Eleanor Duvivier, author of ‘Helios Sphere’ – interview

Eleanor Duvivier is publishing ‘Helios Sphere’ with Scott Martin Productions – due out in mid-2019. She was also a contributor to ‘Survival’ – and the winning competition entrant.

Eleanor Duvivier, author of ‘Helios Sphere’

‘Survival’ is available for purchase here. Special offer £4.49!

Keep an eye on http://www.scottmartinproductions.com for updates on the publication of ‘Helios Sphere’.


Read a pre-publication interview with Eleanor below

Q1: Hi Eleanor, it is so good to have this opportunity to speak to you… First of all, I was wondering where the idea for ‘Helios Sphere’ came from. I know you’ve an interest in running and the classics, but it’s such an unusual story and has been told in such an engaging manner… Perhaps you could let us know the background to the story and how it came to you.

Hi Lesley, thank you for asking! The story of Helios Sphere manifested itself due to a couple of reasons.  Firstly, in 2014 I went to Athens to run the marathon and genuinely stumbled across the artefact itself in the museum that Ben visits.  I love the idea of giving ancient artefacts and mythologies a new spin.  The character of Ben was created during my degree in Classical History and Creative Writing.  Ben and The Sphere seemed to fit so well together, both sons with long lost or unspoken powers trying to make their way in the world. 


Q2: Did you write any of the manuscript while in Greece, or did you perhaps make notes during a holiday, with this story in mind? Did you always know the conclusion to the tale or did the story emerge organically?

I did a bit of both.  I was the first of my group to arrive at Athens, my two friends due to arrive a day late.  I spent the first day prowling the museums and then I sat in the Café of the New Acropolis Museum in which I wrote my thoughts on The Sphere of Helios.  I started writing on the plane home.  A year later I revisited Athens to gather more information for correct scene setting for the Cape. 
I didn’t always know the conclusion and the conclusion changed as the characters grew. 

Q3: Five words that describe you. Five words that describe your writing…

Quirky, creative, aspiring, active, learner.
Evolving write what you know.

Q4: Do you find Greek architecture, statuary and art particularly inspiring?  

I absolutely do!  My mum used to read me stories like the Iliad and the Odyssey as bedtime stories when I was younger.  I grew up loving Greek and Roman history.  I remember being terribly bored in history at secondary school as it all focused modern history.

Q5: I’d love for you to tell me more about what the bombweed means to you. Also heliotrope and poinsettia – why did you choose those plant names for your character families? Does heliotrope have connections with the helios sphere?

Bombweed is a wartime novel by my Great Grandma Margaret Smith which was published by my Great Aunt Gillian Fernandez Morton and Grandmother Maureen Armstrong.  The novel was written in 1947 and published in 2018.  It seems that writing was passed on to the generations of this family and it is an honour to have a book that I’ll be able to put on a shelf next to hers.  Bombweed grew rapidly on bombsites in World War Two.
Poinsettia and Heliotrope are witch family surnames.  Poinsettia was a surname assigned to Ben as I created his signature look.  He enters the book with a Poinsettia flower adorning his waistcoat and the family links itself to the bright colours.  The flower is a star-shape which seemed appropriate to link to a pagan family and I started to write properly during the Christmas period of 2014.  The Poinsettia is a favourite Christmas flower.
Heliotrope is the name given to the Priestess of Helios.  It means ‘Sun’ and ‘to turn’ due to the direction of the flowers growth.  The flower is named after Clytie, an Oceanid scorned by Helios.  It seemed in keeping with her power and ultimate fortunes.

Q5: So, what’s next for you and your writing? Have you got any further works in progress? 

At the moment I’m doing a Masters in Creative Writing with The Open University.  This means there is little time for ‘pleasure’ writing.  There is the beginnings of a second book: Ben finds out his biological history and the true legacy.  But that will have to wait until the Masters allows me the time.  I also discovered another little written about ancient artefact in a museum when I last went away which I would love to write about one day.
Thank you for reading.


Thanks so much for answering our questions. Look forward to seeing what happens to Ben in the next book!

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Interview between ‘Bound’ author Hannah Pike and Scott Martin Productions 29/03/2019

Q1: Hi Hannah, good to have this opportunity to speak to you… First of all, I was wondering where the idea for ‘Bound’ came from. Perhaps you could give us a brief precis of the story and why you felt it was a tale that needed telling…

The idea for where ‘Bound’ came from was a bit of a strange one! I was working on the first draft of this novel when I was sixteen and was introduced to the concept from many different TV shows and some films,  but never really knew what it was called.  However,  after a bit of research everything was a lot clearer for me to proceed with writing.
The story follows Emma Winters,  a seventeen-year-old that has had quite a traumatic childhood and always felt like a bit of an outsider.   However,  her life begins to fall apart once again when she is abducted and faces new challenges that she shouldn’t have to face at her age.
I think it’s an important tale to tell mainly because situations like this do happen in real life.  I’ve seen all sorts of things in the news lately about students going missing who were in their early 20s and it is something that’s quite scary to think about!

Q2: How long did it take you to achieve the first draft manuscript? Was it difficult to fit in with all your other commitments?

It took me roughly around one year and three months to complete the first draft.  At the time,  I was attending college studying IT, so it was quite hard to fit in writing and college assignments.  But I did manage to finish all of my work early most of the time,  so I spent the rest of the lessons writing!

Q3: Are any of your fellow students also published authors?!

Not that I’m aware of! Although I do have some budding writers in my friendship group that are absolutely brilliant at writing,  even if they don’t hold that opinion themselves!

Q4: Which other authors do you find inspiring? Other art forms? I, for example, love Pre-Raphaelite paintings, Art Nouveau, true crime programmes, and British comedies from the 50s-80s. Perhaps not a mix that anyone would expect, but all these things make us the people we are.

Tabitha Suzuma is one of my biggest inspirations! She writes some really intriguing novels on controversial themes and mental health.   I remember being introduced to her writing in secondary school by my librarian,  falling in love with it and discovering my writing style along with what type of genre I wanted to be mainly associated with.
Another art form that’s especially important to me are films and media.  I am especially influenced by European and international films,  in particular their uses of colour pallets,  cinematography and some of the storylines! One of my favourite European films is Suspiria by Dario Argento,  mainly because of the gorgeous and vivid colours!

Q5: Five words that describe you. Five words that describe your writing…

Five words that describe me would be:   Optimistic,  Perseverant,  Ambitious,  Driven and Eccentric!
Five words that describe my writing:  Unconventional,  Thrilling,  Gripping,  Descriptive and Emotional

Q5: So, what’s next for Hannah Pike and her writing? Have you got any further works in progress?

I am working on something new at the moment,  another tale of forbidden love but with a fusion of genres….

Thanks so much for your time, Hannah. Let’s talk again soon…

Interview with Lesley Atherton about her book, ‘Past Present Tense’

Interview with Lesley Atherton re: ‘Past Present Tense’

A: This book is about hoarding and nastiness as well as being about family and relationships. It’s an obvious question, but why on earth would anyone want to write (or read) about hoarding?!

L: Well, it’s down to my own personality really. I’m a natural acquirer of unnecessary items but have always managed to stop short of becoming a hoarder. I’m more of a clutterer. Give me a wall and I will put things on it.
Give me a shelf and I’ll fill it. I wish I wasn’t like this, but I am.
Waste Not, Want Not. Make Do and Mend.
So this led me to begin watching programmes about hoarding and getting some deep compassion and understanding of the sufferers as well as those who must live with a mess not of their making.

The main character of ‘Past Present Tense’ is Tanya, who discovers that the dad she thought was dead is actually alive, and is buried under his own clutter in his own hoarded house. I was able to put myself in her position. I was able to also put myself in his position. I hope that’s come over in the writing. There is so much misunderstanding of the reasons behind hoarding. I know that one of the fallacies is that the people just need to get up off their bums and start to clean.

But for the majority of hoarders, it isn’t laziness that causes the collections and clutter, it is more a feeling of connection to the items, and to the memories and feelings those items hold. There are elements of anthropomorphism too. Hoarders don’t just feel responsible for the items they own, but also feel compassionate towards them and often their relationships with the objects are more meaningful than many of the relationships they have with other humans.

Like I say, I’m not a hoarder, but I do understand where the hoarding motivation comes from. I currently own 76 musical instruments. I play only 3 of them regularly, and play none of them daily. Why do I not sell them? Because I like them and enjoy the ownership of them. I like them to be there when I’m ready for them. And there are so many other reasons too: creativity, appreciation of beauty, appreciation of usefulness, and the desire to be able to entertain myself!

I know I’ll never be a minimalist. Blank spaces irritate me. But I really do need to have far less stuff. I hoped that writing about hoarding in this way might interest those people who live with hoarding, either their own or that of others.

A: Is the writing based on the work of anyone else in particular?

L: No. Just me, though one of my reviewers felt that the inner dialogues of the early chapters were reminiscent of Sartre’s ‘Nausea’. It’s odd really, but in recent years my reading has definitely taken back place to my writing. On the plus side, it means I’m not overly influenced by new books I’m reading, but on the negative side, I’m also behind the times. But that works for me. I don’t mind being retro. I can’t imagine being anything else.

A: That’s your personality?

L: It is. I don’t really do trends. I am who I am.

A: I understand you’re working on another book at the moment.

L: Yes, I’m finishing the manuscript for my novel, ‘The Waggon’. It requires completion before September 2019 as I will be submitting it as the final assessment for my Masters Degree in Creative Writing. It’s currently at the 65,000 word stage, but there’s quite a way still to go. After that, I’m going to be starting on a book about teenage Aspergers, and will continue with my publication of other peoples’ work through Scott Martin Productions. I have a few ideas for novelettes and many ideas for short stories, and will also be working on my blog.

A: You’re unstoppable. Do you still have time to attend writing groups?

L: I do. Currently I go to two weekly groups, and two monthly groups. I also attend two monthly reading groups. Why do you ask?

A: I was just wondering if you still find them of use, now you’re published and have more writing experience. Isn’t it something you grow out of as time goes on and you know what you’re doing?

L: In my case, no. My Tuesday group, in particular, is like family. I don’t know what I’d do without them
socially, and they give me great confidence creatively too. My advice to anyone who wants to write, is to
engage with other interested souls online and in person. Once you get over the first feelings of fear at
sharing your work, it really is liberating!

A: I can see that. Thanks so much for answering my questions!

L: Thanks. It’s been fun 🙂