Today I’m thrilled to welcome Lucy Andrews!
My first novel, Crater’s Edge, has just been published by Solstice Publishers on 7th November 2017. I am delighted to be published, but still wonder how or why I chose to start my literary career with a science fiction novel rather than writing in another genre.
I like to read books that take me away from everyday life, so I had decided to set my story either in the past or future. In the end, I plumped for the future on a distant planet, reasoning that this would be easier than writing an historical novel which would require a lot of research. I’m not so sure now. Science fiction is about creating worlds that stretch the imagination.
I started the first chapter confidently, but then realized that I had to create every aspect of the colonial world that I was describing and make it sound plausible. I spent hours working out what would actually work in terms of the society that my characters lived in. Then I tried to envisage what the buildings would look like. What would the atmosphere be? Would there be only one sun? How long would a day be? What would my characters wear or eat? I also had to give some thought as to what I should call everyday objects and decided to use recognizable names for things so as not to confuse my readers. I wanted my story to sound credible, not a fantastical screed which would only appeal to a narrow readership.
So far so good, but then I discovered that my characters had gone down a mine and were deep underground. I don’t know how this happened. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t want to let them stay there for too long, but I was in a fix as I know absolutely nothing about mining. At this point, rather than give up, I started to really exercise my creative side. This required sitting with pen and paper and drawing the machines; then figuring out how they would work. I had to decide on the dimensions of the machines, what sort of rock they would be cutting through, what the atmosphere deep underground would be.
I got my characters out of the mine, but the writing didn’t become easier as the mines had only been the start of the adventure. From time to time, I had to stop writing to check up on all sorts of facts, some very minor, as well as to draw diagrams or pictures to make sure that the things I described hung together. After the initial struggle to put my world together, writing the book became great fun. Since publication, at least two of my friends have asked me how I know so much about mining!
I’ve now started writing a sequel which is proving to be as much fun to write as the first. This time I’ll keep out of the mines though!
Crater’s Edge is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/162526674X