Yay, another YA author! I can't wait for you all to meet Jeremy Smith and hear about his newest release.
Tell us about "A Rhyme of Dark Words"
I have tried several genres but now focus on Teen/YA.
Book one in my latest series is, ‘A Rhyme of Dark Words.’ It is a supernatural adventure set in contemporary rural England which focuses on legends and folklore and the witch trials that happened in a village in the 1600s. Funny, romantic and scary, it follows the sometimes horrific adventures of three teenagers as they try to stop the resurrection of a notorious witch.
The trio of main characters have been compared to Buffy, Willow and Xander and also Harry, Ron and Hermione, both of which pleased me no end.
I love that. What a fascinating concept! And the names are really fun, too. Now, this work sounds ambitious, so I imagine you ran into a lot of struggles in the writing/editing process. What was the hardest part of the writing process?
There is nothing simple about writing a book.
One of the hardest parts is finding the time to write, with a full-time job and family this isn’t easy; leaving me to grab what moments I can. So, getting a set amount done every day is a near impossibility, but everyone writes different amounts according to their circumstances.
Don’t beat yourself up because someone on Twitter said they wrote 10,000 words that day and you didn’t manage any. However, once the words do flow there’s nothing better than creating your own world.
As a self-publisher, I would say the hardest part is the promotion. You put your soul into a book and want people to read it. But it doesn’t matter how good it is, if people don’t know it’s there, they won’t buy it.
Promotion is difficult and takes up more time than the writing. The learning curve is steep and relentless: from learning Amazon ads, ad design, book promotion sites, video ads and so much more, to time-consuming social media.
Readers will really appreciate both of those insights. Sometimes people can have the misconception that all you have to do is sit down and write. But it takes so much more than that. OK, favourite scene to write?
I have a lot of action/drama scenes. I like to choreograph a fight or chase so that it feels like you’re watching a film in your head, juggling events and keeping the flow pitch-perfect, right up to the climax. I also like romantic scenes because these need just as much planning and delicate handling to convey the emotions without being to saccharine.
Yes! Writing a book like you're writing for film lends to very entertaining prose. OK, favorite question: favourite character?
It’s important for your characters to have just that, a character.
In ‘A Rhyme of Dark Words’ my favourite isn’t the MC, Tilly Hart, but one of her side kicks, Wilf. He’s a bit of a gangly nerd with an almost masochistic liking for chili. He’s desperately in love with Rebecca, the other sidekick, who couldn’t care less about him. He’s a coward who gets thrust into situations needing a hero and just manages to survive.
I feel like there's a bit of Wilf inside every one of us. Especially when it comes to chili... OK, last question: Advice to writers?
My best tip for editing is to edit a printed version, and to read it aloud. Somehow, this seems to make the errors stand out more. If you do go the agent route, don’t be put off by rejection. They all want something different, and it is just a matter of finding the one that wants your story.
You have to write for yourself otherwise you won’t enjoy it, and if you don’t enjoy it there’s no point doing it. Don’t write with the expectation of getting book and film deals and a six figure advance, the chances, are you won’t. Most of us rejoice with a single sale. It’s hard work with no shortcuts, but stick at it and it can be very rewarding.
All fantastic advice. And absolutely agreed on printing it out. You catch so much more then. Thank you for joining us! And readers, go check out Jeremy's latest work below, and give him a follow.
Jeremy Smith trained and worked as a fashion photographer in London after studying design. He now lives with his family in a village in Oxfordshire, England, where he can often be seen trekking the wooded paths, with his dog Jack, as he looks for inspiration. His passions lie in sci-fi and fantasy and YA novels. When not writing he likes to bake cakes. He is a firm believer in “write the books you want to read.” After all, who doesn’t like a book filled with adventure and romance?
Tilly Hart is grieving for her mother when she moves to the ancient village of Witheridge. Finding friendship and love, she also finds a place steeped in witchlore and the legend of a beast that stalks the moor. Supernatural events and a hidden diary guide her to a village lost in time, a place where magic exists and demons walk the land.
With her newfound friends and the deadline of Halloween drawing near, she sets out to prevent an ancient evil destroying all she loves.
Being both the hunter and hunted, she discovers she can control magic. But magic is an addiction that can lead to evil.