Q. Why have you released this unabridged
A. As a first time author I learned
many of my writing skills by making mistakes. I remain
indebted to several editors who helped me overcome my
shortcomings and Book One was the result. However, one
thing all editors insist upon is the proviso that 'A book
never starts at the beginning'.
I wrestled with this for several years, and was never
happy with the result. To me it was a mess, well, until
the story proper got going. Then I learned about The Hollywood
Script, the device they use in virtually all films, and
it begins with about ten percent introduction to the characters
and scene. This suited me well and I have used it as the
foundation upon which to rebuild this unabridged version.
The book now starts before the beginning and introduces
characters that later become important to the plot. It
replaces several back-stories and answers questions before
readers ask them. I am now more than happy with the book.
Q. This was your first book. What made
you want to write it, to become an author?
A. They say everyone has a book in them,
and I believe that to be true. Whether it is a book strangers
would pay for to read is a different matter. So I went
on a steep learning curve, learning how to write. It was
not easy, but I made excellent progress.
The second reason was that I liked the Castaway idea,
but hated the film starring Tom Hanks, in which even the
ending was changed from the book. I set out to write a
castaway novel, but being a virgin writer, feedback from
friends was at best, lukewarm. I was 'telling', not 'showing'.
And it was in first person present tense = never again.
It is now in first person past tense, and reads very well.
But things changed when I wrote about the food parcels,
and soon after, the transporter. Immediately, the book
warped away into science fiction and science fantasy.
I had the idea of 'The Ancestors', and was away on an
Q. Tell me about the main characters, the ones that appealed
to you, the author, most.
A. Number one is Jack. He is a likeable
rogue in the modern sense. But when the book begins, he
is lost and castaway. He develops as the storyline does.
Susan and I argued (playfully) about this, but later she
agreed with my character development.
I love Owain, a real man's man. I am proud of Da Phai
Nai, as she is a no bullshit woman, and she is usually
correct. Her character is one of the most balanced I have
But I think n'Gnung is perhaps the best, because he continues
to develop and becomes more central to the main plot,
and many subplots as the trilogy progresses.
Q. Where is the Island located?
A. It is in the central South Pacific
at about longitude 150 West, latitude 25 South. There
is a submerged volcano at position -25.085599, -148.345642
that proved suitable. The size was about right were it
were poking above water. It featured several smaller crowns
as well as a large central caldera, which was perfect.
The reason for non detection by contemporary science,
explorers, and satellites was simple, it was hidden by
an Ancestral shield. Meaning, what is on current maps,
is all we can detect.
Q. What was the most difficult thing
about writing a trilogy?
A. Keeping track of continuity, especially
when making a major edit. It would ricochet around all
Hi, I’m Carla, a historical fiction author and workshop
leader living in Scotland. I have three highly-reviewed
novels available at main outlets, Waterstones, Amazon,
Barnes and Noble.
I love writing books, not just because they became a
source of income, but because they connected me with creative
and imaginative people.
Author of The Last Gift, who has worked as a reviewer and interviewed best selling authors:
Carla is on Goodreads - see all her books and featuring:
The Whitechapel Virgin
her blog for more details