Hello dear readers, how’s it going? Today I’ve got a different type of blog entry for you. Hopefully this is the first in a series of posts that I’ll share with you all, and I hope to space them out nicely, maybe one-two months apart. In essence the plan is to give the voices of new aspiring authors the opportunity to share their work on Geekritique. To start us off I asked a friend, Rae Elliott, if she’d like to take part in an interview wherein I ask a few questions related to her new book, Fractured. She is self-published, and she aspires that one day her work will take off. The first 8 chapters are available free to listen to via podcast, as narrated by Rae Elliott, with more free chapters to come in the coming months. As of now Fractured is available on any Kindle reading device. Let’s get right into it!
G: Hi Rae, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your new book. Why don’t you tell me a little about it?
RE: In brief, Fractured is about an android slave named Lough who was once a terrible human king. He is sold to an even more horrible, violent king, and his household, fated to serve them for the rest of his days. Lough however, still aims to find the answers to his past which includes a means to return to it. Through the powerful examples of those he lives to serve, (including a brave but battered queen who is determined to protect her children, and a young prince seeking to liberate his people) Lough learns that resurrecting his ancient heart is the key to finding the true life purposed for him.
G: Sounds like you went for a unique blend of fantasy and SciFi. I know you’ve been writing a while. Is Fractured your first published work?
RE: Excitedly, yes it is! But with one story out there, I am eager to present other stories I have completed.
G: So where and when did you realize you wanted to write “Fractured”?
RE: I was at work funny enough. At the time (about a year ago) I was listening to Daft Punk’s latest album Random Access Memories, specifically “Touch”. The song is about a robot who learns how to love. It sparked in me an idea about a robot who was once a human king that lost his human form by misusing his power and his heart. While the story overall has very little to do with the song itself, that initial inspiration sparked the idea of Lough’s character.
G: Daft Punk are an endless muse if you’re in the right mood. But who else? If you could emulate any author who would it be? And which books would you say influence your writing style most?
RE: Augh, to be honest, I wish I read more. When I was a kid my parents read stories to me that I love, such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. But as for today, I have been listening to audiobooks to help urge my desire to read more. So I can’t exactly figure who to compare my work to. Honestly, if I had to compare Fractured to any other story it would be Downton Abbey meets The Count of Monte Cristo.
G: I totally understand where you’re coming from there. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to just grab a book and sit down. So listening to them is my current preference. Which is what initially intrigued me about your book – Before releasing your book, you introduced the book chapter by chapter on a podcast. What challenges were involved with that? Is this realistic?
RE: I think difficulty level of producing a podcast is relative, but for me the challenges included getting proper audio quality and editing down right. Set up was rather easy because I had the guidance of a friend every step of the way. I advertised to the following I accrued on other social media networks which helped spread the word rather quickly. In three months alone my listenership has more than tripled. I have greatly enjoyed podcasting my story and I would recommend it to other aspiring authors looking to gain a loyal audience on a more personal level.
G: That’s really awesome! It’s often said that when writing novels writers tend to bleed into their work, their settings, or their characters. Did this happen to you at all? And which aspects of your writing do you feel reflect yourself most?
RE: Sure, I’d say it does. I think what bleeds the most into my stories is my firm belief in making a stand for who or what I love. In that way, I find that my characters often defy daunting odds, even willingly risking death for it. In each character there is a very real struggle to overcome an obstacle that should rightfully destroy them, but their determination to defy the challenge ends up defining who they are. I strongly believe in this cycle of human development.
G: Great answer, thanks. Let’s talk a little about some of the characters in the book. Tell us about Lough. Fractured is his journey to become whole again, in a nutshell. Was it difficult to write for someone who is programmed to be emotionless?
RE: Well, to be honest I think that’s the trick about being a writer. Every character you create must challenge you as a creator. You yourself must live the lives of each character you build, whether you have lived that experience or not. While I have of course never been an android, I actually didn’t find much of a challenge making Lough emotionless. Instead, the biggest challenge I faced with Lough was finding the proper moments he progressed. Androids don’t progress, they maintain. So, finding the exact moment he found progress had to be properly honed and that for me was a challenge to target.
G: An instant favorite for me had to be Lady Darphina. Where did you get the inspiration for her?
RE: Lady Darphina has to be one of the strongest characters I have ever built, in all honesty. I was determined to make Darphina a character who had every reason to be weak, vulnerable and damaged, but was the exact opposite despite. And for inspiration, that personage stemmed from my own mother. My mother had a very troubled childhood which should have crippled her as a stable mother but she is just the opposite instead. She is one of my best friends, and she most certainly inspired Darphina’s unbreakable character, devotion to her children, and without a doubt her strength.
G: She certainly comes across as one of the most capable individuals in the book, so I can completely see that. I’m several chapters in… tell me, are there ANY redeeming qualities about King Magnus?!
RE: Magnus represents a very real threat that challenges society today. He is a physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive husband and father. Really, for those who have undergone abuse of any kind, we as members of society tend to side with the abused members over the abuser. So, while not revealing anything about Magnus’ future decisions or attitudes, I like to inform my audience that Magnus is a representation of a living reality in the story.
G: I’ll take that as a firm no. He’s just… Just so evil! Is Fractured the last we’ll see of Lough? And are you working on anything else?
RE: While Fractured was intended to be a story that stood alone, I will admit a sequel is in fact in the works. I plan on reading the intro for it when the podcast for Fractured is finished.
G: Ahh, sweet. Glad to hear it. I hope all goes well, and I’m excited about reading further into the themes you’ve got going on, and finding out how the story unfolds. Thanks so much for your time.
RE: No problem and thank you so much for this great opportunity!
A special thanks to Rae Elliott for taking the time out to answer a few questions for me. If you want to check out her blog visit www.RaeElliottBooks.com, where she gives helpful tips and tricks on writing.
You can buy your Kindle copy from Amazon here, and if you’re interested in listening to her podcast which will eventually encompass the full novel FREE, click this link!
(Side Note: As you’ve probably noted, I’ve included a “Featured Book” on my widget menu to the left. If you’re on the fence, and need some time to think about it, the link will be there for some time.)