Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: Andrea Bougiouklis, author of the delightfully titled The Art of Becoming a Traitor, joins us to talk about her military thriller novel. Tell us a bit about your book, Andrea!
Andrea: A young woman with a larger-than-life legacy and an incredible sense of self truly believed that what she was doing was right. With all of her being, she thought that she was helping to serve a long-overdue justice.
When Eleri learns that she had been used as a pawn in a larger, evil plot, she has to find it in herself to right her wrongs – even if it means going against everything and everyone she ever loved. The war had been raging since she was a young child, and she had never thought to question it.
When Eleri and her best friend Fyodor discover that their leaders have been doctoring and altering history and are planning to disintegrate an entire population, they realize that they may be the only two who can prevent this atrocity.
In a race against time, power, and their own morals, they can only hope that their willpower and strength are enough to overturn a war that has already begun.
Sabitha: How do you come up with story ideas? Character ideas? Setting ideas?
Andrea: I don’t think of myself as a very conventional writer, in the sense that there is not one specific way that I come up with story ideas, and most times, it has nothing to do with me conceiving a plot. Oftentimes there is inspiration drawn from anything in my life – whether or not it is other media, world events, personal experiences, or anything else – and this inspiration will lead to a single piece of dialogue, a single scene, or perhaps even a character. I then tend to build around that one concept. I don’t storyboard or pre-determine an outline for what I write. Instead, I just write and see where the story goes on its own. Obviously, when I re-read or revise my work, I fix any plot holes or inconsistencies that I overlooked as I was writing, but in general terms of my process or how I create ideas, there is no real answer!
.Sabitha: That’s a pretty loose process. Do you have any self-imposed writing rules? How do they help
Andrea: There was something that I saw a long time ago, I can’t remember where or who to credit for it, but it said that to make your characters come to life, write out five or ten things about them (personality, interests, fears, etc.) and try to never explicitly mention it in your work. It helps to make them seem fuller and more well-rounded and adds dimension to the characters. Beyond that, there isn’t any one thing that I do when I’m writing. As I mentioned before, I do not have a linear or conventional writing style. I like to make themed playlists or sometimes find visual references, especially when worldbuilding, but those only enhance ideas that I already have.
Sabitha: Thanks for sharing your story and your process. We’re looking forward to reading! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?