Xandria Drake -The Beginning

Hello all,

     As you know, the process of writing Ancient Rising has been long and arduous.  Even now, I am revising it…yet again.  Before, I get into the nitty gritty, however, I would like to send out a big
THANK YOU!
 to all the people that have read Ancient Rising and given me such inspiring feedback.  You’ve asked some difficult questions, and you’ve pointed out some hard truths.  For that, I am grateful.  With that in mind, let me delay no further and answer a couple of your questions.

Note: please excuse my grammar within this blog.  I tend to write the way I speak…stream of consciousness.  lol…Now you know why I needed so many revisions. hahahaha!

Anyway, I believe that is a good place to start…

Q.  Why did you write Ancient Rising?
A.  The most simple answer I can give you is this…I wrote Ancient Risingbecause I was driven to do so. 

   I clearly remember the moment of “inspiration.”  Believe it or not, I was in the shower when a flood of information just sort of came to me.  It was as though a map unrolled before my mind’s eye and revealed an incredible picture of fantasy.  It wasn’t until later that I saw myself telling the story using my own experiences and knowledge.  That is the reason the main character is a ballroom dancer and student of Oriental Medicine.  Plus, I thought it would be cool to expose readers to these awesome arts!
     For months, I considered the information and enjoyed the story in my own mind, content to keep it there.  Then one day, something unexplainable suddenly compelled me to sit down in front of my computer and write.  I resisted for at first because I was a afraid. I had never written a book and English 101 was definitely not my strong suit.  Plus, why would anyone want to listen to what I had to say?  But the drive was there, and instead of silently vanishing, my compulsion to put the story on paper grew stronger and louder.
     The first day I sat in front of my computer, and every day after that, I had no idea what I would write.  Yet, I took the first step and opened Microsoft Word.  Before I knew what was happening, my fingers were typing, a character was speaking, and a story was forming -sentence by sentence.  It was a strange experience indeed. It felt more like watching a movie rather than writing a book.  Every day, after finishing, I would call my mom and sister and say, “Guess what happened today?”
    We laughed and would discuss the ramification of the characters’ actions.  Sometimes, we even tried to plan what could/would happen next…but to no avail.  Not one instance of planning ahead made it into the story.  Instead, the characters steered the storyline regardless of the plans I had for them.  At times, it was a bit stressful and intimidating.  I dreaded the possibility sitting at the computer and staring at a blank screen, not knowing if the story would continue.  Lucky for me, it never happened. Probably the most remarkable part about this process is that some of the initial information that was previously “downloaded” in the shower weaved its way through the storyline.  Only a portion of it could fit in this first novel, however, so more books should be expected to follow.

Moving on….

 So, now…looking back…it’s been great fun.  Revising the manuscript is almost as much fun as initially writing it.  Since the first version, I’ve added three characters, changed the nature of Xandria’s relationship to Sophia, and added more insight into Xandria herself.  The story has grown from 94,000 words to 99,000 words.  I have to be careful, however, because I’ve read that books in my genre (fantasy, urban fantasy, women’s lit) should not exceed 100,000 words, and I am only on page 198.  Looks like I’ll be cutting it close.

Q. How many books do you plan to write for this series?
A.  I don’t know.  I think there will probably be at least three.  I was unable to fit all of the information into this first story.  Plus, Xandria’s journey is far from complete.  There are many lessons she needs to learn and unavoidable adventures she is destined to take.

Q. Are you working on other books? 
A.  I have ideas for other books, and have even started on one of them, but for now, I’m focusing on the Xandria series.  Who knows? When it’s finished, I may create a Chandrani series as well.

Q. Are you going to publish it?
A.  I’m working on it.  I would LOVE to get it published!!!   I’ve been looking for a literary agent but am intimidated by the process.  It’s scary to put my work out there with the possibility of rejection.  Regardless, I’m doing it.  If any of you can help…I WELCOME YOUR ADVICE…AND YOUR CONNECTIONS. lol!!    Eventually, I plan to give myself an allotment of time to find an agent.  If I am unable to find one, then I may take the route that so many other authors have chosen and self publish.  That, however, is my last resort.

Well, I think I’ll wrap it up with that for today.  Upcoming blogs will probably answer more questions about the characters themselves, plus discuss the storyline, as well as include my experiences during the writing process.

Big Smiles and Best Wishes!!!

-Laura

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