2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Darklight On...Peta Crake Q&A

Today's Darklight On... is with Peta Crake. Welcome, Peta!

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I’ll blame it on walks through ancient forests, travelling to new lands and midnight picnics of pop-biscuits and lashings of ginger beer. Yep, it’s all Enid Blyton’s fault. She started me off with the Folk of the Faraway Tree which led to the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. Add a dash of The Hobbit and ventures into Dune, and by the age of thirteen I was well and truly hooked on speculative fiction.

Despite my love of the genre, I didn’t start out with the intention of writing speculative fiction. Actually, I didn’t start out with the intention to write anything more than a couple of pages. But the simple description I started to write, of a girl walking through a forest grew, until she was part of a story involving multiple characters, five countries and three interweaving plotlines. It was full of magic, weird creatures and old-fashioned sword fights. Everything I have attempted to write since then has included some element of the weird or fantastical.

As a writer, I love speculative fiction because it gives me the freedom to ask “what if?” and follow it through to the end without the limitations posed by “that could never happen”. As long as it is logical in the world you have created, anything is possible.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I am mostly a pantser or phaser. I see scenes, record them and then go from there. Whenever I have plotted out a story before writing, my characters have changed their minds mid-way through and turned everything upside down. I am aiming to find a happy medium.

Do have a favourite of your characters?
Usually the one I am working on although I do have a bit of a soft spot for one of the first heroines I created, a warrior/spy who is determined to get the job done no matter the cost.

What are you currently working on?
Currently I have three manuscripts (a fantasy, a paranormal romance and an urban fantasy) in various stages of editing and re-writing. I am also toying with a couple of new characters and their stories.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 
The first draft, when those images and ideas are flowing and new worlds are emerging. It is the time when I just write, without worrying too much about how it sounds, I go back and polish later.

You recently went to Supanova. Can you tell us of your experience, and if it inspired your writing?
I was a Supanova virgin so didn’t know quite what to expect. It was so much fun. Talk about a great place to people watch, it was a character smorgasbord! The variety of people amazed me, there was everyone from a Superman baby to a Jedi grandmother. It was fantastic to be able to embrace my inner geekiness and revel in Japanese anime to my heart’s content, with people who were doing the same thing. As far as writing inspiration goes … one day I want to be on the other side of the desk signing autographs!!

What can we expect from Peta Crake in the future?
Hopefully my books on the shelves of your local bookshop, library and e-book retailer. Maybe a graphic novel and a spin-off anime series????

Who are your favourite authors?
It changes all the time. But my bookcase is full of books by Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Kate Forsyth, Keri Arthur, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kathy Lette, Laurell K. Hamilton, Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris.

What are you currently reading?
Stephen King’s On Writing and Christina Phillip’s Captive

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or tv series?
As a kid I was addicted to Logan’s Run, Blake’s Seven, Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica. Out of the current crop of TV series I would have to say Firefly, Haven and True Blood.
As for movies I have a bit of a soft spot for Serenity, V for Vendetta, Gattaca, Aeon Flux, Lord of the Rings and Underworld. I am also a sucker for a good Japanese anime.

Do you have advice for emerging writers? 
Don’t be afraid to join a writers group (online or in person). They are a wealth of information and inspiration…It is also good to connect with people who understand it when you say things like “I had the ending all planned, but the characters threw a hissy fit and made me change it.” or “One of my minor characters kept muscling-in on the action so I had to give her her own story.”

Learn to take a step back from your work, it makes it easier to accept and make the most of criticism.
Remember, you are a writer, whether you are published or not.

Thanks, Peta


  1. That 'what if' question sure does keep us busy, doesn't it, Peta.

    Good luck with getting those books out there, and would love to see a DarkSider convert their books to a graphic novel, or anime series.

  2. A graphic novel! Now that would be great. The only ones I've ever read were attached to Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity. I'd heard Sherrilyn Kenyons has done some, maybe eventually they'll become a trend in romances as well?
    Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

  3. Thanks Jess & Eleni,
    Writing a grahpic novel never entered my mind until a few people read one of my short stories and commented that it would be a great graphic novel (I see a lot of research in my future).

  4. I still haven't recovered from the ending of Blake's Seven!! Considering how long ago it was I saw that episode I think it traumatized me for life!

  5. Now you've done it Christina! I'm going to have to hunt down the DVD set.