Author Interview: C.R. Searle

How long have you been writing for?

15 years

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The narrative structure. In essence know how to tell your story from beginning to end.

What genre do you generally write?

I have mostly written for young adults (YA) but have ventured into adult fiction.

Do you have a favourite author and why?

Lots, but I think Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle are the best of the best. They are consummate writers of the English language and peerless story tellers.

What is your book called and how did you choose this title?

The Rebus and the Parrot is a series of six books for YA. In date order they are called, The Bottomless Well of Time, The Secret of the Chateau Tollendal, The Battle of the Stones, The Children of the Ankh, The Totem of Tarhuhiawaku and The Masters of Time. All are full length novels. The Rebus is a puzzle engraved on a round gold plate and the Parrot is HMS Parrot, the misnamed ten gun brig of war, launched in 1796 that is central of the story. As are the teenagers who are its crew.

Synopsis:

It is a panoramic adventure in space and time. In essence, C S Forester’s, Captain Horatio Hornblower confronts the quantum universe of space, time and reality. It is the story of the search by a group of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ from our present time and our past times for the secret of the Pharaoh Akhenaten’s lost treasure (circa, 1336BCE). Which is how and why the Great Pyramids of Giza were built and how and why they connect to every man made monolithic structure built in ancient times.

Has your book been published and how did you go about this?

Yes, I have self-published on Amazon, Google and other publishing platforms.

Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?

Two years and this includes final proof reading and corrections.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Know the end of your book and write to that end. Sounds easy, but this is where you narrative structure is so important. Write in a style you are most comfortable with. I write in the third person but many writers write in the first and find this easier.

Do you use social media to promote your book? If yes, then which social networks do you like the most?

Yes. But none are entirely satisfactory. Twitter is hopelessly inadequate – mostly a conversation with yourself and with very little feedback. Facebook is much the same and both need constant attention. But Amazon is probably best and lists my books worldwide and it is amazing how many other platforms, including foreign language platforms, pick them up. However, they only promote best sellers; so, no help there. Promotion is key and far from easily achieved and expensive, too.

What other ways do you market your book/s?

Bookhub, Kobo and Amazons extended publishing platforms.

Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?

Yes.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Writing a book is a personal process – you have to learn how to write for yourself and for others. Not an easy matter, or everyone would be doing it. But I would strongly recommend doing a creative writing course, one that has links to agents and publishers. Many universities/colleges do them but the Curtis Brown Agency in London do a number of short online courses as well as several in-house course.

What books do you like to read in your spare time?

Adventure.

What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?

Writing!! Sounds obvious but writing (like speaking) is a bit of a mystery and your unconscious imagining of the story you are trying to tell plays a singularly important part in the process. I often wonder where the story I am writing is taking me but I trust in my unconsciousness completely. I am a psychologist/philosopher and know our consciousness and the unconsciousness that is its generative source are a mystery yet to be explained. Simply stated we do not need to be conscious to exist it is a part of our Being human – our intentions, actions and behaviour are mostly automatic. Take a notebook and pencil with you everywhere, you will be amazed how ideas randomly pop in and out of your head. Don’t delay, write them down, you will forget them otherwise!!

How did you go about designing the cover for your book?

The book cover you design or have designed for you speaks to your story and should grab and hold your potential readers attention. You will need professional help to get it right.

Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?

Yes. I have completed The Rebus and the Parrot and will write no more, but, I have written one adult fiction called, Valeria Doucet: The Evil and the Erotic and I plan to write a second book called, The Courtship of Byron Blisset. The story of a rich young man who is openly courted by two scheming women. Both very beautiful and both in need of money and have no qualms about taking it from him.

Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?

I am a psychologist.

Anything else you’d like to include?

Writing, like all the creative arts, is enjoyable and stimulating and I would highly recommend it but getting published is a lottery and self-publishing is probably your best bet. It is, however, hard work to self-publish. So, if you have any links to agents or publishers have no qualms about mercilessly exploiting them. Avoid the sharks who will publish you for a price but will do it little better than yourself.

See CR Searle’s full The Rebus and the Parrot series