There are places in our world where fiction and dreams can come true.

12th April 2018
Community Spotlight: Clara's A Modern Myth Launches
[April Spotlight]

A few months ago, we spoke to Alan Wake fan and artist, Kristy Seddon, about her latest project, her debut novel. Her answers to our questions were compiled into an article detailing her new adventure. Last weekend, Kristy achieved her dream of becoming a published author, launching her debut book, A Modern Myth, in paperback and ebook formats under her nom-de-plume, Clara Wake. It's an amazing achievement and to celebrate the launch of her title, we wanted to post the interview in full.

A Modern Myth is available exclusively through Amazon for the time being with the ebook (Kindle) format costing just over £7, and a paperback edition costing just over £14. If you own a KindleUnlimited membership you can read the title for free through the subscription.

Credit: Cover Photo from Clara's Facebook Page featuring the book's cover.





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Official Book Synopsis: 
Eighteen-year-old Nickolai is the only living elf in The Compound, a prison disguised as a training and reform facility. He has never stepped foot outside the walls, nor has he experienced kindness or compassion—only the cruel and unrelenting ways of the only home he’s ever known.

Tormented since birth and trained to be a rage-induced killing machine, Nickolai is fuelled by anger. Being as persistent as he is, it doesn’t take Nickolai long to realize that he is being used—that everything he’s ever known is a lie.

He becomes determined to expose the people behind this scheme and free those clasped to its chains. Eager to find a life and who he truly is, and feel alive for once in his life.


Interview In Full: 

How would you describe your novel?

The fictional Dystopian depiction of a very dark, haunting, and traumatizing world that is ruled by a very sinister and unhinged source. Riveted with suspense and conspiracies surrounding a broken half-elf trying to find a reason to continue fighting.



How long have you wanted to be a published author and how did that dream begin?

I believe I’ve always wanted to since I started writing. I was always praised for my creative writing, but I dismissed and even ignored it – even when I felt so happy to get compliments about it – I focused too much on my art growing up. While it was my coping mechanism for bullying and everything else, I completely forgot about my writing. So, I’d say I’ve always wanted my own book on the shelves since I was probably 13 years old. The dream I’m chasing right now? It’s been there for years, and like I said I shoved it aside, for art; thinking that was my passion – while it still is – I’ve found it in writing as well, so I pushed myself last year to truly make it a reality.



Why and how did you decide to write this book now?

Rayne, my daughter. Is why I pushed myself.

I suffer from Anxiety and depression, and while my meds help with depression, they’re not completely taking hold on my anxiety, and it’s honestly really hard for me to even leave the house, alone. I want to make my little girl proud of her mummy, and seeing her face light up when I show her what I’ve done, is truly a treasure I’ll never fall bored of. I decided at the end of 2016, to buckle down and write the story that’s been screaming in my mind since 2008.

She’s six years old, learning to read and we share conversations all the time, and I hope she’ll be proud of her mummy for pursuing her dreams instead of letting self-doubt cripple her. To know, that you can do anything you put your mind to.



Credit: Photograph from Clara's Facebook page of her editing process.


What helps you to get into the mental zone for writing, especially if you’re working at home?

Coffee! Lots of lots of lovely, warm, and caffeinated coffee! Music, that fits my story – 30 seconds to Mars and Dead By April, but mostly instrumental music, trailer music and TV/Movie scores etc.

I basically worked as soon as Rayne went to bed, so from 8 pm, I’d get to it and If I was awake when Rayne went to school, I’d write them but I’ve learned I’m more creative at night time.



One of the biggest struggles that creative people have is the feeling of Impostor Syndrome; that even though you can do a job well you don’t always feel it. Is this something that you had to face while writing the book? And if so, how did you overcome or push past it?

Ahhh!!

I think every creative person has this at some stage of their journey, right? With books, or even movies and games; there will always be elements of another source within. We get ideas from things that are already created, however, we bend them and make it our own with our own style and story. It happens everywhere. You can’t tell me The Hunger Games doesn’t have some elements that The Maze Runner has. They all do, some way or another.

I had my partner remind me of this, among other examples to pull me out of the Imposter Syndrome. Without him, I probably would have drowned in it, heh.



You mentioned before that Alan Wake has been an inspiration on this project. How has the game motivated or inspired you?

Without Alan Wake, I wouldn’t have re-discovered my love for writing and telling stories. As I’ve mentioned before, that beautiful game tore me out of years of creativity block, and it hasn’t faltered since. It even games me a Novel idea, from a dream I had after playing it. (for another completely different book) Without Alan Wake, I wouldn’t be writing and even drawing as much as I have over the years since playing. It’s changed my life in so many ways, and my undying love for it only ignites my desire to keep going. Like Alan, as writers, we struggle but in the end, we find a way to keep going. He’s my muse.



Kristy/InvisibleRainArt's Mr Scratch fan art. One of many Alan Wake inspired pieces that she created over the years.


To follow on from the previous question, how would your book have changed if you had never discovered Alan Wake

 I wouldn’t have written it.

I wouldn’t have gone to Tumblr, and entered the amazing Role-Playing community as Alan Wake and met some of the greatest people on this earth, who motivate and cheer me on. I wouldn’t have bothered, Instead, I’d be lying there in a pit of darkness with no way out.



What has been the most challenging aspect of writing the book so far?

Writing? I’d say adding the “filler” parts to the main arc and plot. Like I stated before I’ve had this story, this character since I was 21 years old (2008). The whole premise has never left my mind it only evolved into what it is today. I’ve had this idea, building, and molding into its own world since, and of course, while I had the main plot, there were little sections I had to fill in. I’d say they were the most challenging parts, oh and editing, don’t get me started on editing.



What has been the best thing about working on this project so far?

Just one thing? Or can I ramble on for days ha-ha!

I’d say the best thing, would be the sense of purpose I got from writing and completing it.

I honestly, never felt so accomplished in my entire life; like I finally had a reason to wake up. I know it almost sounds morbid, but it’s my reality honestly. I felt like for once, I’d done something with my life. I’m not just sitting at home playing games, or scrolling through Facebook all day. I’m researching, learning, and creating the world from my own mind. I’m not the lazy person people think I am. I know I’m more than that, and this book has helped me realize this. Sure, there are millions of people completing their first manuscripts as well, and kudos to them as well!... however, for me it’s not just a slab of paper with words. It’s so much more than that. I have so much love for this story and its characters, and I just hope someone else will love it too!



Credit: Promotional artwork from Facebook featuring Clara's protagonist from A Modern Myth.


After completing the book, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself if you could travel back to the start of the project?

OUTLINE KEEP OUTLINING FOR THE LOVE OF THOR! KEEP OUTLINING.

No seriously, outlining in the best thing ever, and everyone should do it. It’s the best thing ever, oh! And make sure to add those little details to Evernote that I’ll no doubt be scrolling through hundreds of pages for to reference from. Ha-ha, so guilty of that. I’ve learned my lesson!



What are the next steps for you?
[When the interview was taking place, Kristy/Clara was in the final few weeks of editing her novel.]

Now while I edit and revise the last stages of the book, I’m getting help from a lovely editor to edit and work with me for my query letter. And once I’ve crafted the perfect pitch and letter, I’ll be sending it off to every agent I’ve found so far. Then the terrifying and dreadful wait for rejection letters, but once I’ve sent off my first batch of query letters, I’ll be starting Book 2, and I can’t wait to enter my dystopian world again (yes, I love my dystopian world).



Did you settle on a final name or is it still being developed?
[A Modern Myth had gone through a series of name changes throughout its development. As we were talking the list had been settled down to two final names, either A Modern Myth or Syrex Born to Bleed. This question was originally meant to just be about double checking the final one for the article, but Kristy/Clara's answer was so good, I wanted to include it.]

I had a name in mind the entire process. However, I took to my close friends and family to help on deciding the name, and the one picked out of the three. It wasn’t the one that stood out for me, but I went with it. It wasn’t until recently, I knew I needed something that would catch someone or potential agents eye, and I knew the one I had picked “SYREX BORN TO BLEED” wouldn’t fit well and sounds bland and I never really felt comfortable with it in the first place, but I stuck with it because I knew this wasn’t going to be just one novel, It would be in either two or three parts, a trilogy perhaps. So I went with SYREX until I scratched it, once I started looking up agents and went back to my favorite one, A MODERN MYTH. Now, that’s the title and I don’t feel like it will be changed again. I like the title, it holds a mystery to it.

A huge thank you to Kristy/Clara for the interview, and congratulations on the launch of A Modern Myth! If you want to learn more about the novel, you can follow her on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

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