*Note* Read rules before entering giveaway, please! =)
You’re from New Zealand! This is where Lord of the Rings was filmed, right? What is it like to live on such a picturesque island?
I love it! In fact New Zealand is made up of hundreds of islands, many very small, and most people live on the two biggest ones. Looking out from my desk I can see five of them: two are volcanoes, another is quite well inhabited and serves as a city suburb with a fast ferry connection, and the rest are isolated forest and farmland. I find the water very inspiring so I am blessed to have it so close.
When and how did you know that writing was for you? Did it arrive in a flash or was it slow in coming?
I suppose it always was, in a way. As a homeschool kid aged nine, I was given a prompt and asked to write a short story. I got rather carried away and proceeded to create a whole series of unlikely adventures off that one prompt “Zebra” which I somehow contrived to twist into a science fiction tale. Yup - science fiction even then.
You run an independent publishing company by the name of Splashdown Books. Can you tell us how that got started?
Dabbling in self-publishing years ago provided the means to learn all about the technical side of publishing. And there is a lot to learn! Once I knew how it worked, I decided to put that knowledge to work for others also, connecting avid readers with stories they’d never get to see otherwise.
Your newest book, Legendary Space Pilgrims, has an allegorical and sci-fi flavor. It reminds me of Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Did this book have a play in the inspiration for it? Is that why it’s an allegory?
Actually that aspect came up later in the writing of it. The original inspiration was a vivid dream which covered Part 1 of the book up to their escape from the first planet. After that was when the idea arose to make it a pilgrimage through seven planets that echo the seven days of creation.
What was the hardest thing about writing Legendary Space Pilgrims?
There were times when the process of writing had become so arduous and torturous that each word was like blood from a stone. Yet, in an attempt to prove the “bum-glue” theory, I forced onwards. It wasn’t pretty, at least in my mind. I don’t think the story was particularly stuck at those points, but I was dealing with the discipline required to write something of this length in one year—something I’d never done before. My first book was a good deal shorter AND it took seven years to write.
You are currently working on Independence Monday – which continues the story from the first one. Could you reveal a snippet of it with our readers?
Can we skip this question? :P I actually haven’t started it, due to other projects—starting a third series, and continuing my first, which are both unrelated to this story.
Have any tips to share that are always helpful for you in writing?
Keep it fun! If you get stuck, change something and go a different direction, focus on a different character for a while. I did finish Pilgrims under pressure—from myself, mind you—and I don’t think I’d do it that way again. It doesn’t make much difference to the end result, but you have to love writing to do it—the point of the journey is to be enjoyable.
Randomly Fun Questions:
Many fictional characters in books leave an impression on us. Which of these stand out to you and why?
My favourite would have to be Stephen Lawhead’s Taliesin in the book of the same name, a fairytale prince of the ancient Welsh who could sing a miracle into existence. Then there’s Frank Creed’s Calamity Kid in Flashpoint - a height-challenged hard-nosed cyberspiritual warrior, just plain too cool.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Oh, night owl, all the way. I feel much better staying up half the night to finish a project than trying to get up and do it early.
Let’s talk trekkie to trekkie. Favorite Star Trek (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, or Enterprise), character, and episode?
As a series I have to say Voyager, because I appreciate the character arcs that were so strongly developed over the whole series. My favourite characters are Guinan and Captain Janeway. Episode? That’s tough. I really like the Voyager two-parter “Scorpion”, pretty much any of the time travel ones, and movies number 5 and 8 along with the 2009 rehash which was awesome. Oh, it’s all good...
How can our bookworms best get in contact with you?
Google me - I’m all over the web! But Facebook and Twitter are where most of my action is: www.facebook.com/gracebridges1 and www.twitter.com/gracebridges. Oh and don’t forget Splashdown Books at www.splashdownbooks.com - sign up there for the Splashdown newsletter to be in on all the latest developments!
Thank you so much for doing this interview and giveaway with us, Grace. Great name, btw! May the writing process for your new book go extremely well.
If Pilgrim's Progress happened in space, this is what it might look like. On a planet that has never seen the sun, a harvester hears a Voice from beyond. It's time to leave the oatfield. Mario and Caitlin escape the mind control of Planet Monday, following the Voice to unknown worlds where wonders and challenges await. Have you got what it takes...to be a legend?
Title: Legendary Space Pilgrims
Author: Grace Bridges
Format: Paperback *autographed* or e-book
Publisher: Splashdown Books
Grace is giving away Legendary Space Pilgrims to one bookworm! In order to enter, you must leave a comment with your e-mail address (so that we can contact you). US and Canada only, please. This giveaway starts today and ends on February 19th. A winner will be picked randomly (using random.org) and announced on the 20th. We will contact the winner and notify them by their e-mail address. If the winner doesn't respond within a few days, we will have to pick another. Good luck! =)