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Sabrina deSouza talks about The Catarbie Conspiracy – Page 2

Sabrina deSouza talks about the writing of a book series, and some of her plans...

READERSVOICE.COM: What’s your daily routine in Canberra?

SABRINA deSOUZA: Most times during the week I will get home from after 6pm. By then, I’m too knackered to do anything except fight with my mum over the remote control and eat dinner. Weekends I now spend recording MIDI music for church and of course singing at church. I’m hoping to organise some time to myself on the weekends to write book 2. If I want to focus solely on the book, I try and arrange time off from work. Gee I lead a boring life.

RV: Did you use any skills from your job in writing the novel?

SdS: Not initially. Trying to position the scenes about Tarheen involved some timeline charting and this is probably where my current work skills became more beneficial.

Essentially I wrote the characters names on the left hand side of some paper and wrote chapter headings above to the right. If a character was involved in a scene, I wrote the plot details in a box under the relevant chapter and on the same line for the character that was involved.

If several characters were involved, then I drew lines from each of the characters to the box. This allowed me to find the right placings for the Tarheen scenes. The last scene with Tarheen needed to be split into two.

The first part was focussing within the cabin and we see Krysta tell Zoltan that Tarheen is his son. The second part was focussing on Tarheen overhearing the conversation and the subsequent actions that ensued.

RV: Where are you up to in writing your series of six books?

SdS: Although I have planned out what is happening in all six books, I am currently writing book 2. The chapters are all mapped out now in advance (using my timeline technique). What is a little different is that the subsequent books need to include a summary of sorts of the first chapter to introduce or refresh the reader on what has already transpired.

Because there are so many story lines, finding the right way of introducing them has been a bit challenging.

Book 2 also starts off with an element of darkness and delving into the dark side of the human psyche is difficult, especially if you’re not that way inclined.

RV: Does the writing of the books get easier as you go, and faster?

SdS: Depends on what type of scene it is. I found that with book 1, if it was the action scene, I pretty much wrote it quite quickly.

The scenes about the Marjory House fires was slower, only in that I had to figure out ways to introduce some of the “evidence” in a way that wasn’t “Tell me everything you know now” or “just tell me the answer”.

Many times in real life, people can see something or be involved in something and not realise that what they observed or what they have with them, can be a key component to solving the crime. This is actually going to be the case with the Marjory House fires.

RV: Have you ever been in a situation like the group found themselves in, with the suspected Catarbie infection of one of the characters, and the group having a dilemma of what to do about it, or read about something like this?

SdS: Hmmm. Does doing some acting classes for an amateur production of Fiddler on the Roof count?

I don’t think doing surveillance on suspects counts, either. Let’s just put this down to an over-vivid imagination and watching too many crime and medical shows.

RV: What are some of your plans?

SdS: My wish list plans? Get a game made and a movie script about the series (I’ve already converted it into a script but just need an editor to make it script compliant and I’ve already planned out the game sequences).

Oh and to meet Michael Lindsey in person instead of just talking to him on the phone or by email.

Seriously though, right now I am trying to get a distributor to get my book out into more stores across Australia and overseas. I think it’s an original story and I just want to share it with everyone else.

And I’m planning to find the time and the space (without distractions) to finish book 2.

I am also helping other authors and illustrators by offering to use my website to either advertise their book or illustrations.

I have given some talks to three high schools in Wollongong and Sunnybank and they were really interested in what I went through to get my book self published. The high school in Sunnybank has asked me to come back and give workshops for some of the students. My website is currently being redesigned to make it more efficient with downloading the images and the fonts.

– Visit www.houkura.com.

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