Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a newly published author on Amazon, so damned new that the doctor’s only just spanked me to make me breathe.
Originally from the wild and crazy big cat & snake filled jungles of South America, I’ve now relocated to Toronto Canada. Insert obligatory ‘igloos and polar bears’ joke here.
I’ve been writing since about age 6 and finished my first trilogy of novels by age 16. It was one of those things where I was possessed by an idea that just kept growing bigger and bigger as I wrote it. The first part of the trilogy was originally only about 31 pages. When I was finished with it, it was well over 300. Was urged to publish by all manner of man & beast, but in the end, I chickened out.
Courage has since been mustered, back has since been straightened, jaw is set, steely-eyed gaze is also present and here I am.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The first of my short-fiction series “Good Tales For Bad Dreams” is called “Cinders”. It’s a re-telling of the classic Cinderella story which asks the question: “What if Cinderella was hired to assassinate the Prince?”
I’m inspired every damned day, sometimes to flights of fancy bordering on lunacy, other times to actually put pen to word processor (that’s right, that’s a cliche salad, enjoy).
Marvel and DC comics share much of the blame, actually. Between their ‘What If” and ‘Elseworlds’ imprints, I’ve read some good stuff. These titles allow the readers to explore themes, ideas and consequences that would not otherwise see the light of day, but are nonetheless fascinating.
“Cinders” started out as an experiment, a challenged to myself. I was asked if I could put a different spin on any of the classic princess characters, what would I do?
On a long car ride with my wife, I had improvised a story on the spot to a piece of classical Japanese music. The visuals conjured by that verbal piece eventually kickstarted the story.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to write in the early mornings, while listening to music on my headphones. If an idea keeps me up at night, I will get out of bed and pull an all-nighter to get it down. This has resulted in morning after huzzahs! and regrets in equal measure.
I am a serial note taker. My phone’s memory has had to be cleared repeatedly because I randomly jot down notes, scenes, music and character ideas throughout the day.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Inspiration usually springs from music, movies and an idle mind. Top of that list includes anything by Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Jim Butcher and Guillermo Del Toro. I tend to write with more of a cinematic sensibility, so the works of James Cameron, Akira Kurosawa and Quentin Tarantino are usually present in some way or form in my scene construction.
What are you working on now?
The follow-up to “Cinders”, titled “Hontas”, is currently in Beta for review. I also plan to continue the “Good Tales For Bad Dreams” series with “Gr3t3l-1” as well as another piece for Red Riding Hood.
I’ve also got plans for a volume 2 to the series and a related novel. Currently working on completing an unrelated novel, it’s attached short-fiction series and a separate short fiction series set in the South.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ve found Joanna Penn’s “The Creative Penn” to be wonderful in terms of advice. And Awesomegang lives up to its name:)
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Do. Not. Quit.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I’ll put it this way. Think of your journey to publication as reading “The Hobbit”. Takes some time and a lot of hard work to get there, but it is worth it. Now, once you’re done that, think of the rest of your career as “The Lord of the Rings I-III”. Yeah. You’re in it for the long haul.
What are you reading now?
I’m happily absorbing “Alan Moore: Storyteller”. I’ve also just finished reading Blake Northscott’s “Vs. Reality” and the sublime “The Girl Who Would Be King” by Kelly Thompson.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve got plenty more to write, because if I don’t get those ideas out of my head, I may go insane. “Hontas” is chomping at the bit to be let out and “Gr3t3l-1” is waiting patiently for her turn. Inverting these classic fairy tales is fun. I think I’ll do that for a while.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
My God man! I’m a writer, not a Decision Maker! Do you know what you’ve done? Do you?
Watchmen by Alan Moore – because I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading that when I’m 80 and still find something new.
Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore – because it’s an acid trip for your brain. Also when I get hungry I can convince myself to eat the pages with plants on them.
The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson – it’s that good.
And possibly something on survival or ‘How to Eat Sharks 101″ or “Signal Fires for Dummies” because you guys have stranded me on a freaking desert island.
Awesomegang: “We’re not completely evil. You get to take books with you.”
Author Websites and Profiles
V.M. Sawh Website