Friday, August 3, 2012

The Donner of the Veil.

If participating in the Magic Appreciation tour (which is currently on break until the fall)  has done anything for me, it has allowed me to befriend some extraordinarily nice people and given me access to the new, if slightly unknown, voices of fantastical literature that I would miss otherwise. And today, one of the friends I have made on the tour has agreed to sit down and talk to us about a number of things: Most notably her book Protector, which is the first book in her Anniversary of The Veil series. Please help me in welcoming the very talented Vanna Smythe.

Me: Welcome Vanna, thanks for coming. 

Vanna: Glad to be here, Will. Thanks for inviting me.     

Me: What originally inspired you to become a writer? Or was it something that you always wanted to be?

Vanna: Honestly, it was something I always wanted to be. I can't even remember the first time I decided to be a writer, it was just always there, in the back of my mind.

Me: What drew you to the Fantasy genre?

Vanna: I love reading fantasy above all other genres. Therefore it was a pretty logical choice for me to write fantasy, especially given that the story I came up with wouldn't go over so well as another genre.

Me: Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

Vanna: Tough question ;)  I have so many, I just can't list them all.

Me: Welcome to my world *laughs*. Its hard to choose your favorite things of anything when there are so many...which makes me question why I've done so many "top ten" lists on here *laughs*. 

Vanna: *laughs* 

Me: Anyway, You told me once that your day job is a freelance writer. What publications and/or projects have you worked on?

Vanna: I was a freelance journalist for awhile, covering political and economic/business issues. But it wasn't for me. I currently blog for several clients. It gives me the freedom to pursue my fiction.

Me: Do you find balancing work with your fiction difficult? Or have you found ways to separate one from the other (If that makes any sense lol)?

Vanna: I do my non-fictional writing in the mornings, and my fictional writing in the evening. Words have always come pretty easily to me and I don't have a problem keeping my article and blog writing separated from my stories and novels.  

 Me: I envy you on that ^_^. What are your favorite fantasy creatures?

Vanna: I'm not big on fantasy creatures, to be honest. I do like elfs and dwarfs and hobbits, thanks to Tolkien, but I don't see myself writing about them anytime soon ;)

Me: Hobbits are always a good choice. Anyway, I hate to admit it but I haven’t read very far into Protector (yes that’s bad, and I am working on fixing it). What can you tell us about it? 

Vanna: I do hope you fix that ;) But seriously, the story is about a soldier who finds himself with a role and responsibility that could well decide the fate of the world. On top of that, he's fallen in love with a girl who doesn't share his feelings ;) There's also a lot of political maneuvering and behind the scenes things that they must all deal with. But I don't want to give too much away.

Me: It sounds pretty cool. What was the inspiration for Protector?

Vanna: I wanted to explore the idea of Twin Souls and how energy can be used to steer the world in a certain path. The book also revolves around themes of friendship, love, power and the need to control.

Me: Where is it available? And in what formats?   

Vanna: It's currently available as an ebook from Amazon at and as a paperback from Amamzon, Barnes and Noble, and several other online retailers.

Me: You've said elsewhere that you’re working on the sequel. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

Vanna: I'm struggling through the first draft right now. I do already know where I want it to end up, but how I will get there is not yet decided. Again, I don't want to give too much away ;)

Me: When can we expect to see it?  

Vanna: I plan to release in later this year.

Me: What made you decided to self-publish?

Vanna: I had the book finished and didn't want to wait for years before it was accepted by a publisher. It is also a great time for self-publishers and I get to keep all control over my book.

Me:  Have you found the self-publishing experience more enjoyable or frustrating (Or a bit of both lol)? Do you intend to try and sell Protector (or any of your future work) to a publisher when it’s all done or continue to self-publish?    

Vanna: I enjoyed the whole process of self-publishing, though I don't have much to compare it to. If the offer to buy it is good enough, I will consider it down the line, but otherwise I think I'll just continue to self-publish ;)

Me: I hope you find bukus (a lot) of success with both kinds of publishing ^_^.  Now I have to ask the obvious questions: what advice can you give to those looking to self-publish and what promotional strategies have you found to be the most effective?

Vanna: I would say go for it. There's nothing like having total control over your book and career. I promote mostly through Twitter, though I have done a few virtual book tours and a bunch of interviews. Letting your book be free for a few days is also a great promotional tool, though on the whole I'm against giving your work away or pricing it very low.

Me: And now a question for the nerds. Who’d win a fair fight: The Wheel of Time’s Rand al’Thor or Forgotten Realm’s Drizzt Do’urden? *laughs* Just kidding. 

Vanna: Well, I don't really know who the other guy is, but Rand al'Thor struck me as a bit of a weakling ;)      

Me: He kinda is in the beginning, yeah. Then we get to book 3 and he becomes a man *laughs*. Thanks again for joining us, Vanna. I hope Protector becomes a best seller soon.

Vanna: Thanks, Will. Hope your book does too.

If you'd like to know more about Mrs. Smythe then check out her website at:          

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