As regular visitors to our Strictly blog will know, I'm currently working on a British thriller series. We featured author Carl Ashmore on this blog a while ago and when I heard that he'd finished writing the last of his Time Hunter books I invited him back for a chat. Here, he offer some insights into his experience.
1. How do you feel after completing The Time Hunters series?
It’s a bitter sweet feeling, that’s for sure. I started the series in 2005 and completed it almost ten years to the day I started. But it was always planned as a five book series, and I story-lined every book in detail before I began. It’s such a complex series with a great deal of backstory scattered across the 5 books, that it’s only when you read the last book everything really comes together.
There’s always the possibility I’ll write another Time Hunters book one day. I do have two stories in my head that would make really great books, but there’s another series I’d like to start before I even think of returning to the TH world.
2. Were there any adventures or ideas you were unable to fit in the series?
Although I did storyline in detail, I left room for digression. I found this essential to keep the process fresh. I’m one of those authors that dislikes writing, but loves having written, so whatever I can do to keep the process stimulating and enjoyable I’ll do.
For instance, although I always intended to visit the American Old West in ‘The Time Hunters and the Lost City’, I had no intention of utilising the legend of Jacob Waltz and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine. It was only when I saw a documentary about it a year ago I knew it had to be in TH5.
3. Has your writing process changed since you first started on the series?
When I first started I really hadn’t a clue. The first draft of Book 1 was appalling on every level. Of course, I ‘d taken a year off work to write the book in the SW of France, so I’m sure the red wine dulled my ability to notice how bad it was. It was quite soul destroying to reach the end of that draft, recognise its huge faults, and then basically start from scratch again.
4. What's next for you?
I’ve literally just finished a screenplay for the first Time Hunters book, which I’ll use to try and attract the interest of film producers. I know a few people in the film/TV industry and they’ve loved the books and want to help me realise the dream of seeing it on a big or small screen. After that, I’ll start working on my next children’s series ‘Zak Fisher and the Angel Prophecy’.
5. What writing tips did you pick up along the way?
My best tip is related to editing. Personally, I like to read in the bath. And when I’ve finished each chapter of a work in progress I email my Kindle what I’ve written and read it as though I would a normal book. It’s amazing how many typos you pick up reading via the Kindle format. For some reason it helps cure author blindness. Obviously, it’s not a replacement for a good editor, but it saves you the embarrassment of missing so many easily corrected typos.
6 Have you explored audio book versions?
Not really. I know I should. The ironic thing is I’m a media lecturer by day and work in a college with a radio station and recording studios. I could easily put one together with a little help from my friends. Maybe I should get on that.
Actually, that’s a great tip for new/old writers – look to the student body of your local colleges and universities. After all, today’s student is tomorrow’s media professional. Many colleges have excellent resources and there are some very talented students out there who are keen to make a few quid on the side. Some time ago an ex-student of mine, Richard Litherland, asked if he could make a Book Trailer for the first Time Hunters book. Of course I said yes. As a promotional tool it’s something different and works really well. He presented it to me a few days ago and here it is:
7. Where can we get hold of your books?
They're on Amazon. Here's a link to all my books:
Thanks for being invited to do the interview. Keep up the great work on the site.