Tell us about yourself:
- Where do you live? I currently live in Waverley Beach, New Zealand. It’s a small, picturesque, rural and remote beach in the South Taranaki region of the North Island. While there are about 50 homes here, only 8 people live here full-time, I’m #8
- How long have you lived there? As I’ve been traveling quite frequently over the last few years, I’ve lived here off and on for the last 6 years.
- Are you married? Once upon a time I was married, but no longer.
- Kids? I’m fortunate to have two children, one of each.
- Full time job? No
- Education? I have only a High School education.
- Who is your favorite author and book? Tough question. I have many authors who I admire. I really like the Pulitzer prize winning author, Jose Saramago. His character development is incredible, and for me a benchmark. On the other extreme I also enjoy the free-flowing style of Lee Child. I think one of my favorite books is ‘Contact’ by Carl Sagan. The story is complex and provides a refreshing duel perspective on an interesting often discussed topic.
- What is your preferred genre? Without question, historical fiction is my favorite genre.
- How did you start this journey to become a writer? I’d always wanted to write a novel. It was during the recovery from an injury when I finally had the courage to begin to actually begin. All I needed was a topic. During my rehabilitation, I stumbled across a story that would become my first novel, ‘For Want of a Shilling’. I never told anyone what I was doing because I didn’t want to make excuses if I gave up and failed.
- What have you written so far? I have written a total of 6 full length historical print novels. ‘For Want of a Shilling’, Boundary’, ‘The Breath of God’ and ‘Falls Ende – Primus’ are published and available. A fifth novel, the sequel to ‘Falls Ende – Primus, titled ‘Falls Ende – Secundus’ will be published in August 2019. My sixth novel called, ‘Leonard Hardy’s Misfortune’ is in the hands of my US Agent. Additionally, there are 3 short stories available only in ebook format. The short stories are, 1. ‘Falls Ende – The Oath’, 2.’ Falls Ende – Courser’ 3. ‘Falls Ende – The King’. I took all three ebooks and seamlessly joined them together and titled that story, ‘Falls Ende – Primus’.
Tell us about your current book.
The Falls Ende series began as an experiment. I wasn’t sure I could write a novel set in medieval times and make it compelling without including endless pages of battles and knights fighting. I wanted the Falls Ende series to be character driven and hold up to critical review on the strength of the story and my writing. The book I’m currently finishing is called ‘Falls Ende – Secundus’.
Falls Ende is more than a typical medieval tale. This emotional fast-paced series depicts the unfairness of a feudal society and highlights the Church’s unquestioned dominance and authority. Unprepared for changing circumstances, Herdsman Odo Read must adapt and overcome the challenges he faces or suffer at the hand of powerful Lords and the whim of an avaricious Bishop.
‘Falls Ende’ is emotional, it tugs at our heartstrings and we champion Odo who wants nothing more than to farm his beloved cows and provide for his dearest Charlotte. Can Odo overcome, will he survive? ‘Falls Ende’ is a compulsive, page-turning read that will leave you breathless.
11. What is the inspiration for your current book? Unlike contemporary novels where the protagonist has the advantage of technology to assist him to extricate himself from a difficult situation, writing a Medieval series is quite difficult because the author can’t turn to technology to solve a problem. I grew up in rural New Zealand and I now live in the country, it was only natural for me to write a novel that features elements from the environment that influenced me.
12. Who was your favorite character to write and why? I’ve been asked this question before, and its easy to answer. I enjoy writing about ‘Cathal’ the most. He is an Irish seer, a filli (poet) and perhaps even a druid. His sense of pragmatic logic is what I identify with. Certainly, he has incredible potential within his character to develop, and he is an enigma, not just to readers, but to other characters within the story.
13. Is there anything of you in that character? I think there is a lot of me in Cathal.
14. What sets your book apart? Have you ever finished a novel, read the last word and slowly closed the book and gently stroked the cover and marveled at the journey the author took you on? As a reader, I do not want to be an observer of the story I’m reading, I want to be part of it. Falls Ende was written to be such a book. It’s a story that’s inclusive, quickly moving, emotional and character driven.
15. What’s your favorite part in the book? I can’t say too much, but the twists and turns are the best parts to write. I like to surprise the reader… let’s leave it at that.
16. What was the most difficult part to write? The hardest parts to write in a novel are the scenes that I find morally offensive. To be a successful writer, the author must become the character he/she is writing about. If that character is a despicable person, then it is difficult to think and act like that.
17. What was your favorite book to write? Without question, Falls Ende. The plot and sub-plots were easy and fell into place better than I’d ever hoped.
18. How do you write? Do you have a set time or place? How many hours a day? This is another question I’m frequently asked. I prefer to write creatively for about 4 hours each morning. I could write for longer, but then the quality diminishes. I may tweak and rewrite portions of what I’ve written later in the day or do research, but I don’t overdo it.
19. Why did you want to be a writer? Because I instinctively knew it was something I could do and be good at it.
20. How do you get your ideas? Ideas come to me at the strangest of times or places. Sometimes when I’m doing the dishes or doing some other menial task. If I need to plan the next sequence of the story I’m writing, then I just stop and walk away, because I know that if I don’t force it, the best ideas will come. It may take an hour or two, or even a few days, but the ideas will come if I don’t focus on thinking about them.
21. What do you have planned next? My agent wants me to write a sequel to my mystery novel, ‘Leonard Hardy’s Misfortune’. At the moment I’m just fine tuning the general plot.
22. What advice would you give new writers? For new writers I would advise them not to give up when the going gets tough. The writing is easy, its everything else that can take its toll. Be strong, be resolute and determined – don’t give up.
23. How can readers get in touch with you? Readers can contact me through my website. www.PaulWFeenstra.com and join my mailing list. I always try to respond to emails. PaulWFeenstra@gmail.com or friend me on Face Book or Instagram.
If you’ve read this far, thank you.
2 thoughts on “Meet Historical Fiction Author from New Zealand Paul W. Feenstra”
An excellent interview well done.
A wonderful interview! It gave some new insights into the writing career of Paul Feenstra. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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