Writing has always been a deep rooted passion in me. Writing for me started as far back as when I was seven or eight I would frequently write and attempted to draw my own comic book stories. I was fascinated by dark stories, and as I grew older that fascination and appreciation only grew with the more macabre works. For example, Lovecraft’s unique take on confusing fantasy and reality and King’s more psychological works like ‘misery’ fascinated me and drew me further into wanting to create my own worlds. Writing is a form of escapism, and for me at the time is was my only time to truly be free and escape reality.
Many things inspired me such as historical stories, songs etc. However as for general inspiration I’m not quite sure, I like to think that the people in my life have helped to shape the characters but it has more been the circumstances and events around me at the time of writing which have affected the tone of the novel. Given that Eva was written during a very stressful, dark period in my life the writing has a much more bleak and harsh tone than anything I’ve written before.
As for helping with the process of the book, most certainly the editor and proof reader at Bubblecow.com was hugely helpful because they could highlight errors I would often overlook. Other than that I gained some financial help and continued moral support from my parents and partner.
I’m not quite sure that I have a favourite book, and I am usually too busy to sit down and read some novels that intrigue me. However I am always interested in the ideas behind the book such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s commentary on love and class in The Great Gatsby (1925) and Phillip K. Dick’s ideas on what defines us as humans in ‘Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?’ (1968). The ideas and questions that these novels present usually have a longer lasting impact on me than the stories themselves.
It depends really, I didn’t want to make a straightforward story and world, I wanted to create a universe that people could dive into and truly believe ‘yes this could be real’. Putting that into perspective, I think to create a whole world took more time than to actually form the story. I did this by asking myself questions such as ‘What currency would they have in this world?’ or ‘What is the history of the characters?’ Thinking about all of these issues and contrasting them with our own reality took a lot of time but once it was all laid out the actual timeline of a story seems to form quite naturally. Once you understand how your characters would act they will practically dictate the way the story goes.
The publication process is an interesting but complicated one. The first step is to have the initial story written and corrected to the best of your ability. Now the next step is to have it edited professionally by a website such as Bubblecow.com and then proofread. It can be easy to confuse the two processes, but the editor ensures that the story is the best that it can be by making sure that the logic flows and they can tell you where to add more details. On the other hand, the proof-reader ensures that there are no punctuation or spelling errors.
After the editing and proofreading you will get a copy of your book with some notes written which may seem very harsh, but they have to be critical to ensure that the book is the best quality that it can be. It is better to have the editor correct you than the general public.
The next feature is a good cover, for this I used Designcrowd which is a site where you pay £150-£350 to essentially take control by giving out a brief of the design that you want, then artists from around the globe have to complete a design of the best cover for your book. Included with this, the site allows a full refund policy if none of the covers interest you.
The next step is ensuring that you have an ISBN code, which you need to acquire from Nielsen House by filling out a printed form. This process roughly costs £110 but it is essential as it acts as a bar code for your book and registers it, which is needed for Amazon to then sell your book.
Finally with all of the pieces assembled you can use an Amazon KDP account to upload your story (they recommend using a Html file) and then you can preview how it will appear on Kindle devices to ensure that the formatting is correct. Finally, once all of the tax and ISBN is registered and confirmed you can publish the story online.
I think it is far more common to become published at an older age, and I think that there is a certain scepticism towards younger authors, but at the end of the day we can only try our best and deliver a satisfying tale whatever the age. Do I feel that it’s better to be published at a younger age? Only to gain more of an insight into the process of self-publishing and so I can hopefully have more time for future novels, but other than that age shouldn’t matter with literature in my opinion.
I think that everyone is nervous to find out how their work is perceived. Regardless though, I have enjoyed writing the novel and I can only hope that people enjoy it too, if people find my ideas thought provoking then that’s great, but I’m well aware of my own limitations as a writer.
Definitely, I think that the market has really opened up for self-publishers especially. Someone like me who wants to control individual elements of the creation process is naturally drawn towards it. Furthermore, if you can successfully self-publish it is more rewarding in the long run, both personally and financially to self-publish.
My advice would be to keep pushing, if people tell you that you can’t do it ignore them and prove them wrong. Some nights you may not feel up to writing or you may have no idea where to take the story, but you do need to sit down and try. Even if you end up scrapping it or loving it, the effort has to be put in place for there to be a reward. Other than that, I would recommend to always research your websites and be careful of any ‘vanity’ offers. If a publisher wants you to contribute money to help fund your book it is a scam, whatever the website, publishers should have faith in your work and that means they’ll have to take the risk with their money.
Eva is a fascinating story to me, because it offers insight and parallels to our own reality and issues. I enjoy flipping concepts on their head, angels are oppressive fascist like and demons anarchistic and free. To me, the social struggles of EVA reflect the growing racial and xenophobic issues of modern society and the media's portrayal of it, while at the same time tackling issues of mental illness, PTSD, and questioning fantasy and reality. It's a dark twisted tale, and I hope people find the themes challenging and relevant or at least, enjoy the twisted dark love story in a fantastical sci-fi world.