Q: Where did the idea of your book come from?
A: For “Edgar Font’s Hunt for a House to Haunt, “In the lair forgotten bears” and Next Rest Stop Earth” the ideas came from asking “What if...” The nugget of a idea can come from anywhere. Edgar came from a dream one night, Forgotten Bears came when I found my old teddy bear in a box in the attic and Rest Stop came from my love of the paranormal. Never stop asking questions—even if you think you have the answer. That’s what I love about the paranormal, we don’t have the answers. Perfect! Let your imagination roll.
Q: What is a typical day in your shoes?
A: There is no typical day. Some mornings it just takes a pot of coffee and I’ll write nonstop for hours. Other days I’ll stare at the last line I typed and only be able to think about unpayed bills and the people I need to call.
Q: What are your writing habits (daily goals… etc)?
A: I give myself weekly goals (write a chapter, finish 15 illustrations, call these reviewers, etc.). Some days I don’t even want to write a word, but I’ve gotten into the habit of doing at least one thing per day that gets me closer to my dream. This could be something as simple as writing a blog or talking to a local bookseller.
Q: How long did it take from the start of the book and getting it published?
A: It took me almost three years to write the first Edgar Font book. Two years was simply developing the characters and tone. If you don’t have these two things, hold off on sending letters to agents or publishers. I didn’t send a letter or email until I knew for certain my idea was unique and I was able to talk about the characters and story as if they were as real as life. All-in-all, expect to work harder than you’ve ever worked before for at least five years. Some days (even weeks) will drive you to tears, but just hold on tight to your dream and picture yourself walking into a bookstore and seeing your work on the shelf. It’s friggin’ awesome!
Q: What was your favorite part & least favorite part?
A: My favorite part is hearing from people who enjoy my stories—especially kids. Good reviews put me in a good mood for a week (hint-hint) and let me know that all those years weren’t wasted. My least favorite (thinking... thinking...) I really don’t know, because even on the worst day, I at least know I’m working towards my dream.
Q: Do you listen to music while you write?
A: Sometimes, but it has to be something without words, because after a while I’ll find myself singing along and nobody wants to hear that. So I stick to either instrumental jazz, blues, or classical. Soundtracks to movies and stageplays are also good, but I have to make sure the score matches the scene I’m writing. I can’t have Grandpa Edgar battling an evil spirit during a makeout song—wrong on so many levels.
Q: Do you have any writing advice for aspiring writers?
A: CHARACTERS. Get to know your characters. Make them as real as you, your parents, your boss, and the bagger at the grocery store. If you’re not hearing their voice in your head when you’re typing out their dialog they will be one dimensional and booooooring! I like to insert the personalities of people I’ve met in my life. Larry Hammonds, in Adventure Two of the Edgar Font series, is actually my art teacher from high school. I didn’t even change his name. So just remember—characters make the story, not the other way around.
Q: What is your next project and when will it be in our hands?
A: I’m staring at four projects right now. The next one you’ll see on the shelf is “The Flint Island Treehouse,” the third adventure in the Edgar Font series. It will be available in July. Later in the year I’m hoping to have “In the lair of Forgotten bears” out. It’s a children’s picture book for ages 4-8 (forgottenbears.com). After that is another picture book (Title still in the works) and a Sci-Fi Fantasy based on a screenplay I wrote in 2005 entitled “Next Rest Stop Earth.” If you’d like to receive updates on everything I’ve got going on or have any questions for me, find me on myspace (myspace.com/patrickhtdoyle) or goodreads (search “Patrick H.T. Doyle”).
THANKS FOR TAKING TIME TO CHAT WITH US PATRICK! =)