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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author R L McKenzie talks about the inspiration behind her new book, The Tears Of Wednesday.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed R L McKenzie about the inspiration behind her new book, The Tears Of Wednesday and her creative writing process.
When did you first want to write a book?
I always wanted to write, this was my childhood dream, although my style of writing looked somewhat different back then, fairy tales but still with adventures.
Enid Blyton’s Famous Five is when I got the writing bug.
When did you take a step to start writing?
My first steps were when my dad bought me my first typewriter at age 10.
How long did it take to complete your book from idea to the release?
It was a 3 year process.
I would say it took me to devote a part of my soul every day for 15 months to finish writing it, and then a year and a half until my publication date on the 23rd February, 2023.
What made you want to write The Tears Of Wednesday?
I was recovering from life changing surgery in late 2018, so, really, I wrote for survival and escapism. I needed to adapt to a new life, and God blessed me to be able to write with the time which was given to me to do so.
What were your biggest challenges writing The Tears Of Wednesday?
For me, being a naturally private person, the most difficult artistic process of this journey was social media and learning how to grow a thick skin. When your work is exposed to the public to be judged/reviewed, I find overwhelming.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
This is difficult as I feel like life inspired me to create the proganists I did; we’re here today and gone tomorrow.
Really, I would say that I was my biggest inspiration. I used my own interests and hand picked certain traits of myself to become all of the protagonists portrayed in The Tears Of Wednesday, and no matter what happens now, I have been able to leave my words behind in my stories.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Good question. Well, I think this is my favourite question so far.
I wanted to be clever in my writing, where it was mindful as to who can really judge ones actions when it comes to protecting those we love? How many of our own characters would be compromised in unforeseen circumstances? However, I was also inspired do create a hostile character bringing to light a domestic abuse case.
Domestic abuse is something I feel very passionate about.
What is the inciting incident of The Tears Of Wednesday?
When the leading character, Ruby Anderson, finds her fight back in life.
What is the main conflict of The Tears Of Wednesday?
I guess I would say, even though you may take that final breath, you’ve been able to piece together the clues, right up until the final page. You’ve been so influenced by the power of emotions, that you question, when life happens, what even is a happy ending?
Did you plot The Tears Of Wednesday in advance, or fly by the pants of your seat and write freely?
Wow, in my honest opinion, I would say this was freestyle at its best. My thoughts, my imagination, were allowed to run free. I created improvisation and screen play, and let my hand get so tired typing and writing it that it ached, until all the plots twists in my head were captured on that paper.
Did you get support in editing, and how much editing did The Tears Of Wednesday need?
I did get support in editing, and it seemed more support would have been needed to produce a more polished book of the tears of Wednesday.
As a first time author, I can say that I underestimated how tricky and imperative the editing, proof checks, and final submission of the manuscript was, but openly, I can say that I’ve learned the hard way.
So in my next book I will aim to have a little more editing TLC and more proofreading knowledge
What is your first piece of advice to anyone wanting to write a story?
It is a very competitive and difficult journey; be brave and follow through.
Believe in yourself because, to me, this is when you can also enjoy the process of writing.
When you can enjoy what you do, no matter the outcome, it teaches you self worth. The world has opinions but the most important opinion was the one I had of myself, and believing that I was going to become an author, and a talented one.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you are planning to write?
Yes I am delighted to announce for the tears of Wednesday fans there will be a sequel hopefully by the end of 2024.
But for now I am busy writing my supernatural suspense novel, all I’ll add is “ be afraid to be scared, for we are never alone” .
Finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Actually, I’ve changed my mind, I think this is my favourite question.
Because when I really think about what I have been able to do, what I have accomplished, I am so so proud of myself.
Was it worth it? Well it gave me a purpose back in my own life, and as a grief counsellor, what’s the cost of a few mistakes in my book? It showed two things, 1, that I’m not perfect and 2, I am passionate.
If my book can make a difference to anyone’s life that’s amazing to me, but to know I had made a difference to someone’s end of life, in a way for them to escape the reality of their own pain will always be worth it in my eyes 100%
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