I recently got the chance to read and review (coming tomorrow) a debut novel by Australian author Marta Salek. It is a New Adult Fantasy novel to be released in a few days (25th) by Zharmae Publishing Press. I really enjoyed the book and found it to be very imaginative. This interview and giveaway was run by Danielle at Coffee and Characters! Update: You can now buy the book here!
Here’s a little synopsis:
Matthew’s life has one focus: magic. Pleasure, for him, is achieving the unachievable, learning that which has never been understood before. The Reticulum is a dream come true—a magic that promises him everything. With it whispering in his mind, what other companion does he need?
Andrea is determined to take on the world and her talent is such that she might just succeed. But an apprenticeship with an unscrupulous wizard shatters her self-confidence, leaving her friendless and alone.
When the two meet, they learn that isolation is not inevitable, after all. That being able to break the laws of the universe means little if there’s no one to break them for. That when you allow yourself to need, and trust, and love, you can take on anything.
I got the opportunity to also interview Marta, who is a nurse, and previously a computer programmer. Learn more by visiting her blog at http://martasalek.com/, or followe her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/marta.salek.5 and twitter https://twitter.com/martasalek1
What was your inspiration for the story, especially your unique description of magic?
I read a lot of fantasy as a child. Always wished that our world could have a bit of magic in it, and always dreamed that maybe one day I’d discover some latent, hidden talent in myself… Not to be, sadly, but in the midst of all those dreams and daydreams, I constructed for myself a handful of magic systems, built out of all those ones I’d most loved in the books I read (Isobelle Carmody’s, Robert Jordyn’s, Susan Cooper’s, etc). If there could be magic out there, this book is really how I’d like it all to work. One day I decided to write those magic systems down. And to make it sound less like a thesis outlining the scientific framework of my imaginary world (because let’s face it, that’s really what Reticulum is!), I decided I’d better stick a couple of characters in, as well :).
What’s it like to have your first novel published?
To have my first novel published – truthfully, it’s embarrassing. I’m well aware of the limitations of my writing in that book. At least the cover is pretty!
What obstacles did you face while writing?
Only one obstacle, really – doubt. I know what good writing is, and I know mine has a long way to go. Sometimes that depresses me. Sometimes it depresses me that, in some ways, it’s so easy to get published now (lots of small presses out there; lots of people self-publishing with only the barest nod to good grammar and strict proofreading). The sad fact is that while of course there are exciting, well-written new books being produced, there are even more just don’t match the quality of those I love so much. And sometimes (often) I worry that my stories will be just more of a bad bunch.
It can be hard to keep writing if you allow yourself to think like that. But the thing is, at the time I wrote Reticulum, I really wanted to write. I was busy finishing off a second degree, in a completely different field to my previous studies, and that was stressful. Writing, when I wrote just for myself, was a release. The trick is not to think about what might happen with the book after you finish. Just get lost in the story that’s in your head, and don’t worry too much about the quality of what you’re producing – not at that point. That’s what editing is for, and you can’t edit what you don’t have written down. And if after the editing is done, you realise the finished story (short or long) isn’t really of publishable quality, as I’ve done with many of mine, then so be it. At least you had the joy of living in that world for a little while as you wrote it. That’s worth something.
Otherwise, no real obstacles. I’m a very organised person. If I want to do something, I will time-manage and make sure there is space in my life for me to do it. I set myself writing goals and achieved them – that’s all there was to it.
Will there be a second book?
Not in the Reticulum’s universe. I’ve satisfied myself that there is a good way for the three different types of magic to act and interact. Now that that’s settled in my head, I don’t feel the need to write about them any more.
Finally, what are you working on at the moment?
Truthfully, I’m not working on anything at the moment. I’m a bit low on inspiration and ideas and only write when something really pulls me to.
You can win an ebook copy of Reticulum by following this link! (competition closed)
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