This next interview is with VS Holmes, author of ‘Smoke and Rain’, the first installment in the ‘Reforged’ Series.
1) What was your inspiration for ‘Smoke and Rain’, and how many other books do you have planned for the ‘Reforged’ series?
Fall of 2002 I saw an image of ruins in a desert. I lay on the floor for hours, refusing to even get up to turn on a light, writing. I had about 20 terrible, handwritten pages by the end. Only one line has survived every revision since then, but the ruins of Cehn in the Sunamen desert and the young woman found in them are the same. Reforged is a quartet, so there will be three more in this series. There are two other quartets that take place in the same world. One takes place about 50 years after Reforged and the other 300 years before.
2) Are there any characters or themes in ‘Smoke and Rain’ with which you identify more than others?
It took me a long time to identify with Alea, but she shares some of my detached feelings. I identify a lot with Eras, the general of Athrolan’s army, and with Bren’s crass camaraderie.
3) What is your favorite part about writing Fantasy?
World building. My vocation as an archaeologist is all about finding the story and building a peoples’ world from just fragments of stone. Writing is much the same for me. I’ll see a single scene in my head and I just keep digging until I have all the details of their life.
4) If your main character showed up at your front door, what would you do?
Ah! I wrote a short story about this one! Depends on which MC. Alea and I would go on a long walk, though probably wouldn’t talk much at first. Bren and I would go to a bar and drink and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Arman and I would probably have a shouting match that would end with dinner and a heart-to-heart.
5) What is your advice for budding Fantasy authors who plan to write and publish their own epic series?
Revise. Edit. Research (yeah you’re creating a world, but humans are humans). Learn about the world in which yours is based — is it European? Chinese? Lybian? Spend the time building the foundation. Find multiple beta readers from different demographics and listen to what they have to say. Get a professional editor. Keep writing.