Thursday, 18 September 2014

Blog Tour: Eren by Simon P. Clark (Guest Post + Giveaway)

I am excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Eren by Simon P. Clark. As part of the tour my post today is the inspiration behind Eren.
The Inspiration for Eren
It’s easy to mythologise your own past. Every couple, telling and re-telling the story of how they met, or how they got engaged, polishes and practices their version of the tale until, almost without knowing it, they create something new. The bad bits – how he spilled sauce on his shirt, how she forgot his name on the second date – are lost, and only the nice, memorable, story-perfect bits remain. I’m wary of doing this for Eren, but as far as I can tell, this is how the story goes. There’s no lightning strike of inspiration – no JK Rowling on a train suddenly wondering who Harry is – but, instead, a slow, years-long unraveling of one question: Who is Eren?

Eren started out as a few lines scribbled in an old notebook when I was a teenager. A couple of years earlier I had decided I would be an author, and with all the bravado of a teenage boy, had thrown myself into it, convinced I would succeed. I wrote a couple of questionable books (that I have now, thankfully, managed to suppress) and tried to keep improving. When Eren came along, it was to entertain Sarah, my sister. Serious illness on her part had pushed us closer together than many brothers and sisters tend to be at that age, and Eren started out as diary entries written by a girl – a girl Sarah’s age, with Sarah’s interests – who has to fight a monster that’s trying to take control. It was a decent attempt, I think – there were even some very bad poems – but it quickly became obvious that, as interesting as the girl was, the monster – Eren – was far more intriguing. The balance of the story felt off. I tried to force the focus of the story back onto the girl. The story rebelled, a magnet fighting against its polar equal, and the whole thing flickered and died. Life moved on, I moved on, and the notebook was forgotten.

Years passed. I moved house. I moved country. I ended up in Japan. I met a girl, we fell in love, and because we lived two hours from each other, she suggested we take part in National Novel Writing Month. It was something to do together, something to talk about. Like any man in love for the first time, I said yes to whatever she was suggesting. Write a novel in a month? Sure. How hard could it be? I saw us, two artistic souls, destined to be together, scribbling late into the night as the Japanese winter grew colder and colder. We signed up on the website, the start date approached, and for the next three months (yes, I failed the one month challenge) I wrote a book called The Gentlemen Travellers. It was an okay story – it had some plot holes and some pacing issues, but it mostly worked – and I felt excited.
Another year passed. I proposed. She said yes. We planned to move to the States. November came around and once more, we dived into NaNoWriMo. This time, though, I wasn’t prepared. Wedding planning and moving planning and life were busy, and the carefully laid story plans and character development … hadn’t happened. The clock was ticking and I needed a story. A thought struck me – hadn’t there been a monster? He was something old and powerful and dark, and he fed off people – but how? The ideas that it might be stories made sense. I was learning more and more how powerful they could be. The idea of Eren came back to me, this time with the protagonist changed, and the setting updated. It had taken years for the idea to incubate, but finally I was ready to work out what Eren did, why he did it, and who he did it to. The words flowed. The story worked this time. Finally, the question from all those years ago – the question of who Eren was – had an answer, and I couldn’t be happier with it all.

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Now it's time for the giveaway. To be in with a chance to win a copy of Eren, just fill in the rafflecopter form below.
Please make sure to follow my giveaway policy, and this is a giveaway for UK entries only.
Giveaway runs from 18th September - 2nd Ocotber 2014
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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