Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
For something different, keep on reading! This is a special post with information about the book, an interview with the author and more information about him.
Read on to discover more:
Information about the book
Title: Between Darkness and the Light
Author: Paul Mitchener
Release Date: 14th March 2018
Genre: YA Adventure
Publisher: Brown Dog Books
Summary: A young, bored and confused teenager is thrown into an adventurous world that he believed only existed in books and dreams. Henry is destined to become the next Host Master and to lead the everlasting fight between the darkness and the light. The Wyvern, an ancient creature of mythical powers and defender of all things living, has to find a host to be able to dwell in this world. It chooses Henry. After his encounter with Bert and the odd dog Ben in the woodland, Henry’s life would never be the same again: as well as finding his only true love, he’s told that his mother and aunt had kept from him that they were creatures of nature and guardians of the woodland and commanded great powers. Henry has to find a way to grow up fast and find the strength to face up to both his own demons as well as those sent by the Shadow Master, a powerful sorcerer, who has the power and the aid from dark allies to destroy life and spread darkness across the world.
I’d like to thank the author, Paul Mitchener, for very kindly agreed to answer my questions and I hope you enjoy reading his answers as much as I did!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series? It difficult for me to say just what it was that inspired me to this novel but, I’ve always wanted to write. I have suffered from dyslexia since childhood and struggled with the written word for most of my life. Some of my inspiration may be that I wanted to just prove to myself that I could do it. I’ve had two or three of the main characters rattling around in my head for some time now and it wasn’t until I became involved in conservation that the plot revealed itself to me. Being be a lover fantasy and passionate about nature and conservation, it made perfect sense me to combine the two.
What is your writing process? This is a difficult question to answer, but if I had to use one word to some up my process of writing, it would be “organic”. A strange word to use, I know, but I’m a firm believer that when writing a novel, one should be flexible. I often sit down to write with a plot in mind, but more often then not, write something totally different, my story lines tend to grow with the characters within it. All my plots and story lines are developed around the protagonists, I wouldn’t feel at all comfortable placing any of my characters in situations that I feel wouldn’t work for them. In my humble opinion, a good novel doesn’t just come from the plot but also from the passion of the writer
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer? I tend to use both, but mainly, I use my laptop. I have pen and note pad by my bed and around the house, if I get an idea, I try and write it down before I lose it. The problem with this, I end up with lots of bits of paper and no idea in which order they should be in, so I tend to prefer to set at laptop. I’m so passionate about my writing, once I start, it can be difficult for me to stop, so in order to my pace myself I set a timer, otherwise I’ll never leave the laptop.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why? This is easy, Kreedy Wormwell. Kreedy is a self-appointed keeper of history, or how he would like to put it “Guardian of knowledge and all things past”. He lives in the middle of the woodland in a home built into the side of a hill, his whole house is stacked from floor to ceiling with books. A dislikeable and untrustworthy individual. I have no idea where I come up with the idea of Kreedy but for some reason his discription and his character just flowed out of me. He is very tall, very skinny with an oversized head and thick glasses, and wear the most ridiculous multi-coloured clothes. I just love his whole wacky persona and the sly way in which he is always trying to get others to talk about themselves, by saying that it’s purely for the records, but in reality, nobody is really sure why he’s so inquisitive, even I haven’t completely got my head around this character and I hope to build on him in the sequel. I love everything about Kreedy, his wacky untrustworthy nature, his strange looks and the way in which he interacts with others.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be? Difficult one, I love all my characters as if they were old friends, but if I had to choose, I believe it would be “Mylon. He is fiercely loyal, brave, honest and always puts others before himself. Although Mylon hurts inside after losing family and friends, he would never dare to show it, always ready with his reassuring smile and words of encouragement to others. He is compassionate and caring, but also a strong and decisive leader and is hugely admired by all that know him. All-in-all a true fantasy hero.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters? Henry Harris, one of the main characters in my novel, is taken from one of my middle name and Harris is my mothers maiden name, however, after choosing the name I was worried that it sounded a little too much like I was trying to copy “Harry Potter”, this is truly not the case, although, like many teenaged protagonists there some similarities. Bert is loosely base on someone I new and Ben a pet which I lost a few years ago. I have no idea where Mylon and Kreedy Wormwell came from, they were names that I felt fitted the characters. Another character in my novel is a fellow called Walter Britten, Walt’ character is taken from my uncle, the discription I give of him is a little unfair but all- in all, I feel I have his mannerisms off to a tee. Of cause, there are other individuals within my novel, Bree, Alk, Poppy and Lilly, all names I chose because I felt they fitted the characters nature.
I now live in a small picturesque village called Penton Grafton in Hampshire, which consists a large duck pond, a village green where cricket is played most Sundays during the summer and a 14th century church. Penton Grafton is about four miles away from our nearest large town of Andover. Andover is briefly mentioned in my book.
One of seven children and a son of a farmer, I spent all my childhood playing in the countryside. I was born in the same house that my parents lived in for all their married life. Unfortunately, I had very pour education. That, added to the fact that I suffer from dyslexia, meant that I didn’t just struggle with the written word all of my life, but I also had to work twice as hard as others in many aspect of life. That said, I have never allowed it to hold me back from anything I wanted to achieve. I’m now retired but before that, I was a Managing/production director of company that made armoured and stretched luxury limousines for royals and dignitaries, mainly in the Middle East. I spent the best part of fifteen years travelling the world on business and met many of the royals as well as famous celebrities. Since retiring, I took a two year full time collage course in countryside conservation which is a subject that I’m very passionate about and despite my disorder, I achieved top grades and best student of the year.
Between the Darkness and the Light is my first novel but I’m now in the process of writing a sequel, my motivation for this book comes in two parts. Firstly, to become a published author has been on my bucket list for years now. I’ve always envied anyone who could write, especially writers like Terry Brooks, who have the skill to capture a moment in time and develop such interesting strong characters, so, I needed to prove to myself that someday I could write a novel. Dyslexia can be a very debilitating condition which is often overlooked, so I wanted to prove not just to myself but to others that suffer from it, that if they really worked at it, they could do the same and nothing should hold them back from reaching their own potential. I managed to achieve more than most and much more than I had hoped; but it has been a long hard uphill battle.
Secondly, I have a passion for nature and although my book is fantasy it is set in the here and now. The message I wish to get across to my readers (especially teenagers) is that we must start caring for the world in which we live. One of the main reason for choosing a teenager as the main character was to try and take others of the same age on a journey of discovery but with a teenage prospective, his first love, his new-found passion for nature and other living beings; but more importantly, discovering himself. What makes my book important to me are the characters and the location in which my book is set. Most of my characters are a mix of people that I know or have known in the past, although the people I know are interesting characters in their own right, it was fun putting them all in a mixing pot and creating new and more interesting characters. The location is set in and around the town of Whitchurch, an area where I was born and raised, the woodland was where I used to play as a child, there’re both places I still hold very dear to my heart.
The whole story of my book is set around one teenaged character (Henry Harris). Henry a confused, lazy and often very moody young man and now having left full education he has no idea what he wants from life. I’m sure most, if not all teenaged readers can relate to him, especially his relationship with his family. Henry eventually finds himself but only with the help, support and love from those that care for him most. The only message I wish to get across to teenagers is, that they don’t have to face life’s trials alone, if they have family and friends that love them and support them there is nothing in this world that they couldn’t get through.
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Many thanks to Authoright who organised this tour and provided the content for this post. I don’t know about you, but I’m now very tempted to read this book!