December 17, 2013

Chatting with Sophie Duncan

Today we're pleased to welcome Sophie Duncan, who has come all the way from the UK to be interviewed.

Electric Scroll: Tell me a little about yourself as a person.

Sophie Duncan: Well, I'm a geek, a bit shy with people I don't know to begin with, but I get the hang of it eventually and when I do make friends, you're stuck with me for life. :) I did that D&D character type test that was going around the internet a while back and I came out lawful good, which I think sums me up, since I have a conscience that could knock out an elephant and get really guilty if I do even the smallest thing bad. It also told me I was a human wizard, which I was happy with, because I've always fancied myself waving my hands around and casting spells, but I don't that's really relevant here. ;P

Professionally, I have two jobs, the one that earns the money (at the moment) is project management, but the one where my heart is, is writing. I've been writing since I was young, writing my first 'novel', and the quotes are really necessary, believe me, at 11 – thank god I was pre-internet generation at that age! ;P And I have spent at least half my life wandering around in a daydream, hopefully in latter years, a productive, directed daydream which ends up on paper. As well as writing, I like being creative in other ways, singing, hand bell ringing (I run the local group), crocheting, crafting.

ES: If you threw a cocktail party and invited all of the characters in your books, who would be the least likely to come, and why? Who would you really hope to see at the party, and why?

SD: Hmm, what an interesting question – who would be least likely to come to a cocktail party. I think that would have to be Tom Franklin, from Death In The Family. He's had a lot of shocks in his personal life lately, the most dramatic being the discovery that his father is a vampire and he has inherited the blood lust from daddy. He's also telepathic and trying to learn to control it, so lots of people would be a literal headache. 

The character I'd really hope to see accept my invitation would be two people actually, but they're twins, so they count as one (speaking as a twin, I can vouch for this), and they are the Haward Twins, Remy and Theo, from Sacrifice of An Angel. They can both handle themselves in social situations, having been brought up to inherit of Blackwood Manor and the position that goes with it. Remy is a party animal, he would more than keep the conversation going, it would be a party to remember, but with his older brother, Theo, close by to keep an eye on him, the memories wouldn't be too raucous. :)

ES: Reading: Paper or Electrons? Why?

SD: Both, actually, because it depends what I'm reading. I love the convenience and immediate gratification of eBooks, for example, I'm a big fan of Susan Hill's The Woman In Black, I'd seen it on stage and seen the TV movie, but before the Hammer Horror film version came out, I decided one day I wanted to read the source material, the book. So, off I went to Amazon, and within 5 minutes I was reading it. However, there are some book formats eBooks cannot, and never will, in my opinion, cope with. Big format, lots of glossy pictures non-fiction books will never be any good on eBooks, because you're dealing with a screen a few inches across. Those I like to open on my lap and spend my time perusing.

ES: Tell me about your current work in progress.

SD: My current WIP, well, there are in fact 2.
I have the sequel to Death in the Family first draft almost finished, where Tom's journey continues as he discovers more about the vampire traits he has inherited from his father and some talents from his mother, while facing an unknown enemy who is trying to destroy any semblance of control he has managed to establish since his inheritance began to show.
The second WIP, which is halfway through, thanks to 2013's NaNoWriMo, is in fact an extended version of a popular novella of mine, Bonds of Fire. Quite a few of the reviews were asking for more from this story's universe, which is set on a world where some humans and dragons live in symbiosis. The original story was written as a request and I've had ideas about turning it into a full length novel for a while, so Drekken, my dragon warrior protagonist, is exploring more of being a father, falling in love and dealing with the complications of old, old friends that put his new friends in danger.

ES: What could you not survive without for three weeks?

SD: Having had this happen recently, I can firmly say, the internet! Our phone exchange went down for nearly two weeks and I was crawling the walls by the end of it, missing Google+ and Tumblr et al, and just not being able to access the massive resource of images and reference information was inhibiting my thought processes when it came to my writing. I had no idea how much I found Google useful until it wasn't there at my fingertips any more.

ES: What is the most important thing in your world?

SD: My twin sister, Tasha. We are two halves of a whole. We live a few houses down from each other in the same street and that is how we like it. We've tried the whole being apart thing, I lived halfway across the UK for a couple of years and they were the worst two years of our lives. We wind each other up, we bicker, we have flaming rows, but woe betide anyone who upsets my twin, because they will face my wrath.

ES: What is your favorite color?

SD: Now, this one is easy – purple – deep, dark on-the-blue-side purple.

ES: What’s your writing tool of choice?

SD: Again, I have two. For my first draft, I use Scrivener, because I can make notes, store reference material and create a scene breakdown really easily. However, once I make it to draft 2, I move on to MS Word, because the spellchecker is more reliable, it's easier for editing and commenting and the macros are much easier to work with than Scrivener (people who use the Mac version of Scrivener will probably disagree with me, but then that version is much more advanced than the Windows version).

ES: Tell me about your most recent published work, and why people should buy it.

SD: My latest book is The End Of The Journey, which is the first novella in my Hidden War series. It's a New Adult paranormal fantasy focusing around two young men, Zac Kithrall, a demon-seer, and his sworn enemy, Damon Wulfres, son of the most prominent demon-raiser in Britain. This first story is Zac's as he finds himself in Damon's custody, his mind and senses dulled by a violent influence that wants his soul.
There's a mystery here to draw a reader in, what is possessing Zac, why does Damon have him? It is a fast-paced adventure with demons, magic and sacrifice. Fans of Harry Potter, Twilight, or Percy Jackson should enjoy this story. Plus, at only $1.50/£0.98, it's very reasonably priced.

Sophie Duncan can be found hanging out online at these places:

And here is more information on her book, The End of the Journey:

The Hidden War has been raging unseen by normal eyes for generations and Zac Kithrall, demon-seer, and Damon Wulfres, demon-raiser, have grown up on opposite sides of it.

Zac knows these truths, but when he finds himself mostly helpless and under Damon's control, he can't remember why he trusts his enemy, or why they are running from both sides in the war. Weak, and fighting a raging power that is threatening to tear him apart from the inside, Zac is forced to rely on Damon, friend or foe, and, together, they face a race against time to prevent Armageddon. 

The Hidden War is a YA Contemporary Fantasy containing a male/male romance.

Buy links (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords):

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