This week I am interviewing fantasy author, Georgina Makalani. Georgina’s new book The Caged Raven will be out on June 1, 2018 and to celebrate she has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
What is the first book that made you cry?
The Hole in the Forest and I was probably only 8 years old at the time. Although I can’t remember the story at all now, I can still remember the terrible feeling of loss that had overwhelmed me. It was the first time I really felt connected to the characters and lost within the world I was reading.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I have to say both. Usually when I get lost in the writing I feel completely energized by it and I know that if I don’t start my day with writing I don’t quite feel right during the day. It is an essential part of my being. But then there are those crazy editing days that I walk away feeling utterly wrung out.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Can I say Netflix? I’m prone to distraction. I try hard not to but I can’t help it. And I love a story, a good story that sucks you in and won’t let you go (both reading and on screen). If I get caught up in a good series I can lose whole days before I realise what has happened.
What is your favorite fantasy trope?
That is a hard question. I enjoy most. I love a good quest.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have lots of ideas burning away and several of those are in the planning phase. That doesn’t exactly answer your question though as I plan to finish all of them. I do have a romance novel tucked away in a box somewhere that I spent five years writing only to realise romance was not my genre and I needed to work on my craft a bit more.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I love naming characters. It depends on the book as to what I do, sometimes I mash two words together to create something different, or mis-spell or aim to pronounce a known word differently. I’m amazed sometimes to find a name I thought I made up in someone else’s book and so I try to google the names to ensure they don’t mean something odd or rude or are the main character in someone else’s work.
I have a list of medieval English names that I refer to for a lot of my current work. Sometimes I’ll search out different lists to see what I can find. For example the little men in one of Iski’s adventures all had magic. I searched up old names that meant “little” and the power they had. Such as Egan which means little fire.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It always feels like too long. At the moment it is taking me about two years from planning to publishing. If I’m focused it doesn’t take as long, but then I get distracted easily.
What was your hardest book to write?
There are two here both of them within the Iski Flare Series:
Episode Five – The Tree Maiden.
I had this book planned from the beginning of the series, everything before it led to this point and so it should have been easy. But it was a huge emotional roller coaster and I found it quite emotionally draining to write.
Episode Six – Reflections
This one was harder for Iski. Things weren’t going the way he wanted them to and he refused to work with me. He huffed and puffed and I scowled at the screen. It seemed to take a very long time to come together.
You recently released Raven’s Dawn: The Raven Crown Book 1. What was your favorite thing about writing this book?
I tried something a bit different with this book, writing from multiple points of view and I learnt a lot more about my characters that way. I think I found that the most enjoyable part.
What was the hardest thing about writing Raven’s Dawn?
This was my first novel size series and I wanted to make sure the story was strong enough for three books. I spent a lot of time revisiting who was doing what and what that led to and how it would impact on the following books. It did teach me that I needed to plan better and I have changed my planning and outlining process since then.
Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite?
I love Meg in the Raven Crown Series she is a super strong woman and I’m really impressed with who she has grown to be.
But that said, I still have a soft spot for Pira in The Mark of Oldra. If I could write my perfect man, I think he would be it.
Of all of the characters you have created, which do you dislike the most?
Everard Whitton – he turned out to be far nastier than I expected.
What book/series has had the greatest influence on your writing?
This is a hard question. I have read so much and not just within the fantasy genre; I can’t attribute it to any one series or book. I love to get lost in a story, where you connect completely with the world and the characters and you forget about the real world for a while. I wanted to write stories like that. I’m not sure that I have for my readers, I hope so, but I know that I have lost myself to those worlds and characters when writing them.
If you could write in any fantasy world, which would you choose and why?
Terry Pratchett’s discworld. There are so many options with a world this big and I love every story he wrote. There are so many things that could happen on the disc.
What is your favorite thing about worldbuilding?
The fact that you can create a whole new world from nothing and transport the reader there.
What is the thing you dislike most about worldbuilding?
Despite being able to make it all up, you still have to ground the reader in the known and I worry that the reader will know more than me (which is highly likely) particularly when writing in a medieval setting. One of my beta readers often says that “in a setting like this, people would be doing x rather than y.”
I love how you can make anything happen with fantasy and that it can happen anywhere, but it still has to connect.
About Georgina’s Books
With the death of the King of Rocfeld a new queen is expected to be marked from among his three daughters. The Gods will mark their choice with raven hair but as the days turn into weeks without a new queen, speculation and suspicion grows. The youngest daughter, Meg has been raised to put her duty first and has determined the Gods will make the right decision.
But Rocfeld is not what it was. The harder Meg tries to help her kingdom, the more dangerous her world becomes. Elalia, her eldest sister makes decisions as though she is already queen. Enemies hide in the shadows whispering of magic and death and her allies may not be as they appear.
Which sister will be queen and what will she do with the power of the Raven Crown?
The Caged Raven
Scared of being sold to another land, Princess Meg is relieved when exiled to a rundown family estate. But she is far from the world she longs for and the people she loves.
Trapped and surrounded by soldiers, Meg fears the soothsayer’s prophesy. She believes the old woman mistaken when told she would become queen and that the men she spoke of will never reach her. Yet Meg continues to dream of death and darkness and fears the motives of the Silent Sisters and what that might mean for her kingdom.
Struggling with her captivity, Meg seeks solace with the gods. How much could the gods give and what could they take away? The chance to return to Rocfeld comes at a high price.
About Georgina Makalani
Georgina Makalani survives life as a servant of the public by hiding in cafes at lunch time with dragons, witches, a laptop and a little bit of magic. Georgina and her daughter live in beautiful southern Tasmania, with two crazy cats and a writing desk that overlooks the water.
You can find out more about Georgina’s writing journey at www.theflowofink.com
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