Finding your own horcrux
I was watching Harry Potter with the family again the other day (a bit of quality bonding time as it were), and the characters were in deep pursuit of the horcrux to defeat the villain. The horcrux held a part of the villains soul (as it were) to allow them to stay immortal.
It got me thinking. If I was the villain, what would my horcrux be? A pen, carefully carved and holding in it all the tales I have yet to be written? Or maybe it would be a key on a laptop, just the letter that I typed with most often. Or could I be braver than that, and have my favourite book, carefully signed by my favourite author? Or would that steal a part of their soul as well?
And then I realised the truth of the matter. Every book that I write is my own kind of horcrux. A part of my life and thoughts is intertwined in those lines of text. But unlike those of JK Rowlings world, destroying mine will not destroy me (although that thought does make me wince a little). And they will survive and hopefully live on long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil. Which is, I guess, a kind or immortality.
This month's authors: VS Holmes VS Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020.
What is it that drew you towards fantasy writing?
I grew up reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and adored worlds that made my imagination really work. But, I noticed a lot of these books didn’t have characters who were like me. It was odd to see a world where dragons were possible, but people who looked, loved, or thought like me weren’t. When I started writing, I wanted to change that. I create worlds where all sorts of different people can live and thrive and face danger--but not because of who they are. Speculative fiction is a wonderful medium, because it allows us to imagine worlds we wish ours could become.
What would you consider the biggest highlight of your writing career to date?
Finding my incredible readers! I’ve won a few awards and the first books in both of my series are now international bestsellers, but honestly, what strikes me the most is when a reader reaches out to say they saw themselves in my work, or that my characters helped them find solace or community. While writing is a career, making money isn’t why I write--and honestly, unless you’re incredibly privileged, it’s very difficult to make this career your day job. I write because I’m fascinated by people, and the way we work, and I want to bring my readers inclusivity, entertainment, and hope.
Who would you consider biggest supporter or influencer for your books and why?
Oh there are so many! Being an independent creator is such a difficult and yet rewarding process--especially for those of us who are marginalized. I’ve been very lucky to find such a fantastic corner of the writing community. Of course there’s Mickey at Creative Edge, who fights tooth and nail for my work to reach its audience, and I’ve been so grateful to also work with a fantastic marketing team at Zero Alchemy. Honestly, though, I’m so deeply grateful for every queer and disabled reader and writer out there who reminds me why I do this, and that I’m not making this journey alone.
If you could be in any universe, what one would you like to visit and why?
I’d love to visit the Doctor Who Universe or the Star Trek Universe. Both have such a sense of fun, inclusion, and hope that I really appreciate. Plus, not having to deal with money in the Star Trek Universe would certainly help out a whole lot! Doctor Who speaks to my little trans heart, since I think it would be pretty incredible to transform your body every so often! I love speculative fiction that really leans into the diversity such a massive universe has to offer, and love creators who don’t fall into the trope of a bleak, authoritarian, dark future.
VS is active on a range of social media--but mainly Twitter--but also has a newsletter where you can snag free copies of Disciples and The Tempest, check out early cover reveals, and get interesting books you might like delivered to your inbox each month! If you’re already a fan, you can check out Patreon where certain tiers offer yearly paperbacks, eBooks, and even a chance to be written into a project as a side character!
I hope you can take a moment to offer support by checking out a book or two, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Dave & Lillian Brummett This power-couple not only write books, they are talented in music, business, blogging and more. With such extensive talents I was keen to learn more about them and how they do things.
How did you begin writing books and what was your first inspiration?
The first book we published was based on a column I wrote as a freelance and also as a staff writer... that column ran every 2 weeks and was published all over the world, from Canada to Africa and the UK. There was so much information we could not fit into the column and that often frustrated me, and so we decided that would be our first book. We hoped that the topic would be timely with the increased interest for information on living a green lifestyle, saving money while reducing waste and cutting back on energy and water use. We queried quite a few traditional publishers and received a few positive responses and after some research and back and forth communications we made the decision and went from there. Later, in 2012, this became a 2-book series: Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green.
As prolific writers, podcasters, bloggers and marketers, how do you manage your time and day?
Time management is always an issue - it's a delicate balance, really. I often feel like I have more to do than time allows. While it is true, we have worn many hats (professional product and book reviewers, blog managers, talk radio hosts, self-marketing authors, freelance writers, staff writers, etc.) we now focus on 3 aspects of the business - managing the 2 blogs, writing and marketing books, and running the music studio. Dave holds a 'day-job' and so is gone for more than 8 hours a day, and so my job is to run the office, deal with members of the media, submit queries, run the blogs and manage social networking sites. I'm also responsible for managing the household, the 3 dogs and cat, the gardens (and garden harvests) and the yard. Dave does house, yard, car maintenance but also runs the music studio and manages the website. He handles the images, does the technological duties from formatting books to designing ads. I find I've become quite a multi-tasker (she laughs) - running laundry and watering the garden (using a timer) and doing an interview like this at the same time. I'll turn off the phones, put a sign on the door and generally disappear from the public view when the office is busy. It is a balancing act, for sure.
The Brummetts love to chat to their readers so make sure you drop them a line: http://BrummetMedia.ca
I hope you can take a moment to offer support for them by checking out their books, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone!
Have you got your copy yet? The next book is coming out in October 2021!
What happens when two lost were-panthers meet for the first time?
Nicci, a were-panther abandoned as a child and without a pack, finds herself on the run from the law. With nothing left to lose, she doesn’t trust anyone, especially her own heart.
Dru, a famous race car driver and inheritor of one of the most influential packs in Australia, is trying to escape notoriety, and his fate. Prepared to throw away everything, he is trusting his instincts to get him through.
Together they find themselves stuck in a small rundown deserted town called Nowhere in the wilderness of rural Australia.
Can they learn to trust each other and find a future, or is the call of the wild too strong?