Welcome back to my Saturday Spotlight series! Thank you to not only the authors who have participated so far but those who are planning to in the future. Most importantly, thank you to all of my followers who read each post and follow some of these authors. As readers, our support means everything. They work so hard to put their novels into our hands, the least we can do is show support. Be sure to leave a review for each book you read, even if only a sentence long. It makes all the difference!
Today, I am excited to present to you R.H.V. Wise! I reached out to her on Instagram and she was more than willing to allow me to ask her some questions. I hope that you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.
Hello and welcome R.H.V. Wise! I hope that you are well. Thank you for joining us today, I am happy to have a chance to ask you some questions.
How did you feel when your book was first published?
When I first hit ‘Publish’ on Amazon’s publishing platform, I was more stunned than anything. A thousand thoughts went through my mind: Was I good enough? Was I kidding myself? What would happen if I made money? What would happen if I didn’t? I sat there staring at the screen — while my Mom and my best friend were cheering for me — full of self-doubt. I was happy, of course; and I was proud. I’d written The Blood Thief with great emotional peril, and to see it launched into the stratosphere as I sat there on the other side of the screen, I was overwhelmed. I hadn’t expected to publish The Blood Thief. It was so personal, so intimate, I thought no one else would want to read what I had to say. But something told me to take the chance anyway. I was stunned as I sat there, stunned as I saw people buying my book from Amazon, and I’m still stunned that I’m even answering these questions. Yet, there are blips through that stunned, goofy, deer-in-headlights daze I find myself in, where I’m incredibly happy, and where I know this is just the beginning.
I love your response so much! I can imagine how personal something such as your book is. It takes hours, days, months, sometimes years to write a novel. There is so much that goes into it, I am often curious to know if readers truly understand that fact. Self-doubt…that seems like a natural reaction to publishing your first novel. I know many readers are happy that you hit that “Publish” button.
Do you write alone or in public? With music or silence?
I always write alone. I find the solitude helps me process the story, the characters, the entire world I’m building easier and helps me come up with the words to say. I’ve always been something of a loner, but writing is a sacred thing to me, it’s extremely personal. What can I say, I need my space! And my space is always filled with music. The genres I listen to constantly vary, and it usually depends on the tone of the book I’m writing. Some books I’ve written to solely instrumental, classical, or even folk; other books I’ve written to metal, gothic rock, or alternative!
I understand the personalness of a novel and needing space. As I partake in NaNoWriMo for the first time, I know that I will need a lot of quiet space. I think that helps really get deep into the story.
Can you share a snippet from your book that is not in the blurb or excerpt?
I learnt this the hard way, too. The heavens know how much I have hated about myself — but I have come to accept this, and accept each one, because it is who I am. This is when I blossomed fully, and when I became more careful, took fewer risks with myself.
Though, I allow myself one every so often. This time it was Mister Rochester…“
I think this was a perfect excerpt to choose. It is truly inspirational. I look forward to reading your novel and seeing what else it has hidden within its pages.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
In my opinion, some of the most important elements of writing are passion, devotion, and discipline. These may not be the typical elements of story structure or character building, but without them, the reader will feel a disconnect to the book in their hands. If you aren’t crying when your characters are crying, if you aren’t seething with rage when your villain has been smote, or jumping up and down when the hero finally wins, the reader will never feel compelled to do those same things. If you aren’t entirely devoted to what you’re writing, if it isn’t filling your mind and your bones from the inside out, if you aren’t consumed in the world you’re presenting, the reader will never be plunged into it, either. They’ll simply be reading words on a page, rather than be immersed in a whole body and mind experience. And if you’re not practicing your craft, even on days when you can barely string a sentence together, you’ll never have the gumption to finish the book. You’ll always be staring at a blinking cursor.
This is probably the best response to this question I have heard! Readers can tell when a story was written with passion versus when it was just thrown together for the sake of having written a book. This response will be gracing my inspiration board for NaNoWriMo! Thank you.
What was your inspiration for The Blood Thief?
My inspiration for The Blood Thief came from personal experiences of familial abuse and chronic illness. It’s not a secret, and it’s not something I want to keep secret. When I was young, some of my aunts and uncles were cruel to my Mom, my Dad, and myself. They would spread lies about them and me, they would kidnap me, and they would try to destroy our family. There was a lot of hurt and abuse in my life from an early age. And when I was a teenager I developed a chronic pain condition, as well as a heart condition, both of which are incurable. But in publishing this book, I wanted people to know they’re not alone. Vampirism has been used as an allegory since its inception in Mesopotamian mythology of the being Lamashtu. As human beings, we want to ascribe every evil thing, every horrible and unthinkable thing we endure to some cause we can define and process with ease. Vampires have been used as scapegoats for loss of innocence, for mental illness, for inexplicable violence and its aftereffects, and especially for incurable and unimaginable disease and sickness. I chose a vampire as the main character for The Blood Thief to reflect all of these traits, and as a reminder that things we’ve been through that feel inhuman are what make us human. That while we may feel disjointed from humanity because what we feel and have been through is inhuman, it doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be involved in the land of the living.
I too lived through an abusive childhood. My father was physically and emotionally abusive until he passed away when I was 17. Those experiences really shape us as people, it takes a lot to stand strong and move on. I applaud you for being so open and taking it a step further, writing a book expressing those experiences. You truly are exceptional!
How many plot ideas are waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
There have to be at least upward of ten ideas waiting to be written. Each one has to wait for their perfect moment when they’re ripe for the picking. Some ideas I’ve had brewing for many years, but they haven’t had their chance to shine yet. Other ideas I’ve come up within the past month, and are chomping at the bit to get on paper! One taste I can give you is of the novel next in line to be published: It’s about a haunted house. That’s all I can say without any spoilers!
Oh my goodness, you tease! I will for sure be looking out for your next novel. I love that you have so many ideas just waiting for their moment to be written, almost like a fine wine aging to perfection.
Which book is currently on your bedside table?
This is a weird fact about me, and it’s one that always gets a reaction when I admit it to other people: I don’t like to read. I write and I love to write, I could write all day every day, but reading isn’t something that I find enjoyable. When I was younger I loved reading and could devour books with ease, but as I got older it wasn’t something that I wanted to do anymore. I moved onto writing instead, and wrote my first full-length novel at the age of ten.
The age of 10? That is amazing! I can understand that you fell from reading, but all of that reading gave way to writing. Now you write the novels that readers will devour.
If you were given the chance to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
I’d love to have a small writing club with some classic authors: Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say Edgar Allen Poe.
Yes…Edgar Allen Poe! He is one of my favorites. That would be an incredibly enlightening writing club to be a part of.
If you could only have one season, what would it be? Why?
I live in Los Angeles. We only have one season here: Hot, and slightly less hot, and I love it! Haha!
That is so funny! I live in western NY. Here weather is so unpredictable, we can have all four seasons in a week.
The road to becoming a published author is long and perilous, what advice or tips would you give to an aspiring author?
The process of becoming a published author has become significantly easier over the past few years. There’s nothing stopping you from becoming a published author, besides self-doubt and the fear of security. People equate becoming a published author with being an author with a multi-million dollar book deal with a top publishing house. You don’t have to be that. You don’t have to be “the next big thing” right out of the gate, or even at all if that’s not something you want. Becoming a published author requires only discipline and the confidence that your work is good enough. Which it is. It doesn’t matter what it is — it doesn’t matter how “out there” or how “cliché” you feel your work might be, because you have written it, because you have put your heart and soul into this creation, this entire world and these complete people, because you have taken a part of yourself out of your chest and placed it into the ink upon paper, it is enough. And there is nothing on this Earth, or outside of it, that should tell you “No” if you want to share it with the world. Don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about the taxes. Don’t worry about having the perfect Instagram, Twitter, Facebook feed to build a fanbase. Because that’s not what publishing is about. Publishing, especially self-publishing, is about communication with the outside world; it’s about revealing oneself to the rest of humanity. The money, the fans, the events and signings, and readings — they’re all perks. But if you have a story within you, if you feel a world building and building inside of you until you feel you might burst, it is your duty and your honor to write it and let it be known. That is the road to publishing. Once you’ve mastered the art of allowing yourself to be heard, everything else will follow.
I think I have the duty to share your words. It has been an absolute joy talking with you and each response is so motivating, uplifting, and inspirational. If anyone has doubts about their book…simply read these responses. If I was not driven to write for NaNoWriMo before…I sure am now.
I want to thank R.H.V. Wise again for being the most motivational participant I’ve had during Saturday Spotlight! I learned so much from each response, feeling more confident to write my own story. I hope that you all enjoyed it as well. Have you read this novel? If not, go…do it now. Add the book to your already overwhelming TBR lists!
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