Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. For those of you who are not a member of the clubhouse won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or an invite to the clubhouse tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation I’ve had with a guest over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, about their work in progress, or latest book release. I’ll be talking to all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers.
Today I’m welcoming P.C. Darkcliff to the Clubhouse Tearoom. Welcome P. C. I’ve put our refreshment order in early so once our drinks have arrived I will start our chat. Oh here they come now. I hope the beer is to your liking?
This is great. Cheers. Thank you, Paula.
Right, let me start by asking you, when you first began your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I’ve always had too much imagination and I used to love watching and reading stories about magical creatures, so when I started writing, I naturally gravitated toward fantasy. If I remember correctly, my first story was about a talking dog. I love history and the occult, too, so most of my stories are usually darkish and historical.
What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
Dialogues and anything that pertains to relationships come naturally. I’ve been struggling with battle scenes. My beta readers say that I’m getting better at them, but I think I still have much to improve.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest writing project is called Celts and the Mad Goddess. It’s the first book of The Deathless Chronicle. It’s about a Celtic tribe facing an insane, pestilential rat-goddess. The whole series will span two millennia, from the first century to the near future. The idea comes from a novel that I abandoned nearly ten years ago.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Only one, actually. It’s the second draft of a standalone novel called The God of Madness. I might polish and publish it once I have finished The Deathless Chronicle.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter? Do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to plot my novels. I write a paragraph-long outline for each chapter before I start the first draft. I make many changes while doing the second draft and revisions, but I like to have a solid base.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
My second novel, The Priest of Orpagus, is about an English teacher in Turkey. I spent a year teaching in that country, and I based many of the characters on my students and fellow teachers. Also, there’s a detective who lives in fear of his wife, whom he calls Dictator. I partly based their relationship on my parents. (Please, don’t tell my mom!).
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
My new book is about Celts living in first-century Bohemia, so I had to do research on the history of that region and on every aspect of Celtic life. Fortunately, a Celtic historian, Kim Hood, offered to fact-check the story, and she provided many fascinating details that make the book more interesting.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
Many readers might not know that I am not a native English speaker. I was born in the Czech Republic and learned my English while living in Canada.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
When I write the first and second drafts, I like to do a chapter a day, which is between two and three thousand words. It all depends on how much time I have, though. During the lockdown in April, I wrote a whole book (the second installment of The Deathless Chronicle) in about four weeks.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
My goal is to publish a novel a year. I write the first draft as quickly as possible and send it to a few friends to see what they think of the storyline. Then I make changes, print the whole thing off, and write the second draft, which goes to my editor. Then come months and months of rewriting and polishing.
Thank you for this opportunity to chat about my writing, Paula.
You’re welcome. It’s lovely to have this chance to chat with you.
If you would like to find out more about P.C. check out the links below.
It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.