Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Interview with Kate Sermon, Author Dark Sleepers Dark Flows the River Trilogy Book 1

What made you decide to be an author? I’ve always written but was encouraged to finally take the plunge when I started getting really good grades for my creative writing on my undergrad degree which I took in my 30s.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love the solitude best and it’s also what I like least! Some days it’s wonderful to be alone with my imagination and sometimes not.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? They’ve prepared me hugely. My own dad died when I was a teen too, also suddenly so my experience of that kind of grief was very useful. I also played around with astral projection when I was younger and I’ve always been interested in the concept of the astral realms. It was the homesickness I felt when living in Canada for a year that got me writing, and of course, I wrote about home.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? Yes, this one. My process of 500 words a day first thing in the morning means that I often write just after waking up, I think my brain writes better when I’m still half connected to my subconscious. So, this tends to feel like the words are coming through me not from me.

You’ve written 2 novels and are working on my second novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? I do my first draft writing early in the morning before I get distracted by the day. So that way I can spend all day being lazy knowing that I’ve already hit my creative goal.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I free fall… No planning, no editing as I write!

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Just write everyday even if it’s only a haiku. Plus don’t underestimate promotion. It’s so important.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? I did play various spotify lists as I was editing. I don’t play music when I write. But editing Dark Sleepers was all about a singer called Passenger. I’m rather sick of his songs now!
“You are astral travellers now. Able to project your spirit out of your body at will and enter the realms. You are not the only ones. Some people come here in their dreams without even knowing it. Some purposefully decide to travel here to find answers to questions they can’t find on earth... And some pass over... Die.”

Kezia's world implodes after her dad dies. She can't cope any more, and then she discovers the ability to leave her body. She drags her best friend, Ben, with her into other worlds to find her dad, but what she finds along the way, she could never be prepared for...

Amazon    Amazon UK

"Kate Sermon's writing is truly sublime. She creates characters to care for; whether it is dealing with friendship in our own world or grief in the astral planes, Kezia and Ben remain real people with hopes and flaws. Dark Sleepers is a startlingly imaginative debut."  ~ Dan Metcalf, Children's Author


Kezia was struggling even more. The memories that threatened to overwhelm her had waned, dispersing like vapour from a boiling kettle. But they had been replaced by a fear that she guessed was not her own, even if it was hard to tell for sure.

She lay down on the dirty sand and closed her eyes. It was an instinctive action and at once she knew that it was a good one. She breathed, as her mum had taught her when she was stressed or worried. She could hear very clearly her mum’s soothing voice say “Darling, just breathe. That’s all you need to do.”

It helped. Her heart rate slowed and a sense of herself began to emerge from the jumble inside her. As she concentrated on her breathing, she began to hear a tiny whispering sound like mice behind skirting boards. It came from deep inside her head. And it definitely wasn’t her own thoughts. It must be the girl’s.

Then it occurred to her – maybe she could talk to this child. Maybe find out something that could help. Just like the day her dad died, she found that words weren’t needed. Her thoughts traced patterns of light through the blackness.

“Who are you?” She asked.

Almost immediately she got a reply. A quivering voice, barely audible, said: “I don’t know. I’m… I’m scared.” It sounded desperate.

“Please don’t worry. I’ve been to this place before, it’s not so bad. I can help you.” She hoped this was true. “What’s your name?”

“I don’t remember… wait, I think it may be Rose. Can you really help me?” The voice brightened. “But he was chasing me. I needed to get away. It all happened too fast.”

“I’m sorry Rose. I don’t understand.”

Confused for a moment… but then a light bulb pinged on. It drenched all the confusion in bright, white light. She suddenly realised she knew what was going on – what this place was and why the children were here.
Kate Sermon lives with her family and other animals in Devon halfway between Dartmoor and the
sea.  She's done a bit of journalism; writes a bit of poetry; has published some short stories, teaches creative writing, and is currently ensconced in a MA Creative Writing. Alongside, she's writing the second book in the series.  As a teenager Kate traipsed the moor imagining herself in some version of Wuthering Heights. Nothing much has changed.

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