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Monday, July 1, 2013

Q&A With Author Nicola S. Dorrington

Seventeen-year-old Cara Page Knows what mark she's going to get on her English test next week. She knows in three days her history teacher is going to be late because his car broke down. She knows she's going to give the new boy a nose bleed on his first day. 

She knows because every night she dreams of the future, and every day those dreams come true.

Now she's dreaming of a boy, and a future that can't be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.

Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can't undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before - if only she'll trust him enough to let him help her.

Cara needs to know what's happening, but the answer lies in a long forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain. 

With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it's only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And myth or not, they will kill her.

Her only hope is Lance, and the birth right she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.

You can buy THE LAST KNIGHT on Amazon.
You can add THE LAST KNIGHT to Goodreads

About the author
Nicola S. Dorrington is a 29 year-old writer from England, currently living in the Cayman Islands,

where she procrastinates by staring at the ocean. THE LAST KNIGHT is her first novel, set in a wet and mythical version of the country she left behind. She fully expects to one day be a crazy old cat lady - only with dogs.

You can find out more about Nicola on her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter at @NSDorrington. 

I asked Nicola a few questions and here is what she had to say!

When did you begin writing and what prompted you to try it? 

I started writing properly when I was about fourteen or fifteen. I’d always carried on stories in my head when I read books I particularly enjoyed (I suppose it was fan-fiction in its own way) and I just decided to try writing some of them down. I moved quite quickly onto writing my first novel. It was about 20,000 words long and I was so proud of it. I think I still have it somewhere!

Where did the idea for The Last Knight come from? And how long did it take you to finish writing the first draft?

I think I always knew that I would write a book about King Arthur, but for a long time I had no idea how to make it different and original. After all, the legends of King Arthur have been re-told so many times. Then one day I had this idea about a girl having memories of a life that wasn’t her own. It seemed like a cool concept but I didn’t really want to do reincarnation, I wanted something different, and so The Last Knight was born. To begin with all I knew was that she had these visions and that they were somehow connected to King Arthur – it was a long while before the plot as it is now really came into its own.

As for how long it took for the first draft – not that long. I think I finished the very first, rough, long-hand draft in about 7 weeks. It was one of those ideas that just takes hold. Of course, I almost immediately went back and re-wrote about 90% of it, and then it got put away for a few months before I went in for the next re-write. I’ve now been working on it for about 3 years.

The Last Knight is full of myths and all sorts of fantasy creatures. What is your favorite fantasy or mythological creature? 

Oh, now that’s a tricky question, because I love a lot of them. But I would probably have to say dragons. There is something majestic and beautiful about dragons.

Is your main character, Cara, based on yourself?

I wish! About the only thing we share is blond hair. I don’t think I could go through the things she goes through and come out as strong as she does. But she is based on a few people I know.

When you were writing The Last Knight, where there any books that you read as inspiration?

I read a lot of books on King Arthur the whole time I was writing. T.H White’s books, snippets of Malory and Geoffrey of Monmouth. And I read a lot of books on British mythology and folklore.

Are there plans for a sequel in the future? 

The second book, The Last Pendragon, is currently in the first draft stages. I’ve had to put it to one side to focus on the release of The Last Knight, but I’m hoping it won’t take me three years to get this one finished!

What book are you currently reading? 

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It’s an adult sci-fi, so a bit different to what I write, but Terry Pratchett is one of my all-time favourite authors!

Right before you sit down to write a book, is there anything that you do to prepare yourself and get those creative juices flowing?
Well, I always write long-hand in spiral bound notebooks and I like to have a fresh, clean new notepad when starting something new. I almost never work at a desk, I prefer to write curled up on the couch, but I have to be comfy and I have to have the TV or something on in the background because I actually find silence too distracting. I’ve normally let the ideas stew in my head for a while before I put pen to paper so by the time I sit down to write the words are pretty much leaping onto the page.

Be sure to pick up your copy of this shiny new book! 

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