'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Ascension of the Whyte Author Interview

Today I have the lovely Karen Wrighton on the blog for a quick chat about all things book related and to showcase her upcoming book, Ascension of the Whyte.
1. What's your writing process when writing a novel? Do you have any specific things that you must do?

I have developed a system that works for me, though it is still evolving. I use Microsoft OneNote to keep track of all my story notes, character information, plot lines, and details of the developing world of the Afterlands etc. OneNote syncs over multiple devices so I always have my up-to-date notes with me. I find it invaluable. 

One great way of using it is for developing my characters, I have a characters note section where I file a page with a tag for each character and list their main characteristics which gives me a detailed character map of each of them so that hopefully, I always manage to write in the distinct voice of each character.
I have to be in a quiet room to write as I am very easily distracted. I try to write every day even when I am at work when I try to write in my lunch hour at the very least. I write a chapter at a time in a linear fashion, each chapter in chronological order. Once I have an idea what is to happen in the chapter I just write a very quick first draft, exactly as the story unfolds in my head, and then as soon as I complete the chapter I do an immediate second draft before I go on to the next chapter. Then I pass the chapter on to my husband for proof reading. 

This means that by the time I have written the last chapter of the book I have already completed two drafts. I aimed to do four drafts of AOTW, but ended up doing seven before I was happy with it, and even now I am still finding things that I want to change. However I am in good company, as apparently J. K. Rowling has admitted to wanting to change things about her books, in particular Harry’s relationship with Hermione!

I always back up my work on Google Docs so that I have a spare copy available in case of hard drive failures etc.

2. What was your inspiration for your novel? It sounds fascinating!

My inspiration actually came from reading the work of another writer. I was reading John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars, part of that story involved two terminally ill teenagers trying to discover the fate of a character from a book that they had been reading. They assumed that the character in the story had died, but wanted to know for sure what had happened to her. Their plight made me think about our mortality and how some lives are so tragically short. When a young person is faced with their own impending mortality it must be so much worse than when an older person has to cope with the same thing. I think if it were me I would feel angry and upset that I would be missing out on so much of what life has to offer. I found myself thinking ‘what if instead of the end of the story, her death was just the beginning?’

I suppose that, without getting into religion, I really wanted to add a dash of hope that maybe the end of our earthly lives could actually just be the start of another great adventure. Which is why I decided that my story would begin where most stories would end; with the death of the main protagonist. My imagination did the rest and made it work (hopefully).

3. Which characters do you wish you'd created and why?

I love the character of Lisbeth Salander, the fictional character created by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson for his Millennium Series, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I admire strong female characters and especially those who triumph over adversity and prove themselves to be formidable opponents. I think Lisbeth Salander is a wonderfully rich, multi faceted and strong female character, I do wish I had created her.

4. If you could live in one literary world, which one would it be?

I have been asked this before and there is really no contest; it would have to be Rivendell the land of the Elves in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. 

It is a land full of beauty and enchantment and I would be able to visit the Hobbits in the Shire for a bit of light entertainment and of course the fireworks!

 5. Do you have any tips for upcoming authors?

I would say the best thing anyone can do to improve your writing is to read and write every day. Write something, write anything, writing is a skill and you need to practice it if you are to develop as a writer. 

I have noticed myself that the more I write, the more easily my writing flows and the better it gets. Regular reading is important for the same reason, but not passive reading. I used to be a passive reader, but now I don’t simply absorb myself in the story, I try to examine its structure and language as I read it. I have learned a great deal about how to write, and how not to write, by doing this.

One tip that I was given that I have found invaluable and would love to pass on is to develop a character map of all of your characters. I use a spreadsheet in OneNote for each character I list the following characteristics under each of their name tags:

 Here is the one I completed for Ash.
Protect &Aid Rose
Whyte Metamorph
Accident Prone &
Feeling Stupid
Blushes easily.

I have found this a brilliant way of getting to know my characters and making sure their personalities remain consistent and therefore believable. Only you can decide whether it has been successful when you read my book. Please feel free to review it and/or contact me and let me know your thoughts.

Ascension of the Whyte 


Sara Carson did not believe in life after death, Heaven, Hell or even reincarnation. However, what she didn't know was that some of us are special. For some of us, death is just the beginning of our next great adventure. Sara Carson was one of those special people, and her most incredible journey did not begin, until the day she died.

A magical début novel that will leave you breathless.

The Author
Karen Wrighton was born in a small town in the English county of Staffordshire and began writing prolifically and drawing from a young age. Karen trained as a Psychologist and Teacher before finally finding the time to pursue her love of writing, firstly by creating a successful Psychology blog and now by writing her first novel.

Karen's début novel 'Ascension of the Whyte' is a magical epic fantasy novel for young
adults and is to be the first book of the 'The Afterland Chronicles' series. Karen's style is strongly influenced by the books she loves to read, such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. This is evidenced by the magical quality that pervades her writing. 

Karen has two daughters and lives in Norfolk, England with her husband John.To find out more about Karen and her book, or follow her on social networks click on the links below.
Author Links

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
 The prizes include;

- Author signed paperback copy of Ascension of the Whyte
 - Themed metal bookmarks
 - Postcards with graphics of the book cover and a colour map of the Afterlands
(signed by author if requested)
 - Original hand-made Adder stone pendant like the one described in the book.

1 comment:

  1. I don't really believe in Heaven or Hell so I am interested to see where this goes. Especially because there is just so little in the synopsis. No idea what to expect and that is a good thing because all too often to much has been given away in the blurb.


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