Interview with Antonia Fields

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That's a good question. I wrote a story in high school - in my creative writing class - about a group of children who disappeared in a forest and one day emerged with special abilities.
What is your writing process?
I was once watching a show on TV where writers were being interviewed about their processes and were asked about writers block. One of the writers answers stood out. She said, there is no such thing as writers block you just write without worrying if it's good or bad and then edit it once you have finished. I guess my process is a little like this. I start with an idea and just start writing, see where it takes me. Then I go back and fill in the details, research where I have to, take poetic license where I can and tidy up all my work making sure it all comes together in a great, adventure filled story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Wow, for a minute I was about to say I couldn't but then there it was. The first book I clearly remember reading was the Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. I was in primary school and it quite frankly blew me away and starting to sow the seed of the type of story I like to read. Something set in my own time line (or one not too far off - past or future) playing with elements of paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and mythology incorporating them into our own boring, every day lives. I think it's why I started reading in the first place, to escape and place myself into the story as I read it and stories such as these allowed me to do that.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover for the Travellers was my first design and I collaborated with the designer quite abit (fionajaydemedia). In fact she was instrumental in the idea forming by asking me very pointed questions about the story and my vision for the cover. One of the questions she asked was about the hero of the story and it was this question that really defined the cover. Most people reading the story would believe it's Axel or Jason but the first thought I had was the beast (my anti hero). It's this moment that I discovered how important the beast was to the story and how much I wanted this character to grow and thrive in part two and actually become the real hero of the piece.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh ok a hard one because I enjoy so many stories. So I will think about five stories I really enjoyed in no particular order and I think they may even surprise you.

The first that comes to mind is Scarecrow by Matthew Riley. Not science fiction - well maybe a little. I love this character and I love the support characters in this story. It was the first Matthew Riley book I read and have since become a huge fan even meeting him at a lecture (and of course getting books signed). I love the big 80s block buster adventure feel of this book and how invested I became in the characters and the success of their mission. And for those of you who are a fan of Matthews books you know my love of science fiction and mythology are fully satisfied with his other titles.

Another book that stands out is Graceling by Kristen Cashore. Picked it up one day thinking hmm this looks interesting and became a big fan. Again not my usual MO when it comes to stories but I love this story. I have a thing that I like when people have two different coloured eyes and the dimension Kristen Cashore adds to this physical feature and the world she created around it is truly inspired. Again, amazing writer, amazing talent helping us become endeared to the characters and the challenges they meet and the creativity involved in the story is breathtaking. When a writer can get you to stand by a character and give them your all then you know they are very good at what they do.

The first shadow hunter book I read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare sucked me into a world that I was in no rush to get out of. I like a good paranormal story as much as the next person and I love the way Cassandra Clare has a different take on this genre than many out there right now. I absolutely love her character development and often tell people that they should refer to her books if they want a lesson on how this is done. Getting to know her characters so intimately is part of the reason, I believe, has achieved her great success and definitely why I continue reading the series. And really, lets admit it, who doesn't want to grow up being a Shadowhunter after reading these stories. The movie really does not do this story any justice.

It took me a while to get around to reading a William Gibson book and once I did I had to finish them all. Necromancer was the first one I read and this appealed to me in every way introducing me to a cyber world I had yet to discover and one that intrigued me so very much. So much so that I couldn't help but think William Gibson when the Matrix first came out. I guess the writers of this trilogy were big fans too.

That leaves book number five. It has to be Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. This is the book that helped me become addicted to the Night Watch series. I love when authors take a common genre (demons, vampires, witches and warlocks) and puts an unexpected twist on it. This is the first Russian science fiction author I read and since reading Night Watch I went looking for more and found the stories to be gritty, dark, addictive, creative, witty and funny. I was really happy to see a Russian made movie version of this book as it incorporated all of these elements and really made the book come alive into pictures and sounds. I've become a fan and it's thanks to this one book.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My first device was my iphone. I decided one day to use my ibook app when I was on a break from work and just wanted to loose myself in something other than work one day. It was my first foray into the ebook world and I haven't looked back. Don't get me wrong. I love buying books, I love the holding of the books, the smell of the ink, dog earing the pages (no offence to anyone out there that hates this habit). The problem has been the price of books has become so high that I'm now picky about what books I'm spending my money on, although I still love a trip to the bookshop. So I love the ebook trade, making books so readily accessible not only in talent but in price as well. So I just had to go and buy myself a kindle which I now love as much as holding a book to read.
Describe your desk
Ahh my desk. Well the desk itself is a Victorian dark wood desk with a single long draw at the front. My desk is surrounded by very modern slick black book shelves for all my bits and pieces- what can I say I'm a girl and I like storage. I have a Neo (the matrix) doll on my desk next to my lamp and piles of papers I need to get through at some point. I also have different crystals scattered on my desk, all presents I have received over the years. I have two cork boards filled with things I like to look at - such as an elf playing card, my ideal study/library, a birthday calendar (for my bad memory), a picture of the Pleiades star system (a story for another time) and concert tickets to the next Soundwave festival. Laying on my desk is a desk protector with a map of the world printed on it - I have marked all the places I have travelled to on it and also, when I was going through my fascination of the crystal skull myths, all the places a crystal skull has been 'discovered'.

I don't usually write my stories on my desk. Occasionally I do but more frequently I set myself up on my comfy arm chair next to my desk, sit my laptop on my knees and get to work.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is called the Travellers. Misspelled or not, depending on which side of the planet you currently reside. The story behind this book came from a conspiracy theory I heard about while watching Ancient Aliens on TV. I love me a good conspiracy theory - always happy to hear one. And as I was listening to this particular one - about aliens coming to Earth and educating some of Egypts pharaohs, a story started forming in my head. If you happen to read the Travellers (and I hope you do) you will read about this particular theory and all I did was take some poetic license and expand the theory, created some history behind the theory and wrote what I hope is a good adventure story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It was actually the stories I was reading on my kindle that inspired me to start committing my stories to electronic ink and publishing them as an indie author. There were so many good stories that I read, so many authors and titles to choose from and reading some of the authors bios made me realise that they were people just like me. So I thought now is as good a time as any. Writing makes me happy, it's my meditation, it keeps me happy and creative and the eBook forum has made publishing accessible to people like me who otherwise wouldn't be motivated or wouldn't get a chance. It also means that I am not too restrained as to what I write and can literally write the stories I want to write without being told that the story is too 'out there' or some such nonsense. Some of us really like 'out there'.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The fact that Smashwords exists has contributed to my success. And I'm not speaking in monetary terms, I'm speaking in terms of my success and value as a human being. I'm a big believer in finding what makes you happy and doing it, taking action. I still have all the boring stuff to do like paying bills, mortgage and putting food on the table - like all of us - so I still need to work. Thanks to Smashwords and my independence of contributing, writing has become less about earning a great wage and more about doing what makes me happy, and when I'm happy, life around me is happy. Earning money from my stories is a magnificent, great bonus and even if people don't read my stories (which I hope they do) that's ok as well. Smashwords is the vehicle that drives something that makes me happy and as long as Smashwords is here, I'll be an indie writer.
What are you working on next?
So many stories, so little time...there are two stories I'm currently working on. One is a myth based story using some of the druidic mythology surrounding the Ogham script used in early Medieval times. And the other is based on a documentary I saw a great many years ago about Lake Vostok in the Antarctic. It's an underwater lake (ok that sounds unbelievable but it is surrounded by ice under water) and scientists have yet to explore the lake environment because they can't actually access any samples without contaminating the lake - hmmmm, there is definitely a story in there somewhere. Oh and lets' not forget the Travellers, there is a little more story to tell on that one.
Published 2014-05-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Travellers
Price: Free! Words: 44,760. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
Lily has known from a young age that she was adopted and was content growing up peacefully with her adopted father and her extended family in the Library. She was not prepared for the truth the Library kept from her about her alien origins. Now Lily finds herself hunted by the Travellers. Will she make it to safety or will she be captured and exploited for her special alien DNA?