Today is the release day of the highly anticipated Kings Rising, third and final novel in the Captive Prince series. To prepare I have been re-reading the first 2 books over the last few days and they are even better than I remember. Whilst I await the arrival of Kings Rising I am delighted to welcome the author, C.S. Pacat to my blog. She kindly answered a few of my questions on writing and life.
Q1. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. The Captive Prince trilogy began life as a web serial before being picked up by Penguin. What was the transition like from publishing it online yourself to moving to a traditional publisher?
It’s been incredible, an amazing privilege to work with a publisher like Penguin, and to have them be so supportive of the series.
I think what’s so exciting about publishing at the moment is that the internet is opening doors for new kinds of books–it’s allowing books like Captive Prince the opportunity to connect to readers and garner the kind of viral attention that can then propel them into the mainstream.
Q2. Share a little of your writing routine: do you write full time or balance with other work? Are you more of a plotter or do you like to wing it?
I write slowly, more like moss covering a rock. Because I write slowly, I have to write every day. I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time, and the routine is: begin around 10am, write until dinner, then (often) write again until around 10pm.
I’m a compulsive planner, I like to plot everything in advance. I typically have a three-stage process: a “blue sky phase” where I just come up with as much cool stuff as I can think of, then a period of creating characters and plot, then I map out scenes. Only after that do I start writing manuscript.
Q3. Do you have a preferred place to write such as a study or café? And is there anything that’s essential to your creative process like music or coffee?
I write at a cafe, because I have learned to guard against my weaknesses! I can’t write productively at home: I procrastinate. Luckily, there are a few kindly cafes in my local area who will let me nurse a single coffee for six hours. At night, if I’m planning to do a night shift of writing, I’ll head out again to a hotel lobby or bar. I listen to music while I write, and use noise cancelling headphones.
Q4. Where did the inspiration to write the Captive Prince trilogy come from?
I wanted to write the book that I wanted to read. I love high-octane escapism, adventure, swordfights, chases, escapes, true love, intrigue, high stakes, biased viewpoint – and homoerotica, themes of sex, power and sexuality. So I started with all of those elements that I love, and built from there.
Q5. For those who haven’t yet read the two released books, how would you describe them in one sentence?
A homoerotic fantasy adventure with a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance between two princes from rival nations.
Q6. And for the diehard fans patiently, agonisingly waiting for Feb 2nd, can you give us a tiny tidbit on Kings Rising? Anything?!
The first chapter of Kings Rising can be read on the Penguin website as an exclusive sneak peak (https://www.penguin.com.au/content/kings-rising/extract). I can’t reveal anything more, but I will say look out for chapter 8, which contains one of my favourite scenes in the whole series.
Q7. Name five of your favourite authors and/or books
Dorothy Dunnett is my favourite author, both for the Lymond Chronicles and the Niccolo series.
Iris Murdoch, particularly The Bell, The Philosopher’s Pupil, The Word Child.
Tom Stoppard, my favourites being Travesties, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Arcadia.
I always feel like a dork answering “Shakespeare” to questions like this, but I am a Shakespeare nut, and am always reading and re-reading the plays.
For something more recent, I read the Ancillary trilogy by Ann Leckie this year, and loved it.
Q8. What three things would you want to have if you were trapped on a desert island?
Provisions, books and a friend.
Q9. What do you like to get up to away from the keyboard?
I love to horse ride, and I go riding fairly frequently. My indoor hobbies are reading and gaming on my PS4. But truthfully, I spend most of my time writing, because it’s what I love to do.
Q10. And lastly….what is next for you after the publication of Kings Rising?
I’ve started work on a new series, a YA fantasy, with some magic elements. I’m in the building stage now, setting up the tensions and intensities between characters–I’m really excited by the series, and can’t wait to start writing manuscript.
I’ll also be releasing a series of three short stories set in the Captive Prince universe, which will be available later in 2016. Stay tuned!