Today I am interviewing fellow Indie Eden member Victoria Perkins. Her novel, Star Riders: The Twelve, is about a teenaged girl who has lived a hard life, but soon discovers that she is a part of something much bigger than she could have ever imagined. Let’s see what Victoria has to say about her book, and about her writing process.
Hi Victoria! First things first: What is the one question that you wish people would ask you about Star Riders: The Twelve? (And what is the answer?)
“Will characters from the standalone books pop up in the series?” Yes. :)
On the other hand, which typical author interview question do you hate the most?
“Which book is your favorite?” I can’t choose favorites from other people’s books. I definitely can’t do it with mine!
Can you give us a short description of your book?
Star Riders: The Twelve is the first in what I’m planning to be a six-book series. The Twelve introduces us to Tempest Black and Bram Grimm. Tempest is a jaded, cynical seventeen year-old orphan who’s spent her entire life being bounced from home to home, some good but others horrific. As the story begins, she’s running away from Wycliffe, Ohio, and heading West for a reason she doesn’t quite understand. Bram is a nineteen year-old Star Rider (also called Qaniss), a warrior with wings bred and raised to be a demon slayer. Descended from some of the greatest literary minds, the Star Riders travel between parallel worlds, with their own world being the original. After a mission on another world, eleven Star Riders – including Bram – are told by an angel that their world is gone, and they have another mission. They’re to find the missing Star Rider to complete their group, and continue the fight against demonkind.
Is there any famous author that inspires you, or that you admire?
I have a lot of authors who I love, and whose works are among my favorites, but probably the two of the biggest inspirations have been Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. I came to both when I was in college. As an already avid reader and writer, with plans to become an author, reading their stories and seeing how two people with vastly different lives shared a lot of the same principles when it came to writing really helped me understand what parts of the process were personality and style, and which parts were necessary to succeed. Also, both of them have faced a lot of controversy over their books, and I’ve always been the sort of person who doesn’t follow the crowd.
Great choices! Your own book is in the supernatural/paranormal and young adult fantasy genres. What drew you to these genres? Do you also like to read books in these genres?
I read in pretty much any genre, which is why I tend to write in any genre, but the fantastical world has always captured my imagination the easiest, whether science fiction, fantasy, or supernatural / paranormal. The Chronicles of Narnia have been among my all-time favorites since I was a child, and I continue to read them over and over as an adult. I even taught them for several years.
Who is your target audience for Star Riders: The Twelve? What do you think will appeal to them about your book?
Primarily, my audience is young adult, though I’ve had plenty of adults who enjoy my books. I think the book will appeal on different levels. Tempest and Bram are flawed characters who have rough edges, so they’re relatable. There’s action and romance. I also tend to lean toward snarky sarcasm when it comes to humor, so there’s a bit of that as well.
I think everyone love snarky sarcasm! When you write a book, do you plan out everything beforehand, or do you let the story follow its own course?
Over the last five years, I’ve been working as a ghostwriter, and to do that, I’ve had to become even more organized than in the past, part of which includes outlining. Before, I’d have a general idea, character notes, and go from there. If there was something specific I wanted to have happen, I’d maybe make a note so I didn’t forget. The Star Riders series has been my first clearly outlined plot. I do, however, keep the outline fluid, because I’m a strong believer in following a character, even if they go off from the plot.
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I don’t know if it’s quirky or not, but I can’t write in total silence. I have to have music playing or the TV on if I’m working.
Any writing tips for other writers?
Stephen King’s book On Writing is amazing, and his advice to “read a lot and write a lot” is my mantra. Read outside your genre, as well as mixing up indie and traditionally published book. Read classics and popular books. And don’t give up. It’s going to be an insane amount of hard work, with rejection and bouts of “why am I doing this again,” but if it’s what you were born to do, stick with it.
Great advice! How did your book come to be published? What was your journey to publication like? Did you get a lot of rejection letters before you finally saw your name in print?
I’ve gone the vanity publishing route, the small publisher route, and now I’m self-published. Up until a few years ago, even though I had books self-published, I was still sending out query letters to various publishers. A small press accepted my book The Dragon Three, but the press closed after less than a year, leaving me with the whole querying process all over again. The responses I’d gotten to that particular book, however, had made me start thinking about whether or not I even wanted to bother with a publisher. Christian publishers said the book wasn’t Christian enough (magic, of course), but secular publishers said it was too Christian (all that God talk). Finally, I decided that being true to the story was more important to me than being traditionally published, and I haven’t sent in a query letter since.
I think that was a great decision. :) Thank you for sharing your story with us!
About the Author:
Victoria Perkins has a BA in English from Kent State University, and is currently employed as a freelance writer and ghostwriter, contributing to hundreds of short stories, novellas and full-length novels for clients all over the world, including ones that have made various best seller lists. She makes her home in Northeastern Ohio near her family. She can be found on Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram, as well as on her official website www.vpbooks.com.
About the Book:
Tempest Black is nobody special. Orphaned as a baby, the only thing she has from her past is her unusual name. Now, at seventeen, she’s willing to give it up if it means she can disappear. What she doesn’t know is that, in the West, eleven have been sent to find her, and when they do, her whole world will change. They are the Star Riders, those chosen by Adonai to protect the worlds from the forces of darkness. All alone, they search for the one prophesied to be at their side at the end of days. A special child with unknown powers who will change everything.