Student Achievement - A Journey into the Creation and Publishing of a… | Coomera Anglican College

Student Achievement - A Journey into the Creation and Publishing of a Novel

Writing a novel is no easy feat, and publishing it is an entirely different story.  

For Coomera Anglican College Year 12 student, Rowan, this was an incredible personal achievement, and the first of many for them and for future aspiring authors at the College.

We took the opportunity to chat with Rowan and take a closer look at the journey of their self-published novel - "The Art of Betrayal".

How was this book planned?

“The book was not planned in the traditional sense. Instead, I started with nothing and built upon the story's universe with plot points that made sense. The core concepts came to me later in the writing process, and some didn't even show up until I had already written the first draft. I started to go with this, and there was a point when the idea became its own monster instead of mine”.

Who was your favorite character to write about?

“My favorite character is actually the character that I disliked the most when I first started rewriting the novel. While I can't mention the character's name to avoid spoilers, I will say that this figure is the most unique on the cast, and while readers don't see much of them at the start of the story, they do have a big impact on the plot. My favorite section of the book is when the reader sees deep into this character's mind”.

You wrote a chapter a day for three months. What was this process like, and would you do it again?

“This process was difficult at best and disastrously disruptive at worst. I do not recommend it to anyone else, but I personally know that generating large volumes of content in a short amount of time is how I was able to create enough material to turn this into a proper project.  Sometimes an idea would just grab hold of me and won't let go, and this was the case with Art of Betrayal. 

The whole "writing anything and everything literally when you can" strategy is probably born from the fear of losing the spark of the idea.”

Why did you choose not to go to traditional publishers?

“I wanted complete creative control of my work, and I couldn't bear the idea of giving my novel to anyone who might want to change it for profitability. A great deal of the novel, in a commercial publisher's eyes, is not profitable, and I was not going to allow any changes to be made. I preferred complete control over what was done and what wasn't done. I did everything myself, but I preferred this over the potential alternative”.

Who edited this for you, and how did you find this process? You have said that this process was done online. How did you find this process?

“I had two friends who helped me edit and look for any continuity errors. One friend is a London-based video game journalist, and the other is another writer working on his own novel whom I had helped him with, so it was somewhat reciprocal. Having two differently oiled minds were great, as one would encourage me to improve the flow of some dialogue, and the other would assist me with factual errors ie a date I had listed as a Wednesday was actually a Friday on the calendar”.

"The Art of Betrayal" is available for purchase at: The Art of Betrayal : Hansen, Rowan: Books