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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Ian Flint discusses the inspiration behind his new book, Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Ian Flint about his life and career, what inspired him to start writing, and the creative process behind his new book, Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I was born in Hampshire, England and have always believed from a young age that one day I would be a screenplay writer. I was always thinking up ideas for TV series or films and sending them off to various producers with the hope they would like my work.
My break came in my early twenties when Brian Clemens of Avengers fame mentored me and pointed me in the right direction. This led to freelancing at Pinewood studios and an invitation to Twentieth Century Fox in California to meet Renee Valente, a highly regarded producer who offered me a position in their writer’s workshop for up-and-coming young talent. But it was not to be, as their legal department was unable to secure a Green Card that would allow me to work as a writer in the US.
In those days, rewards for writing were often scarce and it was important to rethink my future. Even though I considered writing to be the most important thing in my life, the need for a day job that paid my bills eventually became a greater priority.
So, I left behind what I call “my previous life” and went full time into the travel industry and formed a consultancy specializing in travel and expense. I married a wonderful lady called Anne and have a grown-up son I am very proud of. But I never stopped thinking up new storylines, writing is too important to me.
When did you first want to write a book?
I have always had novel writing in mind and crafted several drafts of Saint/Bond style novels – but they never saw the light of day. I was too busy at the time concentrating on the visual writing of screenplays. But writing a novel has always been in the back of my mind.
When did you take the step to start writing again?
It was approximately three years ago I considered writing again and started to create the skeleton framework for a complex story based on the concepts of mysticism and belief, prophecy and advanced technology combined with the power of nature and the natural world. All this centered around a passive society of aliens called the Leonisians and their hostile enemies the Vraegil.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
Approximately two years to complete the final draft.
What made you want to write Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring?
I had the idea for Leo Trevelion and the Lion Ring bubbling in the back of my mind for over a decade. I had been playing with the concept of a SciFi Fantasy with a difference and toyed with the fascinating dynamics of two different worlds and alien species with a lot of themes and contrasts.
Although this genre is highly competitive, I wanted to create and transport readers into a world of fiction that is different, compelling and offers the reader intrigue and adventure.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring?
Creating a bi-planetary theme, one in the Leo Constellation and the other layers below the Earth’s surface was challenging but it does work. I would spend hours researching planets; rare planetary events; amphibians and amphibious technology advancements; innovative weaponry; and wormhole theories; all to give some level of authenticity to the story.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
Leo is not based on a particular individual. He is an ordinary young 20-year-old.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
What is the main conflict of Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring?
When Venus crosses between Earth and Leonisia, it transitions through an ancient wormhole that links the two planets, breaking the forcefield that kept the Vraegil at bay, and allowing them to invade what was a peaceful land below the Earth’s surface.
Although the soothsayers had predicted the event, it was only the Leonisian elder Altera that took it seriously and secretly developed advanced weaponry. But all relied on the transformation of the central character Leo, the descendant of a guardian race. He is unprepared for what is about to happen to him and the powers that will be awakened within.
With the help of Altera and his scientific team, an old wizard called Tirwald, and mother nature, Leo rallies an unusual army as they prepare for invasion. But will this be enough, and will Leo discover his powers in time for the invasion?
Did you plot Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I developed the framework, characters, and basic plot, then let the book take on a life of its own. For me, it pays not to be rigid as a storyline gains momentum – I do not wish to stifle the creative juices.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Leo Trevelion And The Lion Ring need?
No support as such. However, the book did go through eight edits to clean up the storyline.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
It is difficult for me to give advice as a debut author. What I will say, based on my own experiences – have faith in your writing abilities, and confidence that your story is worth telling. I have learnt the hard way, you need perseverance and a thick skin, and a measure of luck.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I have always thought of Leo Trevelion and the Lion Ring as a trilogy. I am developing the outline for the second part of the book. Unfortunately, I cannot give you any further details.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes – it was certainly worth the effort. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing because it is fun when the story comes together. To give shape to ideas and imaginings and random events is rewarding. Hopefully it helps readers to escape the rigors of this world for a while.
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