An interview with writer, E. B. Purtill

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Cynthia. I’m very excited to be here. This past year I have indie-published both a novel and a short story on Amazon. The novel is called ‘The Lamb,’ and the short story is called ‘A Japanese Man in Yangshuo.’ I’m really pleased to be able to share my experiences with indie-publishing and writing with your readers today

thelamb_ebpurtill_2What sparked the idea for your book?

The novel, ‘The Lamb,’ is based on the biblical story of King David and Bathsheba. I’ve always been intrigued by this story and its moral implications, and just as I was starting a writing class called ‘Beginning Your Novel’; I thought that a modern-day retelling of this story would be an interesting concept for a novel-length piece of writing. The original story seemed to me to be set in such a chaotic time—constant war, uncertainty and death—not to mention the story itself—love, romance, betrayal. I wondered if this same scenario could happen today or in the near future. After pondering on this for a long time, I eventually came up with the plot of ‘The Lamb’.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

For me—at least with ‘The Lamb’ (and other novels I’ve written but not published)—the idea for the novel came first. While I was pondering on the idea that sparked ‘The Lamb’ the characters Beth, David and Hamar came into shape. It took me at least two drafts to work out the particulars of each of their stories.

That said though, for my short story—‘A Japanese Man in Yangshuo’—I saw a man sitting alone, completely miserable, who’s manner so captivated me on a tourist ferry when I was in China that I dreamed up the story around him. So in that instance the character’s story did come to first.

What was the hardest part to write in this book?

The ending of ‘The Lamb’ was the hardest. I worried about it a lot. I rewrote it more than half a dozen times before I was happy with it.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?

I hope they are able to feel some sympathy (or if not sympathy, at least some emotional response) for each of the three main characters and the struggles they face. And I hope they enjoy the love story that weaves through-out.

How long did it take you to write this book?

It took me two years.

So, how did your life as a writer begin?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’ve kept journals and done bits and pieces of writing here and there my whole life. But in 2011 I decided to become more serious about my writing. I took the class on novel writing and from that ‘The Lamb’ came into existence. At the same time as writing ‘The Lamb’ and taking other writing classes, I worked on ‘A Japanese Man in Yangshuo,’ and only recently finished it. I’ve also written another novel and a novella as well which I haven’t published. The novel was the first novel I ever wrote, so I think it will need a thorough going over before its ready for general consumption. Sadly, I haven’t had time to do this yet, but I do hope to get to it one day. I also have a collection of short stories in the same position. Waiting . . . waiting . . . to be rewritten, if only there were more hours in the day.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?

I do use an outline, but I find myself writing by the seat of my pants (aka ‘pantsing’) on a regular basis as well. Usually I start with an outline and then as I’m writing my way through it I get sidetracked by the characters, or backstory, or a flashback, or a new idea for a plotline will jump into my head. The next thing I’m off on a tangent and the outline has been abandoned. When ‘pantsing’ I generally role with it, because sometimes valuable pieces of writing can come out of the exercise, often things that wouldn’t have occurred to me at the outlining stage.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

Just to keep at it. It’s easy to get discouraged while writing, as it is with any creative pursuit that your serious about. And, I would also advise to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

At the moment I’m working on a novella set in Bali. And I’m also throwing around some ideas for a sequel to my novel, ‘The Lamb’. Nothing is firm on that front yet though; I’m just considering ideas for it. So please, stay tuned…

Synopsis of ‘The Lamb’:

Beth Urtz and her husband, Hamar, work for Worldwide Strategic Outcomes, Inc., a private military service provider, in an undisclosed location known as S.P. 4. When their orderly lives are upturned after an encounter between Beth and the CEO of their company, Beth struggles through a crisis of conscience while Hamar may have to pay the ultimate price for her sins. A modern-day retelling of the King David and Bathsheba story, The Lamb explores the themes of power, control, isolation, and the East-West divide. It’s a penetrating story of truth and lies, of psychological surprises and unexpected developments, of unlikely and difficult love.

Amazon link:

photo_3_(1)_2Author Bio:

E.B. Purtill is a writer and lover of fiction. ‘The Lamb’ is her first novel. She recently published a short story, ‘A Japanese Man in Yangshuo’. She studied law and arts at the University of Western Australia. She is now married and has an adorable baby daughter. Go to for more.

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2 thoughts on “An interview with writer, E. B. Purtill

  1. Thanks JoAnne for your comment and thanks Cindy for hosting me today. And as an FYI, ‘The Lamb ‘will be offered for free this coming weekend on Amazon (ebook only). So get your Kindles out y’all and start a downloadin’!!

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