Thursday, 6 June 2013

Interview with Patti Roberts - on writing episodic fiction, and the Witchwood Estate series

My guest today is Patti Roberts.
Ms Roberts is the author of the well known Paradox Series, and the phenomenally popular new Witchwood Estate series.

TC: Welcome to my blog, Ms Roberts, and thank you for coming.
In your new series, Witchwood Estate, you've departed from the conventional novel format. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Patti Roberts: Well, sometimes I think people just enjoy a quick read - nothing too overwhelming - the young and the not so young.

TC: And this new format, episodic fiction, certainly provides that. How did you come up with the idea for it?

Patti Roberts: I love TV series, so I thought that I would like to use that same format in ebooks - I believe episodic fiction is perfect for the ebook format. I think the series would also adapt into a great graphic novel, or comic - not to mention a TV series.

TC: That's an intriguing thought - a TV series. These Witchwood books are very visual, and would adapt well to a television format, I'm sure. Whom would you get to play the leading roles, if you had the choice?

Patti Roberts: That’s a very good question. The first actress I thought of for a Witchwood Estate character was Aria Montgomery, from Pretty Little Liars, to play Kat Abbots.

TC: And how about the big one - Alexandria? Any candidates in mind for her?

Patti Roberts: You know, I haven't had time to source any others yet - Kat's character just jumped out and me when I saw a pic of Aria on facebook - I said Yep. That's Kat! I would love readers to let me know who they think would make a great actress to play Alexandria - blond and sweet - maybe Britt Robertson, from Secret Circle, and for River, Chris Zylka from the same show.

TC: Well, there you go, readers - your opportunity to have your own input to this phenomenally popular series when it's televised!
So, from the point of view of the actual craft, how does writing this way, in episodes, compare with your previous experiences of writing more conventional novels? How has your work style had to change to accommodate the new format?

Patti Roberts: It hasn't changed that much at all, other than working to a shorter deadline. They are shorter stories, so for that reason it takes less time to finish an episode. I'd really like to bring out a new episode every six to eight weeks, but due to other commitments I can't manage that right now. Soon, hopefully, because I really love writing this series. It also really helps having them edited as I go, then a final edit at the end just before publication.

TC: Yes, and I'm sure your readers appreciate your commitment to quality in your work. So, what would you say are the main benefits to working this way?

Patti Roberts: I like to think I work better under pressure. I love knowing that the next instalment is only months away at the most - not a year as is quite often the case with larger novels. And so many more opportunities for cliffhanger endings - I know some people hate that, but I am not one of them.

TC: And the downside, if any?

Patti Roberts: In my opinion none! I way prefer TV series to movies - they last longer, and you have more opportunities to bond with the characters. Although I do understand that some stories suit a movie version rather than a TV series.

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