I am so thrilled to have Hannah Walker here today. We talk about her writing, family, and her new release, Corin’s Chance, Book 1 in the Avanti Chronicles. We have our drinks in hand
So…let’s get started.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have a lot of main characters who are in every book that run through the series. They tend to spend a lot of time together and so I often find I am writing scenes that have different people talking, coming and going, entering and leaving the conversation. It can be a real challenge to keep track of who is there, who said what, who it was directed to and be able to explain it all in a way that makes sense to the readers and is easy to follow. In one scene in book two of the Avanti Chronicles, which is going through editing now, I have, I think, around, fifty people in the room, but out of that about twenty of whom speak at one point or another. That was a challenge to write.
The battle scenes I write can also be a challenge. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to follow a battle, or even worse to be pulled from the intensity of the scene because you need to reread a passage to understand it. I have gone over and over those scenes and had several people only beta those scenes to make sure they measure up to what I want from them.
Is there a scene that is harder for you to write than others? Such as love? Action? Racy?
This may sound strange but the hardest parts for me to write are what I call linking bits. The ones that transition scenes. The big ones, whether they are action, love scenes, monologues, or anything like that, with those I can just delve in and loose myself in the writing. I’m not consciously thinking about where it needs to go or anything like that and I find that freedom makes it easier for me to write.
If you had to kill a character in your book, who would it be and why?
I would definitely kill off Chieftain Martellon. He really is my main bad guy. He might seem fairly over the top, clichéd as a bad guy to some people, but as the series develops and we find out more and more about him, the reasons he is the way he is becomes clear. He most definitely can be described as a very nasty peace of work. A slight spoiler… but I can leave you all guessing, I have killed off someone in one of my works in progress and I loved every minute of it, I must admit to it being very satisfying!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main one will always be that love is simply love. It doesn’t matter who you love. Beyond that I would say that love and life is hard work. Sometimes you have to fight and fight hard for what you believe in. Life isn’t always easy but with the right people around you whatever you go through can be dealt with.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and if so, what was it?
Grammar! I definitely learned that grammar is an ongoing learning process for me and I have a great teacher in Jessica McKenna. I learnt that I really hate comma splices. I learnt to let the characters lead me to where they want to go. I am definitely a ‘panster’ I don’t have a story board or notes, I just sit and write. My plan for book 3 has ten words that are key points that need to happen at this point in the series. I’ve learned that giving myself, and my characters, this freedom works best for me.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read for pleasure. I also like to game with my husband and two sons. So I can be found playing on the PS4. I am a true science geek and have a degree in chemistry so I also like to keep up to date with all the latest research, especially in certain areas of it.
What book are you reading now or have read recently?
I am a voracious reader, although I don’t get as much time to read these days as I would like. I’ve recently read Discovering Dalton by Nicole Colville, which is an incredible story. I’ve also just read Scent of the Heart (Shifting needs book 2) by Parker Williams and I’m now waiting for book 3. Rhythm of Us by Aimee Nicole Walker is another one. My to be read pile is massive and I keep adding to it all the time.
Yep, same here, lol
What is the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
My biggest lie would be to my son. He’s disabled, although thankfully not too severely. He’d undergone several sets of minor surgery but he needed a very complex, serious one. He was scared like crazy and wondering about the pain during recovery. I told him that yes it would hurt but with painkillers it would be bearable. I knew it was going to hurt and hurt badly, but he needed the surgery. So I lied. One of the first things he said to me when he was finally able to talk to me through the pain and morphine haze was “Mum, you lied.” He forgave me though as we both know it would have made him much worse if he knew just how much it was going to hurt. He forgave me though, he just made me spends hours and hours reading at his bedside to keep his mind off the pain.
Aww, love his heart, I hope he is doing well now.
What is the most important thing in your life? What do you value the most?
Without a doubt my family. My husband and two gorgeous sons. They are my world. We have been through a lot together and it has only made us stronger. We don’t take each other for granted and support each other through everything we do. They are my greatest supporters and cheerleaders as I write and publish. We are a very close knit family of four. That’s not to say we don’t fight because we do, hey we’re talking about teenage boys and hormones, but we are always there for each other.
That is so awesome
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I can. I actually have several projects on the go at the moment. Books 2 and 2.5 of the Avanti Chronicles are in beta/editing stages. I have started writing book 3 of Avanti and on top of that I am writing book 1 in a new series that is set in the same universe as the Avanti Chronicles are.
This snippet is taken from that:
Bo’saverin Hevalis looked at his childhood friend, Prince Dasa, and wondered what had got stuck in his horns this time. Bo could swear there was steam coming from them and that was never a good sign. Add to that, Dasa’s skin was getting darker by the minute. The normal mid purple was now pulsing a vibrant deep purple. His skin was mottling in places. Bo followed Dasa’s line of vision. He rolled his eyes as he caught sight of Veris Lagonis lashing into some verbally. He couldn’t quite see who it was as they were hidden behind Veris’ hulking eight feet frame. His red skin was pulsing in time to his tail twitch.
Out of the corner of his eye Bo caught Dasa clench and release his fist repeatedly. When he grabbed one of the steel ale goblets Bo knew what was coming next. Five, four, three, two, one… Crack, the steel goblet crumpled under the force of Dasa’s fist.
“Really, Dasa? You couldn’t go just one night without ruining the goblets? What’s that seventeen this month so far? We’re only eight days in. It’s no wonder the metalworkers like you so much. Your goblet crushing habit is keeping them in business.”
Dasa turned and scowled at his friend. “I pay them well, they shouldn’t complain.”
“Oh, trust me, my friend, they don’t. What’s got stuck in your horns tonight?”
Dasa nodded over at Veris.
“Veris is being Veris, there is nothing new there. He’s also out to give someone a verbal beating.” Bo just shrugged, still not understanding what the problem was.
“Look behind him.” Dasa growled out.
Bo shifted slightly so he could get a view of what Dasa was seeing. The minute his gaze landed on the Terran behind Veris, he groaned deeply. There was Caris Dealyn, the Terran ambassador to Kenistal, the demon home world.
“Now you see.”
“Your problem? Yes.” Bo smirked.
“What do you mean my problem?”
“Oh, come on, Dasa. That Terran has the unique ability to get on your spikes. I swear everything he does gets to you. I’m really starting to wonder why.”
“Why?” Dasa’s spikes started to grow and harden.
“Whoa. Calm down Dasa, Frek, you’re in a mood tonight. I just meant there has to be something about him that’s responsible for working you up so much. It’s not natural.”
“Frek me, I don’t know, he just bugs me.”
“Right.” Bo drawled. He turned to take in the Terran and looked him over.
Caris stood no taller than about five feet eight. He was a typical Terran, pale pinkish skin, lacking in horns or scales. He had brown hair and green eyes. Normally he was a sweet mild mannered man. He was politically astute, remarkably intelligent, multilingual and stubborn. The man could get concessions out of just about any race he faced as an ambassador for the Barin Alliance. Now, put him in front of Dasa, and he became a bumbling, stuttering fool. He blushed, tripped over thin air and could barely string a coherent thought together. Bo knew, in that instinctive way of friends, that little Caris had the hots for the Demon Prince.
Dasa on the other hand, had no idea of his feelings, Frek, Bo was sure he really didn’t understand why the little Terran got to him so much. It was a constant source of enjoyment for Bo as he watched these two dance around each other.
Just then Dasa groaned. Bo snapped his focus back to Caris and Veris. Veris had the Terran help up against the wall by the throat, feet dangling off the floor, much to the amusement of all the demons around him. Bo turned his focus back to Dasa, just in time to see another steel goblet join the first in a mangled mess on the table. Dasa stood to his full height and stalked towards the pair, as yet undetected by anyone.
Thank you, Hannah, for taking time out to answer these questions. I wish you much success in your writing career and I hope we can do this again one day.