Friday, July 11, 2014

Guest Post: Adina West + Dark Child (Covens Rising)


Today I'm pleased to welcome author Adina West to the blog to talk a little bit about her paranormal fantasy series, Dark Child. The second book of the Dark Child series is being released as a digital serial, with episode two out this week (the first episode of the FIRST book is currently free, so be sure and check it out!). Adina was nice enough to share how she creates her characters and builds her worlds, so I hope you all enjoy!

INSPIRATION AND EXPONENTIAL GROWTH
The birth of a paranormal world and characters

Every writing project I’ve ever worked on has started with one idea. Just one. That idea may be a mental snapshot of a certain interesting character in a challenging situation, or a scenario, or a vibrant setting. When it’s an idea I like, it stays with me, begging me to explore it further. It jumps around in my mind, and if there are characters involved, they’re quite possibly talking to each other. Or bickering. And when the idea has come to life enough for me to imagine a scene in my mind, I can then write it down. And slowly, scene by scene, a book grows.

Some writers are very methodical about every aspect of creating a new project. They plan everything in advance of writing. They write detailed character summaries, and blow-by-blow plot summaries. I’ve read books on writing that way, so I know how it’s supposed to work, but so far it’s not for me. My writing process is very organic, and I honestly find it hard, remembering back, to know where each part of the finished project came from.

That’s certainly true of my paranormal series, Dark Child, where I started with the very basics of a ‘world’ and built from there. I knew I wanted to write my take on a vampire story. I knew I wanted to write about a hidden world within our ‘real’ world, where vampiric beings exist among us without anyone human knowing about them. Given the strength of the vampire myth in many of our world’s cultures, it made sense to imagine that such beings have always been here, but were forced into hiding by something catastrophic in their past. The world I created for Dark Child is our world reimagined. Our world as it could be if there was a little more to our history than we’re aware of.

Where my heroine Kat came from is still a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t quite know how I ended up with a twenty-something pathologist from a tiny town in the Appalachians as my main character, but somehow she fit with the other elements. And I do know she started from one idea…and grew, and in turn her character and attributes and job sparked aspects of the plot. If a pathologist is experiencing odd symptoms, what’s more likely than that she’d decide to quietly test her own blood at work one day? And if she were to discover very abnormal results, what then?

My secondary characters don’t always take up residence in my mind fully-formed, but they’ll sometimes arrive partly formed, with foibles and quirks that lead me to mental ‘what ifs’. It’s only as writing progresses that we get to know each other better. It might sound a little odd, but there’s usually plenty about each character stored in my mind that never makes it onto the page. A person’s past informs their future actions and attitudes, so I usually like to think about what life history might lead a character to become a certain kind of person, with a particular attitude to things. Have they experienced loss? Setbacks? Betrayal? Are they harboring a secret, and how does this affect their attitude to the people around them? All that history, that personal baggage, comes out in the interplay between characters that a reader sees on the page, without a word of the actual back story needing to be mentioned. I think that makes for more complex, more nuanced characters…and hopefully more interesting ones!

I’m currently releasing my second book in the Dark Child series, and it still kind of amazes me that it all started with one idea.

Thanks so much Jenny for inviting me here during the release month for Dark Child (Covens Rising). It’s being released as a digital serial, with a new episode each week through the month of July.

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Please note that the following relates to Adina’s latest release, the second episode in the second Dark Child book. If you hate spoilers, don’t read on. You may instead like to check out the FREE first episode of Dark Child (the Awakening) that begins this series. Click here for links to retailers.

AN INTRODUCTION TO DARK CHILD (COVENS RISING):
Book Two of the Dark Child Series

Kat Chanter is no ordinary girl. And she's no ordinary vampire, either. The ruthless Directorate will go to any lengths to curb her growing power, including murder. And when that leads to a war between races, Kat's fate becomes the ultimate prize…

And here’s what to expect in this week’s Episode 2...

• • • • • • • • • • • 

DARK CHILD (COVENS RISING)
Episode 2


In her dreams, she craved fresh blood. Warm human blood. And her incisors were long, sharp – able to bite through a fragile layer of skin with ease. What sort of monster does that make me?

Kat discovers that her presence in Paris isn't such a secret anymore. But if she has to battle the Directorate again, it seems she'll have much more support this time. Some of it from the most unlikely sources.

Meanwhile, teenage loner Ben discovers that he has much more in common with Yara Fortes, the girl of his dreams, than he ever hoped. But in a cruel twist of fate, the shared secret that links them together could also get them killed …


• • • • • • • • • • 

ADINA WEST


Adina West writes serialized digital fantasy for Momentum books, Pan Macmillan’s digital imprint. She is the author of digital bestseller Dark Child: The Awakening, and has just released the sequel, Dark Child: Covens Rising. Her new-age paranormal fantasy novels mix ancient and modern, tarot, astrology, suspense and romance. She loves that writing Dark Child made watching Vampire Diaries necessary research.
 
Adina grew up on a remote property on Australia’s east coast, in country New South Wales, and spent most of her childhood curled up with a book. Her first teenage job was shelving books at the local library, where she was cautioned more than once for reading them instead of putting them away. Now, Adina lives in Sydney’s leafy north-west with her IT guru husband, two children, and a couple of unwelcome possums who really don’t know how to take a hint.

28 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved this. It is always so very interesting to read about how books and characters are formed and developed.

    Thanks so much for sharing this Jenny!

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    1. Couldn't agree more Ali! Glad you enjoyed:)

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  2. What a great post. It's funny how a character just comes to you and grows. The series sounds really good.

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    1. Doesn't it? I'm definitely going to check out the first episode of the first book. Yay free things!

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  3. I always love getting insight into how authors come to write their characters, this was awesome! I hadn't heard of this series but I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Oh I love hearing how the writing process is happening. I must say that this approach is something that would suit me better too. I'm not someone who can see the whole story just right away, but it's rather just coming out of me. Great post! Thanks for sharing. Jenny :)

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    1. I think that's how it would be for me as well. I'd have to know how things were going to end, but other than that, I would probably need to just start writing and see what came out:)

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  5. This a fantastic guest post! I love reading about the writing procress and the creative process for books!
    Also, I find her take on vampires quite interesting, so I'll be checking out the series for sure!
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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    1. You're very welcome Pili! Glad I could put this on your radar:)

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  6. It's always interesting how authors come up with different characters because everyone has different ways at going about it. It seems like such a complex process though.

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    1. Definitely. I love getting behind the scenes info like this:)

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  7. I love learning about each individual author's process because they vary so much from writer to writer. I'm not big on serials though, so I'll probably wait until all of the episodes have been released before adding this book to my Kindle. Have a fab weekend ladies!

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    1. Serials have been growing on me! Granted, I've only read ones where all the episodes are out, so I haven't had to wait for anything yet. Having to wait would probably be a different situation:)

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  8. It's so interesting how every author has a different writing process. It really goes to show you that there isn't a single formula that works and, really, anyone can write. Thanks for sharing, Jenny--really enjoyed this.

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    1. Glad to hear it Keertana! I really enjoy posts like this too:)

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  9. Wonderful Post! I love hearing from the author on how she creates her characters and world building, and what inspires them-a thought, idea, or even a picture. Thanks for sharing, Jenny and Adina. I'm off to go check out book one for sure. :)

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    1. Yay! I hope you give it a try Kim!

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  10. I love finding out where authors find inspiration for their writing, and in Adina's case, I can wholly relate. I can never plan or outline, nor do I ever know where characters come from, expect that they simply click into the plot. Great post, Jenny and Adina!

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    1. Me too Hafsah! I still need to read one of your books, can't wait!

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  11. The appalachians are a mysterious place. I love hearing about what inspires characters and how an author approaches writing. Great post!

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    1. Me too Melissa! It's always fun to get a peek at an author's process:)

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  12. I like how honest the author was by talking about how she created the characters, world and the series. I didn't hear about this one before so I guess you introduced me to a great looking series, Jenny. ^^

    Lola@Seeing Night Reviews

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  13. When I write my characters, I actually go with the flow. I don't write a detailed summary of their personality. I will only have a gist in my mind and will let my hands and words mold her. It's definitely interesting to read this though! Thanks for the highlight \o/

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  14. Thanks so much for having me Jenny! This is my second time trying to post this comment as I seem to have deleted the first. Sigh.

    Sounds like you have a wonderful bunch of blog readers. *waves to all* I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my crazy *messy* writing process. Somehow it works for me. :-)

    Keertana is absolutely right though - there is no single formula that works for all writers. It's about the individual finding and embracing what works for them!

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