When a bitter evil threatens to destroy the kingdom of Arra, a nineteen-year-old farm girl, the orphan Elaina, finds her life entangled with that of the prince. Through her adventures in the royal court, Elaina discovers a remarkable power within herself. She also she learns who she truly is, what happened to her parents, and how she came to live on the farm. And it soon becomes clear to everyone that only Elaina can save the region from disaster.
Today RJ Francis has taken a little time out to chat with me about the origins of ‘The Orphan’s Secret’, writing and if we get enough time, will hopefully answer one or two brain stretching questions. Let’s get the ball rolling on today’s interview by talking about how the idea for ‘The Orphan’s Secret’ initially developed.
My book didn’t start as an idea. I just created a character, Prince Jaimin, set him in a forest, watched with horror as he was attacked by mysterious teen girls in dark uniforms, and then followed him as he ran for his life. When he was rescued by the fascinating farm girl Elaina, I followed her for a while. And it just happened to turn into an awesome story.
That’s a pretty neat and unique way to fall into an awesome storyline. Was research something that was a part of following the path or either Prince Jaimin or Elaina?
Yes. I did quite a bit of research into ancient cultures, military science, weaponry, fashion, cooking and cheese making, and a host of other random topics.
Did you find that following your characters through these elements from culture to cheese making led to a strong connection between yourself and the characters? For instance would you like to have a cast party with them if they could come to life?
Absolutely. My characters are rich and intriguing, plus they have some supernatural abilities I would love to see demonstrated. I just hope my insurance covers the damage this might cause…
*Laughs*. You do have to watch that insurance. Do you work in the insurance industry and are able to get yourself a good deal?
I may or may not have been a government agent at one point in my life.
Wow. That may or may not be very impressive. Do you think that your possible experiences in government have positively helped your writing style?
Perhaps it has some influence on my writing, but that’s all I can tell you if you don’t have a clearance.
I’ll take your word for it! I’m not looking to get myself clearance to find out. Aside from your possible government experience are there any tricks that you use to get yourself into ‘writing mode’. For example do you find writing easier with some background music?
I cannot have music on when I work. I know some people can, but I find it incredibly distracting.
Okay, so writing is personally a deterrent for you. Do you have any advice for those burdened by writer’s block?
If you’ve got writer’s block, wait a day and then try again.
That’s solid advice, I like it. As you’ve finished ‘The Orphan’s Secret’ we can clearly see that this advice has worked for you. Has this ability to conquer writer’s block allowed you to work on a new writing project? Can you tell us about what’s currently in progress for you?
Currently I am refining the manuscripts for Books 2 and 3 in the Principality series. Book 2, “The Captive Twin” continues the adventure where “The Orphan’s Secret” left off. I’m thrilled with how the sequels turned out.
That sounds exciting. I hope they turn out fantastically. Now I’d like to inject a little more non-writing specific excitement into this interview by delving into my new set of quick fire questions. Let’s start with: If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write the national anthem?
I would write the anthem, because I’m a professional musician as well as an author. I’d come up with something that strikes at the heart and sends tingles of patriotism up everyone’s spine as they are sitting on the edge of their plastic seats at the game. Not sure which country I would pick, as I’m a dual-citizen.
Maybe you could write one for each country? What is your favourite word?
I like that one. And finally, to whet the appetite of the readers do you have one of two lines that you could share with me to end off the interview and motivate readers to take a chance on your book?
“We were created with great beauty. We must strive to look our best at all times. It’s a gift we give to others.”
RJ, thank you for joining me today and I hope that some new readers take a look of the gift that is ‘The Orphan’s Secret’.
Want to find out more about RJ Francis? Connect here!