Sunday 17 March 2019

Interspecies Goes Beta

I finally have some momentous news! The first four chapters of The Interspecies Poker Tournament have gone to beta readers and I'm not feeling nervous about it at all...

As much as I have loved writing this story, I've also really struggled to get it finished. I've really honed my procrastination down to an art form which has been both demoralising and annoying. I think it's because there is so much more riding on a second book set in a fictional world because every reader will have a favourite character or aspect. If you don't recapture that essence, they won't enjoy the book. 

Interspecies is set before The Rose Thief and was inspired by a couple of sentences from Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, about how he owed the mermaids for what they did at the Interspecies Poker Tournament. From small seeds, great stories grow. 

Several characters are back - Ned, of course, Jenni the sprite and the rest of the catchers - Willow, Joe and Sparks. Plus firm favourites like Momma K and Fred the palace guard. But because the story is set before The Rose Thief, I've had to be so careful that I don't reference that book. It's almost like the characters have to go back a step in their development. 

Obviously, I'm hoping for positive feedback but also it feels like I have been nurturing this book for a while now. There have been lots of research and double checking plus actual poker games, with teddies!

In the past, I've sent off the entire book to my beta readers and then left them alone to read in peace but this time around I've decided to be a bit more pro-active. By parcelling the book out in chunks, I am forcing myself to stay ahead of the readers so that elusive deadline will get closer! But also I am sending out the chapters with my thoughts and questions, querying the things I am not too sure on or double checking that something works. I beta read for another author like this and I found it to be a really efficient process so fingers crossed it works for my readers as well.

As always you can support my writing endeavours with tea and cake - it makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find all her books on Amazon. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. 

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