Serenity Valle-author, supporting fellow authors, game creators and more...one blog post at a time!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview: Author Ronel Van Tonder

Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I’m a new indie author. I like long walks on the beach, except I live nowhere near the beach, so that’s not going to happen.
My passion for writing was recently re-kindled when I was thought-mugged by the idea for my latest book. Before then I was just getting by, watching too many movies and playing way too many computer games than can be considered healthy.
I live in South Africa, which has always been my home, so I’m not really planning on going anywhere. Except maybe closer to the beach.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, Compile:Quest? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: It came as a scene, which most of my stories do. I then have to try and work out the ‘who/why/where/how long’ of the scene in my mind, which eventually leads to a story. Usually, that first scene is completely abandoned once the story evolves.
This scene was a massive dome built on the African savanna. That already prompted a few questions, but the ghastly mutated creatures attacking the sides of the dome in an attempt to penetrate the structure had my brain overheating. This scene never actually appears in the book, but it’s what led to the tangle of lives and intrigue that the novel turned into.
The name was one of those ‘lying-in-bed-at-two-in-the-morning-not-sleeping-because-you-haven’t-thought-of-a-proper-title-yet’ moments. I was randomly thinking of every geeky term I could think of (because the book is steeped in Geekism, and I wanted it to be a silent alert to any geek out there that might glimpse the title).
Then it finally came. Compile (geekism) /Quest (what happens). In restrospect, it’s probably a bit lame, but it is what it is. The rest of the series continue this theme (which was another aspect that made the choice so difficult), and are named respectively: “Debug:Heroes” and “Execute:Destiny”.
It’s better if you kind of read them all together. And if you’re a geek. And if you don’t mind a dash of lameness with your novel.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Uh… *whispers* pink?
Gosh, it felt good to get that out there. I am a girl, after all. Not that all girls should just like pink. But I’m one of those that do.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: Eesh. So many of. I was going a bit overboard at one stage. You see, our house is basically just two floors, open plan all the way. So I don’t have a “writer’s nook”.
So I ended up creating this little nest for myself where I could plug in my earphones and try and ignore our dogs as they ran past barking and yapping at each other. This seclusion/nest-building just intensified until it became something along the lines of:
  • Get home from work
  • Walk dogs
  • Feed dogs
  • Give dogs chewy treat
  • Have tea made for me by awesome husband
  • Have packet/slab/bag of (jelly babies, jelly beans, caramels, ├ęclairs, chocolate) at hand
  • Clean laptop screen with microfiber cloth
  • Clean reading glasses with same cloth, making sure to remove every micron of dust
  • Wipe screen again because some dust just zapped back on there (some days a full computer clean was done before I could even begin)
  • Find headphones
  • Find appropriate deep house track to listen to
  • Re-read previous day’s work
  • Move the dogs around until they’re comfortable
  • Restart deep house track.
  • Start writing! *
* Some days may vary.
Ultimately, once I’d gotten into the daily writing ritual, I found breaking the other habits a little easier.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing Compile:Quest?
A: The actual writing. As in, “Peppermint danced.” I would run out of time/energy/the ability to focus my eyes before I could stop writing every day.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: Everything leading up to that point. Sheer torture.
In the initial planning/plotting/research stages it was a daily struggle not to just start writing. As it is, I started writing before I had every microscopic detail of the plot nailed down, and then had to rewrite 50% of the first book because SOMEONE decided to create a more convoluted back story for themselves than I’d originally planned. Not mentioning any names. *coughs: GERARD *

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: Yes. But not in a ‘bacon-flavoured ice-cream’ kind of way. Just in a regular, bacon and eggs for breakfast kind of way. We are talking about that kind of bacon, right? Because innuendos usually fly a kilometer over my head. Jus’ saying.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: I’ve been writing ever since primary school (uh… I think that’s age 10…11…?) Sorry, my memory is pretty messed up. Too little brain capacity, too many random characters and plots floating around in there.
I don’t remember my first story ever, but the first one I can remember was about a girl and a boy who were abducted. By aliens. In a space ship. Once you’re done laughing, I’d like to state, in my defense, this was when X-Files first came out. I suppose it was my first (and last) fan-fiction piece ever.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: Yup. Jinx and Jasper. I’ve decided it’s purely coincidental that both their names start with a “J”. The letter “J” has no significance in my life. At least, not that I’m aware of.
Jasper I like because of the ‘ain’t no mountain high enough’ kind of love that he has for his wife. It’s so profound that I get emotional when I write his chapters. *sigh*
Jinx… I feel sorry for her. Not in a pitying kind of a way. But more like when you’re watching a really clumsy person in one of those narrow, crowded antique stores. She’s big. She’s tough. But damn she can just put her foot in it. Like all the time.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: Anything else? Anything else? Are you kidding me?
I have to try and do a hard reset on my brain every night just to avoid getting additional stories piling into my mind. I’m at the stage where I’m like “No, don’t you dare play that Lulu Rouge track”, because I just know a few seconds listening to any music can chuck another story into the maelstrom of my mind.
But yes, I do have (a few) stories in the queue. First are the follow ups to this first book in the series. Then, another sci-fi. Then either another sci-fi or a horror, whichever is clamouring the loudest to be written. Sometimes I let them have a go at arm wrestling and let that settle their order in the queue.
Then I have another horror, a weird general fiction (it’s about a talking dog, I have no clue what genre that falls into), and a paranormal series just to get it out of my system.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?
A: I just want to thank Serenity Valle for allowing me to prattle on and fill her webspace with my ramblings. For a new indie author, there is no such thing as too much exposure, so thank you!
Also, for anyone wanting to find out more about the book, upcoming works, or just to say hi, you can get hold of me on my website. All my social profiles are on there, so stalk away! Ha ha ha. Okay, not serious stalking – I have really big dogs that will eat you alive.
Also, I’m always looking for beta-readers, and have a few freebies if you’re so inclined, so just pop in and see what’s happening.
Get in on...
a Rafflecopter giveaway!
 
Ronel provided me with a synopsis to include, enjoy!
In the year 2036, solar storms batter Earth crippling electrical infrastructures across the globe. Night falls and the ensuing pandemonium claims millions of lives, catapulting the world into chaos.

In the midst of this global turmoil a hero emerges. The altruistic SUN Council intercedes, constructing enormous domes on each continent to protect the world’s population from the radioactive CME’s of the incessant solar storms.

But not everyone makes it to the domes. In an attempt to survive the deadly radiation, hundreds of thousands of people dig into the earth, living in squalor under an oppressive military dictatorship.

Now centuries later, the final stage of the SUN Council’s plan to decimate the world’s population approaches. But as victory glimmers on the horizon, two women from discordant halves of this new world start to unravel the conspiracy.


***

Ronel is a brand-spanking new indie author. She loves creating fantastical worlds set in the future, the mythical, and the horrific. Translate: She writes science-fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

Her life story is not particularly fascinating, but her love of technology, PC games and writing is. Beside writing, she spends her time slaying rendered baddies in the form of robots, gangsters and aliens - with any weapon that happens to be at hand.

Ronel has published her first science-fiction book, Compile:Quest. She's currently hard at work creating the second book in the Corrupted SUN Script trilogy. When she's not writing, she's gaming, and when she's not gaming she's either sleeping or eating, as these are prerequisites for a continued life on planet Earth.

http://ronelvantonder.co.za
http://www.twitter.com/RonelVanTonder
http://www.facebook.com/Ronel.Van.Tonder.Author
http://za.linkedin.com/in/ronelvantonder/
http://www.wattpad.com/user/ronelvantonderza
https://www.google.com/+RonelvantonderCoZa
http://www.pinterest.com/ronel1014/
https://www.goodreads.com/ronelvantonder




...You Can't Take the Books from Me...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Interview: Author Nathaniel Danes

 
Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I’m a pretty average guy. I love my beer, football, and scifi. My wife, isn’t such a fan of all three of those. I live in the Washington, DC area.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Last Hero? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: My mind is always turning. I often slip into my own imaginary worlds. It's kind of a defense mechanism. I'm going blind from a genetic disorder and its an escape to dream universes I don't have any limitations.
The Last Hero was really born with the birth of my only child, my daughter. When she came into my life she added emotional depth that changed the way I thought. I began to think of what it would be like to be separated form her. Naturally, I spun that into a SciFi story.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Colour, I’m not sure what that is? But, my favorite color is 49er red.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: I’m not sure if it counts as a ritual, but I’ve mastered the ability to write with any Disney movie in the background.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing The Last Hero?
A: The emotional connection between the main character and his daughter. All I had to do was think about my own family.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: Frankly, just writing. Between my visual impairment and dyslexia, writing takes a lot out of me. With that say, I am how saying a prayer to thank my poor editor.

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: That’s like asking if I like breathing or water. It’s an essential element of life. I LOVE BACON!

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: Always wanted to write. Just took me a while for my ability to catch up with my imagination. But, after college, grad school, and my day job, it finally came around.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: Anna, cause she is based on my little girl.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: The Last Hero is the first in a trilogy. I am currently editing book two. Also, I’ve written drafts for the first two book in another series I’ll get going once The Last Hero series is collect.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?
A: Yes, I want to encourage everyone to visit my website where they can read the first three chapters of The Last Hero for free, www.NathanielDanes.com

Here, have some extra goodies from Nathaniel!


Book Release Oct. 14: The Last Hero, Book one of trilogy

Excerpt:
Trent knelt down where Anna could throw her arms around his neck. She pulled against him tight and started crying again. Tears rolled down his face as he whispered, “I love you more than you can understand. I’m sorry.”
Her cries downed out his soft words.
After a minute, Trent summoned all of his strength to break free of her hold. Standing, he shared a look with Madison. She wrapped him in a loving, warm hug.
This time she did the whispering, “Remember what I told you. Make them pay.”
He pulled away, nodding as he placed his hand on Anna’s sobbing head.
“I’ll see you both again someday. I promise.” The words bound him to a promise he wasn’t sure he could keep.

Blurb:
Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

Bio:
Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an over active imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links:

Book Links:





...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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