A few days ago, I posted a review of True Calling by Siobhan Davis. She was then kind enough to let me interview her about her novel and about what’s in store for the characters in book two- which Davis revealed is to be call Beyond Reach. And also advice she would give to aspiring authors.
My review for True Calling can be found here.
True Calling is now available to purchase from Amazon and all major on-line retailers.
You’ve probably been asked this question a lot, but what inspired you to write ‘True Calling’?
It all started with a dream. Just not my own! I got hooked on Twilight in 2009 and was fascinated to hear how Stephenie Meyer felt compelled to write the series on the basis of the now-infamous dream. Dreams have always captivated me and I started thinking a lot about their meaning and whether our dreams have the power to change our lives (not just metaphorically speaking).
I wondered a lot about her ‘meadow dream’; probably more than was normal. Who sent her that dream? And why? And did someone (or something) plant that seed knowing full well that it would lead her on a path to a significant life-altering experience? And what are dreams anyway? A malfunction of our brain? An unconscious message from our inner selves? A medium for receiving messages from others? My thoughts jumbled around like this for weeks, and my idea started to grow from this silent analysis and developed from there.
Were any of the characters in the book based on people you know?
Not consciously! I didn’t base any of the characters on people I knew but if I reflect on it now Ariana could be my alter ego – I was quite introverted and shy at aged 17 and I remember wishing I was more out-spoken, just like she is.
How long did it take you to write ‘True Calling’?
The whole process took approximately a year, but I was writing it while I was working full-time so I only had a few hours a day to focus on it. If I’d been solely dedicated and focused on writing, I think it would have taken half that amount of time.
And, at any point did you feel that you wanted to take a break or give up writing ‘True Calling’? If so how did you overcome that?
I never felt like I needed to take a break while I was writing True Calling, I actually wrote the first draft in about six weeks! However, the re-writing/editing part was a whole different ball-game and I felt like giving up on several occasions. But I just took a break at those times and then came back to it. It was challenging to write True Calling because I have a very busy full-time career in Human Resources and fifty/sixty-hour weeks are quite typical! In fact, the completion of True Calling marked the commencement of a very busy period for me in work and the manuscript sat in a drawer from 2010 until 2014! Every so often I would think of it and promise myself that I would do something with it, but then get distracted again. It was only this year that the timing seemed right to finally release it.
I really love the love triangle in the novel, and I also really love Zane ;). Is the relationship between Ari and Zane going to change in book 2?
I’m glad you said that because I know the YA audience is growing tired of love triangles and I feared it might turn some readers off True Calling (part of the problem when you wait four years to publish your book!). But I think the concept is original and it’s not your typical love triangle so I feel it’s enough to engage the readers. Zane has a special place in my heart too.
All the relationships will undergo change in Book 2, it’s part of the natural progression of each character’s story, but in particular I have loved exploring the relationship between Ariana and Zane, and that’s as much as I’m prepared to say!
If ‘True Calling’ were to be turned into a TV show or movie, who would be your dream cast?
There are so many names I could throw out here, but for me it’s always been these three:
Ariana Skyee – Nina Dobrev
Cal Remus – Alex Pettyfer
Zane Anders – Josh Hutcherson
Have you finished writing book 2 and 3? If not, I’d love to be an inspiration for an incredibly awesome and good looking side-kick! Haha.
Book 2 is already drafted but it requires a ton of effort before it could be considered ready to release. Book 3 is plotted but as yet unwritten so I’ll definitely keep you in mind!
Is there anything you can give away about the next book? What can we expect? Any sneak peaks? New character names? After all, that cliff hanger was a killer!
I can’t give away too much as I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment for other readers. The current working title is ‘Beyond Reach’ and there are even more plot turns and twists plus the themes are getting darker. The underlying theme throughout this series is about one’s true vocation in life and whether it turns out to be the thing you had thought it would be. This will particularly ring true for Ari, and Book 2 is where we really start exploring this topic in more detail. We hear a lot more from Isla in this book and see more of her backstory as well as meet some new characters, like Ruby who becomes important in Ari’s life.
What inspired you to start writing? And what advice or do’s and don’ts would you give to people who aspire to be authors?
I’ve been an avid reader from a very early age (thanks Mom) and English was one of my favourite subjects in school (History was the other). I spend 60% of my job writing and editing so starting to write fiction was a very natural progression for me, and something I had been itching to do for years. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get my butt off the chair earlier, so to speak!
I’m still learning my craft so I don’t feel I’m qualified yet to pass on advice to other writers, but I have reads tons of advice from established authors and the two things that resonate with me are:
- Write every day – it’s important to flex the muscle.
- Never stop believing in yourself – there are enough people out there who will doubt you, so don’t doubt yourself.
And finally, do you have any other projects you are working on or plan to work on in the future?
Yes! I have tons of ideas for other novels but three ideas in particular are calling out to me. The first is another science fiction story but it’s a completely different story than True Calling. The second idea is a contemporary mystery/romance that will require heaps of research to ensure the facts are bang-on. The third is a historical fiction piece, based around Irish History and it’s something I have longed to write as I have a Degree in History and a love of the past.
More about Siobhan Davis…
Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Visit Siobhan’s website to find out even more about her and her books: www.siobhandavis.com
Thanks for reading. And thank you Siobhan for letting me interview you! This is my first author interview on my blog and I hope you’ve found it as fun and interesting as I have.
Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read True Calling and what you thought of the interview. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.