Because I love talking to other writers about their process and their passion for storytelling, I’m hoping to make these author Q+As a regular addition to my blog. Today, I interview Laura L. Comfort, author of Journey to Kokoroe. -S.
LC: I’ve had stories floating around my head for as long as I can remember. I often would begin writing, but I never got very far. This time I started with brainstorming; I had no intention of writing a book. It began with an idea for a character so I started by building her profile. Once I determined that her story would take place on another world, I decided to make a timeline. The more background I created for the story, the more devoted I was to it and therefore writing ensued!
Q: Where did your idea come from?
LC: My initial idea was more of a personal musing: what would I have been like as a teen if I knew then what I know now? Of course, this brought up another question: how could someone get 20 years’ worth of knowledge and experience without aging? Every answer began to flesh out the ideas for the story. Where the book ended up was beyond my first questions, but the basic concept can still be glimpsed in the overall series.
Q: What was the hardest part about writing your novel?
LC: Time. I had done all the back story and character sketches, maps and even collected inspiring images and then it all sat buried in files on my computer for about two years. Life got busy and I had other endeavours I was pursuing.
Then one summer, I was sorting through the chaos that was my digital world and came across my writing. I was actually taken aback at how much I had done – when I looked at all that stuff, it was clear to me the story was already there, it just needed to be written out. Once that decision was made, I stopped spending my nights watching TV and wrote. My kids’ passion for the story made that an easy choice and gave me ample motivation.
Q: Any plans for a sequel?
LC: Yes. I have already written the next two books in the series. I hope to have the second one out this summer.
Q: Why did you decide to self publish?
LC: I didn’t begin writing with the intention of publishing. However, once I had written a novel’s worth, my family encouraged me to publish so they could share it with their friends. I investigated the traditional methods, but it can be a long, slow method and there would be no guarantees it would get published. I had a story my kids loved and wanted to share – self publishing seemed the obvious choice.
Q: And most importantly: why should someone read your book?
LC: There is something for everyone in this series. I have a strong female protagonist – something we need more of in literature. However, there are many prominent male characters in the story. There’s a little magic, supported heavily by science, conspiracy theories, spies, ninjas, castles and more.
I wanted a believable world so I thought out everything from their writing system to where they get running water. I made an effort to have plausible explanations and didn’t resort to putting the characters in situations with veneer reasoning.
But the main reason I’d recommend the book? I love it and so do my kids.
About Journey to Kokoroe
As Hanna begins to realize that home is not just around the corner, fear begins to grip her. Greeted with kindness, fear gives way to curiosity. As she learns of the destructive history of Galenia she becomes resolved to help her new companions maintain their idealized way of life. Hanna’s not the only one with a new purpose.
Nandin discovers the history he grew up believing may not have been accurate and the suffering he’s witnessed may have been caused by the very people he trusted. Two travellers on opposite paths; both convinced they’re on the side of the greater good. One path leads to the salvation of Galenia, the other to it’s destruction.