Once again Stitch Says is taking part in a blog tour hosted by Mother and Daughter Book reviews. this time we get to meet Jemima Pett the author of The Princelings of the East!

The Princelings of the East by Jemima Pett

About the Book

Title: The Princelings of the East (Princelings of the East Trilogy, Book 1; 2nd edition)

Author: Jemima Pett

Year published: originally published 2011

Publisher: Princelings Publications

Number of pages: 103

Recommended age: 10+

Summary (Amazon):

The Princelings of the East is the first of a trilogy telling of the adventures of Fred and George.

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I decided to write a story about my guinea pigs, Fred and George, and almost immediately decided to make it a trilogy. Then friends liked them and said I should publish. Eventually I decided it was good enough to publish, but agents didn’t think it was commercial enough, which I agree with, so I self-published. It was probably after that I decided to become an author – so around December 2011. Although I should say that I wanted to become an author when I was about eighteen, but my friend told me my story was rubbish, so I thought I was rubbish, and left writing fiction to others for years! Changing to being an author means that writing part-time between my other job and interests has stopped. I don’t have much time for other interests or my old job – I write and promote my books!

I love that this is about your guinea pigs – that’s so cool!

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I have an end point for the Princelings series, and I’d like to know how to get there and still stay in the MG genre – I’ve already strayed outside it with the Talent Seekers. I have an ambition to do a horse book and also some children’s books.

Best of luck, sounds like you have lots of great ideas.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I must be influenced by all the books I’ve ever read, but as I’ve read a lot of fantasy and scifi that’s probably what I feel happiest with. I’ve also had a number of careers and there’s a wealth of training and study (and writing) associated with those, so I have some background in a range of subjects that is pretty wide. They say ‘write what you know’ and I try to use what I know in the books, even if it is transposed into fantasy worlds. For example, in the latest book (work in progress) George is testing a flying boat, which has developed from the biplanes that were introduced in the third of the trilogy. One of the things I’m doing in real life is editing my Dad’s memoirs into a book – he was involved with the Imperial Airways flying boat service before World War 2. I’ve always had an interest in them, but now I know more about flying boats and can put that into my stories. I do find my characters tend to write my books for me, though – I just put it down in words.

I often start with a character too and then the story just happens.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
Read more widely, and do writing challenges. I found Chuck Wendig’s weekly writing challenge (he’s not for kids, btw) and it constantly challenges me to write flash fiction on subjects or in styles I may never have even heard of before! Sometimes I have to let the challenge fester for a few days before I come up with an idea – sometimes you just have to sit down and write something and see what happens, though.
I also check a couple of trusted publishing advice sites to remind myself of all the bad habits I have to edit out before letting the book go free… i.e. publishing it!

What are the names of your books?
The Princelings of the East
The Princelings and the Pirates
The Princelings and the Lost City
The Traveler in Black and White
The Talent Seekers

What works best for you when writing? Meaning do you outline or write freely when you feel inspired to do so?
I tend to start out with a vague idea, but these days I often turn that into a five sentence outline; the situation, three turning points, and the resolution.
One thing I find important as I’m writing is to keep a timeline going, who is doing what with whom, where and when. That was essential for the first book, with time travel in it, but it’s needed for the others too, since people go off an side adventures and you need to know if and when they can get back together. Sometimes it works wonderfully – I had three different groups all going through one place on the same day in Lost City – that meant bits of plot could pass along without them actually meeting each other.
I find as the world I’m writing in gets more complex more planning is needed – heroes now have children, other events have happened; reasonable time needs to have elapsed for inventions to have spread; social change as a result of that needs time to fester… but that’s context rather than plot planning.

For other authors who may be struggling what advice can you on handling rejection?
Read Stephen King’s On Writing, and JK Rowling’s interviews on getting started, and accept rejection is normal. It’s not personal. Unless you sent a request to someone who said they aren’t taking requests, or not for your type of writing. Then you asked for it.

Thanks for choosing Stitch Says and some wonderful advice. To check out more about Jemima and her book check out the blog tour! In the mean time keep reading, keep writing!