Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Chrys Phillips about her career, what inspires her, and the work that went into her latest book release, Forever Begins.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
This is never an easy question…how do you consolidate this… I guess firstly my love for my daughter, chocolate, animals and travel.
I must say I do have a passion and drive to tell stories since I was a little kid, dreaming up and writing about fictional worlds. I’m an internationally acclaimed and award winning, best-selling Author and Film Director. My childhood story wasn’t an easy or loving one as I lived with many different families.
I have three books out of the Magic Wars Saga which has its fabulous dedicated fan base and it was also sold out in its first edition launch. I love going to my book signing in stores or conventions to meet fans, who talk to me about the characters and stories they love.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
Interesting question as when I was a child I would make little books, you know… as in made in a child’s manner of stapled pages with small drawing and words telling a story.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I’ve always written, from theatre to screenplays, however I began writing books as my profession when my daughter was little. I actually wrote three books prior to the successful Magic Wars Books Series however I’ve never published them.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
The first book was written many years ago and it proceeded from a few publishers and it began as a small book. I wanted it to be an epic tale and decided to go forth as an independent author and take control of its content and size. Therefore the first book was published in a small version around ten years ago and was then released as a full sized action packed paperback after that. Therefore it was a long journey but I never lost interest in this series.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write this book?
I also have another book series called BLOOD TATTOO and a motivational youth book called NEVER SAY CANT, however the recent book that just launched is the third instalment in the MAGIC WARS SAGA series and it wasn’t that I had to write it, it was that I wanted the characters to keep striving forward in their love lives and their journey’s and secrets to have them revealed to the fans. I love this series, and there’s more instalments coming…
What were your biggest challenges with writing Forever Begins?
With a series, you have many notes and details you must recall and keep moving the story in an entertaining and truthful manner. It’s not really a challenge if you love doing it, in the sense of, it’s a welcomed task of creating it
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
I really feel the ‘two’ lead protagonists are inspired by own experiences. Zavier the broody charismatic, immortal misunderstood bad boy has such depth of emotion searching for his true identity and experiences an abusive home life. I am far from being his persona hahah… but his feelings of not knowing his real parents and his abuse I have experienced.
As for our other lead female protagonists, Mortyla is an ethereal beauty, her pain of loosing her true love and her passion for nature is me. How many of us can relate to such sadness in breakups? Most of us really and therefore many people can relate to these two leads and that’s why it’s had such a fabulous fan base. Their journey in reading the books assists many with their own lives.
Also as a writers tip for your readers two protagonists is called “deuteragonist” defined as, secondary main character is the second most important characters’ of a narrative. Both Mortyla and Zavier lead the story.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Each book varies with its villainous antagonists and even some average characters fuel this role, however the original antagonist is Zenmore, the warlord of the damned. His every move is to annihilate his competition and control everything.
His success is an interesting journey to say the least, as you never see it coming. His definitely inspired by all individuals we hear of or know of, who abuse, manipulate, scam and hurt others for their own continued amusement.
What is the inciting incident of Forever Begins?
In the first volume WICKED LOVE, on the thirds moons’ eclipse she enters Lakeview. (the coastal town in the series) Mortyla begins the wars via her avenging promise. This enchanted, wicked promise is unleashes the wars and opens the way for other immortals, hybrids and creatures to enter and begin the action throughout the series.
What is the main conflict of Forever Begins?
It’s truly a layered series and one conflict is not a viable option, for the characters move ahead in their journeys of finding love, losing love, defying the wars and quests. Ultimately it’s survival! Survival in love, wars, alliances, betrayal, quests, adventures and eventually trying to find salvation.
Did you plot Forever Begins in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
There’s always a plan. However a writer should never confine to a strict plan and stop themselves to CREATE! Therefore you require both these skills to write a successful book.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Forever Begins need?
Yes a professional editor was used for the books for editing and we also teamed up, ensuring the true voice of each character wasn’t lost in the editing of grammatical or spelling changes. Each character needs their unique tone and this meant it wasn’t edited to suit a generic edit, for the various immortals and mortals nuances.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Firstly, stop comparing your writing and your routine to others. As there is no method that creates a winning book. Therefore, write, write, write! Just like an athlete or a musician you must polish your craft and learn how to write in real voices and lead the reader to your goal effortlessly. Writing one book, one draft is not a writer… but it’s the foundation of being a writer. Write your story with your own experiences, that give real depth. Write, write, write an then write more but never stop or compare… GO GET IT!
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Haha… actually, if one reads the third book, without giving spoilers away, it states an alliance and that is what is in motion as is also some origin stories of various individual loved characters.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Am I proud? Gosh that’s a hard one for me because I have not known how to feel that as never having anyone when growing up being proud of me, it was the complete opposite of being told how lowly I was. However as we in our lives jump the hurdles and look over it, I guess yes. I mean, I never have given up on the series and I’m very proud of the fact to say I totally love the way people fall for the characters and how these characters they tell me, have proved as an escape for them. On how they reflect on this book and makes them feel inspired and also how it entertains many. Yes, you made me think about this… much appreciate this question as yes, I am proud of it and totally worth it.
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