Random, Writing

Q&A TAG: The Debut Novel

So, my good friend and fellow author, Adan Ramie, is a much better blogger than I am. She does all these cool things on her blog that I love reading, but simply can’t imagine writing myself. This, however, I think this I can do!


Niamh set the rules for this game. It’s a Q&A Tag about your debut novel, which for me is Doubt The Stars. It’s not published yet (so I hope I’m not violating any “rules” or anything), but it’s really close!


This is a Tag post, so if you’re an author yourself, check out the end of the post to see how you can get involved!

  • What is the title and genre of your debut novel?


Doubt The Stars in four words: Lady Hamlet in Space.

Okay, so there’s a little bit more to it than that ;P It’s the story of Henley, crown princess of the planet D’marc, and the people that revolve around her as she attempts to come to terms with her father’s death and the betrayal of her closest family. There’s friendship, lies, laughs, tears, a little bit of romance, and everyone is more than what they seem.



  • What gave you the idea to start writing it?

Until a couple of years ago, I had actually never even seen Hamlet. I knew the basic premise, but it had never been something that truly interested me. Then I watched the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2009 production, starring David Tennant and Sir Patrick Stewart.


I was in love. I watched probably five different productions in less than six months, but this one remains my favorite and was without a doubt the production that most heavily influenced my own interpretation of the story. I played with the idea for quite a while, finally deciding that eventually I wanted to write Hamlet in Space, with women. Lots of women. Like almost every single character has their gender reversed, which was a fun dynamic to play with.

“Eventually” came a lot sooner than I expected it to, when I hit a low point in my writing life last November and my writing group set me a challenge: Hamlet in Space for NaNo. I accepted, and well…


  • How long did it take you to finish?

I finished the first draft in November 2016 for National Novel Writing Month. It was an interesting month, because I had set myself the goal of actually finishing the story, not just writing my 50,000 words (which I had done with several projects in the past that I still have never actually finished). There was a lot of pressure, but to my own surprise as much as anyone else’s, I actually did it!


I’m still working through edits, but I expect to be completely finished and published before I start working on the second book for this year’s NaNoWriMo, a retelling of The Tempest, set in the same universe.


  • What was the biggest challenge you had when writing it?

The biggest challenge has definitely been fleshing out the story to make it into a true novel. Plays and novels are not the same thing, and it’s been much more difficult to make the transition than I ever imagined. There are certain things that simply do not translate well, but are integral to the telling of the story, and making all of those pieces fit together has been a real challenge for me.


Also, adding details to really give depth to the world has been a huge stumbling block. Thinking about how different planetary governments might operate, creating tech that hasn’t been invented yet, and giving depth to a society that has no basis in Earth as we know it has been both fun and terrifying, and I can only hope that I’ve done it justice.

  • How did you get it published, Indie or Trad?

I have always known that I would self-publish. Well, I say always. Ever since I discovered that self-publishing was a viable option, I’ve wanted to self-publish. Frankly, the traditional publishing model has always been off-putting to me, but for many years I thought it was the only way. I know better now, and I’m excited to put my book out there and get started on the next one right away, without the hassle of searching for an agent, who might or might not find a publisher for my book, or even taking it to publishers directly. No thanks, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.


  • What was the most important thing you learnt from the process?

No matter how ready you think you are, you’re not ready.


That’s pretty much been my takeaway from this entire process. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. I was wrong. Not terribly wrong, but still wrong. I’ve been taking pretty detailed notes throughout the editing and design process, so hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes twice, but I’m sure I’ll find new things to not be ready for the next time around. And that’s okay, it’s a learning experience! 😀

  • What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the outline for Book Two of Shakespeare in Space, and I have a basic idea for Book Three. I’ve been trying to tackle finishing the first draft of an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I’ve been working on for years, hoping to finish that this year and maybe work on some editing in 2018. And I have a new fantasy series swirling in my head, with the concept for at least three books, and possibly two more.


For now I’m focusing on getting this book published. We’ll see where it goes from there!

I really hope you enjoyed this quick Q&A, if you have any other questions about my writing, just ask me in the comments.

If you’re an author, why not play ‘Tag’?

Cut and paste these questions into your own blog with a link back to me, and provide your own answers to the questions! Then drop me a comment below with the link to your blog and I’ll check it out!

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