The Retreat by Kelly St. Clare
(The After Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: August 30th 2016
Romy’s life is simple—for a genetically enhanced space soldier; pick up space junk with her four friends, and stave off the invaders fixated on stealing Planet Earth.
It isn’t much. But it’s temporary—only another 850 years to go, give or take.
When her crew tangles with a gulp-worthy alien mothership, Romy’s return to Earth is brought forwards at hurtling pace.
Strength comes from the unlikeliest of quarters.
As does leadership.
…As does betrayal.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled?
How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way?
Oh…so many things. Once I googled, ‘do lips turn blue before or after people die’. At the moment the top in my history is, ‘chicken with a ponytail’ and just under it is ‘Alexander Skaarsgard’.
What book are you reading now?
What is the whole world reading right now? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I just finished The Mortal Song by Megan Crewe.
Firstly, for those who don’t fall under the category of artist, you have to realise that when you show people your craft – be it music, art, or a story – you are sharing a bit of your soul. To show it to an Editor, who will pick it apart is the ultimate friction against your natural instincts. For me it comes down to two things; Do you want your work to be the best it can be? (If you do, then pride gets knocked down the ladder). And how good is your relationship with your editor? I think a good editor knows how to deliver criticism concisely and constructively … M&Ms also help.
How do you balance the craft of writing with the business of writing?
I love marketing! My craft:business balance depends on where I am in the writing process. I am like a rabid dog during the first draft. During this time, I tend to only spend an hour marketing each day. On follow up drafts it is more like 5 hours writing to 3 hours marketing. When I’m gearing up for release it is more 2 hours writing and endless marketing. I try to operate via the mantra that releasing more books is the best marketing.
Do you write every single day?
Ballpoint, uniball, or fountain tip pen?
Yes! Not necessarily fiction, however. If I’m not working on my latest manuscript, then it is normally on blogs. Sometimes it is on things like my blurb, a synopsis, a fun unrelated thing, and I also write reviews for YA Books Central.
Is fountain tip like a quill? That one.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I do a massive brainstorm where all my initial ideas explode. This usually spans several pages and builds and develops as I go. From there I do a chapter by chapter outline. I know, when I do this, that there is no way I’ll stick to it, in terms of storyline. But it helps me to see the overall story, and make sure the structure is sound. For The Retreat I did heaps of research, contacted astrophysicists and environmentalists and other clued up people. I don’t have a logical bone in my body, but I would say my novels are 25% planner, and 75% intuition.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I review 3-4 books a month for YA Books Central—and find some great new Authors via that. Like every reader, I search for that magical story that sweeps me off my feet. #bestfeelingever I read in any genre (but mostly fantasy and science fiction).
Ooo, okay! Uhm…a steaming and rather large cup of tea, a vanilla candle, printed cards with reviews from my readers to motivate me, inspiration pictures for whatever story I’m writing hung up behind my computer, and of course Alfie the Writer’s Rabbit (probably chewing on an essential cord, or three).
If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I would ask JK Rowling who made her angry enough to kill Dobby.
What brought you to write this book?
What’s next for you?
Excitement to pull the piece of string and see what it’s attached to.
Soooo many stories. The fourth novel in The Tainted Accords releases October 10th. Then I’m writing a couple of Tainted Accords novellas…and then the sequel to The Retreat. I aim to have some semblance of a life in there, too.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Haha, maaaaybe. When I first plan out a story I need, like, the most majestic notebook I can find, and a life-changing pen. And during first draft I lose roughly 98% of my marbles. This month I have put mixed berries in my tea instead of a smoothie, and I got into the shower with my underwear and socks still on. It’s hard to be in two or three worlds at once. . .
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Writing isn’t something where you reach a certain level and know you’re a good Author. You know you’re an author when you keep going no matter what.
Books have always been magical and mysterious to her. One day she decided to start unravelling this mystery and began writing. Her aim: To write stories she would want to read. As it turns out, this failed miserably. Do you know what it is like to read something you've written? Impossible, that's what. Not to mention, the ending is ruined before you've begun. Never-the-less, Kelly loves it and wishes she had more time to squeeze it in between her day job as a physiotherapist.
Fantasy of Frost, the first title in The Tainted Accords, is her debut novel. It's sequel,Fantasy of Flight, was released on May 24th, 2015. Fantasy of Fire is due for release January 2016!
A New Zealander in origin and in heart, Kelly currently resides in Australia with her soon-to-be husband, a great group of friends, and some huntsman spiders who love to come inside when it rains. Their love is not returned.
Fav quote: Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint on broken glass.Fav Song: I believe in a thing called love - The Darkness