I have great pleasure in sharing my interview with Francesca Tyer, author of The Firestone. Francesca talks about filling notebooks, her love of planning, and playing the violin.
Over to Francesca…
- Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I started out writing poems and short stories – mainly about nature and similar topics. When I was eight, I decided I wanted to become an author. At this point, I wrote my first ‘book’ which was in reality about 20 pages long and strongly resembled The Famous Five.
I was in my early teens when my writing became more serious. I had planned several books throughout childhood but hadn’t yet found the right idea. When I came up with ideas for The Firestone around this time, I knew that this would be the book I would finish. Everything went from there really!
When I’m not writing, I tend to think about writing! That aside, I enjoy spending time with my family, walking, being creative, and playing music.
- Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Yes, The Firestone is my first novel. I had tried writing a few others first, but this was the one that wanted to be written! I have previously self-published a poetry collection titled Reflections. The poems in this collection were written over a period of three or four years and explore a variety of themes.
- What genre is it, and what is it about?
The Firestone is a young adult fantasy novel. It follows the story of James Fynch, a teenage boy who stumbles across a parallel world and becomes bound to a quest for the mythical Firestone. In this magical place, dark forces threaten to destroy the barrier between worlds which has remained untouched for seven hundred years.
In the early hours, just after midnight, a power cut strikes the nation and in an abandoned street, a broken clock starts ticking. This clock, held in the hands of a teenage boy, has the power to change his own life and the course of history.
- What or who inspired you to write this book?
I couldn’t tell you for certain who or what inspired me. The need to write was just always there. However, I do think that reading and being read to as a child contributed to my passion for words and writing. I particularly loved fantasy and adventure stories – and still do – so I’d say that’s why The Firestone explores these genres.
- What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Keep believing. Dreams do come true, but not without hard work. Self-doubt may visit you every day, you may get rejections, but it’s how you deal with those drawbacks that counts. Don’t let challenges stop you! Always hold on to that knowledge that you can and will be an author. If you want it enough, you’ll find the motivation to keep writing, editing, and submitting.
- What do you enjoy most about writing and why?
I love everything about writing, so it’s hard to say. It’s been part of my life since I could first form letters, and even a bit before. When I was really little, I used to fill the tiny notebook I had with pages of squiggles. Of course, only I knew what it all said, but perhaps that was part of the fun! I’ve still got this notebook and I now have no idea what those stories were about.
Writing is my passion, so every aspect brings enjoyment. The planning is always fascinating, the drafting exciting, and the editing tough but rewarding. If I really had to choose, however, I might say the first draft. I always write this by hand because I think much better this way and I love watching the story grow and develop on the page.
- List three interesting facts about yourself
- The Firestone was published when I was 22.
- For part of my work, I get to interview authors and musicians from around the world.
- I play the violin to Grade 8 and the piano for enjoyment. I also love to sing.
- What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?
I think that would have to be online marketing. I love doing signing events and taking workshops into schools, but online marketing can be challenging. It’s easier once you know what you’re doing, but it’s often difficult to make progress.
Online marketing takes dedication and a willingness to put yourself out there. It’s a different feeling to that of sharing your books with readers. Online, you’re opening yourself up to another world entirely. For me, this has taken some getting used to.
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
One of the best things readers can do is enjoy reading my book! I write because I have a passion for stories and I want to share this feeling with others. If readers do enjoy what I’ve written, then I encourage them to spread the word! Stories are meant to be loved and shared.
It’s also wonderful if readers feel able to leave a review. This can be done via Amazon or Goodreads, or be sent directly to me. It’s always exciting when a new review comes in as it means someone has taken the time to read what I’ve written.
- What is your next project?
I’m currently working on my second novel which follows on from The Firestone. It’s called The Seastone, (exclusive information), and will hopefully be out in the Spring. There will be four novels in the series altogether.
I have written another book, but it’s only a first draft and is on hold for the time being. I have also started to create a second poetry collection, but again this is on hold while I finish The Seastone.
In The Firestone, magic and mythology become intertwined with the powers of modern technology. When fourteen-year-old James Fynch discovers a magical world which coexists with his own, his fate suddenly becomes bound to a quest for the firestone, one of four mythical crystals able to destroy the rising darkness. The barrier between worlds hasn’t been broken for centuries, but with the rise of the dark, it is more fragile than ever before. Although James doesn’t believe in magic, he must race to find the firestone before it is too late.
Francesca Tyer is a Young Adult fantasy author. She currently lives in Wiltshire where she works as a freelance copy and content writer, fiction editor, English tutor, and of course author.