I'm SUPER excited to share a wonderful author with you today...
LINDA DAVID author of The Firestone Crystal and The Hidden Realms of Firestone has graciously answered a few Interview Question for me and I would LOVE to share them with you all. First I want to Thank Linda for taking the time to answer these question and for trusting me to help out! Of course thank you to all those who read my blog it means the world to me to have blogger friends like you!
About The Author
Linda David is a single mother of two and currently work as a college lecturer in childcare. She was born in Cyprus in 1967 to parents who both hail from the Caribbean island of Nevis, and has also lived in Germany as well as St Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies.
The idea for the book, The Firestone Crystal, came about 10 years ago when she was on maternity leave, and started off as a short story that she would be able to read to her children when they were older. It continued to grow as she occasionally added a chapter here and there as the years went by, eventually turning into full-length novel.
She has always enjoyed reading and was encouraged to do so from a very early age, and that is partly what inspired her to write. Even today, she can remember the excitement and wonder she used to experience as a child when reading fantasy and adventure stories, and she hopes that through her writing, she will be able to inspire and encourage other children's interest and pleasure in reading as well.
When and why did you decide to be a writer?
I’m not sure that I ever formally decided to be a writer – it’s just something I really enjoyed at school, and began to do again when I was on maternity leave. I began by writing short stories for my children when they were young, and little by little, the stories grew and grew until I realised I had enough material for my first book, The Firestone Crystal.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The very first time I joined a writer’s circle and asked for feedback on my work, I was told, very kindly, by one of the members that I had a tendency to ‘overuse’ adverbs. Unfortunately, I was so proud of my work that I’m sorry to say I ignored this advice, and when the first edition of the book was published and reviewed professionally, this was again pointed out, but a little more bluntly. Needless to say, I now pay much closer attention to my use of language and ensure I take all constructive criticism for what it is – something that will help to improve my writing!
The best compliment I have had so far is when my books have been compared favourably to J K Rowling’s books. They have been described as, ‘Harry Potter in space.’ Being a Harry Potter fan myself, I was extremely flattered to hear that.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
My advice to other authors is to never give up! I had been writing, on and off, for years before finally deciding to self-publish and I am so glad I did. If you truly love writing and you know you have a story to tell that others will enjoy, don’t be put off by rejection.
How many drafts did you have to write for ‘The Firestone Crystal’ and ‘The Hidden Realms of Firestone’? Any scenes that were cut from the original that you want to share?
The Firestone Crystal took about ten years to finish, as I was writing mainly in my spare time in between raising my children and having a full-time job, so I probably got through three or four drafts before I was finally satisfied with it. The second book, The Hidden Realms of Firestone, was written in about fifteen months with just one re-write. The ideas for the sequel just seemed to flow very quickly, so it was a lot easier to write than the first.
I very rarely cut scenes from my writing. If something’s not working, I usually realise quite quickly and re-write it straight away, which means I can never remember the original scene. One thing I did struggle over was whether or not to allow Thea’s mother in on the secret of her attendance at Firestone. It took me a while to weigh up the pros and cons. You can find out what I decided to do in the second book!
What inspired the idea for ‘The Firestone Crystal’ and ‘The Hidden Realms of Firestone’?
As a child, I was raised on those original boarding school stories, such as St Clare’s and Malory Towers. I used to long to attend those schools and join in the midnight feasts and just be part of all the adventures the girls used to have. I am also a lover of science fiction (especially the Stargate series!), so this was my way of combining my two guilty pleasures.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write for ‘The Firestone Crystal’ and ‘The Hidden Realms of Firestone’ and why?
My favourite chapter in the first book, ‘The Firestone Crystal,’ was the penultimate one, where basically, all is revealed. I loved it because at the time, even I didn’t know where the book was going, so I was really relieved that the ending turned out to be as exciting as it was. I tend to ‘write as I go along’ and rarely plan too far ahead, so it was as much a surprise to me as I hope it will be to my readers.
My favourite part in ‘The Hidden Realms of Firestone,’ was anything I wrote about the character, Aargonthwick Thaazbeld. He turned into quite a favourite of mine and is one of those people that nobody really takes seriously and tends to make fun of, but he really is quite sweet.
Tweet Alert! If you only had 140 characters or less to tell us about ‘The Firestone Crystal’ and ‘The Hidden Realms of Firestone,’ how would you write your tweet?
All she wanted was a beach holiday, what she got was even better! An alien school, new friends, telepathy, adventure! The Firestone Crystal!
What are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m re-reading ‘A Respectable Trade,’ by Philippa Gregory. It tells the story of the slave-trade and the beginning of its demise, from the point of view of both slaves and traders, with a little romance thrown in for good measure.
Who is you fictional character crush?
No contest! Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you are an adult, these books will take you back to your childhood when your imagination had no limits – revel in it. If you are a child, immerse yourself in the story and let your imagination soar!
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Agathea Fulstropp is a lonely 11-year-old girl, a bit on the moody side, and more than a little spoilt.
She is looking forward to a luxury break in the Caribbean with her parents, but is livid when they announce that the trip has to be cancelled due to work commitments! So instead of spending six weeks sunning herself on a tropical beach, Thea – as she insists on being called – finds herself unceremoniously packed up, and sent off to stay with a grandfather she barely knows for the entire summer!
But it turns out to be the best summer of her life when her grandfather has a strange reunion with a mysterious childhood friend, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime.
To visit a world beyond the stars, and become Earth’s first student to be enrolled in an experimental Inter-Planetary Education Programme at the Firestone Academy, where lessons in telepathy, mind-reading and astral projection are the norm.
Things, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. One of her fellow students makes no secret of the fact that he despises her, and will stop at nothing to make her leave…she is having increasingly disturbing vivid dreams…and just who is that hideously deformed cave creature, and more to the point, what does it want with her?
Where to purchase
Synopsis via Goodreads:
She may not have the sweetest of natures, being spoilt, temperamental and often downright moody, but what twelve-year-old Agathea Fulstropp (Thea to her friends), does have is a rather unusual secret - a secret shared only by herself and her grandfather.
She is Earth's first and only pupil to be enrolled at the Firestone Academy on the faraway Planet of Aruuliah!
Preparing for a new term, packed with the excitement of making new friends, confronting old enemies and getting to grips with alien technologies, Thea is soon to discover that being from Earth has its drawbacks as she becomes the target of a sinister plot to remove her from the Academy - permanently!
Help, however, comes from the most unlikely of places and she, unwittingly encounters a hidden realm concealed within the grounds of the Academy - a world made up of pure energy, populated with mythical creatures of legend and folklore, and whose existence remains a closely guarded secret from all physical beings, whether human or alien.
Time is running out though, as Thea, along with her best friends Jojan and Annalije, desperately try to figure out who, amongst her peers, hates her enough to wish her gone.
Can they solve the mystery before it's too late, or will Thea, having faced mortal danger once already the previous summer, be lucky enough to escape, unscathed a second time?
Where to Purchase