Today I am so pleased to welcome Lee Hunt to Joyfully Jay. Lee has come to talk to us about his latest release, Bed of Rose and Thorns. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
Lee has written some questions and answers to share with us about his writing process.
Bed of Rose and Thorns (R&T) is your fifth novel. Was it business as usual in the writer’s cave for this one?
No it was not. R&T is tonally different, it explored different themes, and the writing process was almost completely unalike to the way I wrote my other novels.
Let’s talk about the writing process. How would you describe your normal way of writing?
A lot of creative time and effort goes into planning. The characters and their arcs are planned from a thematic and plot perspective. How they must grow is given great attention. The theme and how it will manifest in the history of the world, the characters and the plot is also treated as an important creative investment and dutifully recorded in a massive many tabbed Excel sheet.
It sounds rigid.
There is room for organic, creative ideas during the writing process, but the planning is typically a huge part of my method. So … not exactly rigid. Things can and do change. But there is a pre-built structure from the earliest of writing days.
And how about R&T?
R&T was almost entirely written without a plan. I didn’t even start a planning spreadsheet until I had written half of the novel.
How did that make you feel?
It reminded me of Ironman Canada in 2012 after I had completed the 4km swim and the 180 km bike ride and I started the marathon run and realized that I had never run a marathon before.
So … you suddenly got a little nervous?
Oh yes. I had written half the novel on inspiration—possibly insane inspiration—and I had this moment of clarity where I said “Uh-oh, can I finish this?”
So what did you do then?
The same thing as in the Ironman. I put one foot in front of another and let the event take me with it.
Why did you change your style for this one novel?
I was writing about the power of emotions. This character, Ezra, loves so powerfully that his feeling manifests as a physical force in the world. Not only is it a real phenomenon, but it allows his feelings to be experienced by others. It seemed that when writing about such emotional power, I should let go myself and see what happened.
So, you just, er, “let go” and wrote the entire book from start to finish?
Not exactly. I wrote a great deal of the story out of order. It is not uncommon even in a heavily planned book, to write a few chapters out of order, or even several chapters simultaneously, but in this case a lot of the book was written as the mood moved me. All but one of the “Eleven Years Earlier” chapters were written very early in the process. Many of the chapters where Ezra was in Eydos with the many guises of the Queen were written early as well.
If this process was so organic, what were some things that surprised you in the writing?
Marigold and Pontes. They each took on a life of their own. Every time I would write Marigold, she would tell me something new about herself, things that made sense. And Pontes’ steadiness grew more important as well.
Why did Marigold and Pontes become so important?
As Ezra’s pursuit of the Queen became more fantastic, the need for steadier friends grew. And I also realized that they also had an important part to play in Ezra’s understanding of love.
Why do we see the Queen so rarely? You plotted an entire book with this powerful woman at the center of it, and we saw her so little.
As Ezra says, she is complex. He has worked for all these years to understand the riddle of her. The readers could only know her indirectly. They are meant to wonder, too, who this amazing woman is.
Were you concerned that this inspirational and emotion journey might amount to an exercise in self-indulgence?
That is possible, but I felt not. After all the central fantasies of the story are fairly universal.
Don’t we all wish that we could touch others with our feelings? That these incredible passions we hold inside us—that burn us and drive us insane—could mean something to someone else? And don’t we all wish we could be loved as unconditionally as Ezra loves the Queen? That someone would work so hard to understand us?
Sir Ezra is an Elysian Bell; he has a frightening potential that he keeps hidden deep beneath tight layers of steel armor. He secretly loves a dark Queen whose touch would mean his death.
Banished for brutally slaughtering the Prince of Erle and husband to the Queen, Sir Ezra can only dream of seeing her again. Every night, his soul travels to distant lands, remembering the Queen, her deep convictions, brilliant mind, unending work, hidden loneliness, and a single night of horrific bloodshed.
Recalled to the Queendom after eleven years, Ezra hopes to catch at least a fleeting glimpse of the woman he was sacrificed for. Instead, he finds a nation in rebellion and the Queen to be an elusive phantom. His only friend, Sir Marigold, challenges his presence and tells him that he is not needed in the capitol. Looking for both the truth and the absent Queen, Ezra finds only more secrets and enemies.
Ezra’s armor is dented, scarred, and ruined by friend and enemy alike; his secret potential is about to become unbound.
Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NyvQG
Born with only one working lung and having had the last rights read to him and dying of an influenza related viral pneumonia, 25-year-old geophysicist Lee Hunt experienced several near-death dreams. The power of communication and the need to both understand and be understood was at the heart of each. He had already found that nothing was more important than being able to cross the distance between people.
Lee’s interests are eclectic. He is an Ironman Triathlete, hiker, traveler, and an enthusiastic sport rock climber. Lee also continues to work as a geophysicist on Carbon Capture and Sequestration projects, and is a writer for BIG-Media.ca.
The dream of understanding and being understood has never left his mind, and Lee continues that in his works of fiction through metaphor. His works include The Dynamicist Trilogy, Last Worst Hopes and Bed of Rose and Thorns.
- Author Website: https://www.leehunt.org/
- Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052376555360
- Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/DynamicistAuthor
- Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1196106.Lee_Hunt
- Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): DynamicistAuthor
- Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Hunt/e/B082YFTMCK
Lee is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:
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