I have just returned from a magical research trip to Cape Town. Diamonds play a huge part in the energy link between Earth and Tandro. Where else in the world could you find a country that has been more shaped and influenced by the discovery of diamonds than South Africa? Writing about Stefanie and Jovil's adventure in Cape Town as they search for enough energy to get them both to Tandro has been by far my favourite part of writing book one.
You cannot underestimate how useful and inspiring it is for a writer to put themselves in the setting of their book. The sights, sounds and stories that surround a place will fill your pages easily if you immerse yourself in a place where your characters are. But, perhaps even more importantly, is the unexpected twists and turns that lead you to different paths on your writing journey.
The final part of book one is set in beautiful Cape Town and whilst there, the main character, Stefanie, recalls an emotional meeting she had when she photographed Mandela before he died and how much energy she felt around him and the stories he told.
I love how Morgan Freeman spent time with Mandela before his brilliant portrayal of him in the film "Invictus". Most of all, I love how he refers to his energy, that as an actor he wanted to get close to him, so he could answer the question: " How much energy does it take to be that person?" What a great concept. It made me think about my characters and how much energy it would take to be them.
This is a great video interview with Morgan Freeman where he talks about this search for understanding of the energy from Mandela: