Whangarei writer continues fantasy series
To look at her, you’d never believe there are dragons flying around in her head but the Whangarei fantasy series author, Derin Attwood, is continuing her work on the series. She talks to Christel Jeffs about the work which often takes her to mythical planets.
When asked how she would describe herself, Derin’s friends say, “Small in stature but lives with her head in the clouds”.
“My friends probably know me too well,” she says.
Derin’s imagination has served her well in the creation of The Token Bearers, a fantasy series set on a mythical planet where “an ordinary family having to cope with extraordinary situations”.
She is working on continuing the series, as well as publishing several children’s books.
Despite being consumed with her own creativity, she still takes time to help other writers through the local critique group she leads called Pen-Ultimate Writers.
“Writing is such a solitary job. One can spend weeks not seeing anyone else. Having the writing group keeps me sane and grounded,” she says.
“They are the first ones I turn to if I have a writing problem, but it goes both ways.”
She says sharing writing work is not for the faint of heart but Derin encourages positive critique in the group that is honest and does not force the writer’s hand.
“Once [the problems] are pointed out, I can choose to either fix them or leave them. That is the basis of Pen-Ultimate. The writer gets to make the final decision.
“I have found, however, that if more than one person picks up a problem, then generally it needs to be fixed.”
Derin recalls what her primary school teacher said to her, sharing the simple difference between being “critical” and “critiquing”.
“He said, ‘to be critical is negative, but to critique is positive. Critiques aren’t done to pull down, but to build up and to make better’.”
Derin’s books can be found on Amazon and through wordlypress.com.