Author Interview with Christelle Delport

This month, I reach all the way across the ‘pond’ to the U.K and speak with Christelle Delport. Her new book White River Calling has the main character…well, I’m not going to give it away. After all, it’s her book.

So let’s begin…

CRDelport1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?
I was born and raised in Benoni, South Africa. My parents moved around a lot, so we never stayed in one place for very long. I am currently residing on a smallholding in Walkerville South Africa. It is just south
of Johannesburg.

What Genre do I write? I think I’m still trying to figure that out. I like to tell a story. My first book, Basics, is a sort of biographical fictional novel. The characters are fictional but everything that happened
to them, I got from stories real soldiers told me. My second book, White River Calling, is a fiction adventure story with a little hint of Science Fiction maybe. I have another book planned that is a detective murder
mystery. So as you can see, I don’t really have a specific genre as yet.

2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
At the moment I am only writing part time. I have a full time job in IT working for a cell phone operator. It does afford me the opportunity to test the water, so to speak. I don’t get to write as much as I would like. Writing takes time, and lucky for me, I have a very understanding partner who affords me the time to write when I’m not working. For the last year
and a bit, you can guess how I spent my lunch hour.

At first I send out a lot of queries with big dreams of becoming the next hot-shot writer, but reality struck and I received one rejection letter after another. Luckily I discovered the wonderful world of eBook publishing which gives anyone the chance to get published. I also quickly discovered my writing wasn’t nearly as good as I thought and that I still
had a lot to learn. I joined various online sites to learn more and improved my writing. There is a wealth of knowledge out there. One must only be willing to learn. Who knows, I still might be the next hot-shot writer.

3. What was your experiences like with Self-Publishing?
Publishing the book is actually remarkably easy. I studied the recommended style guide and made sure the book was setup according to the prescribed style, and, viola! Getting people to read it is a whole different challenge, and for a new writer, in that lay the difficulty. They first need to learn about me, the writer. You first need to build a reader base
and that takes time and patience. Almost everyone that reads one of my stories, whether it is a short story or a book, love it. That is a start and I’ll build on that.

4. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What was the inspiration (if any) behind this story?
It actually started out as a writing exercise. Something I do when I get stressed. I sit down and start writing, anything that comes to mind. I started with a guy in the desert, a guy with no memory, just to create a little bit of mystery. I didn’t want to put him in an ordinary setting, so I put him in the middle of a desert. But not an ordinary desert, it is actually in the middle of Arkansas. And there is a drought, a bad one, with no water in sight. So I started to work on some back-story for the
guy and came up with some pretty good stuff. Soon I had so many ideas and they grew. Then I started to write, and soon, White River Calling saw the light.

5. Was it difficult to write a character with no memory of who he is/was? 
No not really. When I did my planning for the character, I still worked out his complete back-story; I just didn’t share it with the reader. What was fun about it was that I got to develop the character right before the reader’s eye. Yeah, I know, you develop all characters, but they have back-story, a platform. For Sam, I had to build the platform within the pages of the book, and the setting where he ended up, largely determined that platform. He could’ve ended somewhere else, and then his path would had been completely different.

6. What do you hope readers will find interesting about this story?
First of all, the story. It is a really good story. There is romance, suspense, action, and even a hint of science fiction. The dynamics between the characters are interesting, and how they have to work together in order to ensure their own survival. The fact that a small town, that don’t trust strangers, have to rely and depend on one to save them. Will you survive if all your basics structures get taken away?

7. What things influence your writing? And have you ever written them into a story?
I often write short stories about every day events I see, or work them into a story. When it comes to a novel, I have a general idea of what I want to achieve, but let the story develop on its own. For me as a writer the story is just as exciting as it is for the reader, because I don’t really know how it’s going to develop.

8. Is there one genre in particular that you would like to write? Something you would find a challenge?
I think I am too young as a writer to really be concerned or classify myself into a certain genre. Maybe when I have ten books or more under my belt I’ll be able to answer that question. For now I write the story and see what develops.

9. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?
Of course the story has to be interesting. I read a wide variety of genre’s. I like to read a book twice. Once as a reader, just enjoying the story. Then a second time, as a writer, when I look at the reading and analyze the writing to see where it can help to improve my own writing.

10. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
I write because I love it, not to be a commercial success, although if that happens, I won’t sneeze at it. I like to share my stories with people and enjoy engaging people who read my books and to hear their thoughts and what they thought. It is tedious and hard work and it takes a lot of effort to put a readable book together. I will keep doing it as long as I
enjoy it.


To learn more about this author, please click the links below







About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

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