Good morning guys!
TODAY’S POST IS SO VERY EXCITING.
So hello. Yes. Today I have the utter joy of hosting one of my favourite people L.D.Lapinski on the blog tour for The Strangeworlds Travel Agency. I was asked if I wanted to be on the blog tour and I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE. I had the pleasure of asking the questions for a Q&A and you guys now have the pleasure of reading the answers! I hope you all enjoy reading and discovering more about this world as I did!
The setting is so brilliantly vivid as you read, how did you build it?
There are ten worlds in the first Strangeworlds Travel Agency book! There are worlds of crystal, worlds where the gravity is much lower than ours, worlds where people use magic as we would use money, and worlds where if you stayed long enough, you would never grow up. Coming up with the worlds for The Strangeworlds Travel Agency became easier when I assigned a role to each world – one had to feel impressive, one had to be scary, one had to be fun, and so on. The travel agency needed to feel as though it had the potential to contain any sort of world.
The setting of the travel agency, even though it’s in our world, had to feel otherworldly because it’s not somewhere just anyone can walk into. I wanted it to feel old, but loved. Flick describes the travel agency as being like a teddy bear that has had all its fur loved away. The place is run-down and looks untidy because it has been lived in and not saved for ‘best’.
Which character did you have the most fun writing?
I had a lot of fun writing both Flick and Jonathan, though in very different ways! Flick I learned about as I wrote the very first draft – she was like someone who is quite secretive, and I had to get to know her as I told her story. That was really good for me, though, because I felt that by the time the first draft was done I knew her well enough to improve the writing from then on. Jonathan, however, was a completely different box of frogs. He sauntered onto the page fully formed, and I knew all about him about nine seconds after i first wrote his name. He wasn’t even supposed to be in the book for as long as he ended up being – he just refused to leave.
If you could describe your main characters in one word, what would you choose for them?
Flick – tenacious
Jonathan – secretive
The magic in this book is such a fun thing to read, what magical power would you like to have or where would you visit in your suitcase?
Oh my gosh, if I had a Strangeworlds suitcase right now I would be out of here so fast! I’d love to go somewhere fresh and green, near the sea maybe, but wherever I went I would need it to have wi-fi, or at least good mobile reception because I’m a slave to my phone. I don’t know if I’d be magical enough to join The Strangeworlds Society, though, because I’m a very skeptical person, and I don’t think skepticism and magic work very well together!
Tell us about your creative writing process? Do you get the character or the setting first?
With The Strangeworlds Travel Agency it was definitely setting first! I saw the travel agency, the wall of suitcases, the Holmes and Watson style armchairs by the fireplace… it seemed very real to me, and somewhere I wanted to spend a lot of time. The characters came next, and the story came with them. I always know more about my characters than I can writing about or include in the book, so working out how their backstories and personalities are going to shape the text is one of the best bits of writing, I think. I love the freedom of a first draft for that.
What’s the best bit of being an author?
I thought the best bit of being an author might be being able to go to work in my pyjamas, but the best bit is actually being able to share my characters and worlds with other people. These characters and this story has felt real to me for so long that getting to talk to people about it, to hear what they think, hear about their theories and favoruite bits (or bits they couldn’t stand!) is such a priviledge. I’ll always be grateful to readers, forever.
What’s next? Is there going to be more from this world?
There will be more Strangeworlds books! I’m editing Book Two right now, and drafting Book Three, and I can’t wait to be able to talk about them with you!
We always love a recommendation here! What have you read recently that you’d recommend?
I’m loving The Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson – a book full of laughs and heart at the same time! Such a wonderful skill to be able to write and make your readers feel both. I highly recommend.
I read this book a few weeks ago and it just BLEW ME AWAY. This book is going to be such a hit with kids. I’m just so sad that I can’t share it with my kids right now! Check out my review here: BOOK BLOG: L.D.Lapinski
A massive massive thank you to L.D for answering my questions! And a massive thank you to the publishers for inviting me to be on the blog tour. You guys need to buy this book! I’ve put some links below, but please support your local indies if you have one! (Released TOMORROW!!)
Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour because you guys are in for a whole load of fun!
p.s. pop back tomorrow for another Strangeworlds themed post…