First, welcome to my site.
Writing ‘Royal Souls’ by Ailan R. McAndrews was a blast. I admit, there were days when it was debatable if I would ever publish the book or succumb to the simple life of Netflix and woodworking projects in my shop. Yes, writing is grueling but well worth it.
Since publishing, I have had several questions about the book and my process, and from that, I started my blog.
The poem at the front of the book is for my daughter, Keisha, who we lost in a car crash. It is my version of her life. I wrote it in under thirty minutes, and it is straight from the heart. Poetry purists have commented, both good and not so, but every writer learns their own style, pushes outside the lines defined by the rules of writing, and always pours themselves into their work. Also, I don’t write poetry. I hope you enjoy it.
Dedications – Yep, over the top. Lesson learned, but the people I named had an impact through feedback. As a first-time author, I felt it was fair to mention them. My wife, Annie, read the book eight times with minor points or flaws to be fixed every time. So annoying, and I love her for it.
Alright, here we go.
The idea for the ‘Witch Heart’ series came from a reoccurring mental wander some like to call daydream, which disappeared for many years, to return about three years before retirement. Yes, I was sitting on the front deck of my house watching the trains move around the rail yard when it appeared again. To me, it was the Angels telling me to write the story.
Yes, I subscribe to the notion that the Angels are always around us and if we take the time to listen, they can help guide us. It only took me sixty years to give in to the concept.
This takes me to the first question – How did you come up with the idea for the story, characters, and creatures?
Story – I’ve answered, but LysaBeth was organic in the sense that I was seeing the book in my fantasy mind and she became her own picture. When I started writing, Taelene and the Raziiair War Bird were organic by need. LysaBeth, growing up as an only child and shielded from the world, needed a best friend with some form of power to help a powerful young witch battle a seasoned, murderous witch and her army of Blood Witches.
The Pyre Wolf is foreboding and the wand-making creatures were me letting the juices flow.
Question two for this session:
Are you a panster or structure?
I’m a mutt who uses many techniques combined. I have a massive whiteboard for drawing visual flow and notes; I use spreadsheets for character design and their special notes, and I list all my critical incidents on a separate sheet which helps me lay out my chapters. Some days I will take my laptop and start writing, and I find what I’ve written is awesome, then I have to figure out how it logically fits into the story.
I hope to hear from more people about the book, but until the next chapter – Let the fantasy flow and the emotions run wild.