In this show case I would like to introduce Seb Larkin who has recently published his first book of a trilogy – “Witness“. It’s a Crime Thriller with a Teenage Love Story that spans over two decades, continuing into adulthood, and 1998. A love story that will not only keep the reader guessing, but Seb himself as it will have at least ‘three different endings.’ Sounds intriguing!
The second and third books are almost ready to go so Seb has been very busy!
I’ve been chatting with Seb for a while now and it’s been interesting to see how his self-publishing business has developed. Things don’t always end the way we expect them to! If you think you have just one book to write then think again! The process of writing seems to unearth a wealth of new ideas and before you know it you’re publishing a trilogy instead!
Here’s a little bit more about Seb.
When did you first begin writing your very first book?
I began writing things down around 2006, reminiscences of the boy who once looked out at me from the mirror. The one with wishes and dreams that he still thought about as a teenager, who I sealed away, becoming estranged from him in a life redesigned towards survival rather than childish desires.
I came across that notepad again in 2010 from where I’d hidden it, unlocking the boy, the teenager, and a time needing to be told.
What inspired you to start?
I used to make stories up for my kids and one of those was ‘The Snow Star,’ that I made up for my youngest daughter, who felt it should be in a book, and could I – her Daddy, write a book?
Well, I’d always wanted to write a novel, and leaning towards fantasy fiction, and I guess it was her question that challenged me, and eventually I got there.
Did you stumble upon your niche/topic through trial and error or was it already a passion of yours?
I’m an emotional person and passionate about justice. Why? Well I grew up in a battlefield because that’s what it was, and the political climate that was Belfast during the troubles helped form my mindset in many ways. Particularly when one witnesses things that no kid or teenager should ever have to, and when one comes close to death as I have several times, collectively it changes you.
Injustice is discrimination gone wrong and comes in many forms. Bombs for instance don’t differentiate between them and us, be it in Ireland or on the mainland. It’s always the innocent who suffer the most, and whose questions tend to be ignored. There are people to this day both English and Irish, still suffering from the loss of their loved ones and without the answers to why.
I saw a long time ago through the blood that oozed from severed limbs, wounds that leaked, that death claimed in acts of war justified by lies, and it gave to my eyes shame. I believe in God, in Heaven, in Angels and miracles, I’m proof they happen and believe things happen for a reason.
There have been stories written about that time in Belfast, particularly concerning those areas in which I grew up. Some written by those who didn’t even live or grow up there, others by people who had lived there, some for less time than a butterfly exists, yet pass themselves off as more knowledgeable than those who didn’t or couldn’t move away. Those of us who experienced the longevity of it all know the truth and so I decided someone needed to tell it how it actually was albeit through fiction for now.
As a non fiction writer, I am in awe of those who write fiction – that type of creativity and story plotting are beyond me! What advice do you have for anyone contemplating writing fiction – are there specific personality traits you believe are essential?
Writers, come in all forms, and whether one is a Poet or other; we all have a desire to express ourselves productively and to the best of our ability.
Because someone else hasn’t written ‘it, your idea,’ doesn’t make what you’re contemplating unachievable. If you have imagination, resolve, and believe in yourself, anything is possible. I’m constantly thinking and writing down ideas that end up in a folder. It may be relative to what I’m writing, or it may not, but something will evolve from it.
I want my voice to be heard through my stories, whether they are fictional, factional based, or real. To have even one person read what I wrote and relate to it, and shout ‘Wow, this made me think, or go ‘’Wow, Wow, Wow, or this writer is someone who knows what I’m feeling, they understand me,’’ and know they’re not alone.
To know that someone wore that same t-shirt, dreamt and wished like they do, thinks like they do, and who can benefit from what I write, then I’ll be wowed.
What is one of the most surprising things you have learned about the process of self-publishing?
Well, that you’re pretty much at the bottom of any e-distributer’s well is one thing. When you’re self-publishing, you are a multi-tasker, everything from researcher, writer, editor, to publisher, PR rep, and marketing tactician.
You’re the producer of a creation that you genuinely believe people will want to buy, but until that one person looks at your cover long enough to start that ripple flowing though their mind, holding them long enough to click on your book, read a description that enchants them to want to read more, and buy it, and upon reading it, tell their best friend who follows suit, and who then tells a dozen people at college, or work, you don’t have an audience.
What have you found most rewarding?
Completing the conveyer belt of production, and you look as a prospective buyer would at that Cover you made on Canva, thinking how it merges with the Title, and enter the doorway to your own creation to read it. There’s also the satisfaction for those 03:00 am starts and late night endings, and all of it, the proof of your resolve.
Do you have a project you are working on at the moment? Please tell us about it!
As I mentioned earlier Kay. I went through that notepad bit by bit; analysing the chronicle of emotions, the memories and history, the pain and truth concealed within the pages.
The trauma in the words and what was witnessed, compelling me to refocus my attention to writing it, and applied myself to that, albeit through Fiction.
That was 2010, and that journal became the blueprint for ‘Killing Streets.’
Witnesses is the beginning of an epic tale. Part Two is titled, ‘Teenage Rampage,’ and although it’s written, it’s currently being edited.
Part Three, ‘In the Ghetto,’ is also written and awaiting its attention.
Would YOU like to feature on my website? If so, then contact me and I shall get things moving!