Welcome to The Morgawr and the Bad Knockers Blog Tour!
Welcome to Day 2 of the Morgawr and the Bad Knockers Blog Tour. Make sure to check out the other blogs in the tour. Today I am bringing you a Q&A from Karen Hoyle. But before we do lets’s find out a little bit more The Morgawr and The Bad Knockers.
Spirited and adventurous children’s book series follows the adventures of a Cornish tin miner and his magical friends.
Two naughty Knockers -grubby trolls who wear miners boots and eat pasty crusts for those of you who don’t know- have been stealing from their community. With no-one else to turn to, it is up to Austin to help his friends out and bring the thieves to justice. However, things take a dangerous turn when the knockers take something explosive and Austin is forced to embark on a very different adventure which will take him underground through perilous tunnels and out into the wild sea.
With the help of new friends, in the shape of sea serpents and Bramble, a female knocker who used to be a wrestling champion, Austin finds himself in a race to save the lives of the magical underground world- but will he succeed? Enjoy the ride as the Cornish coast provides another dose of adventure and magic that children and adults alike with enjoy and remember for years to come.
Interview with Karen Hoyle.
About the author: Karen M Hoyle was born in Newquay, Cornwall and grew up with Cornish magical tales all around her. A writer through her career in public relations, Karen wrote her first book ‘The Adventures of Austin the Cornish Miner The Rescue of The Dweeble Stone’ in 2004. The book stayed in a moving box for eleven years before resurfacing and finally being published in 2015. Karen has also written poetry, winning a poetry competition aged 13 which is now showcased at the British Museum. Karen now sees writing as a fundamental part of her future and mixes children’s writing with writing books and blogs related to her
profession. Karen continues to live in Cornwall with her writing companion Bailey the Cocker Spaniel who likes to delete items from Karens laptop when bored.
• I read on goodreads that it took 11 years from writing this story to publishing the first book. What finally made you decide it was the right time?
Strangely, it was more that I was just too busy for 11 years to actually dedicate the time to doing the rewrites and the promotion needed to launch the book. Time moved on and 11 years later technology had speeded up via Social Media and Websites and my ability to personally reach my audience seemed far easier. Print on demand, Amazon became a major host for book sales and importantly Poldark returning to TV to highlight Cornwall made it the right time to launch book 1. Book 2 since then has been a fairly straightforward process, Cornwall and Cornish Mining has never been so popular worldwide and the readers from book 1 will hopefully now follow into book 2 and the full series of 5 books as whole.
• Who were your literary inspirations growing up?
I had an eclectic mix of creative influences, I just loved any creative medium that used words cleverly. This could be through music and well crafted lyrics, poetry or TV, I have actually never been a huge reader. Victoria Wood made me realise that the more you write something people can identify with the better the story and also that humour is important whatever you are writing. I was lucky enough to be invited by the BBC to a writers Masterclass with Victoria Wood many years ago and it reassured me that anyone can write, its just about finding subjects that matter to you and being authentic.
• Is there one character or scene in the book that really spoke to you and stood out?
I love my main characters of Austin the Hero and Deffler the rather stumbling, well meaning friend. Austin is the traditional style hero but I think Deffler will be the one people really love as he is unsure of himself (but tries to pretend to be otherwise), he is hidden away because he fears what others may think if they see him above ground. A vulnerability is shown but he is also funny, I think he is what most of us really are. From Book 1 I created Maggie Farenworth-Fopp who owns the finest Pixie Bed and Breakfast in the land, that is a nod to my mother who ran a Cornish Bed and Breakfast for 46 years and Maggie will be back in later books.
Book 2 has the addition of a sea serpant called a Morgawr – a ferocious looking creature under the sea who people fear. The book shows that by trusting things that seem different that actually things are not as they first seem and great friendships can be made.
• I noticed you have a long career involving many different writing styles eg script writing how does it compare to writing books for children?
All my writing in whatever form has gone into these children’s books. Writing for children is difficult because you cannot just write from the top of your imagination. You have to create something then break it down, then break it down again and then finally really simplify the text and language until you are sure that it is suitable for the age group you are writing for. Its like a funnel in some ways, staying big and with a great idea and then distilling to really ignite the imagination of young children. Importantly as well with children you need to give them space for their own imagination to fill in gaps so that they can really become part of the story.
• Do you have any advice for people who too have manuscripts hidden away waiting for the right time?
My advice would be to dust your old work off and if years later you feel it still has merit and and audience then to explore getting the idea to market. Research best routes for you, get an agent or literary group to test your story, follow advice and make changes suggested.
A new author will have a hard time getting noticed in the book world so you need to prepare to invest money of your own into some of the publishing initially and also the promotion of the book. A book with your name on that no-one reads is a vanity project but if you can invest and put the effort into get the book into the hands of your audience then that is sanity and that’s a real achievement.