Updated: Sep 4, 2022
We are delighted to announce 'The Eve of the Oak,' Jayne's YA sequel to 'The Eve Stone' that will be published under our imprint, Daisa Publishing.
It's insightful as book-lovers ourselves to see how the process has differed between books one and two in a series, and our fantasy author, Jayne Thomas, caught up with us to tell us how it went. She explains her struggles when writing, how she gets in the writing 'zone', and even gives us a snippet of her soon-to-be published title!
"...Everything about writing is difficult but also worth it when you hit those sweet spots..."
Describe your writing space...
I have a small table set up in my bedroom. My laptop and planning book share the space with lots of crystals, oracle cards, nature finds, incense sticks, candles and a constant pile of research books. It can get a bit crowded but I like to be surrounded by those positive vibes and inspiration.
How did the writing process differ from the first book to the second?
With book one I just dived in, quite haphazzardly, to be honest - I did build up character profiles, but as for the plot, it developed as I went along.
With book two, you know your main characters really well so it's much easier to write about them. They become like old friends, you know their idiosyncrasies and how they would react to situations. However, I did plan out the storyline more succinctly, using good old post it notes
(they are invaluable as you can move them around) I did this because of continuity and the importance of answering those unanswered questions and loose ends that you created in the first book. Saying that, not all of them have been answered yet as I still have book three to come! The story always changes as it develops, its a living thing. I believe you can over plan and I like a bit of natural flow when writing. There's nothing like the feeling that once you're in the story, anything can happen.
"I believe you can over plan and I like a bit of natural flow when writing. There's nothing like the feeling that once you're in the story, anything can happen."
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
There are lots of things I find difficult about writing. Firstly, the actual process of starting! That first sentence! Next is the fight with self doubt - thinking everything you write is rubbish and trying to get past that! And then the constant guilt that you are not writng when you should be! I'm terrible for distractions - reading - tv - coffee - you name it. Infact, everything about writing is difficult but also worth it when you hit those sweet spots - the perfect word or phrase, an amazing plot twist, an unexpected charcter trait. Best of all is when you find yourself emmersed in your own created world and your word count that day surprises you.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered whilst writing your books?
How many times I can use the word 'and' in a paragraph! Also, how, when you get to the end of the book and you think - Wow! Did all that come out of my imagination?
Can you share a snippet that isn't in the blurb?
Theres a telepathic, elemental dragon with an alter ego in 'The Eve of the Oak' - There that should spark your interest!
Describe Raykal in three words...
Significance of the title?
I wanted to connect the second book to the first so repeated the word 'Eve' and I used oak as this was Raykal's tree ogham given to her by the Meads. Eve means - the period of time before an event. I wanted it to signify Raykal's journey toward her power (which will become evident in book three!) Along side that, an oak is a strong, resilient tree and represents Raykal's inner strenghth to deal with everything she is faced with in this adventure. Finally, when the dragon gives Raykal the acorn and tells her she must plant it in her homeland. It will begin a new age for Tarnade...watch this space!
What book are you reading now and what book is on your bedside table?
I am reading a biography of Beatrix Potter; 'Over the hills and far away' by Mathew Dennison. What a fiesty lady! I like the way she tried to save the lake district from over development. I've learnt that her art works of flora and fauna were very detailed and that she was obsessed with drawing mushrooms for a while and even wrote a scientific paper on them!
This will lead me nicely to the next book on my pile which is 'Entangled Life' by Merlin Sheldrake (what a name) the by-line is 'How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures.' Facinating stuff - watch out for a mycellium network in Book three!
Many books are waiting to be read by my bedside. I love the anticipation of reading them, just seeing them there, full of secrets, other worlds, people I haven't met yet. There is nothing more exciting than an unread book waiting for you.
Favourite book as a kid?
Sorry I can not choose one so how about two? As a young child it had to be Enid Blyton and 'The Far Away Tree'. It really got my imagination going - all those different lands just waiting for you at the top of a tree! As I got older I really loved anything historical and adventurous so it has to be Rosemary Sutcliffe's 'Eagle of the Ninth" - I loved the way she brought Roman Britain and all its conflicts to life and you really cared about her characters.
If you had to choose only one season what would it be?
Winter every time - I love, love, love snow (although we don't seem to get much anymore.) It's the silence snow brings to the world when it covers everything. If there is one type of weather that will get me outdoors it's definetly snow! One of my favourite holidays was Iceland at Christmas because there was snow everywhere. I love the cold - I'm sure I am a Viking at heart! I am also most comfortable in winter fashion - jumpers, coats and scarves every day! I relish the dark evenings where you can cosy up by a fire and drink hot chocolate and there's nowhere to go and no expectations of doing anything.
The best part of your day?
I like the early mornings before most people are up and about. Nothing beats a good walk at this time, especially if there is snow or frost on the ground and mist in the air. On the otherhand, I do like going to bed, snuggling up and wondering what I will dream.