Title: Across the Darkling Sea
Author: K. Ferrin
Publication date: November 12th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!
Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.
Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.
Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.
Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
At the very beginning, a story might be nothing more than a piece of dialogue that comes to mind (as is the case with Across the Darkling Sea) or an interesting character. But by the time I sit down to start writing, a know the general arc of the story from first page to last, whether that story will fill a single novel or a string of them like Magicfall.
I do not plot out every detail of every scene though. If you think of a story like a map, some people plot out to such detail it would be like a detailed city map with every road and building named and numbered. I don’t get this detailed. But I know the general landscape of the story. I know who my main and secondary characters are, I know their arc over the course of the story, and I know the main plot points from beginning to end. I know, generally quite clearly, how the story will end. But there are gaps, things I don’t know, how a particular scene might play out or what will force a character to take a particular action.
To continue with the map analogy, my map would have some very detailed sections, while other areas are simply labeled with vague descriptions of “mountains” or “rivers”,and some areas may even be labelled with a cautionary “here there be dragons”.
I have two very large white boards in my office that I use to track the story. I use whiteboards because no matter how much I plan things out in advance the story will always evolve as a write it. A whiteboard allows me to easily change something on the fly, to make notes to myself about changes I need to make earlier in the story because of something I change now.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
I get ideas from all over the place. Across the Darkling Sea began as a random bit of dialogue that popped into my mind one day. I might read a story in the news that triggers an idea for me, or see something in a movie that lodges in my brain, an inconsequential nothing in the film I’m watching, but something that could grow into a very cool story all on it’s own with a bit of creativity.
I’ve got four book series sitting on my back shelf right now. The source of the ideas for each of them include: a line of dialogue that randomly popped into my mind, a bit of a lyric from a song (“It’s a new day. It’s a bright day. Even when you stand in the dark.” by All American Rejects), a dream (this one was weird, I dreamt the entire story and most importantly, I REMEMBERED IT!), and a pant-less flight to Tokyo (seriously, I’m not kidding.).
3. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing my entire life, but I’ve been writing seriously and for publication since 2013.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. Sit down, put your butt in the chair and write. Regularly. Maybe not every day, but definitely every week. Get a million words down on paper or in a collection of files. Yes, I said a million. It’s a bit of cliche, but it’s no less true for it. If you want do be great at something you need to do it a lot. Over and over and over again, even when you want to throw it all out the window.
If you’re serious, I’d also tell you to start building a community now. Start blogging if that’s your thing, or start building a social media platform now. While you are still practicing. It will pay off when you finally are ready to hit the ‘go’ button, whether you choose the indie or traditional publishing route.
5. What are your favorite:
I am a fantasy lover through and through. It’s my first love, followed by sci fi and action/adventure. Some of my favorite fantasy authors include Robin Hobb (I adore her Liveship Traders books), NK Jemisin (Fifth Season is awesome), Neil Gaiman (Ocean at the End of the Lane… damn), and VE Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic).
Just finished up with the current season of Game of Thrones of course, which I absolutely adore. I don’t watch much TV though.
On the movie front, I love pretty much anything from Studio Ghibli. The first Guardians of the Galaxy was completely awesome. One that many won’t have heard of, which is such a shame, is called Turbo Kid. Don’t let the title fool you, this is not appropriate for little ones!
All Rock all the time. Alternative stuff.
Sunflower seeds. I’ve snacked on them as long as I’ve had teeth. Also Pickles. But not together. Pie is my favorite food group.
Social Media Site
I live on Pinterest, but I’m also regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at www.kferrin.com.