Writer Life & Lessons

Interview with S. M. Boyce ~ Part I

Did you know that S. M. Boyce thinks blue cheese smells like feet, is a month younger than Harry Potter, wrote a story about a lonely pickle and that she doesn’t really drink hot drinks?


Back in April, C. R. Trumbo and myself interviewed the lovely S. M Boyce, and since then, we’ve been getting our websites up to scratch ready to post it. We split the tasks (I took the transcript, C. R. took the video) and now it’s all here for you to enjoy!

Our thirty minutes of chat about her books, published and in-progress, and writing in generla led to 4,000 words of transcript, so we’ve split it into four parts – two here, and two on C. R’s blog.

This week, it’s here!

The Interview ~ Part I


[Apologies for the delay in the video: being 3,000 miles away on different continents, plus internet issues led to a slight delay. Hope you enjoy it!]


*** insert issues with the online videoing and microphone functions followed by various “hi!”s here ***

C. R. – “I guess I’m gonna start this party.”

The Grimoire Saga

C. R. – “What was the first spark of an idea, the beginning of the idea that eventually became the Grimoire Saga?”

S. M. – “Yeah, that was a long time ago. I have been working on this series since 2006. It’s kind of hard to even remember what the first spark was. But I think it was actually fan-fiction for Harry Potter that just completely snowballed into something nothing at all like Harry Potter.

I had this book that taught you how to make wands out of clay. And I ignored the book and just kind of made my own thing. And I was like “hmm, well what would the people be like who use these special spell-casters that I created?” Of course over time I completely got rid of the spell-casters. But that’s what happens with a series. It always evolves and it always changes. That was a long time ago. I think I still have them. They’re really bad, but I think I still have them somewhere.”


K. R. – “Is there anything that, now that the Grimoire Saga is ending, you would change in hindsight – anything you would add or wouldn’t have put in?”

S. M. – “Yes, particularly in Lichgates when Kara is going through the trials and she has to get all the map pieces, I think sometimes she found the pieces too easy and looking back that’s glaringly obvious. I should have gone “well, duh”. But when you’re in the moment and when you’re writing you kind of get lost in it. It makes perfect sense to you. But I just didn’t have an editor at the time who pointed that out to me. My editors were all like “its great!” And now my husband has become my editor and he has no problem telling me when something sucks. He is absolutely okay with telling me when I need to change things. So that’s actually helped improve future books.”

K. R. – “That’s good for an editor.”

S. M. – “I wish he had been available for book one.”


C. R. – “How much planning or research did you do before ever starting work on Lichgates?”

S. M. – “A lot! I’m an obsessive planner, plotter, outliner. I have to have a very thorough outline before I start. The thing is with Oerya the world is so big, I could actually write a book about the world every year for the rest of my life and I would never run out of material. Because the world is so big it requires so much preparation and a lot of inspiration from earth and cultures on earth… so that took a lot of research. I have a lot of pins on pintrest with just – inspiration that I drew from for the book. Yeah like I said, since 2006. Lichgates didn’t come out until 2011. I spent a while on it.”


K. R. – “When you began the first book, did you already know all the stuff that will happen in the third and forth books? It sounds like you planned it, but did you actually know a majority of what would happen at end, when you were writing the beginning?”

S. M. – “That’s a great question. I thought I did, but then it changed. I had this beautiful outline. It was a b and c, books 1 2 and 3 and then suddenly – this character changed, this person became someone else, I got rid of that character, decided to add another kingdom. Over time it just became completely different from what I originally wanted.

Actually I’m writing Heritage, number three right now, and I was going to kill off an entire kingdom in Heritage and decided that was a bad idea. Even though that was in the original outline. My husband talked me out of it, so you can thank him for that one.”

C. R.  – “Yes!”

K. R. – “That sounds like a good move!”

S. M. – “Yeah, and the author doesn’t always know best, really. Sometimes you have to have an editor like Jeff who is not afraid to say “that’s wrong. I know this is your book but that’s not right.” ”


The Writing Process

C. R. – “What is your best or most productive time of the day for writing?”

S. M. – “Two in the morning. I am a night owl. I hate getting up early. I actually used to have a job that made me get up at 4:30 in the morning and I was miserable. I hated it. I am better when I can stay up late, sleep in until one. I’m a happy camper then. So, middle of the night is best for me.”


K. R. – “What kind of conditions would you say you need in order to write, or what would be your ideal ones, so for me I always need to have a cup of tea with me.”

S. M. – “I like that one a lot. Actually that’s one of them. I don’t like hot drinks but I have iced tea. I need quiet and I need a room with a door. I have to be able to shut everyone out. I tend to go A.D.D sometimes so I’m easy to distract and when you have a door it’s just easier to shut everyone out and say don’t open this door unless the house is burning.”

That’s all for today! Do you have any questions so far? Leave them in the comments!

Want to know more? Here’s Part II, being hosted by the lovely C. R. Trumbo!

~ ~ ~

Interested in our books?

* S. M. Boyce’s first book, Lichgates is available [for free on Kindle!] here.

* Information about C. R. Trumbo’s work-in-progress, The Forsaken can be found here.

* Information about my novels can be found here.

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