The first draft was great because a lot of it took into account simply writing what I felt. Once that had been done I then had to go back and really understand my relationship to those feelings. That’s where the structure really began to build.
Cameron Solnordal – 22 July 2017
The Back Flap
In the immediate future, a man saves the life of a billionaire’s heir and is rewarded with a freedom beyond his desire.
As he sets the stage for his own private war, he begins a journey of exploration and revenge on the world and power that twisted his family.
With the wisdom of his grandmother holding the reins, they pave a road that changes everyone they reach, and from which they can never return.
| Semi-Finalist. Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize.
About the book
What is the book about?
This novel examines the deeply carved issues with our present civilization, and what we have done to ourselves as a species. It propels you into an adventure that meets the rulers of our planet and examines the beliefs and systems they have created to maintain their power.
When did you start writing the book?
I put pen to paper (or keyboard to screen) in early 2013, but I had started doing research a year or two before that.
How long did it take you to write it?
I finished the first draft in around 8 months. From there I had to really stop and look at the story I was telling. The first draft was great because a lot of it took into account simply writing what I felt. Once that had been done I then had to go back and really understand my relationship to those feelings. That’s where the structure really began to build.
Where did you get the idea from?
The whole idea began with a dinner table conversation at Christmas nearly 10 years ago now. It was a playful conversation that resulted in a back and forth that the whole table got stuck into. It finished with a statement being made and the whole table fell into silence. I had been looking around for a new story after finishing up a screenplay and it was at that point that someone said across the table, “Now that’s a story!”
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
My illness makes it difficult to express what I’m thinking and feeling so I struggled a lot with coherence. I was trying to give the reader some insight into how I saw the world that made sense, something that they could see and feel when they read.
What came easily?
The plot rolled itself out well. The three-act structure was one of the first things I managed to nail down for this and it was imperative that it kept the reader on the ride. Some of the more mental narrative does get a bit conceptual, so that had to be well balanced.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
I certainly drew inspiration from the real world, but there is no one character that I am writing from as inspiration. I tried to take certain real-world traits and over characterize them to fit a stereotype. Something that a reader can grasp onto and allow them to exist in the world.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Absolutely. There are authors who influenced me with how a novel can be written. The way they push into the metaphysical. It allowed me to understand how I can move out of the realm of normal narrative and still keep a coherence to the story.
Do you have a target reader?
I’m chasing someone who wants to go a bit deeper into the existence that we live in. If you have ever found yourself taking a step back to look where we are going but you can’t stop being pulled along, hopefully this will give you a bit of weight to slow it all down.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
When I’m working full time, I step away from my desk and find a quiet area in the building where I eat my lunch and write for thirty minutes. Some days I can get out a page or two. Some days it’s only a couple of paragraphs. It is the repetition that gets my mind into gear.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
I start taking notes as soon ideas begin to formulate. It begins with simple grabs of thought. If the idea is right it will continue to build. I then start to play around with the ideas and use them to expand it further. Once I feel like the world has really started to take shape I then try and find a way to build the reader into the story.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
Here and there. Some weeks I might have a complete flow of thinking and write pages without going back to it until editing is needed. Some days it doesn’t flow at all and I find myself tinkering with what I have written to see if I can spur it back into gear.
Did you hire a professional editor?
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
Music is a massive influence on what I write. If you jump onto my website (www.thetearsofregret.com) I have some examples how certain lyrics shaped parts of the novel.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
I certainly had the desire to get published but just didn’t get anywhere. After the novel made the Semi Finals of the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize I found the confidence to finish it and publish it myself. It certainly wasn’t an easy process to get myself out there. It was flat out terrifying.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
I did all of it myself.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
I have a strategy laid out. It simply depends on what works and what doesn’t as to how I work through it.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
You are a living and breathing member of this existence. Every single day you see something that no one else does. Believe it or not, that one thing could be a solution in someone else’s life. There are over seven billion of us now and the only way we are going to stop being terrified of each other is to alleviate that fear. Tell your story.
End of Interview:
For more from Cameron, visit his website.