Joining us today is another author I had the privilege of discovering during the April A-Z blogging challenge. We love a lot of the same books/movies/television, and I think Anne might call her a “kindred spirit.” I’m so pleased to have her over here today to answer a few questions. She just released her latest book, A Stretch of Loyalty a few weeks ago. Please join me in welcoming Jack Lewis Baillot to the blog today!
Prince Lachlan is the youngest son of the king. For seven years he has escaped the notice of his older, half-brothers. But when their father dies, telling his sons that the last one living will be the next king, the brothers learn of his existence.
Lachlan’s life is now in grave danger as his brothers determine to kill him first. His only hope of living now lies in that hands of a seamstress’s daughter, a one-handed hermit, an elf, and two dwarf brothers.
Together, they plan to make sure the prince lives to become a man, and the next king. But, everywhere they go they are rejected. When they realize the price they might have to pay to keep the prince alive is their lives they begin to question their motives, and their devotion to a boy no one wants around.
1. Which Authors do you admire? Why?
C.S. Lewis has always been, I think, the one I admire most. Not only because of his understanding of children but because he took time for them. In one of the things I’ve read about him it said he always took time every morning to answer the letters his fans sent him. I think that showed me many things. How an author should always remember that without readers they will never make it anywhere. (If no one reads the book then it will just sit on a back self collecting dust.) Also, to always make time for those
readers, no matter how busy one gets. It is a way to show them how grateful the author is.
I also admire Tolkien though, he was a genus! Everything he created, I’m still in awe over it.
I’ve also found there are some new authors I admire. Rachel Hartman who wrote Sarephina, a wonderful book about dragons. I admire her because she broke away from all the “musts” a story supposedly has to have. (Such as a romantic plot, lots of tension between the hero and heroine, an independent girl who is un-trusting.) Her plot was fun and exciting. Her heroine was
un-trusting but didn’t have some silly reason for it. And the romance wasn’t over bearing, it was just sweet.
Jennifer A. Nielsen who wrote The False Prince is another. She broke the rules of the typical prince story, and it turned out amazing.
(Actually, my list is rather endless. I mostly admire any author who is able to create something new and fun, to take a well known story and tell it in a way that catches me off guard.)
2. What are your fondest writing memories?
When I first started writing it was a fantasy book, one I’m working on finishing so I can publish someday. I’d stay up late working on it, and there were always a group of girls online who would chat with me while I wrote. Whenever I got stuck I just had to tell them what was going on and they’d throw out a hundred ideas. And if I felt especially mischievous I’d threaten the hero just to have them rush to his aid. I think that was the most fun I’ve ever had writing, well, nearly.
3 Describe your process for writing/ completing a novel.
When I first get an idea for a story I will spend months just thinking about it. Meeting the characters, planning out scenes, and coming up with lines. (Sometimes I will write the book down right away, but for most of my stories there are months of just thinking first while I work on other books.)
After I feel I have enough to go on I will sit down and write it, which takes a month at the most. During this time the characters will change everything I thought I knew about them and the book.
Once it is written I will write the other books in what has now become a series. A month for each book, less if I really get pulled in.
When all the books are written I stuff them in a back document and allow myself awhile of thinking I wrote the perfect story.
When I feel they’ve sat long enough I will pull them out and cringe at my completely un-perfect writing. I will then hide them until I can convince myself to edit.
Editing then consists of plenty of re-writes and trying to make my plot and my characters plot match up.
Then I send it to my editors and fix everything they find.
And I read it until I want to strangle everyone in the book.
Then I work on the cover, and all the publishing details.
Lastly, I hit publish and crawl into a hole, fearful no one will like my book.
Then I get reviews that make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy – and I start all over again.
4. What is the best part about writing?
The first draft. When I get to meet all the characters and they keep half the plot from me and snicker as I try and figure it out. When I will be trying to figure them out and about halfway in they will say something like, “Oh, you got me wrong, I’m like this.”
I love getting to know my characters, even if most of them are secretive and slightly evil.
5. How do ideas come to you?
Songs, movies, books. Maybe Authors aren’t supposed to admit to this, but while I’m watching something or reading I will usually be thinking, “This is a cool idea, but if I did it I would have done this instead.” Not implying that everything I read and watch needs improvement, it is just my imagination running wild. In fact, I drew a lot of inspiration from The Lord of the Rings for my Broken Blade series.
6. What is your favourite thing you have written? Why?
Right now I think it is my Haphazardly Implausible Series. I really loved writing the characters, and it was my first Steampunk – and for a girl who loves gears and swords and flying, this was almost perfect. By far my favourite genre. I also felt like I grew a lot with Peter. I think I ended up putting a lot of my struggles into him, and when he over came them I felt as if I was too.
7. How would you like to be remembered?
First and foremost as loving God. I want everyone to know I’m His child and that I do everything to His glory.
Second, I’d like to be remembered as being myself. The person God made me to be, with all my quirks. I don’t want other girls to look at me and see how I changed to fit the world and be accepted. I think it is sad that people feel they have to like and do certain things to have friends.
8. What is something (book, short story, poem, paragraph, sentence) that you wish YOU had written? Why?
Star Wars. (I might have left some things out, but I LOVE the plot and the characters.) Also, I think The False Prince, because I really, really like that plot. While I’m at it, I suppose I’d steal The Lord of the Rings as well.
9. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Do not stop writing. Write a little every day, and don’t get discouraged if you think it isn’t “good enough”. Authors never think their work is perfect, but imagine all the books you wouldn’t be reading if the authors gave up.
10. Why did you choose to write in this genre?
Well, it came about in a round about way. I thought fantasy was bad for a long time, then I saw The Lord of the Rings and realized how much fun it could be. So when my friend created the Seven Kingdom world and included elves I figured I’d give it a try. (With the thoughts that I’d never publish it anyways.)
So, I guess, it really wasn’t me picking the genre as it picking me. Next to Steampunk it is my favourite to write. (I like it best when I can mix the two, which is what The Broke Blade series will be.)*
Thanks so much for joining us today, Jack!
Thank you so much for having me! I had a lot of fun answering your questions.
Jack Lewis Baillot is an author who often feels more like a hermit. When she is not writing she can be found with her nose in a book. She lives in a winter wilderness with her parents and her brothers. You can find out more about her and her books here.