted upright. His wife, Christine, still slept, her chest rising and falling in even breaths. Is that… the…
His heart pounded in his chest as the ringing stopped. Silence. No…
Glancing at Christine, he let out a breath seeing she hadn’t stirred. The chemo from yesterday had wiped her out. They were trying to rest, and now he was terrified that what little rest they had, had at their country holiday home would be ruined. As the phone rang again, Walker threw the covers off and reached out for it. Damn, this will wake her.
Monday, 23rd Sept 2041 – 1:14 AM flashed on his clock.
Picking up his phone, Walker hit answer and slid out of the warm bed into the cooler air of their hallway. “Hello.”
Christine murmured, turning over, and searching blindly in the bed for him.
“Robert?” The Chief of Defence’s adrenaline pumped voice almost screamed across the line. Walker listened to words he never thought he’d hear. “We’re at Threat Level Critical. A copter is on its way. Suffolk will meet you at the nearest hotel conference room.”
What? Critical? The UK hadn’t issued critical status ever. What on earth is going on?
“I’ll be right there.” Then Walker thought of Christine. He couldn’t leave her alone. Not tonight. Phoning his sister-in-law, he asked her to come over and stay with Christine.
There were highly trained nurses stationed in the house, but they weren’t family. Guilt clutched as his conscious as he headed back to the bedroom and dressed.
Christine had settled back, and he perched on the end of the bed, stroking the back of her head. “I’ve got to go out. Ani’s on her way. She’ll stay with you tonight.”
His wife turned to face him. “At this hour, seriously?” The annoyance on her pale face and bloodshot eyes spooked him.
Walker sighed; Christine knew his job came before lots of things. “I’ll see you for dinner.” He kissed his wife gently on the forehead.
Christine didn’t respond; she turned her head away from him. Concern filled him as he gave her one last look before hurrying to the door. He had no way of knowing if he would be home for dinner today or next week.
Just this little sample conveys a lot – good job. I like your use of internalized thoughts. Do you try to write with balance between action and showing emotion/thoughts of your characters?
Yes, I believe it is a balance between a reader having that picture of your world in their mind and for them to get to know the characters through their actions and internal thoughts, as we all know sometimes what we do, isn’t always quite what we think.
What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?
Believe in yourself, go to college, study, work hard, find some people who you can gel with, grow with. Work as hard for them, as they’ll work for you. Friendships in this industry are very important. Get a coach… learn always, and never, ever give up.
Terrific advice. Has having a community in this writing industry fostered you as a writer? If so, how would you say your writing has grown?
I love the group effort, and collaboration within the project. From bouncing ideas to each other or just in having someone to talk to when things aren’t going so well.
Who inspires you to write?
I have to say the team, @TeamSecretKing is just the best, of course we’ve grown to know each other really well over the last couple of years, and they’re all amazing and very talented individuals in their own area, writing to being artists, but they push me to be and to write the best I can. I work so hard on this, for me and for them. Hopefully it shows.
Having people enjoy your work is an amazing feeling, isn’t it? Do they ever have requests about your next work that you try to incorporate, or do you write out of your own head and hope to surprise them?
The idea with our members only section and TSK’s short snippets, is that any member can prompt us to write about a favourite character. Nothing worse than loving one and you don’t think they get enough time spent on them, so we’re taking into account everyone’s preferences, which so far seems to be working out quite well. My go to question for all my readers is which character did you like the most, and what area of their life would you like more of. 🙂
Thanks, Dawn, for sharing!