Monday, June 9, 2014

Interview with Vanessa Finaughty, author of the sci-fi fantasy series, Legends of Origin

Today I’m pleased to bring you an interview with Vanessa Finaughty, author of the sci-fi fantasy series, Legends of Origin. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today, Vanessa.

1. What or who inspired you to write?
The books I read as a young child, Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and Willard Price, to name a few – I was able to literally lose myself in them to the point where you could stand next to me and say my name, and I wouldn’t hear you. I wanted to offer people the same type of escape from reality that I found so enjoyable.

2. Do you draw any of your characters’ traits from friends or family?
Not on purpose, though sometimes someone will say or do something that inspires me to create a character quirk in one of my characters. I have, however, created characters based on some random person I met, and who struck me as interesting, weird, creepy or annoying in some way.

3. Do you prefer to work in complete silence or do you find that music helps to inspire you while you write?
I prefer complete silence, but our neighbourhood often subjects me to annoying noises, such as constantly yapping dogs, during which times I block the noise pollution by putting on some music that fits the mood of whatever I’m writing.

4. Which writing achievement are you most proud of and why?
Four of my short stories that appear in my anthologies, Sorcery & Subterfuge and FuturescapePrince of Runeguard, The Enemy Crown, Ryokin Master and The Sentients. These were commissioned by Oxford University Press South Africa, and are being used in learner anthologies for private school students, which is a great honour.

5. What is your biggest writing disappointment?
That I’m unable to write full time, as sales aren’t yet high enough to pay all the bills.

6. How long does it generally take for you to finish writing a book?
It depends on the book and how much time I can spend writing. Some of my books took less than a month to write, while others have taken over six months or more. That’s excluding editing time – self-editing often takes at least a month or longer. My last book, Legends of Origin, Book 3: Creator Species, took me two and a half months to write.

7. Tell us a little about the Legends of Origin series.
It’s a sci-fi fantasy series in which the protagonist, Liam MacAskill, searches for meaning in life. He teams up with Arthean, a monk from another planet, and the two make a surprisingly good team. There’s plenty of action and adventure, of course, and death-breathing dragons and ryokin – sentient sabre-toothed winged cats.

8. What’s your favourite line from Book 1, Sanctuary for the Devil?
It was cold and insidious and made Arthean itch from the inside out.

9. What does the ‘it’ refer to?
A shadow creature that was conjured to kill Arthean.

10. When will Book 3, Creator Species, be published?
This week, on Friday 13 – my lucky day.

11. Which is your favourite book so far in the Legends of Origin series?
Book 4, Beyond Orion – I find that whatever I’m writing at the moment is my favourite.

12. Do you reward yourself after completing a book and how?
Not specifically – finishing a book is a reward in itself.

13. Have you ever considered collaborating with another writer?  If so, who and why?
Yes. My first collaboration was a nightmare, to put it mildly, with me seeming to do all the hard work, my co-writer working very slowly and plenty of interference from one of my co-author’s friends. That working relationship didn’t last very long. I’m planning another collaboration in the future with another author, but I’m keeping those details a secret for now – I will, however, say that readers can expect something I think is quite original and entertaining.

14. If you had a super power, what would it be and why?
The ability to create cash in my hand? To be more realistic – the ability to stop time. That way, I can publish a book a week.

15. Do you find it easy to name your characters?
My characters’ names usually just pop into my head and, even if I don’t like the name, nothing else feels right for that character. Every now and then, I have to sit and think about it, but that’s mostly with short stories rather than novel characters.

16. Ever had a stalker?
I’m not sure if this counts, but I used to receive heavy breathing calls from someone. That is, until I answered the phone one day and, instead of saying ‘hello’, just breathed heavily. Whoever it was never called again. If you can’t beat them, join them.

17. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First, a paramedic, until I realised that blood makes me queasy and I’m more likely to puke over a victim than be capable of helping. Most of my childhood, though, I wanted to be a writer.

18. What’s your favourite food?
Spaghetti bolognaise and roast potatoes (preferably not together).

19. Is there a message or a lesson that you’d like to convey to your readers?
Each of my books conveys a different message in the finer details, but most try to show that it’s always best to be honest and ethical, and to have compassion for others.

20. Please share your purchase links with us.
Connect with Vanessa Finaughty online:

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