Today I am rounding off the tour for The Watcher Of The Night Sky, I have a guest post from author Rachel Pudsey about her writing journey.
Fifteen-year-old Abigail Crumble was never much for talking about love and marriage and other such nonsense – no matter how often her boy obsessed best friend pestered her to do so. Or so she so adamantly proclaimed.
Yet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Abigail makes the biggest, most contradictory mistake of her life. She wishes on the stars for love, or even the smallest amount of attention, without knowing the full impact of such a feat.
Abigail soon finds her simple life in chaos as princes, men and mysterious creatures come to her door, each adamantly in love with her and refusing to leave her side.
Mixing fantasy, humour, and romance, The Watcher of the Night Sky begins the tale of one girl’s quest to rid herself of a curse that was definitely far more than she wished for.
My Writing journey
My earliest memory of writing is when I was in primary school, perhaps primary six or seven, and I wrote a “novel” titled something like Six Down and One to Go. At that time I was really into Goosebumps, so it’s not that surprising that my first attempt at writing would be inspired by that.
As I moved into high school, my writing continued but became more focused on songs and scripts. I was really into pop at that time, groups like the Spice Girls, Take That, East 17, PJ and Duncan, Roxette, and All Saints were regulars on my CD player. My girlfriends and I spent our free time writing our own corny pop songs and pretending to be pop stars. Once I got into my later teens, I joined a theatre group, and my writing shifted to plays and musicals. I spent my free time in front of an old computer typing stories that were suspiciously akin to the plotlines of the 9 pm movies Channel 5 used to show. Stories of teenage gangs and action movies and kidnappings. Then at some point during high school, I was introduced to The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. That book had a huge influence on my creativity. I was obsessed with that story and the fact the author was published at seventeen years old.
Later, I took up the guitar and wrote songs with my university friend in the style of the Barenaked Ladies. Gosh, did we love that group! Our songs were ridiculous and comical, written usually during or after a drinking session. I think my story writing started to get a bit more structured and serious during university. I took a bus to school every day, and to pass the time I started writing a fantasy novel. I can pinpoint some of the inspiration for the story to a poster I had on my bedroom wall of a gnome chilling by a mushroom puffing on a pipe. I started to write this story about a prince that had come to earth from an alternate land because he had wanted to explore before becoming a ruler. He brought his controversial, human-obsessed magician friend along with him, and a gnome snuck through the hole too. The plot centred on the prince’s relationship with a worker from the hotel he stayed at. I must have written and rewritten and edited and re-edited that story for YEARS. Maybe about eight in total. I made maps, drew all the flags and colours, and wrote notes about all the kingdoms of the land. I continued writing that into my twenties, but eventually, my work and social life got in the way.
Not wanting to settle into a lifestyle I wasn’t satisfied with, I decided to pack up and leave the town I lived in. I moved to my parents’ town to take on a job with minimum responsibility, allowing me to focus more on my story. I shared extracts with a co-worker, and she loved the tales of Magi the gnome. I had my first fan.
I obviously took notes and wrote other random thoughts along the way, but my mind was so focused on that story it took me a long time to admit that I had to give up on it. By all means, I don’t think I wasted any time. I developed my skills, style, and creative mind. But I knew it had become a jumbled mess that couldn’t be salvaged, and I had to put it aside. I will come back to some of the characters and locations later, but I don’t think I’ll ever write that novel. I’m not sure it’s original enough (though I would like to write the adventures of Magi the gnome).
It was later while recovering from an illness and being utterly bored, that I looked through some of my creative stories and started to develop on the notes that would eventually become The Watcher of the Night Sky. One scene was the spark and soon I was writing endless scenes and ideas for the story. I don’t often plan out a plot. I let the ideas come out and then work on outline and development later. After moving to Korea, I became deadly serious about finishing the first book. Now I am on the third.
I hope that writing can turn into a full-time career. And I hope my writing style continues to develop and grow. For now, I will focus on finishing the third book of the Aronia Series and see what happens after. The ideas are already written on random notes littering my office. I just need to feel that spark and let the fire grow.
Whilst this is the last day here are the stops to check out if you want to find out more about the book.
Rachel was born and raised in Scotland but has a ridiculously English surname. A graduate of psychology, she now resides in South Korea. She has dabbled in teaching children, but after a few blessed years has succumbed to teaching business English to adults in Seoul.
Rachel has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. An obsession with Point Horror books led to her first novel being written at the age of ten. Truth be told, it wasn’t very good. The following years were spent reading, amateur acting in a youth group, occasionally playing guitar, and dabbling in songwriting, all the while continuing to write stories unworthy for print and developing her own style.
A mixture of inspiring authors had a huge influence upon her mind: S. E. Hinton, Mario Puzo, R. L. Stine, William Goldman, C.S Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, J. K. Rowling … the list goes on. For years, Rachel has cited The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton as her favourite book. These days, she considers The Princess Bride by William Goldman to be at the top of the list. But the list always changes. How can one simply pick a favourite from all the wonderful books out there? It’s like trying to pick one favourite food. Inconceivable!