Bridget MacMillan from Prickly Valley Publications interviewed me the other day about Starscape!
BM: Congratulations on publishing your first book! Can you introduce yourself and your novel to our readers?
BP: I’m Benita J. Prins, a Canadian fantasy writer. I love blue and green, and clouds and creeks and autumn trees. My novel Starscape is now available on Lulu.com. It’s an epic fantasy – not epic in length, it’s rather short compared to most fantasy novels, but epic in style. I’ll say just a couple things about the actual story: it includes Valintari, Flokav and Startern, not to mention a lost Sword and a Star.
BM: What was most enjoyable about writing Starscape?
BP: I most enjoyed finding out how the story progressed. I knew all along approximately how it would end, but much of the middle was quite fuzzy. Sometimes I would sit down and start writing with no clue what was going to happen, and something epic would happen!
BM: Was any part of Starscape especially hard to write?
BP: The part from after the first Flokav attack until the arrival of Gonor was quite difficult, yes. It really did not seem to want to come! The end of Chapter 13 was VERY hard to write, in an emotional sense, as well as the aftermath of that at the beginning of the next chapter. I can’t say why, because it’s a huge spoiler – you’ll know why once you’ve read the book!
BM: Please describe your favourite part of the book.
BP: My utterly favourite piece of writing is when Eloderay meets Eparne in the Valintari stronghold. It was nearly perfect. However, I can read Chapters 20 and 24 over and over again without tiring of them.
BM: Who are some of the authors who influenced your work?
BP: Tolkien is the first, of course! Michael O’Brien also had a lot to do with the kinds of symbols and themes I employed. They are the only two I’m really conscious of being influenced by, but I’m sure there are many other authors who have influenced me as well.
BM: What made you get into self-publishing?
BP: My original intent was simply to have copies of my book to give as Christmas gifts. But whilst I was at it, I thought, why not go a step forward and make it available for others as well? I also love being in control, and I dislike all the waiting that comes with traditional publishing.
BM: What are some of your favourite and least favourite parts of self-publishing? What advice do you have for other authors considering going this route?
BP: My favourite part, as I mentioned above, was having control over all aspects of Starscape’s production. As well, it was nice to know the book’s status at every minute: whether it was waiting for interior files to be prepared, or for the cover to be designed, or whatever. My least favourite part is having so much to do, organizing everything and promoting the book at the same time. All in all, though, I don’t regret having self-published (yet? … ).
For other authors considering self-publishing? If you end up going with self-publishing, choose carefully what distributor (Lulu, CreateSpace, etc.) you select, because there are definitely ‘self-publishing’ scams out there. Also, do not rush the process; make sure everything’s perfect before you hit Publish (although it’s extremely tempting to do that as soon as possible 🙂 ). And finally, don’t agonize overly much over it – have fun!
BM: What’s one thing you now wish you’d known before beginning to write?
BP: Well, since I started seriously writing, I haven’t really gotten any freedom from the ideas that flood into my head every moment of the day (especially once I’ve turned off my light to go to sleep *rolls eyes*)… but that’s a small price to pay for all the joy I get out of creating stories and characters and worlds of my own.
BM: What, if anything, are you working on now that Starscape is finished?
BP: After a few failed attempts, I’ve come up with a great idea for a new book, which is actually going places. It’s also fantasy, but set in a new world from the one in Starscape.
BM: Tell us one surprising thing about yourself.
BP: I actually hated English class in school.
BM: Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
BP: I have lots, but my absolute favourite is a passage from the film version of The Two Towers (pt. 2 of The Lord of the Rings). It’s pretty long, so I’ll give you just the ending of it, which really sums the whole quote up:
Folk in those stories [the ones that really mattered] had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something, that there’s some good left in this world. And it’s worth fighting for.