Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Interview with Cynthia Vespia

Another day, another interview, this time with writer Cynthia Vespia, author of the Demon Hunter Saga...

Interview with Cynthia Vespia

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
I’ve loved books since I was very little. I used to make up short stories and write them out on my sister’s old typewriter. It wasn’t until reading Dean Koontz in high school that I thought about writing as a career. It’s fun creating characters and worlds. I like doing anything that is creative which includes graphic design and video. Making something out of nothing and having a finished product that you can be proud of juices and motivates me. I’m also big into fitness. I am a certified personal trainer and former fitness competitor.

Can you tell us about your latest book?
My latest release is SINS AND VIRTUES, a suspense novel through Musa Publishing. SINS AND VIRTUES is more about human interaction and the struggles people go through in life. Fantasy novelist Ben Haskins has taken a remote cabin in the wilderness to revive his shaky marriage and failing career. Within the peaceful surroundings he runs into real trouble when convicted criminal Sam Mitchell breaks into the cabin after she escapes from prison. Marked by a dark past of abuse Sama is volatile and ready to snap. It is up to Ben to use his writer’s gift of words to diffuse the situation before time runs out for them both.
The story pans out in four very different, white-knuckle, sweat-drenched, anxious viewpoints: Sam Mitchell who is intent on finding her way free and clear from the law at any cost; Sheriff Steve Walker ready, willing, and able to take out anyone in the way of what he wants; Lara Haskins who fears not only for her husband’s safety but also her lover Steve; and Ben Haskins caught in the middle of it all.
In the midst of this unique hostage situation the pace is nail-biting and suspenseful, leaving the reader guessing in each chapter. At the same time it is a strong, character driven piece that peels away the layers of raw human emotion through intense passages of dialogue. It is the type of situation you want to read about but hope you never find yourself in.

Many of your books have strong fantasy elements, most notably your series, the Demon Hunter Saga.  Could you tell us about those books?
I love fantasy! Demon Hunter was born because I wanted to try my hand at a fantasy series. Up to that point I’d done mostly contemporary. It took about two years to write the first in the series, Chosen One, but I’m very happy with it, I feel as though it is my strongest and best work to date. It garnered a lot of positive reviews including being compared to Robert E Howard’s original Conan series which I grew up reading so I am very humbled by the comparison. The follow up Seek and Destroy was a fun ride. I wanted to incorporate pirates and do something on the water. That also met with favorable reviews where one reader, a fellow author, compared it to Stephen King’s Duma Key! How can you not love that? I finished the trilogy with Heroes Call which was a short and sweet wrap up for these characters I’d come to love. They were originally released as separate e-books but now they are available in one “Saga” of about 500 pages!

Can you tell us about your writing process?  Where do your ideas originate?  Do you have a certain writing routine?
I get my ideas randomly. Most of them spring up from “what if” questions. Like what if this situation took place, or how would someone react if that happened. I always try to have paper and pen on hand now because you just don’t know when the Muse will strike and I don’t want to forget my idea. Look at JK Rowling penning Harry Potter on a train ride!
As for a writing routine, no I don’t have one per say. I try to do a partial outline just so I don’t get lost in my plot or give my character the wrong eye color. Other than that I just go for it and try not to worry so much about the first draft. That’s what editing is for.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer?
Marketing and promotion. Especially now with all the self pub titles out there. It is a virtual sea of books and in order to stand out you have to know how to effectively market and promote your work. It is exhausting and not fun in the least. If I could I would hire a PR person so I could have more time to write.

Who were your writing inspirations?
As I said I used to read voraciously as a kid. I was inspired by CS Lewis, Piers Anthony, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert E Howard, Tolkien, Rowling. I also love discovering new voices in writing.

How do you research your books?
That’s what the Internet is for! If I’m unsure about something I will fill it in the best I can and then when I go back I look up the proper word. For instance I just wrote a short piece about a sniper and though I’m a gun enthusiast I need to look up all different makes and models of sniper rifles, ammo, etc.

What advice would you give beginning writers?
I get asked for advice a lot and the first thing I tell them is finish the book! There’s no sense worrying about the rest of it if you haven’t finished writing the book yet.
Also, when you decide to write something don’t go with the trends. For instance if you are writing a vampire novel because it is popular right now by the time you finish it and it goes to print something else will be the big thing. Write what you want to write!

What’s next for you?
I’m doing a follow up to my Demon Hunter series. It will follow my hero’s children as they continue the family tradition of demon hunting.

You can find out more about Cynthia at her website: 
She's also on Twitter and Facebook

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