Bekki Pate has just had her debut novel, ‘The Willow Tree’ published by Britain’s Next Bestseller. She kindly took the time to answer some questions for me.
Congratulations on having your debut novel published. Can you tell me a bit about it please?
The novel is a dark, gory horror story that centres around several protagonists including a man on the hunt for his missing girlfriend, a young girl who loses her memory, and the demon that follows her. It is also about friendship and love, involving the young girl and the people she meets on her journey to finding out who she is. It is full of twists, and ends on a cliffhanger that I have already been told is really frustrating for the readers as now they have to wait for the next book!
What made you want to pen your first novel?
I have always loved writing, and as a child I loved scary stories such as the Goosebumps and Shivers series, which heavily influenced my earlier work when I was around eight! As a lover of books, I just wanted to write something that I would love to read, and I think I have accomplished that.
How long did it take you to write?
The whole trilogy took me around seven years, but this one has taken the longest as I have changed it so many times!
Where did you get your ideas from?
I love Stephen King and Richard Laymon, so I think I have been influenced by their way of storytelling, but I usually just ask myself “what scares me?” and I go with that.
What exactly does Britain’s Next Bestseller do to help those wanting to publish a book?
Once they accept your manuscript onto their database (you first have to submit a few chapters and synopsis, and then the whole book, and if they like that then you get onto their website) you have a few months to try and obtain 250 pre-orders so it became a campaign of pestering my friends and family, co-workers etc, to pre-order the book. This is harder to do than it sounds – not all authors hit their target.
Are you planning to write more novels?
I have written another two novels that follow directly on from this one, and after this I will probably be taking a break for a bit as I am expecting my first child which is really exciting 🙂 But it has made me a bit exhausted and less motivated to write recently.
Who are your favourite authors and did any of them inspire you?
I love Stephen King, Sarah Waters, Richard Laymon, Elizabeth Kostova – I think all books I read inspire me in some way (unless they were really bad!) so I think I take something from each of them and carry that on to shape my own work. Every writer has their own voice, but they also have the voices of all the other writers whose work they admire.
Where do you do most of your writing?
Usually anywhere I can – at my desk in the spare room, on the sofa, in a cafe etc. – I don’t mind where I am too much as long as it is relatively quiet and I can sit comfortably.
‘The Willow Tree’ is available to buy on Amazon:-