In England & France for the Summer

Doing a bit of traipsing about England and France, visiting with publishers and discussing various new series in the YA fantasy and thriller genres. Of course, sometimes there’s no way to avoid getting in the occasional theatre play . . .

Here’s a fun fact: Britain and France have been to war against each other 23 separate times.


Recent Comments

  • Jeffery
    November 26, 2019 - 6:29 pm · Reply

    I would like to say I enjoy books so much they are probably the only ones I have bothered to buy instead of borrowing it from the library.
    Though this is unrelated to this blog post, I would like ask how you come up with ideas for a series and how you write the first paragraph and first scene in each series. The first few lines of Spellslinger pretty much conveyed the atmosphere of the entire series, and gave me enough information to want to read more. How do think of a suitable way to start such a big series?

    • decastell
      November 27, 2019 - 6:38 am · Reply

      Glad you’re enjoying the books!

      Your question is rather a big one, but in a way the answer is already embedded within it. You write that first page by asking yourself what the reader needs to know in order to come into the story (since they’re always coming into a story partway through your character’s life). I tend to focus more on tone in my openings than a lot of writers, who focus more on plot. That’s because I need the reader to understand what it feels like to be this character and I need them to understand how the character sees the world around them. So with Kellen, he’s obsessed with what’s missing about him and how that affects his life.

      As far as opening action is concerned, I usually look for something that–whether fantastical or not–is something we can all relate to in some way. Most of us can remember the feeling of being terrified after school because someone challenged us to a fight, and that horrible walk from class to wherever the fight was to take place. That’s basically what happens to Kellen at the beginning of the series, and grounds his concerns in ones many of us can relate to.

      Hope that helps!

  • Maria
    December 7, 2019 - 9:59 pm · Reply

    I have truly enjoyed reading your books, in fact you are on a very short list of writers that I will buy any book written before I have had a chance to preview it. I have recommended you to anyone who loves fantasy.

    • decastell
      December 8, 2019 - 11:51 am · Reply

      Thanks so much, Maria! That means a lot to me. I’ve got two books scheduled to come out next year, so lots more to come!

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