Broken City, by DD Chant
I enjoyed this dystopian novel very much and, since I know the author from a Goodreads group I decide to interview her so that you can get to know her too. Here's DD:
What age where you when you started writing?
I've always loved to write and I began my first novel when I was 14, it was a sci-fi set in the future and had aliens in it. Although it wasn't good enough to publish it taught me a lot and gave me the confidence to start another book, my next book was Broken City.
How long did it take to get confident enough to send stuff out?
I never even thought of it myself, I wrote just for fun. It was my family who said that they though Broken City was good enough to publish and after looking at all the options I decided that indie publishing looked like the most fun and a bit of an adventure too.
What inspired you to write 'Broken City'?
A dream! People always ask if in the dream I was Deeta but, unfortunately, the answer is no! The dream was about a group of people living in a tower block in a ruined city, and a little boy who had been stolen. When I woke up I couldn't stop thinking about it, why was the city ruined? How did the people manage to survive? Why had the little boy been taken? In the end I started writing as a way to find answers to my questions.
Did you plan Broken City as a first book of a series?
I didn't really. I left the end open so I could revisit the story if I wanted, but I didn't want to write a sequel for the sake of writing a sequel. The response I've had from readers has been so overwhelming that I finally committed to writing a sequel and I'm 64.000 words into Broken City: Truce as we speak! I was a little nervous because I wrote 2 other books in between 'Broken City' and 'Truce', both in different styles to Broken City and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get back in to the mood of the story. I waited for a long time deciding on a plot and agonised over the opening scene for ages before I actually touched pen to paper, the strange thing was that the second I started writing I could hear Deeta's voice in my head. That's when I knew that everything was going to be okay.
How would you describe your writing style and habits?
Slap dash!!! I've always written when I felt like it and so far I've produced a book a year. Now that I have 3 series on the go I've had to organise myself and I do a 1000 words a day. This year I'm hoping to complete the next three books in each of my series, I feel confident about 'Broken City 2' and the next book in 'The Lady Quill Chronicles' series, but I don't know about the next in the 'Fracture' series. Watch this space!!!
Do you write better when life is going well or when it's going bad?
I'm not sure, but I definitely think that you tend to concentrate on different aspects of the story depending on your mood. Shortly after I started Broken City my granddad died, he had always encouraged me so much and I was very close to him, so a great deal of Deeta's sadness was how I was feeling at the time. I was in the position of having lost someone I loved and was wondering how life was going to go on without that loved one. I cried so much writing the scenes where Deeta was agonising over Dec's disappearance and my feelings became hers.
Do you have any quirky writing routine or any quirkiness about you?
Ooo, I don't know!!! To me I seem pretty normal!!! Let's see: I never write directly on to the computer, I can't do it, I don't know why but I have a mental block. All my stories are written out long hand in an A4 pad that goes with me everywhere. I remember being on a boat and it was really rough and all I could think of was the fact that I had 30.000 words in my pad that I hadn't transferred over on to my computer and what I would do to keep them dry if we sank!!!
I go a bit mental when I think of a plot twist that makes the story more interesting and I still dance around the room every time I receive a good review.
What is your experience with the 'traditional' world of publishing?
I've only had one experience, I sent the first 3 chapters of Broken City to an agent and waited and waited and waited for his reply. 3 months later I received a cut and paste letter which said it wasn't what they were looking for just then. I doubt anyone even read it. I decided then that you had to be very talented and either had to know someone or you had to be VERY lucky to wriggle in to the Trad published world.
How do you react to and handle the feedback you get?
Good feedback is easy to handle!!! I bounce around the room in excitement!!! I decided early on that it was unreasonable to expect everyone to like my book and try to remember that reviews are just opinions and therefore can't be 'wrong' or 'right' just different.
As an author, do you read the genre you write?
I read anything with adventure and romance!
Can you name a few of your favourite books?
I love Georgette Heyer, my favourites are 'Cotillion' and 'Friday's Child'. I also liked 'Dreamspell' by Tamara Leigh and I'm reading a pre-release copy of 'Hunted' by Tim Arnot, it's the first in the 'Kingsmen' series and so far I'm really enjoying it.
If you could be a character from any book, which one would it be and why?
Let me think... this is a hard one!!! I guess any heroine who lives happily ever after with her hero... or maybe Jane Foster, because Thor is her boyfriend!!! ;-P
DD, thanks for visiting my blog and best of luck with your book!
Thank so much for having me!!!
Here's DD's blog if you want to visit: http://www.ddchant.blogspot.co.uk/