Who is ZF Kingbolt?
ZF Kingbolt is the pen name of nine authors who co-wrote Into Tordon – Zena Shapter, Zoya Nojin, Kristin Prescott, Leah Boonthanom, Tony McFadden, Liz Michell, Mijmark, Tracey Jackson and Kirsten Taylor.
How did you meet?
We met through the Northern Beaches Writers’ Group in Manly and, since writing a book can be lonely sometimes, we thought it might be fun to write one together!
How did you come up with the name ZF Kingbolt?
All the initials of our first names were entered into an online word scrambler and it threw out ‘ZF Kingbolt’.
How did you come up with the idea of the book?
On one long winter’s day, we all sat in a room and threw ideas about until the best ones stuck. We wanted to write for children, to write a fantasy, and for the story to be relevant for kids’ today. There were some really crazy ideas as well as some really good ones, and eventually our ideas began to take shape.
How did you decide what part to write, or did you all write it at the same time?
We knew a children’s novel was approximately 50,000 words. There were nine of us, so we each had a little over 5,000 words to write. We wanted our heroes to have plenty of adventures, so picked one adventure each, included a beginning and an end, and made sure everything fitted together. Then we went home and got writing!
Did you argue?
We… discussed! We had a clear goal and a strong voting system in place, and everyone left their egos at home. It helped to have a glorious leader to keep everything on track. It was a steep learning curve for us all and everyone found it best not to get too attached to a particular idea. When you write collaboratively, you have to accept that not every idea will get included in the final story. We had great fun stretching our imaginations and enjoying where we took the story as a group.
What happened next?
After writing a first draft, we met again and read through the book together. Like all first drafts, ours needed a lot of work! We made notes, gave feedback, then went away and rewrote our parts. Next, our glorious leader us took on the mammoth task of knitting it all together. Another editor then took it home and edited what had been done. Everyone read it again. This happened two or three times until we felt it was one whole seamless story. It was ready to send into the world…
Do any of you hate snakes?
No, but our characters aren’t too keen on them. You’ll find out why when you go Into Tordon!