Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author V.M. Sang. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.
Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It usually energizes me. Especially when I’m on a roll, knowing exactly where I’m going. However, when I get stuck I can get tired.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I have 1 book out under a pseudonym. I chose to do this for because it’s a different genre. I usually write Fantasy, but this story is Historical, so I thought I’d write it under a different name. I also decided to self-publish it rather than give it to my publisher. I have other Historical Novels in my head, so it won’t be a one-off.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
I’m not sure of this. I think we need to be able to have the confidence to write and publish. This needs some ego, or one would never feel the work is good enough. Also, marketing needs an outgoing personality. On the other hand, writing is a solitary occupation, so a writer needs to be able to spend hours on his/her own.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I spend almost nothing. I do not have a budget for writing. I would say the many books I’ve bought over the last few years.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
To me, success is having people read and enjoy my books. It does not matter if I make a load of money, or don’t get on one of the ‘best seller’ lists. If I get feedback from readers saying how they enjoyed my books, that is success.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
For my fantasy novels, I did research on geology in order to make my world believable. I also look up things that are important. If, for example, someone wanted to make a sword, then I would research how it is done.
For my historical novels, I need much more research. I did a lot of searching about how to build Celtic roundhouses, and am now almost an expert on the Roman Army. (Not really. It just feels like it.) I also search out how long journeys would take, if my characters need to travel. For my current historical novel, I needed to find out about herbal medicine and the life of Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. What were their villages like? What about their religion? etc.
As to when I do it: well, I sometimes begin before starting to write, but often I find something I need to know during the writing process and have to go and look it up.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
I don’t like fantasy books where the writer has used common Earth names. I either play about on my keyboard, typing letters until I come across some that seem to fit, or I take 2 ordinary names, split them and then stitch them together in a different order. An example is Davrael, a character in my Wolves of Vimar Series. I took the names of David and Michael, split them into Dav, Id. Mich, and Ael. Then I stitched Da to Ael. That didn’t work (Daael) so I inserted and ‘r’ to make Davrael.
For my Historical names, I looked up websites and chose names I liked from that era.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
Death. It’s hard to make it so the reader is sad, (even cries, as I’ve done reading some books) but not too sentimental.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
Leonardo da Vinci, Tolkien, Michaelangelo, J.S. Bach
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
I really don’t know. I’m not very good at monitoring my marketing.
The Wolf Pack
To end his apprenticeship and be admitted to the ranks of the mages is all Carthinal wants, so he is excited to travel from Bluehaven to Hambara, where the tests will take place. He did not expect to end up travelling far beyond Hambara on a quest to find the long lost sword of the legendary King Sauvern.
Along with three strangers he met on his journey, the beautiful but headstrong elven cleric, Asphodel, Fero, a dark foreigner from lands far to the south, and a fearless dwarf, Basalt, Carthinal reluctantly sets out on this seemingly impossible quest.
Followed by Randa, the snooty aristocratic daughter of the Duke of Hambara and a very young runaway thief, known as Thad, Carthinal has to decide whether to send them back or allow them to continue on this dangerous quest. There will certainly be fireworks as Randa will try to take over the leadership of the group.
Faced with wolf attacks and near death in the mountains, Carthinal and his friends have to accept help from the least likely sources and face their innermost fears.
But this is more than a simple adventure. The fate of a nation hangs in the balance.
The Stones of Earth and Air
Pettic is the best friend of Torren, the Crown Prince of Ponderia. When Torric starts behaving out of character, Pettic sets about trying to find out why. He discovers that Torren has been kidnapped and a doppleganger put in his place.
He decides he cannot let his friend remain a prisoner, nor allow the cruel impostor to remain as Crown Prince and ultimately King as he would no doubt become a tyrant. Pettic therefore sets about rescuing his friend.
He discovers that Torren is imprisoned in a mini-plane created by a magician. The only way in is using four gems associated with the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
There is a problem, though. Each gem has been hidden on one of the four Elemental Worlds. Pettic resolves to enter each of these worlds and find the gem. How can he find a single gem in a whole world, though? And he can’t return without the gem.
On each world, he has to perform a task to help the inhabitants.
Can he discover the gems, or will he remain trapped on one of the worlds? What are the tasks he has to perform, and can he get back and then enter the mini-plane and rescue Torren before the false prince becomes king?