As part of the Hex Factor: Dark Tide blog tour, I am pleased to welcome the author, Harriet Goodwin onto the blog, to tell us some of her writing secrets.
1) Dark Tide, the second book in The Hex Factor series has just been published. Can you tell me a little about the book?
It picks up where The Hex Factor left off. Xanthe has survived her first test as a teenage witch, but now she is having to juggle developing her powers with her blossoming relationship with Saul. When she picks up a powerful hex, she fears that Donna and her cohorts are seeking revenge, but maybe there is an even bigger plot brewing...
2) I love the electrifying cover for Dark Tide. What are your thoughts on the covers for both books in the series?
I think they’re great. Tom, who designed all four of my covers, knows just how to catch the eye and draw the reader in.
3) I understand Gravenhunger has been shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and this is your second nomination. How are you feeling about it right now?
It’s hugely exciting being nominated for an award, but to be nominated for the same one two years’ running makes me feel like the cat who got the cream!
4) You are quickly establishing yourself as a paranormal author. Have you ever wanted to write in any other genres? Do you worry about the move from paranormal to contemporary within the book market?
I don’t really think about it. It feels like it’s time for a change now, and my next book will be for slightly younger readers (8-10 year olds). I am working on a number of ideas right now.
5) Do you find that the writing gets easier or harder with each book you publish?
The hardest book to write was Gravenhunger, my second novel. I think it’s quite common for writers to find their second novel the toughest to write. The pressure is suddenly on! The two Hex Factor books have been much easier processes.
6) What usually comes first - the character, the plot or the idea when starting a new project?
With The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43 it was the set-up, which I dreamt about very vividly one night. Gravenhunger was inspired by the Sutton Hoo ship burial, so the whole idea came first with that. The Hex Factor was a mixture of idea and main character. Plot is much harder, and evolves gradually.
7) Do you have a daily word count that you aim for when writing your first draft?
I’m not a fast writer. If I’m lucky I’ll write 500 words a day. Very occasionally a whole lot more will pour out.
8) Do you edit your first draft as you write it or wait until you have finished it?
I edit as I go. I wish I didn’t feel the need to, that I could just vomit out a quick, messy first draft and when hone it from there, but it just doesn’t work that way for me.
9) What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked during an interview?
“What is your favourite fizzy drink?” Weird.
10) Is there any non-fiction writing book that you would recommend to other writers?
How to Write a Blockbuster by Lee Weatherley and Helen Corner. Indispensable.
11) Do you have any advice for aspiring and unpublished authors?
Read, read, read. Keep a personal diary (so you’re writing every day and keeping in touch with your emotions). Don’t give up. Go in for competitions to get noticed.
12) What are you working on at the moment?
I want to write a book (or series) for slightly younger readers. I’m at the ideas-stage at the moment! Very exciting!
The Hex Factor – Dark Tide is published by Stripes Publishing and available to buy now!
To find out more about Harriet Goodwin: