Betrayed. Kidnapped. Mistaken for a warrior; Jairus must survive the Emperor’s Games. Disposed. Ostracized. Tekagi seeks vengeance and power. Farm boy versus sorceress. An empire hinges on the outcome. Thousands compete for the dragon banner, but in the end there can only be one winner.
Today I’m hanging out with Wendy Scott to chat about her novel ‘Tiger House’, her creative influences and I’ve thrown a few off-beat questions into the fray for good measure. Wendy, thanks for so generously parting with some of your time to chat with me today. I’d like you start off today’s tete-a-tete by working through where the seeds from this novel came from?
It was inspired by the idea of survival and dilemmas. How far would someone go to save not only themselves, but their loved ones? What if it meant sacrificing others?
So the inclusion of these big questions of things like sacrifice was no mistake you definitely intended to put these elements into your writing?
Yes, a particular concept is usually central to the storyline. I also love including symbolism so there are layers within layers.
I love books that really use layering techniques, you can get so much more out of the story and be able to read it again and see more than you did the last time. What inspired some of the layers you used in this story?
This story is Asian inspired. I collect books on ancient civilisations. My notebooks overflow with interesting snippets I collect and collate into stories. Usually I immerse myself into the time period of my current project.
During that immersion process of gathering multitudes of ideas do you also go back and include own personal experiences to either add to or modify these layers that you create?
Yes, the culmination of our life experiences are what authors draw on. Emotions: fear, betrayal, triumph, love, broken hearts, loss, joy … all filter through our characters.
Filtering all of this cultural research, life experiences and other bits of research through to the character must be fun.
Yes, Tekagi’s character development into a complex villain was rewarding, although I couldn’t condone her atrocious actions, I felt empathy for her. She was so much fun to write!
Do you have one line or statment from the novel that you think really sums up the villain that is Tekagi?
As Tekagi exited through the palace gates and headed to Tiger House she patted the snake bracelet on her upper arm, and vowed, “I will reclaim my birthright. Let the Emperor Games begin.”
As the games have finished in ‘Tiger House’ have you started working on any other work?
I write fantasy as Wendy Scott, which have mature themes, but I also pen children’s stories as WJ Scott (and have recently won multiple book awards). My next release will be Tails, a heart-stopping, tail-dropping adventure for story lovers 8 to 108.
Congratulations on your book awards! That must give make you feel awesome that you have been recognised for your talent. Although I’m sure that the individual recognition via reviews is also gratifying. Can you still remember how you felt when you got your first review?
Ecstatic! I still get a thrill.
I’m so glad to hear that you’re still tickled by the feedback :). Does feedback push you to continue to write, or do you have other methods that help you keep on track?
I track how many words I write to keep myself accountable.
Is editing a strong factor in the writing process for you?
Yes, I may go through 20 drafts before passing onto a professional editor. I attempt to have the manuscript as polished as possible before anyone else views it.
As you have been successful with your writing to the point of receiving rewards for it, do you have any top tips for other authors wanting to improve?
Edit, edit, edit. Forge ahead with your story you can always edit later.
The power of editing should never be underestimated. Wendy, I’ve run out of completely serious important type interviewer questions, and if you’re ready I’d like to move onto my favourite questions where there’s less of a goal to extract vital information, and more of a goal to extract off-hand information. Let’s start with:
What are you currently reading?
The Silvana Series by Belinda Mellor (High Fantasy).
What is your favourite quote?
Always live a life less ordinary!
What is your zodiac sign?
I’m going also modify one of my quick fire questions here since you have a strong interest in Asian cultures, do you know your Chinese Zodiac sign?
I’m a Dragon.
Solid and fire-breathing, not a bad result. As you have a dragon zodiac which do you think are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Tough choice. Can I morph them into flying dinosaurs?
There are some flying dinosaurs so I don’t see why not.
Otherwise, my fantasy heart beats with dragons.
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
Only in water!
That is an awesome answer, it shows your creative cogs are turning. Can you curl your tongue?
No, but I can wiggle my nose like a rabbit.
*Laughs* That’s so cute! What was your favourite book as a child?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Writers write! Live your dreams.
Is there a book that you wish that you would have written?
The Alchemist – my all time favourite classic.
I haven’t read that one, but I will take it as a recommendation. Finally, What is your favourite word?
Good choice, I think that one is in my top five too! Wendy thanks again for spending some time with me today, and I hope both the promotion of Tiger House and your progress with your next literary adventure goes fantastically.
Want to find out more about Wendy? Connect here!