Sitting Down with the next G. R. R. Martin: The Red Castle

A few questions with Noah Verhoeff by Caden Shapiro.

  1. So… you’ve written a novel. I don’t get to say that to many of my friends. What’s it about?
    1. Yes, I have recently finished writing a 247 page Historical Fiction novel. It takes place in the year 1410, in Germany, and acts as a window into the lives of the lower nobility of the time. The book has a focus on the impact of bigotry and violence in that time period (the late Middle Ages).
  2. Amidst an IB workload and extracurriculars how did you find the time to complete it? Did you set aside blocks of time or did you just dive in?
    1. Most of my writing occurred off of the page. In that I mean that while I waited for classes, on the ttc, etc., I was contemplating how to format the next chapter that I would write. Finally, after planning out the chapter, I would spend some afternoons just writing. I never edited my work until after I completed the book entirely.
  3. How long will the book be?
    1. Currently it has 247 pages, but hopefully, if the publishing process goes according to plan, the book will evolve and either grow or shrink.
  4. Have you set a title? And do you have a title photo for the book?
    1. I don’t have a cover yet, but I do have a title. The title is: The Red Castle, which alludes to Castle Malbork in modern day Poland –  a pivotal location in the story.
  5. Where did you draw inspiration from?
    1. Although I am an avid fan of Tolkein and G. R. R. Martin, I decided to take a more historical approach. After all, what world has a more in-depth world building than our own? Before writing the book I realized that there aren’t many historical fiction novels that pride themselves on rigid historical accuracy, and most documentaries lack the fundamental narrative elements of fantasy novels. Thus, I decided to attempt to write the ultimate mix of the two; including key historical details, while also keeping developed character development and an enthralling story.
  6. I heard you’ve given the book to the english department to read over. Have you gotten any feedback? 
    1. I have not yet received any feedback from the teachers to whom I offered the novel to, but I trust that amidst their busy schedules they will hopefully find the time to read it.
  7. What are your goals with this book?
    1. I am currently in the beginning stages of the publishing process. I have come into contact with various agents who will hopefully work with me to get my book published. My main wish for this book is to see it either on a bookshelf or in an e-book library.
  8.  Are you currently working on anything else?
    1. I have begun a novella as a sort of continuation of the story, but I have no intention of dedicating the same amount of time or energy into this work.

Short message from Noah — If any other aspiring writers would like to send me their work (novels, short stories, novellas, etc.) I would love to form a small network of sorts in which we could get in touch, share ideas, and share our experiences in the writing process.