Hiya! Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Linden Forster 🙂
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I started writing my first novel when I was seventeen, but put it to one side when I went to university to study marine biology. When I graduated I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with myself. I didn’t have a plan for where I was going, so I didn’t know what the next step should be. I remembered enjoying the little creative writing I had done in school, so I signed up for a part time course.
As one of the components of the course, every week someone would email a piece of work, usually a short story and everyone else would critique it and during class the writer would have to sit and listen to everyone else’s comments. When we came back to class after Christmas nobody had anything to submit, and I remembered about the first chapter of a novel I had written almost five years previously and sent that in. People were really complementary about the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen next.
That was a great inspiration for me. I got my head down and four months later I had the first draft. Now it is just about to be released.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Everywhere and anywhere. From talking to people. From not talking to people. From going for a walk. From sitting in. From reading a book. From browsing the internet.
I wouldn’t describe myself as someone who has specific technique or formula when it comes to ideas. I need to mix things up. I don’t like writing in the same place several days in a row for the same reason. I find change stimulates me and helps me to think about different topics.
Whenever I do have an idea, I send myself a text and once a month these texts are entered into a big file called “concepts” to be dealt with at a later date.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
There aren’t very many characters in The Hero’s Arc who if I squint at I don’t see myself.
How do you pick your characters names?
Usually when I come to a new character in my writing, I maybe think up two or three names for them in that moment and pick the one I like the best. A few days or weeks or months down the line I might change the name, sometimes it sticks.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
One of the things that makes my writing life easier right now is I am solely working on The Hero’s Arc series, which has been in my head for seven or eight years. So when I’m writing, I know what I’m writing. I know the major events that need to happen. I know where things are going. I just need to write it. There isn’t the added pressure of needing to take time to get my head around things.
Past that, there isn’t much process. I have to write a book from start to finish. I can’t dive in here and there until all the strings connect. So it’s just putting one word after another until I reach the end and occasionally I get to check off a line from my “concepts” document.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Adams
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would meet Neil Gaiman and ask him all about his friendship with Terry Pratchett. What they talked about, how they worked together.
Were you a big reader as a child?
I wasn’t, no. I read a bit. I read Harry Potter as that was what kids read in my generation and His Dark Materials and I must have read The Hobbit at least once a year, but I never really started reading a lot until I read Going Postal when I was sixteen and was shocked to find that books could be side-splittingly funny.
When did you start to write?
When I was seventeen, probably as a direct result of discovering Terry Pratchett and having an English teacher who really made the subject interesting for me.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Oh, that is a mean question and I wouldn’t dream of answering it.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. I love the way he incapsulates the essence of humanity in that book.
I am also a little upset that I never got a chance to create hobbits. They are perfect little creatures.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
I wasn’t always like this.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Discworld’s Death. I’d take him to a cat café; I think he would like that.
What are you working on right now?
Book three in The Hero’s Arc. Book two is written, but I want to get to grips with the third before I go back and get it edited.
Tell us about your last release? Do you have a new release due?
Well, we are in a bit of a time warp here. At the time of this interview I do not have a last release, but at the time of your reading I will have. Divine Invention, my debut novel came out on the third of March. I hope to have another release for the sequel later in the year, we’ll see if that materialises.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
I can say with some surety, that part of my day will consist of signing books at my local Waterstones. I hope in the evening I will be celebrating, but the jury is still out on that one. Fingers crossed.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
My blog at https://lindenforster.wordpress.com/ or on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’m easy to find @lindenforster for all of them.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Divine Invention is a fantasy/satire/comedy adventure store, which follows the story of an island community who have exhausted their food supply and have just invented the world’s first boat.
If this sounds like something you would like to read it is available on amazon and to order in to your local Waterstones if you prefer.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Linden 🙂
Most stories begin with either an unforeseen turn of events or a problem.
Krank has a problem. For centuries, the people of the island have lived on the animals and plants to be found there. It was bliss and so the population grew. It was not until very recently anyone noticed that the quantity of plants and animals had not. The delicate balance of the ecosystem has tipped and food is dwindling.
The King assigned the island’s two resident self-proclaimed geniuses, the Creators, to find a solution. The fruits of their labour ripen into the invention of the world’s first aquatic transportation device and promises to provide passage from the island to search further afield for food and resources.
So, there it is. Problem solved. End of story. Barring any unforeseen turn of events…