I’ve been privileged to know Beverley Lee for only a short time but every day has been a pleasure.
Beverley is a freelance writer currently residing in the south east of England. In thrall to the written word from an early age, especially the darker side of fiction, she believes that the very best story is the one you have to tell. Supporting fellow authors is also her passion and she is actively involved in social media writers’ groups.
I am delighted to welcome Beverley to my blog today to discuss her debut novel The Making of Gabriel Davenport, which is released on Friday 8 April.
You can find out more about Beverley Lee by clicking on the links below:
1 First of all, please tell us about The Making of Gabriel Davenport. ‘One night. One secret.’ It has me already fascinated.
It’s a dark fantasy, set in the present day but with definite ties to the past. I find my inspiration in many places, but one is the indomitable human spirit of courage and hope in seemingly hopeless situations, and I think this applies incredibly well to this story. This is about a normal family and one twisted branch of fate that changes everything. And of course, it’s about secrets, and how one that was buried resurfaces and threatens to tear apart everything Gabriel holds close.
2 What inspired you to write this story?
A long time ago I watched a TV series (I don’t recall what it was!) set in an old house which was a base for a paranormal research organization. I’ve always loved the idea but had never found the right story to do it justice. I’ve played about with it before, but it was only with Gabriel that I found the flow, although snippets of my original do make an appearance.
3 What drew you to the paranormal fantasy genre?
I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of fiction and I like to weave the complexity of human emotions into this. I wanted to create something with layers that the reader could peel apart and step inside. I wanted them to *feel* the struggles all the characters go through, whilst delivering a fast paced, suspense driven story. All my characters have flaws. All my ‘good’ characters have bad points. All my ‘bad’ characters have light. It’s not a typical paranormal fantasy, I prefer to think of it as contemporary, but with supernatural elements.
4 Did you always write in this genre?
Yes. Although I have dabbled in others over the years. This is where I am comfortable, but if the right story came along and nipped at my heels that wasn’t in this genre, I would definitely run with it!
5 I love the book’s cover, especially the font. I know you do too. How did the developing of the cover unfold?
Thank you, Ellen. The wings on the cover were hand drawn by my best friend, who also happens to be a very talented, fine arts trained, illustrator. Originally, the wings were attached to a body, but this didn’t quite work, so this version was chosen, as a nod to the ‘fallen’ element which is apparent in the story. The illustration then went to my cover designer, who sent me numerous fonts to look at (at first I actually discounted this one!) I did a public ‘ask’ session in a café and everyone said they preferred this font. I wanted a cover that was simple yet striking and I believe I found it.
6 I believe you were nominated for the Liebster Award. Will you tell us something about it?
I was! I’m often nominated by lovely bloggers for these kinds of things, which astounds me as I’m probably the worst blogger out there. I have every intention of posting weekly and interacting, but something always seems to take precedence. It was fun to complete though, they always make me think slightly outside of the box, which is a very good place for a writer to be.
7 Where do your ideas come from?
Everything. An overheard snippet of conversation. A song lyric. The strange sense of deja vu in an historical place. The ocean. Starlight. I’m very much a pantster when it comes to writing. I have a beginning and usually a vague end, but the rest is an organic process. It always amazes me how it all fits together in the end.
8 What authors inspire you?
Oh, lots! Stephen King (always The Master), Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice (her older stories), George R R Martin, Maggie Stiefvater, Leigh Bardugo.
9 What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Apart from being able to work in your pj’s all day? 🙂 Creating a new world with new characters that didn’t exist before you gave them wings. It’s the closest thing to pure magic for me.
10 When did you first start to write? Was there one thing that made you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote the most awful cliché ridden pony stories as a young child. My poor, long suffering English teacher would no doubt attest to this! Words were instilled in me from an early age. I was always a bookish girl. I think most of my formative years were spent in a library. Writing was something that I had to do, a calling, if you will. But I did fight it. In the years where my family grew up I hardly wrote at all, but it was always there niggling away in the background.
11 What are you working on now? I’m sure everyone will be hoping it’s a sequel.
It IS the sequel! At this point the draft is nearly ready to send out to my wonderful band of beta readers. Then comes the hard work of changes and moulding it into something good enough to send out to my editor. I’m hoping to make a start on the last book in the series soon too. I have little bits floating around my head all of the time. Later on this year, I also have a short story in an anthology about ‘doomed love’ with a global band of writers and artists that I’m excited about.
12 I know you are very supportive of other authors. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It is very much a passion. I’ve been lucky enough to have been nurtured by some wonderful writers on my journey, and I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. I believe in ‘paying it forward’. I’m currently leading a writing challenge group on Twitter for the month – the group that took me by the hand last year at the very beginning. My advice would be to simply write. Don’t edit. Get that first draft down with all of its warts and hangups and then start playing about with it.
13 What is your writing process? How long were you working on The Making of Gabriel Davenport?
Gabriel started off as the first 3,000 words in a short story competition that I never entered. But something wasn’t quite right. I picked it up again in January 2015 and realized what was wrong. Originally, he was a girl, named Erin, and once I changed this, everything fell into place. I knocked out the first draft in three months. Then it went through two more before it went out to beta, and two more before my editor got it. As I said above, I’m an organic writer. I let my characters lead me. Sometimes they put me up against a brick wall but sometimes they give me gold.
14 Where is your novel available for purchase?
It’s available from Amazon as an eBook and Paperback.
15 When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Is there such a thing as not writing? J I spend a lot of time on social media, as you well know, but I do love to read and to walk. It’s where I get a lot of ideas from. If I get the chance I love a good movie or box set I can binge through too.
16 Is there anything else you would like to say to your prospective readers?
I hope you enjoy the journey I’ve taken you on, and that my characters have made you think or have found their way into your heart. I appreciate you more than I can ever say.
I’d like to thank Beverley for joining me today. It’s been fantastic hearing about your debut novel and about you. I wish you all the best with The Making of Gabriel Davenport, and eagerly await your next novel.