Can a pantry really be haunted? Does toad flu really make toads and frogs appear when someone casts a spell? Can a botched batch of potions really uncover a secret?
All of these questions and more are answered in ‘Potion of the Hound’, and I’ve been lucky enough to be joined by Alicia Scarborough to discuss a little of the magic behind this world. Alicia, what initially sparked your interest in the magical world enough to start writing about it?
It started as a class assignment when I was going to SCAD. I was going to make it into an interactive story and at the time of the project, it was a simple picture book. Of course, now the story has changed and graduated to being a full-fledged novel.
I would imagine that when you approach a book from the point of view of a class assignment that there might be a different focus than if you were writing simply for your own pleasure because you’re being graded on the work. Was being graded something that you held in your mind as you wrote, or did you find yourself reflecting on another aspect that you can share with us?
My potential readers. I want to entertain them and give them a riveting story. Something that they don’t want to put down until they’re finished.
I usually find that the key to developing a riveting story is to create awesome characters. Can you share a little about the personalities that pepper the pages of ‘Potion of the Hound’?
Mr. Higgins, the Order of Magic Chief, he was a fun character to write about and have him torment Helga. Helga was originally the middle child of the three sisters but I had changed her age to make her more interesting since I myself was the younger sister out of 4.
Agnes is the goofy eldest sister that forgets things and provided the perfect setting for future conflicts in the story.
Ursa, she’s the pretty one, but I feel that her character didn’t really have a chance to shine but she will have her chance with book 2 that I am planning on releasing in June 2018.
I’m always eager to hear about a new book. What can you tell us about your in-progress projects?
Mystical Mishaps Book 2: Ursa’s Dating Disasters is Youth Paranormal Fantasy Fiction and CLICK Book 2: The Watchmakers is New Adult Urban Paranormal Fantasy Thriller.
Two new works in the youth and young adult market. As you’re continuously writing in this space I’d love to know if there’s a little of your own youth in your stories? What from your own youth, in particular, has influenced ‘Potions’?
My sisters. I remembered the bickering we had amongst ourselves as we drove each other bananas. I still remember some of the fights and snicker because now they’re funny. They weren’t at the time but now they are hilarious.
*Laughs* Ah, the follies of youth. It’s always nice to look back on them and have a bit of a laugh, and I hope some of those laughs made it into your book. Apart from a few laughs and a good time, what do you hope readers take from your book?
That our choices matter and even if we make the wrong choice then we can have the opportunity to make things right.
Do you find sharing the point that choices matters keep you energised to continue writing, or do you find yourself exhausted by the multitude of tasks required to bring a book to market?
Both. When I’m really excited about the story I’m energized and ready to go. That feeling stays with me until two hours later when I’m tired and ready to take a break. Writing over 10,000 words a day can be exhausting. However, during the week, I can only get 2,000 words written because I have a day job ;)
Those pesky day jobs! They can make writing quite tricky, but if you can still turn out 2,000 words a day you’re not doing too badly, and I’m sure you’ve learnt a lot along the way. What do you feel were the tops things that you took away from writing this book while juggling a day job?
Time management, taking breaks and of course marketing. I’m still learning about marketing and by far I have to say that its the hardest part. Writing the book is easy… getting the word out… now that’s hard.
Just like writing marketing is a process that takes more time and effort than you ever think it will at the beginning, but you’re on the right track! As you continue to work on and improve your marketing tactics, do you feel that your approcah and execution of you author voice has changed?
Yes. It has improved.
Has this improvement led you to consider how you will develop your author brand?
I’m only getting started on this part of my journey. I have my website and logo but what I’m failing at is networking and creating those links to others and reaching my audience.
Networking and connecting with your audience takes time, but you just need to continue to get out there and be yourself to allow readers to the connect with the author behind the book. Let’s see if we can practice the skill of sharing a little more of that author with a few of our quizzical questions. And today we’ll start with, if space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?
Our creator… or Jesus since it’s usually the kid’s job to do chores.
You have to teach those kids a sense of responsblity somewhere, and cleaning is a great way to do that. Now, do you know why a square meal is served on round plates?
That way you can round up your nutrients for the day.
Okay, it’s all about the math! Let’s keep our math skills in mind when we tackle the quandry, if money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
It’s wishful thinking?
Probably, but you have to start somewhere. And when you write you have to start somewhere with a single word. What’s your favourite word?
Awesome choice. Keeping on the theme of awesome, what happens if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
He literally becomes Batman.
I hope there’s an awesome transformation as a part of becoming a true Batman. Thinking about creating strange new creatures, if you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
CatBird – Half Cat and Half Bird; It would have the head of a bird but the body of a cat with the forelegs as bird feet.
Oh, now that’s a creature that I want to see! Would you term that a monster? With writing in the fantasy and paranormal spaces I’m sure you have many suggestions for creating a new monster. What would be your result if you could create your own monster?
IckyWacky is a monster that looks like bigfoot but white fur, with the horns of a bull and one giant eye like a cyclops.
He sounds he would be quite a home in the ‘Potion of the Hound’. Without giving too much away, can you share your favourite line from your book that may or may not feature your favourite monster of choice?
There’s no such things as a haunted pantry.
The sound like some famous last words! Alicia, thanks for sharing a little of the mystery behind the haunted pantry with myself and the readers today and I wish you the best of luck on the magical journey in the sequel to ‘Potion of the Hound’.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Potion of the Hound: Mystical Mishaps Series Book 1 (Youth Paranormal Fantasy Fiction) ( ASIN: B079NBP2BD )‘.
Want to find out more about Alicia Scarborough? Connect here!