10Qs with Realm Lovejoy author of Henge.
If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I’ve traveled to many major cities in the states, Europe, and Japan. So far Seattle is my favorite city and it’s where I live. I love Seattle because of the art scene, beautiful mountains and water, amazing summers, awesome food, and it’s a good mix of busy and chill. I’m tempted to move to Hawaii sometimes though. It’s such a paradise there! Wherever I go, I feel that I must be close to the ocean.
What is your writing process?
I usually start a first draft once I’m excited about an idea–enough to hear dialogue in my mind and see a vision of the story. My muse is typically not one character–it has to be two or three and they have to have a dynamic, complex, and fascinating relationship with each other. For Clan, it’s Twain, Buster, and Chad. For Henge, it’s Morgan and Merlin. It’s been the key to jumpstart my imagination. Another key ingredient to get me excited is challenge–uncertainty that I can pull it off. For Clan, it’s having everyone be a clone of one person. For Henge, it’s having a traditionally evil sorceress as the hero.
Once I finish the draft, I abandon it for a month and then come back to it with fresh eyes. I will then make notes on what to revise. I try to see every weakness in the story and make time every weekend to work on it. After the second revision, I may be confident enough to show it to my agent, and if she likes it, we’ll revise it again, and then it will go on submission to publishers.
Describe your journey as an author so far.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first serious attempt to be an author started when I was 22 and I completed Clan, my first novel, which is out now. I then wrote a series called Le Fay. The first book Henge is out now! My journey so far has been all about learning and patience and I feel that it’s just begun.
What is the main topic of your novel?
Magic. In the world of Henge, magic is manifested like this: fire user, water user, wind user, and one rare healer. The story also deals with magic in the modern world: worrying about obtaining a license to use magic, arguments about magical politics such as what would happen if you used magic in self defense against an attacker. If someone could conjure fire or water right now in our world, what kind of rules would be in place?
A brief lecture (to Arthur’s Round members) from one of the professors (Fisher King Pelles) in Camelot: “…Where did the magic come from? And how does it work? People extrapolated religion, paganism, and other things in an attempt to make sense of it all. For centuries, the government has tried to figure out a way to control it. Even today, myth is myth—and to anyone who’s not at the top of the pyramid in Camelot, it will forever be unknown. We keep it that way. For example, the Royal Relics. You don’t need to figure out the mysteries of the relics for now, but the most important relic to you all is Excalibur. If one of you becomes Maven, you will have to guide Prince Arthur to Avalon—the hidden isle. In order to become the king, the prince must touch Excalibur, the sword Pendragon the First bled onto in his dying moment. It’s the relic that passes his talents onto his heir and helps the King realize his true potential, which is magic stronger than anyone else’s on Earth.”
How do you stay motivated?
My desire to connect with readers through my stories keeps me writing. I want to be brave and share my best work so that I have no regrets when I look back on my writing career.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
Patience. Everything in the book world takes a lot of time from writing to trying to find a publisher to editing and to promoting. And once you’re done with one book, it’s time for the next and so it goes. As I said above, my motivation to connect with readers through my stories keeps me going.
Why did you write this book?
I’ve been itching to write a dark story about rivalry. Morgan le Fay is my favorite Arthurian character and I thought about how frustrated she must be that she’s so powerful, yet Merlin gets all the awesome wizard credit. He’s the famous one everybody knows. I adapted Merlin and Morgan into modern teenagers and as soon as I started writing about them, I couldn’t stop.
What do you hope readers would take away from this book?
There are several meaningful aspects to this book but I don’t know what I can say without spoiling the direction of this series. Ultimately, it will be up to each reader to decide what they take away from the book.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took two months to draft the series. It took a year to revise and edit the first book.
What’s next for you?
I’m drafting the second book in the Le Fay Series. It’s a lot darker than the first book with a few twists. I’m especially excited about it because the second book is what drove me to write the series in the first place. It’s the big bang that spun out the story in my mind and I can’t wait to share the next book with everyone. It’s coming out in 2015!
For side projects, I am in the progress of adapting my novels into screenplays and graphic novels.
About the Author
Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at realmlovejoy.com