Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Interview with James Vernon

Bound to the Abyss     Descent Into Darkness (Bound to the Abyss, #2)
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing back in 2011. My first story was going to be a sci-fi soldier story but I couldn’t get a solid story going, so I scrapped it and started fresh. About half way through the year I began building the world and lore behind my first novel, Bound to the Abyss, and getting the general plot together. About two years later, after dozens of rewrites and plot fixes I finally had a story that I was happy to release. I just had to find the funds for all the extras like a professional editor and cover artist first. That took a little longer.

When writing about something you don’t know very much about where does your information come from?
That’s the nice thing about writing fantasy, especially where I’ve completely created the world and the lore. Anything I’m not too sure about I can make adjustments to and fiddle around with. That way when I write about it, I can make it seem believable and new while at the same time similar enough to something the audience can recognize.
When it comes to something I can’t really mess with because I’m taking it directly from our world, like the best the environment for beans to grow or the average lifespan of a horse, I Google it. Haha.

What advice would you give someone who had “ran out of creativity” while writing?
Two things:
First, start something new! I always have at least two projects going on at the same time. While I wrote my first story, I was also writing a set of short stories set in the same world. It helped me improve as a writer and was a fun way to continue to world-build.
Second, read a whole lot. Not just in the genre you are writing for either. Poll your friends for good books outside of what you usually read. You might find a way to not only reignite your creativity, but also to improve your writing by learning from other with a different writing style then your own.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Seriously thank you. I have had more success then I expected an unknown author like myself to achieve. I’m not breaking the top 100 on Amazon, getting on a best seller’s list, and haven’t won a single award, but still people are finding my book and enjoying it. All that I’ve accomplished has come from people that gave an unknown author a chance.

Oh, and I WILL keep writing. I have big plans for my main characters Ean, Zin, and Azalea that will span multiple books alone, and like I mentioned earlier I always have other things in the works. I’ve spent too much time building this world to just leave it behind after a few books. I’m here for the long haul.

If you could invite three authors and/or poets to dinner who would you invite?
That’s a tough one. I don’t want to repeat myself with the authors I already mentioned above so I’ll go with three new ones in no particular order.
1) George R. R. Martin – Two reasons. One because he is another amazing world builder. The history of Westeros and the political intrigue he creates draws readers in and I love that kind of stuff. The second reason is I want to learn his secret for not getting attached to his own characters. The man is ruthless!
2) Lindsay Buroker – A great indie fantasy author. Her stories flow seamlessly and have the perfect combination of humour, action, and suspense. She also seems to really have down the art of building her brand and getting herself out there. Her books always seem to be at the top of the Amazon charts and I would love to get as much advice from her as possible on top of all that she gives through her website.
3) Terry Brooks – My love of fantasy started with his Magic Kingdom of Landover series and then matured with The Sword of Shannara and the rest of the Shannara books. Certainly one of the many people that have influenced my work and are the reason why I started writing in the first place

What is your all-time favourite book?
I can’t say I have one particular book that is my favourite, but my favourite series is still the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I have spent an untold amount of days pouring through those books. Every time a new book was coming out, I would reread the entire series again from the beginning before getting to the next book in the series. There are other series that come close, Shannara, The Night Angel Trilogy, The Emperor’s Edge, Earthsea, Harry Potter, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Belgariad, and a few dozen more that I reread every now and then. The Wheel of Time though is still at the top of the list.

Which one of your books would you recommend to someone who is looking for a quick easy read?
All of them? I promise I’m not being egotistical!
Bound to the Abyss and Descent into Darkness are one story broken into two parts and I’ve been told by people that don’t usually read fantasy that they moved through them fairly fast. The two short story collections are fun and you don’t have to know anything about the world to follow along with them. My third book, Hunt for Justice, is separate from the Bound to the Abyss series and a little shorter then either of my first two books so it would be easy as well.

When naming your characters to you give thought about the meaning of the name?
Sometimes. Some names are a play on letters for friends and relatives that I’ve pulled character traits from, others have deeper meanings that some might eventually figure out or they might just end up being fun little Easter eggs for myself. Others I’ve just heard and end up liking or come from wanting my characters names to not all start with the same couple of letters. As long as I feel that the name fits the character, I go with it.

Do you use real life facts based on true stories?
Ha, I hope not! Portals from other worlds opening up randomly in ours would cause a lot of problems.

What is your favourite part of a book to write?
Surprisingly I enjoy the chapters where my characters are just being themselves, sitting around and joking with each other. No grave threats or intense battles, just my characters showing a little more about themselves, their motives, and the relationships they form with each other. Those are the scenes I love to explore because I rarely ever have them planned out. I just let the characters be themselves and see what they end up writing for me.

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