Middle-grade author, Lexi Rees, joins us on the blog today to talk about Eternal Seas, The Relic Hunters. Welcome, Lexi!
Author Name: Lexi Rees
Book Title: Eternal Seas, The Relic Hunters
Book Genre: Middle Grade Adventure (age 8-11)
Release Date: Out now
Publisher: Troubador viewbook.at/EternalSeas
Please tell us about your book.
Action packed adventure with just a touch of elemental magic.
What sparked the idea for Eternal Seas?
The initial idea started from the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I read “Wild Swans” ages ago and was stunned by the story. That got me thinking. What would I do if the government tried to take away my treasures?
The boy in Eternal Seas has a painting in his cabin which would be illegal. In my head, it’s a real painting of Gulliver’s Travels. It isn’t valuable, it was painted by my great great granny, but I absolutely love it. I could never let it be destroyed intentionally. So if someone was going to take it away and destroy it on purpose, I would try to hide it from them.
But then what would you do if you wanted to buy or sell or move something that was banned? You need a black market. And if you have a black market, you need smugglers. But what if the smugglers aren’t bad people? What if you actually agree with them?
And that’s where The Relic Hunters story started. Of course, that’s the back story, it’s not what happens in the book. That’s a completely different adventure!
How long did it take for you to write the book?
At least 3 years! The first draft took a few months, but from there the story evolved significantly as I worked on it, with the help of my team of editors. I’m not sure how many drafts there were in the end. Best not to count!
Did you do have to do any research?
I wanted all the sailing in it to be technically accurate, but as I sail anyway that wasn’t difficult. Even the big storm in it was based on a real event. I did get my husband to double check everything though.
The locations are all based on real places, although sometimes with a little artistic licence. Castle Gylen is near Oban in Scotland, for example. Here is a pic of the real castle, and my illustration from the book.
What did you love most about writing the book?
I loved developing the story with my son, otherwise known as the Creative Director. He was really involved throughout. For example, we were hiking up round Loch Muick (pronounced Mick) in Scotland (see the image) and spent a whole day discussing some of the plot holes. When we got back to a computer, he wanted to write a few of the scenes. They are still in there – feel free to try and spot them!
I’m also pleased with the way the characters turned out. I did a lot of work on characterisation with one of my editors. Even though Finn is the protagonist, I was very keen that Aria was a full character, not a side-kick, and showed her strength and courage.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?
Don’t let the day job get in the way!
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Sailing, horses, and crafts. I’m always busy (blame the caffeine) so usually have a few craft projects on the go at any time. Sailing and horses are a bit hard to combine as activities, so I guess this might be my dream house …
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
Website https://lexirees.co.uk/ I blog here as “The Accidental Adventurer”.
Google + http://bit.ly/Lexi-on-GooglePlus
Giveaway and competition: https://lexirees.co.uk/events-and-competitions/
Thank you, Lexi! Eternal Seas is out NOW.
Lexi Rees grew up in the north of Scotland but now splits her time between London and West Sussex. She still goes back to Scotland regularly though.
Usually seen clutching a mug of coffee, she spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does enthusiastically but badly.
Her first book, Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in it was frighteningly real.
Such a small parcel shouldn’t cause experienced smugglers much trouble. But this parcel is far from normal.
Chased across the seas, Finn and Aria must solve the mysteries within the parcel.
What does it mean? Who should they trust? What will happen?
The fate of an ancient people depends on them and time is running out …