How would you describe your story in one sentence?
A retelling-with-a-twist of the Scottish ballad of Thomas the Rhymer.
What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
I’ve always loved the old legends of Britain. I think they don’t get as much notice when compared to the massive epics of Greek and Roman, even Egyptian mythos. Britain is tiny compared to those towering empires, but our old folk tales and legends are so full of mysticism and magic. Everyone has heard of King Arthur, obviously, but there’s so many more stories of Old Albion to be told.
Which authors have influenced you?
I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher. Marion Zimmer Bradley and JRR Tolkien influenced my adoration for British folklore, and JK Rowling inspired my determination to never give up.
Which are your favorite literary genres?
Anything fantasy at all. Epic fantasy, high fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy. I’ll dip my toes into thriller if it’s written really, really well.
What makes a book/story special for you?
The characters. If a book has boring characters, even if it has an exciting premise, I won’t bother finishing it. Especially the villain. I adore a good villain. I’m hoping people will love reading my deliciously despicable villains as much as I loved writing them!
Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?
I currently live in the North-East of England. I travelled to Scotland a lot when I was younger, and I think seeing that majestic, rugged, unlawfully beautiful landscape sparked an irresistible desire to craft stories from those hills.
How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
I think it’s been about 5 years in total. The Old Ways has gone through an awful lot of development, mostly from me maturing as I wrote it. My book and I grew up together.
Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?
My publisher, Inspired Quill, did all that for me! The cover was designed by a lovely lady called Venetia Jackson who designs covers for Inspired Quill’s authors. My editors were IQ’s own wonderful staff; EJ Runyon, Fiona Campbell, and Sara-Jayne Slack.
What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that if characters want to do something, then let them do it. I had no intentions of having two particular characters end up together, but somehow their relationship flourished, and this powerful, volcanic chemistry erupted between them. After that, nothing I did could keep them apart. They just sort of… clicked.
Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?
If anyone ever tells you to give up writing, punch them in the face and walk away. You don’t need that kind of negativity.
EDIT: Er, don’t actually punch them in the face… I’ll get in a lot of trouble for inciting violence.
Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
Sure! My website is http://rksummers.com/ and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/RK-Summers-Author/235165256497693
What are you planning to write/publish next?
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Old Ways, and I’ve also got the third one mapped out. I have a few other ideas for an urban fantasy about a coven of witches, so we’ll see how that pans out.