Lochlan Bloom was our first UK author and one of our first authors to publish a book that BookHive Corp. tested. We are thrilled to be a part of his process. Below hear more about his book THE WAVE that will be published in January 2016.
Jennifer Bowen: What are your influences as a writer?
Lochlan Bloom: Too many to mention off the top of my head but a few authors I admire are: Iain Banks, Knut Hamsun, B Traven, Paul Auster, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alasdair Gray, Kafka…
JB: How did you come about writing The Wave? Can you tell us about it?
LB: I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of free will and how that relates to the idea of determinism.
The modern world is pretty much built around these two apparently opposing ideas – on the one hand we are told everything is determined by scientific laws and on the other that we are free agents who make our own destiny.
Both of these ideas seem clear at first glance but they quickly become opaque the more you look into them. I think there is a real parallel between the balance of free will/ fate and that of fiction/reality so I guess when I started writing The Wave that was something I wanted to explore.
We all tell ourselves stories everyday – about who we are, what we are going to do, what the world is really like – and understanding which of those stories is closer to fiction than to reality is something none of us ever really gets to the bottom of.
JB: Tell us about your writing process. How often and when do you write? Are you in a writers group?
LB: I am in a couple of groups in London and these have been invaluable for testing work in progress and getting feedback. I write every day but the amount I write varies. I like to think I have a fairly strict routine but some days its just a case of staring at a blank page trying to eke out one word while others I might lose track of time and find I’ve filled pages.
JB: How did you go about getting The Wave published?
LB: I was lucky in that I started talking to Dead Ink about some of my other writing and this conversation led to them selecting The Wave for their New Voices 2015 list.
JB: What is Dead Ink Books doing to promote the book?
LB: Dead Ink have been great so far in that they have taken a very hands on approach. They are publishing The Wave as one of three new novels via their PublishingTheUnderground.com initiative. They have just opened submissions for next year and are looking to connect readers and writers through a combination of crowd-funding, membership, tailored workshops and events.
JB: What are you doing additionally to promote the book?
LB: The book is launched on the 29th January 2016 so there are a busy few months ahead before then. The PublishingTheUnderground initiative is something of an experiment to explore new approaches to literary publishing so a lot depends on getting pre-orders at this stage via the crowd-funding campaign.
The size of the print run and promotion of the book depends to some extent on how many pre-orders are made so I will be speaking to magazines, sites and blogs that might be interested to let people know about the book.
JB: Why do you find working with beta readers through BookHive a valuable part of the process?
LB: Working with BookHive was great and the feedback from real readers was really useful. Its one thing to get feedback from people you know but getting detailed analysis of the book by complete strangers gives a whole different perspective. I knew that The Wave would not be everyone’s cup of tea but it was really useful to see some of the readers’ comments and realize which bits were decisive.
Although there were some people who said they didn’t get it or even hated it, that was more than made up for by other readers who said they loved it and to hear comments like that from one reader who said the characters from the novel were still running through their thoughts days after they finished reading it!
The Wave will be published by Dead Ink on 29 January 2016 as part of their New Voices list. You can pre-order from the author’s website http://bit.ly/The_Wave. Submissions for Dead Ink’s New Voices 2016 list opened earlier this month.
BookHive Corp. does beta reader editorial research for authors.
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Jennifer Bowen, QueenBee (more fun than CEO), of BookHive Corp.