The Light Direction is a series of novels with a really unique twist. On the surface it has an intriguing story of love passion and betrayal with an interwoven plot and supernatural forces at play. Beneath the surface I have seamlessly written in real small businesses and real bespoke products that have been created for the brand and chosen by those within the potential readership. It is aimed at a female target market who enjoy a good ‘love, action, supernatural’ read and want to support a community of small businesses.
What inspired you to write The Light Direction?
There are three steps on the path to the idea becoming a reality..
STEP ONE: My best friend Angie Jones bought me the ‘Twilight’ book series for my last birthday and whilst reading these fab books by Stephanie Meyer I decided I would like to write a book series too.
STEP TWO: I had started writing down the outline of my story when my husband @JayLoftus bought me a beautiful bespoke necklace from @rachellucie for our anniversary. It meant something special about us still being in love after all we have been through with the death of our fourth son, a series of miscarriages, facing eviction and having to start the business up completely from scratch with debt hanging round our necks after we finally resurfaced from grief. The underlying message of the series is summarised by this quote from the book:
“The Light Direction is your destiny. The direction in which you will naturally find yourself
flowing regardless of which path you take or what obstacles are placed in your way. If
there is one thing I know to be unequivocally true it is that nothing will ever keep you from
reaching the light.”
STEP THREE: My business is called Creatively Minded because that is ‘who I am’ not just what I do. I am always thinking out of the box and I wanted to do something innovative using my skills as a brand image designer and creative writer to support other small businesses in the memory of son Aarlonzo.
What genre of books do you prefer to read?
I like reading love / action / mystery and sci-fi. As the publishing industry is changing it is exciting to have access to so many great new authors whether by self publishing or traditional means. I enjoy discovering new books on review sites and supporting other new authors.
I have also found an interest in Graphic Novels courtesy of the awesome team @beforethedoor. Before The Door is a production company founded by talented actor director producer Zachary Quinto along with his business partners Neal Dodson and Corey Moosa plus multitalented Sean Akers. I have been a member of Zach’s fan community for some time and the guys are involved in so many ground breaking projects supporting other creatives I really respect their work.
I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of the brilliant graphic novel they produced ‘LUCID’ by Michael McMillan (actor who played Steve Newlin in True Blood) earlier this year. The story, illustration and book design wow factor inspired me to choose to commission a complete series of character illustrations and art for my book series rather than taking a model / photographic route. The Before The Door Graphic novels have been published by Archaia who are well worth looking up if you want to discover the appeal of Graphic novels for yourself!
What was the hardest part of writing The Light Direction?
The hardest part of writing The Light Direction series is remembering I actually need to sleep sometimes LOL. I run my brand image design business Creatively Minded in the day with Biz Brand Buzz and Supportive Business Mums as additional business ventures
which I use to offer designs, advice and promotion to other small businesses. As I also have 3 kids and a hubby to look after it means the only time I have to work on The Light Direction is night.
From writing the stories, editing, creating logos and graphics, book covers, content formatting, marketing and putting together all the sites, features and blogs, 95% of it is done between 11pm and 6am before carrying straight on with my ‘day job’ and being mum after that.
I am excited by the potential of this project and dedicated to using The Light Direction to support other creatives though so I actually enjoy sitting up all night tirelessly creating content, generating ideas and publishing features to champion other small businesses.
I love writing the content. I have the whole life story of these characters in my head and have written two years worth of lead character Emma’s rollercoaster life already. The first free two chapter ebook was released last week and now people are contacting me telling
me they are ‘hooked’ and asking about the characters and plot, wanting to know when they can read more. I am so ‘into’ the story it is very exciting to know people are relating to and being intrigued by it and it is very difficult to refrain from blurting out answers to all their questions and totally spoiling the plot of the printed novel LOL.
The most #Squeeeee-worthy moment so far (and there have been many) was the photoshoot for the cover of the first free ebook on location at Sandbanks beach. @GrahamFry took photographs of the beautiful ‘Tri-Love’ necklace designed by Sarah Marks of Tiny Gems. It perfectly captures the love triangle within the story and Sarah @hhjtinygems embraced getting involved with @light_direction right from the start so it means the world to me to be able to feature her creation and watch as she reaches a new audience with this novel promotion and benefits from the direct sales opportunities it is already creating for her.
Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
My favourite character is always going to be leading man Jez. In my eyes he is totally gorgeous and the character develops a lot throughout the story.
It took weeks creating the illustration for each character from initial sketch to final art working closely with my artist Tris Rossin @dot2uk as I had such a clear image in my mind of exactly what each character needed to look like.
I really like Denni and Katy too. Denni has a mohican and they both have black hair with blue streaks (to match my own hair colouring). They are the ‘creative’ types within the story.
Emma, Katy and Beth are all based partly on me reflecting different sides to my character.
Is the book based on real life experiences that have happened to you?
In all honesty around 80% of the content is based on life experience in some form and considering there is supernatural powers in the story the other 20% is pure creative writing.
The main locations in the book are based on real places I know very well and of course I feature real small businesses and real bespoke products that have been created especially for the series too.
I would say that the style of content has also been influenced by the sorts of films and TV series I enjoy such as Heroes, Lost, Flash Forward, Matrix, Twilight and True Blood. All brilliantly written and directed with fantastic acting making for engaging and entertaining
What lessons did you learn whilst writing The Light Direction?
The project is still evolving and so I am learning more and more all the time! So far I have learnt that when like minded creatives and small businesses work together on a project they all feel passionately about then from a mutually supportive environment great work is
produced and the possibilities are infinite.
Did the project end up as you expected, or did it take on a life of its own?
I think in order to embrace innovation you have to be flexible and open to change. There are new developments to taking the brand forward all the time and although this is something very close to my heart I am completely open to the ideas of other creatives. The businesses involved are collaborating as a supportive community and we bounce ideas off each other all the time.
Following on from some of the creative discussions so far I am going to be launching a ‘TLD readers group’ offering inside insight, ‘ask the author’ and offering exclusive opportunities to those supporters getting involved. I have also started working with an audio production company who will be working with me to create audio books and exclusive online content. I envisage taking The Light Direction into short online film media in the future as well.
I also still have opportunities to write several real businesses and products in to the first printed novel before the initial print run next year.
Will you be writing other books in the future?
Yes. It is a lot of hard work but I love doing this. I am planning several printed novels and a whole series of free linked two chapter short stories with The Light Direction and I imagine I will continue to write something new after the TLD series is complete as well.
Win a Holiday and Gorgeous Gifts!
You can download Taste The Light Direction a FREE 2 chapter introduction ebook at http://www.the-light-direction.co.uk/taste/taste_home.html and discover opportunities to win a holiday at the actual @beside_the_sea luxury cottages featured in the story plus win the beautiful ‘Tri-Love’ necklace featured on the cover as well as lots of other gorgeous gifts up for grabs as a reward to those who support this innovative project.
Follow Ces on twitter @Ces_Creatively @light_direction and visit http://www.the-light-direction.co.uk/taste/taste_home.html to download your FREE copy of the intriguing introduction to the story now!