Daughters of the People # 1
By- Lucy Varna
Genre- Fantasy/ Romance /Romantic Suspense
Maya Bellegarde has spent her entire life searching for a way to break the curse hanging over her and her People. As part of her quest, she volunteers to investigate an anomalous burial at a Swedish archaeological dig where a rare cache of documents has been discovered side by side with an ancient symbol linked to the Seven Sisters, the progenitors of the People.
While in Sweden, Maya meets James Terhune, an attractive archaic language expert, and invites him to take on a position at the Institute for Early Cultural Studies, the People's main historical research branch. James is thrilled by the opportunity Maya extends and intrigued by the attraction he feels for her. He soon begins to suspect, however, that the secrets of the grave are minor compared to the secrets Maya holds, secrets that could hamper their burgeoning relationship and cripple the work they've undertaken for the IECS.
The People aren't the only ones interested in the newly-discovered documents. An ancient enemy of the People resurfaces, threatening the lives of Maya and James' loved ones, and setting in motion a chain of events that could save the People, or destroy them.
Please welcome Lucy Varna as she talks to us about her writing process!
The writing process is one of the most hotly debated topics among authors. Some argue that the only way to achieve a quality story is to write slowly and with great care. Others understand that the speed with which the first draft is written has nothing to do with the quality of the end product.
That’s because every successful author puts each manuscript through a ringer of edits and revisions, using outside readers, editors, and proofers. Sometimes the final story bears little resemblance to the first draft.
I tend to take the middle road on this, though after spending two years refining my own writing process, I ultimately side more with the latter camp. Like most authors, I begin with an idea, a character, a setting, or even a title. That nugget is expanded into a rudimentary series of plot points over one to several days of brainstorming. I’m not a plotter per se, but I do like to know the basics of how the story will progress prior to sitting down to write. Those plot points guide me through the story without denting the creative process, allowing the characters to develop on their own as they grow along with the story. Using plot points instead of a firm outline allows me to swerve if a better idea comes along.
I try to write at least five days per week and prefer to write in whole scenes rather than aiming for a set word count or pages-written goal. Every day before sitting down to write, I read through the previous day’s work, refining the story, dialogue, and character interactions as I go. I also regularly reread the entire manuscript from the beginning, in order to keep the story fresh and whole in my mind, and so I don’t lose track of details. During the creation of the first draft, I use an alpha reader who helps refine many aspects of the story.
It’s not unusual for the first drafts of shorter stories to be completed within a few days to a couple of weeks. Longer stories can take anywhere from one to seven months, depending on which stories are priorities and which are extras. Once the first draft is finished, though, I set it aside and let it rest while I work on another project. After the resting period, I do a series of edits myself before sending the manuscript to my editor. As soon as he hands it back to me, I integrate his edits into the manuscript then go over it a final time before publishing it.
This explanation of my writing process makes it sound simple and easy. It’s anything but! While writing is not the hotbed of artistic angst some make it out to be, it does take effort, thought, and a certain amount of fresh creativity. Recharging the brain through exercise, reading, watching movies, and interacting with others are all crucial to the process.
The journey from unpublished hopeful to successful author can be a long road. I’ve enjoyed every step of the way!
About the Author-
Lucy Varna lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northeast Georgia, surrounded by her large, extended family. She's a voracious reader and enjoys nothing more than losing herself between the pages of a good book. Her writing draws extensively on her background in genealogy, history, and archaeology, as well as on her eternal love of Science Fiction, Fantasy, the paranormal, and suspense.