Alberta's Book Tour for the Sefuty Chronicles
leased to present Alberta, who's on a book tour to promote the Sefuty Chronicles, an intriguing mix of fantasy and romance. She's currently posting the first chapter of Ellen's Tale in installments on her blog - go check it out! Alberta's wonderful at making a dystopian world seem real (when was the last time you really thought about what 'real' food tastes and feels like? Or how affected you are by the size of the space around you?), and you can feel the romantic tension between Bix and Ellen from the start.
Hallo Deniz. After so many comments on various challenges we finally meet. Thank you for having me on your site and, as promised, Ill tell you a little of how the Sefuty Chronicles evolved. You're in the process yourself and may tut or grin at my haphazard start to being an author.
I have commented before how it began as a homework practice piece for a short story. I struggled with the format in class. Usually I could produce something but two defeated me: science fiction and food. What to write – nothing came to mind so during the holidays I brought out the notebook and tried again on food as that seemed the easier subject to tackle. Food became the quest at the heart of Ellen's Tale, and food security the overriding need in a world I totally trashed!
Voila, Ellen was created! In true creation myth style there had to be a mate and so Bix sprung readymade onto the page. I did not invent the names – they arrived already named – I didn't invent the genetic manipulation, Bix was already a Feral when he appeared. Magic!
Of course the rest wasn't as easy. Ellen took over and, holding tightly to Bix's hand, romped on through the pages. I made enquires, did research; how long could a short story be? Okay, we had passed that mark so how long could a novella be? Oh no, Ellen had the upper hand (I was a novice at this and hadn't learnt how to control characters – do we ever?). Ellen and Bix gave up graciously at just over 100,000 words. What a ride.
She didn't give a thought of course at what world she was romping through or why; no, she left that to me. Playing catch up, I had to create a suitable backdrop for her. I know, I know, world building should be done first!
Everything kind of flowed from my interests in climate change, genetics and, of course, food as that was supposed to be the reason for the story. I had been reading a few books at the time on the history of trade and food miles, waste and rules concerning modern day trading and so the Sefuty Line was born.
Sefuty Line was the original title composed from taking
Se = the first two letters of security
Ty = the last two
fu = pronunciation of foo(d)
Food Security = the be all and end all of survival.
The archives came while I was pruning (is the garden my muse I wonder?). I really enjoy archives, full of amazing treasures and real stories of ordinary folk. Of course, my characters would become archival material. And why would they be important? Ah well, that would be telling. Suffice to say by the time I was halfway through I had finally worked out the story!
By the time I was three quarters of the way through I realized they did not intend to be a stand alone couple. No, they demanded more space and caused a sequel to ferment in my imagination. I worried then about the title, I would have to find a new title for every book (was I being ambitious or what?!) and indeed if the second book went the way I was planning then the first title made less sense. My friend from forever/editor and I brainstormed over the phone for a couple of weeks. Eventually I went back to my schooldays and Chaucer, naming the books Tales, each would spotlight one person. So Ellen's Tale. However, one of the beta readers argued a good case for Sefuty and I had liked the whole concept of it so food security became part of the title. The Sefuty Chronicles are what the archivists have named the various pieces of research they put together.
Ellen raced through her story with a light-hearted abandon and I found that of everything I had done in my life writing was the most fun, the most addictive. Of course writing is the easy bit, what comes after is where the work cuts in. The editing, correcting, polishing, publishing, marketing and so the list goes on – all designed to keep you apart from your characters' far more interesting lives!
Thank you for being here, Alberta! And thanks for sharing the growth of your story. It's always exciting to know that other authors share our trials, tribulations - and rewards!
Look out for the second book in the Sefuty Chronicles, The Storyteller's Tale:
I spent the first part of my adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying and now have settled down to write. From the first part I have endless photographs, memories and friends. From the second I have a BSc Hons, an MA and friends. Now in this part everything comes together.
Over the years my interests have expanded, as has my book and music collection. A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course), gardening, anthropology, climate change and sustainability.
My parents gave me, apart from a love of reading and music, an interest and curiosity in everything which in itself has become a total inability to be bored and for this I am always grateful.
http://www.albertaross.co.uk is Alberta’s official website where detail of her books, extracts, readers comments and contact details can be found
http://sefutychronicles-albertaross.blogspot.com, where Alberta blogs about writing and self publishing
http://www.didyoueverkissafrog.typepad.com, blogging about anything she fancies
Alberta can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/albertaross