Saturday, June 16, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Reno Charlton, Author of "The Sceptre of Zanafiar"

What is this book about?
The Sceptre of Zanafiar is about a young boy, William, who believes he is an orphan and has spent much of his young life in children’s homes. He is the victim of bullying at the home he is in and leads a sad and lonely life. However, unbeknown to him, he actually has another life and another destiny awaiting him in a whole new world called Zanafiar. After he receives a mysterious and magical riddle book at the home, William finds himself transported to this other world, where he embarks upon a fantastic adventure to restore the magical gems from the Sceptre of Zanafiar. William makes many new friends on his adventures, but also comes across some fearsome creatures and enemies. In order to fulfill his destiny, William must risk life and limb to escape the dangers he faces and, with the help of the riddle book, find the magical gems, which have been scattered all across Zanafiar.

How did you get the idea for this book?
My idea for this book developed from my love of fantasy novels and my passion for writing for children. The idea developed over time, so although I had the framework for the story in mind, I spent a lot of time developing the story and thinking about characters and places before I put pen to paper.

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
No, this is actually my third children’s book. Before I started The Sceptre of Zanafiar, I wrote two other children’s books, which formed a two part series. This was The Secret Portal and The Vampire Returns. I have also written a number of short stories for older readers (16 upwards), The Journey Home and Consequences. The first won a short story award judged by Curtis Brown Literary Agency a few years ago, whilst the second is being used by a middle school in the United States as an educational/study aid to teach eighth graders about making the right moral choices.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I work as a full-time copywriter, creating content for clients around the world. This is something that I have been doing professionally for over eight years now. However, when it comes to writing novels and short stories, I have been writing for around ten or eleven years. I have always had a strong interest in writing and wish that I had taken the plunge and started writing earlier than I actually did. With this in mind, my advice for beginning writers would be to avoid putting things off -- if you are interested in writing, then just get started, even if it is only putting ideas in place at first. My other advice, which I feel is important for new writers, would be to polish and hone your writing skills in order to develop the best story you can rather than rushing to write a book without the necessary writing skills and knowledge.

Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
I was brought up on Enid Blyton books, many of which featured fantasy and magic. This has always been a favorite genre of mine, so it felt natural to write in this genre when I started out. My shorter stories are a little darker (in terms of drama/horror/supernatural) and this has probably stemmed from my love of horror stories, particularly the works of Stephen King.

Do you plan a sequel or future books?
I am currently working on a compilation of short stories for older readers under my pen name, Emily Ho. However, I also want to work on the third in the Secret Portal series and possibly a sequel for The Sceptre of Zanafiar, which I will be looking at doing early next year.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
Yes, I have a website, which is www.renocharlton.com. Here, you can learn more about me, my work, and my books. The Sceptre of Zanafiar and all of my other books and short stories can be ordered via my website and through Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. The link to all of my books on Amazon.com is HERE.

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