Today I’m very lucky to have the lovely Lisa on the blog to talk about her novel, Freaks, which is out now! I’ve known Lisa for a while now and she’s one of the greatest people ever, so you should definitely check out Freaks! I hope you enjoy the post!
Can I just begin by saying a MASSIVE thank you to the very lovely Lucy for having me on her blog today. I’m a huge fan of Lucy’s blog so I feel very honoured to be here!
Lucy has been such a big supporter of mine and I have been in touch with her since the days when FREAKS was still very much a work in progress. So to see it here… a full book… on her blog…. Is VERY exciting!
I’m still at the ‘pinch me, is this real?’ stage when it comes to having a book that people can actually buy. ‘FREAKS’ has just existed in my head for so long that it feels strange but quite exhilarating to expose the characters and the locations to other people. Creating the characters was one of the two things about writing that I enjoyed the most. Finding a location was the other. It’s so much fun to create a character; what are you going to call them? What are they going to look like? Are they nice characters or evil, twisted souls? Are they going to feature heavily in the story or will they have a fleeting part? Each character is different and you get to make them do anything you want them to do. You are the puppet master.
Finding a location has a slightly different feel. It’s still very fun, but there are a few other pressures. Whereas with character creation you can do exactly as you please – you can’t always do this with a location. As a writer – you have a couple of options. You can either make up a location entirely, or research a pre-existing one.
If you choose to make up a location entirely then you have full and complete control over everywhere that your character steps. You can have them walking on clouds in the sky if you want them to… the world is your oyster. But can your imagination handle it? Can your imagination handle creating an entire world? It’s a lot of pressure to make a fake world seem believable.
Whereas if you choose a pre-existing location, you’re creativity can be stilted – but a lot of the hard work is done for you. Sometimes people get annoyed when you tamper too much with a pre-existing location. There is a certain expectation that you will stay completely true to the map – and often writers can get feedback saying things like ‘on chapter four you mention the post box on Richmond Street. Can I please advise you that there is not a post box on Richmond Street’. Sigh.
Despite this possibility, this was the option that I chose. My characters needed a place to congregate. A place to meet. A place where all of the action happened and I decided that I didn’t want this to be a place that I’d invented. I wanted it to be a real life place with a real life feeling to it. I set to work and, thanks to the wonders of google street view, I stumbled upon Lincoln, Alabama. It was (and is!) perfect for my story. I have loved wandering around the town and finding the perfect streets and houses to use. I’ve loved using their real estate websites and their local newspaper websites to get a feel for the town. Don’t get me wrong – I have tweaked things slightly. There may be shops in my story that don’t exist in real life, but I’m sure the residents won’t mind too much. Lincoln is still very much at the heart of the story, and I hope that they embrace it and enjoy reading about their town.
Now that FREAKS has been released – the people of Lincoln have been amazing. The school are planning a library display all about the book and I have sent a signed copy over to them. I get messages on twitter and facebook from the students asking about Freaks, which this is the kind of support that you can never get from creating a fictional town. A fictional town has fictional residents, whereas the residents of Lincoln, Alabama are very real (and very awesome!)
Once I had my characters and my location – I was set. And I have pretty much typed non-stop in order to get to where I am right now. I have a finished book! A finished book that people can actually buy! Eeek! It has been a very long process but thanks to the support of amazing bloggers like Lucy (and the amazing residents of Lincoln) I am here. An author. With a real life book that people can buy.
FREAKS: Nobody’s perfect… or are they?
Abigail always knew that she was different, but what she didn’t know was just how different.
That was until her 16th birthday, when her parent’s revealed a devastating secret that confirmed her worst fears and changed her life forever.
Abigail is an Allelobrid: one of five children born as a result of their parents illegal science experiment in genetic engineering. The aim: to create a perfect human.
Yet perfection comes at a price.
Forced into a life on the run, Abigail finds love, danger and an organisation that will stop at nothing to get what they want.
When lives are at risk and freedom is threatened – could being perfect be enough to survive?
FREAKS is available to buy on Amazon and Smashwords.