Natalie Kleinman is a popular and well-known author of short stories. Last weekend her first novel, Voyage of Desire was published by Safkhet Soul. I’m delighted to welcome her as my guest today.
Natalie, please share your inspiration for this book and tell us about your writing process.
I began writing about twelve years ago with a one-term council-run course in the mistaken belief it would be an enjoyable but casual pastime. How wrong can a person be! It was if it had been waiting for me all my life and when it came it took over. To some extent I have become somewhat antisocial in that my alternative life now fits around my writing, not, as might be expected, the other way around. It would seem from the knowledge I have gained from other writers that I am not alone.
Voyage of Desire (Safkhet Soul) is my first published book, though not the first written. It has however been instrumental in my graduation from the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and I am looking forward immensely to the 2015 awards ceremony. My husband and I have cruised a few times but oddly enough this was not where the original manuscript began. It germinated from a couple of thousand words where Beth learned of the infidelity and marriage of her then partner. We heard all about it in that original chapter but – and this is the third time it’s happened to me – that first chapter, along with all its back story, was cut. It was as if I’d created a springboard then dived off, grateful to have a starting point in my head but definitely not the right place to begin the book, although I was some few chapters in before I realised this.
I have to wonder if the writing of the (thus far) always discarded first chapter is my way of planning or, at the very least, setting me on the road. If it is, and it seems to work for me, then I am happy to spend the time on those few thousand words that set me off on my own journey. Some writers plan and some do not. Voyage of Desire was, however, written using my normal method of starting at the beginning and continuing on until the end. Then came the editing. Conversely, I have to correct spelling and grammar during the writing process. Go figure! As for my characters, not only do they suggest themselves to me but they often get quite cross if I try to take them somewhere they do not want to go. Beth chose me, not me her. The only preconception I had was of Ryan, and that because I have a close friend whose Irish accent is totally captivating. If it worked for me I could hope it would work for my readers. I could see him from the word go; I didn’t change him and I’m happy to say he didn’t change himself.
Right now I am looking forward to publication on 17th July of my next book, a People’s Friend pocket novel called Secret Love, (DC Thomson). In the meantime I have returned to a novel I wrote four years ago and am changing the point of view from first to third person. It has given me so much more scope and ten thousand words have been rewritten, having of course dropped the original first chapter back story…there’s definitely a theme here, and I am enjoying it immensely. As my career progresses I am considering who I should send the current work in progress to. I’m anticipating it will come in at around 80k words, longer than its two predecessors and as such I hope will bring more opportunities. Only time will tell.
Amazon UK: Voyage of Desire
Smashwords: Voyage of Desire