Each week we will be featuring one member for their outstanding contributions to the Figment community.
This week we’re featuring R.A. Black! Check out five of her stories along with her interview questions below!
What do you enjoy most about Figment and its community?
- The opportunity to share and learn from so many people around the world. It sounds cheesy, but it really is great to meet, collaborate and learn from fellow writers who are in the same sort of position as I am. The community is friendly, welcoming and full of talent.
What is your favorite story that you have shared on Figment and why?
- I think Apple will always have a special place in my heart. One of the main characters, Skye, is based on the older brother I always wanted, so he’s probably my favourite character. It’s also the first book that I’ve felt confident enough to consider for self-publishing and I think marks a turning point in my writing.
Where do you find inspiration to write and keep writing?
- All over the place. I don’t really know where my stories come from, they just pop in my head, usually as a vague outline or sometimes a particular scene. I think I end up committing about ten percent of my ideas to paper. The rest are still floating around in my head.
What is the last book that you read?
- Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I love the way the author constructed the tale around the strange photographs he had collected.
Do you have any advice for other Figgies looking to improve their writing?
- Three pieces:
1) – Review as much as you can. It’s hard to see faults in your own work, but when you learn to recognize what works and doesn’t in other people’s writing, you can apply that knowledge to your own. My stories have improved massively since I started helping people edit.
2) – Don’t have any sacred cows in your writing. By which I mean, don’t refuse criticism on any areas. Whether it’s grammar, sentence structure, plot, characters, you should be willing to listen to constructive criticism. You don’t have to take any of it, as just because someone has given advice doesn’t mean it’s correct, but you should at least consider it.
3) – Learn to view your characters as people. Don’t treat them as vehicles for plot to happen, or collections of personality traits. If you believe in them as real people, so will your readers.
Congratulations again R.A. Black and thank you for sharing talent, inspiration and advice with us! Be sure to check out some of her work below.
My name is Toby Shaw. I am the son of a mortician. There is nothing I don’t know about death.
Toby works as a mortuary photographer, providing one last memory of loved ones to grieving families. Unfortunately, the living seem intent on making trouble in his life. His sister is married to someone Toby hates, his boss hates Toby, and his father is losing his mind. And then there is the woman who wants to talk to him about a photograph that cannot possibly exist.
Toby finds himself being dragged into the dark world of Victorian London’s occult scene, trying to solve the mystery of the photograph and what happened to his father. But he better be quick because the bodies are starting to pile up. Bodies with their eyes removed and their hearts ripped out…
For two years, following the death of her husband, Jenna Winters has been wandering aimlessly though life. When she sees the house on Nightingale road, she falls in love with it and decides it is time to put roots back down again. The house is perfect for her and her son, Ben.
But as time passes, it becomes clear that the house is harbouring secrets and that not all of the skeletons are in the closet.
They say that endings are just new beginnings and that could not be more true for Lavie Streaver. A noblewoman turned knight, she and her childhood friend, Harry, have fought long and hard to survive, raise an army and set the rightful heir, Prince Brendan, back on the throne. Enough blood, sweat and tears have been shed to drown the kingdom thrice over, but the war is finally over.
If the fates had been fair, their story would have ended there and they would have earned their happily ever after. But Lavie is struggling to settle down in a life without an enemy to fight. Harry finds his dreams of the future aren’t matching with the reality of it. And Brendan discovers that heroes don’t make good kings.
As the cracks begin to appear in the kingdom, and their friendship, Lavie finds herself turning to an unlikely source of help – the man they worked so hard to defeat.
A short story I threw together for a story-telling evening I’m running.
The artisan has finished his masterpiece, but cannot get it to work. In the dark streets of Paris a stranger has the solution, but what will it cost?
Twelve year old Apple has always believed her big brother, Skye, will protect her from anything. So when he is forced to leave home, she chooses to go with him. What starts out as an adventure quickly turns sour and she finds herself apprenticed to a strange doctor in a mysterious house high on a hill. Who is Doctor Cavington and why does he seem so interested in her and Skye? Apple must unlock the secrets of Cavington Hall before the ghosts of the past consume them all.
Getting ready to publish this in the new year, so just the first four chapters are up at the moment. If you like it, look for a print edition to be available on Amazon soon!
Congratulations again, R.A. Black!
Let us know who you think should be our next Featured Fig!
– The Figment Team