Joining me around the campfire today is fantasy author J. Elizabeth Vincent.
- Hi J tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?
I’ve enjoyed writing since I can remember. The great way a book can provide you with entertainment, escape, and education (sometimes all at once!) is plenty of inspiration for me. I love making up new, idealistic (and not so idealistic) characters and new worlds and learning stuff as I do it.
- What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
The fact that literally anything can happen and that, as the author, I get to decide the rules of my own worlds.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
I’m currently writing Rise of the Ceo San, the third book in my Legends of the Ceo San series. It should be coming out early next year at this rate. It’s been fun but also challenging because the deeper you get into a series, the more details and subplots there are to keep track of. Plus, there is always that part of me that wants to try something new … like, all the time. So, staying focused can be a challenge as well.
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
I like to write characters that feel real, that have genuine everyday kinds of problems in addition to the big story problems. They need to be different, just like real people are, so some are generally somber, some are funny, some are snarky, and they all have a mix of moods.
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
Write what you love, even if that changes. That will provide you with the best motivation to keep going, even when things get tough.
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
Um … I’m not hard and fast with writing deadlines, and it’s probably because I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire with work, writing, and family. Sometimes, when it seems like I am having trouble getting the writing in, I will get up early (say 5 or 5:30) and work on writing first. That way, I’ve accomplished something early in the day before I can procrastinate myself out of doing it at all.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
Both. I have little patience for plotting, as much as I think it’s a good idea, so I plot until I can’t take it anymore and then start writing.
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
Legends of the Ceo San is planned to be four books long, so I need to finish the third book and write the fourth. Outside of that, I am currently plotting a new book (fantasy romance or romantic fantasy) with a challenge another author friend is doing (Write a Romance in 30 Days). Even if I don’t publish it, I think it will be fun and a great learning experience.
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
I’ve always preferred the stories where good triumphs or the hero/heroine gets what they want. I don’t mind darkness in stories, but not to the point that I can no longer sympathize with the main character(s). The great thing about the triumph stories is knowing that no matter how dark or difficult it gets, your main character is going to come through. Much better than real life.
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
They’re all excellent series, but as a writer, I’ve got to go with Lord of the Rings. The sheer complexity alone left me staggering at the end, saying to myself, “How can this world not be real?” Tolkien obviously didn’t have my tendency to want to jump around between projects. He took the time to build Middle Earth in grand detail. Not a lot of authors do that.