Today I am on the Blog Tour for Darcy Lane and I am here with an author interview for you all.
Before I share that though, here’s some information on the book.
Title: Darcy Lane Author: James Graham Publisher:Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd Published: 30th October 2020 Format: Paperback Source: N/A Summary: As she sat in her bed reading from a book, seven-year-old Elise Rose was unaware that her childhood would be over by morning. She was too young to know that violent hands played cruel tricks or that innocence held little fight against cheap beer and cigarette butts. After the trauma of childhood, Elise, now twenty years old, walks the streets in need of escape. The town around her has become stained and the ghost of a loved one will not let her rest. So, when she stumbles across an isolated house at the end of Darcy Lane, she believes that she has found the thing that she needs more than any other. The house is away from town, surrounded by green fields and absent of the memories that she would rather forget. The house is bright in the morning sun and soon becomes lodged in her imagination. So, the question is set. How far is she willing to go in search of absolution?
What is your favourite thing about writing books? My favourite thing about writing, honestly, is the structure, purpose and enjoyment it gives to my life. I started writing at eighteen and quickly became obsessed. There’s something very calming about knowing that after work I get to go home and write. I write four days a week and try to keep things as consistent as possible.
I’m also eager to see the work that I will produce in the future. I have confidence in my writing and feel as though I am developing my own style. I like writing that is concise and to the point. I believe that if you can write a book in 60,000 words or 80,000 words, you should always choose 60. I have two or three ideas for novels, and I am excited to work on them all. As a writer, you’re judged by what you produce, something that’s true of most creative pursuits and occupations in general. I’m excited to see how I develop as a writer. As said, the bid to become a better writer is one of the things that gives my life purpose. I feel lucky to have found something I enjoy and am driven by so early in life.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why? My favourite character is Elise, the main character. She’s somewhat of a tortured soul. However, throughout the novel she finds a way to remain hopeful. She has an edge to her, a trait symptomatic of her class. She makes mistakes, lots of them. However, I believe that she approaches life with honest intent.
One thing that intrigues me about her, is that even though I wrote her, I’m unsure about what her future may hold. I’ve had numerous readers ask me if there will be a sequel to my book, all stating that they’d like to know how things work out with Elise long-term. I don’t plan on writing a sequel, but I’ve been pleased to hear that readers are keen to read learn more about the story. If I did write a sequel, I’d hope that things would work out for Elise, mainly because I think she deserves it. I think she’s a person that readers will naturally root for. She wants simple things – a house, some peace and to feel her feet on the ground. Something I think most people can relate to.
She’s also a complex character, she has mental health issues and seems to attract negative people. She does however have some positive influences. The main two being her grandad and Tom. If I hadn’t chosen Elise, I would have chosen Tom as my favourite character. He’s steady, funny and reliable. Some readers have said that they hoped that Tom and Elise had started a relationship at some point in the story. I think they’re better as friends. Regardless, I enjoyed writing them both.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing? Rum and Coke, or water.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing? My worst habit while writing Darcy Lane was writing too much. I’d write when I’d planned to, but then I’d end up writing when I’d planned to rest, too. Usually, because I wanted to work on the next chapter or fix something in the plot. I think that resting when you’ve planned to is almost as important as having the discipline to write when you’re supposed to. Your mind needs to rest, and you need time to reflect on the work you’ve done. I found that if I wrote longer than I was supposed to, the next time I wrote, my quality diminished. Then, when my quality diminished, I would become frustrated, leading to a bit of an annoying cycle. I write on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If I stick to that, I’m able to keep myself in a pretty good space.
Apart from that, I wouldn’t say I have too many bad habits.
How did you research your book? I didn’t really. The book is set in a setting I know. Also, many of the worries and anxious moments Elise experiences, especially relating to her wishes to escape reality, are feelings that I’ve felt myself at different times. My childhood was far more enjoyable than hers, but her yearning for a clean slate is something I can relate to. The book isn’t built around a specific issue. It’s a story that developed naturally over time. It’s not about a particular theme that needed to be researched or thought about. The story is about a lot of things. But really, it’s about someone’s life. And someone’s life doesn’t need to be researched because someone’s life can go in any direction. I did a bit of research for the unit and other practical things like that. I researched anything that needed to be researched for sake of authenticity. Apart from that, I tended to trust my own ideas and imagination.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A bit of both. Darcy Lane was completely planned, mostly because I didn’t trust myself at the time to write without direction. I’m writing my second book now and I’m planning a lot less. I think it’s a confidence thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be, or want to be, someone who just sits down and sees what happens. I enjoy the process of putting together a story too much. Also, I’ve found that if I know what I’m going to write about, my mind has more freedom to be creative within that. For example, I’m writing my second book now, and in one of the chapters, I know that one of my characters needs to be fired. I know that the character will be fired, but I don’t know how, by who specifically, or what his reaction will be, etc. So, I suppose it’s a bit of both. I set boundaries for the plot, and then I allow myself to be as creative as I want to be within that.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why? I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to the beach/community in Alex Garland’s novel, ‘The Beach’. Then again, perhaps that’s just because I’ve been locked down for a year, so a remote beach miles away from home seems more enticing than it usually would. Why? I suppose for the adventure. I’m at an age where I want to start exploring the places I haven’t been. It’s remote, sunny and seemed like a memorable experience despite the danger. Although, I think anywhere with sun would do at the moment.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why? Probably Elise, in my own novel. I think we’d get along. Maybe Tom, too. I wouldn’t mind having a drink with them in The Phonebox. Why? I spent years writing and thinking about them, so that’s a good start.
About the Author
James Graham was born on the 28th of December, 1996. Born in London, he was raised in Preston, Lancashire. He started writing in his late teens. ‘Darcy Lane’ is his debut novella.