July 30, 2012

Author Interview: Rosemary Fryth

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous author, Rosemary Fryth!

Check out her website here!

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing ever since I was a young child. I think my first non-scholastic ‘literary’ effort was a book of poems in an old primary school notepad. In the years afterwards I wrote reams and reams of short stories and some pretty dreadful poetry. Eventually my poetry improved, and I was able to select a few poems for an anthology (‘Elemental’) that was printed in the late 1990s by a small Canberra-based publishing house ‘Ginninderra Press’, and that I later republished on Kindle. I don’t know why I started writing, other than feeling the need to create and be creative.

If I wasn’t writing stories, I’d be writing poems, or drawing, or painting or doing something else crafty. As a person I’m very pragmatic, practical and logical, so much so that I have a deep and abiding love of science - yet there is an innate creative side to my personality that needs release, and writing has always been a medium for that release. I was born in late January - so Aquarius but on the cusp of Capricorn, and as much as I don’t believe in astrology, for some reason the Capricorn/Aquarius profile seem to fit me to a tee.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

My heroic, epic fantasy trilogy was written over two years, usually on weekends or after finishing work for the day. I don’t recollect the writing of ‘Riothamus’ as being particularly difficult, however there is a lot of hard slog connected with editing and proofreading - it’s necessary, but I find that even when editing, I get immediately drawn back into the story and it becomes less of a chore.

‘Dark Confluence’ is my latest book (dark fantasy genre) and compared to the big trilogy, is quite a short read. What I found difficult about writing this book was getting back into the swing of regular writing after an almost ten-year absence from the craft. At first I was pretty rusty, however practice makes perfect (or almost perfect) and my writing flows a lot easier now. I do find myself encountering ‘writer’s block’ on occasion, especially when I’m in the middle of a story, and although I know how the story ends, sometimes the middle section is unknown to me.

When that happens I tend to walk away for a day or two and let the plot ferment in my mind, so when I get back into writing the plot becomes clearer, and oftentimes my characters become most insistent about where they want the story to go. I also find that I get my best and creative ideas when I’m in the shower. I guess you just turn off in there, and your subconscious is free to roam where it will.

I find that dialogue is the easiest thing to write - when my characters speak, the words flow like music for me.

What music do you listen to while you write?

I listened to a lot of Enya, Era and Loreena McKennitt when I was writing the ‘Riothamus’ trilogy. I must have played the song ‘Dante’s Prayer’ dozens of times whilst writing - there is something in that music that really put me in the mood for writing ‘Riothamus’. Otherwise I tend to listen to non-vocal music as lyrics can become quite distracting when writing.

What inspires you?

Most often the inspiration comes from other books, sometimes it might be something that I’ve seen on television, or a word or a phrase. I was inspired to write my dark fantasy novel for several reasons - first off I wanted to write an Australian-based urban fantasy because as far as I am aware, no one else has ever done so.

Secondly, I wanted to write a dark fantasy that I as an older woman wanted to read - so an older heroine; and the paranormal creatures are the Fae of Celtic mythology, not vampires or werewolves. Thirdly I wanted to explore certain themes - about the lust for power at any cost, and of self-sacrifice. ‘Dark Confluence’ has also a hidden commentary on Australian politics and society.

I drew inspiration for the ‘Riothamus’ trilogy from my many years of medieval reenactment here in Brisbane, and also from a trip to the UK where I spent many a happy hour exploring ruinous castles and keeps. Knowing what it feels like to wield a sword, wear a mail shirt, take part in battles, cook medieval food, sew your own costumes and go to feasts and banquets etc, become invaluable tools in being able to create a believable medieval world for your characters and plot to inhabit.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I used to play bodhran (an Irish drum) at a regular folk music session; and our group recorded a CD. Currently I’m doing pottery and ceramics classes and I seem to have a burgeoning talent for sculpture. I also used to be an illustrator for the local State Government.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on ‘Dark Destination’ which is a follow-on book to ‘Dark Confluence’. After that I have in my ‘still-to-be-written’ queue, ‘Dark Destiny’ which is the third novel in ‘The Darkening’ trilogy. After that I need to do more work on a stand-alone book set in the ‘Riothamus’ world.

The title is called ‘Rapier’s Legacy’ and is set twenty years after the trilogy ended with ‘Warriormage’. Also this year I hope to have at least one of my books out on CreateSpace, and all of my books available on Smashwords - so yes, I am very busy and have my writing planned right through 2012, and into 2013 as well.

What book are you reading now?

Every so often I re-read the books that I enjoyed as a child/teen. My favourite authors were Enid Blyton, Alan Garner and Susan Cooper - at the moment I am re-reading ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ by Alan Garner.

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

To be honest, neither, although the Shapeshifter does tend to appeal as I’ve incorporated a shapeshifting character in ‘Dark Confluence’ - his name is Fionn, and is my heroine’s love interest. My personal preference tends towards faerie creatures from Celtic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology - creatures that I’ve grabbed in my ‘Darkening’ trilogy, and transplanted Downunder to Australia.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

To keep writing and most importantly, to grow a thick skin - not everyone who reads your books will like them, and those who don’t, will delight in pointing out flaws. However when a person does enjoy your writing, and tells you so, you are walking on air for days afterwards. Also remember that you are very brave for putting yourself and your words out there for the world to read, so keep in mind that you must take the bad with the good.

Oh, and one last piece of advice? Writing and publishing is not a sprint - look upon what you are doing as a marathon - some people get early success, other people achieve success after many years; no one is the same, no one will have an identical experience, just keep writing and believing in yourself and you’ll get there.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

First off a big thank-you, firstly for taking an interest in a new and independent author, and secondly for taking a punt on my stories - I do appreciate it! All of what I’ve written and published has been to please myself (rather than to please an editor or the market or to cash in on a trend), so it thrills me to know that other people have enjoyed reading my stories as well.

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