1. First, introduce yourself a bit. What is your name (or pen name) and where are you from?
My name is Victoria Clapton, and I’m from a tiny town in Tennessee.
2. Next, tell us a bit about your most recent work. Is this your first published book? What is it about and what genre would you classify it as?
For the last three years, I’ve been secretly working on a dark fantasy trilogy called Subaru’s End. For years, I’ve been wanting to branch out from paranormal and contemporary romance and create an entirely new, unconventional world with a strong female protagonist and an unusual romance thrown into the mix. Lurid Lantern, book one of Subaru’s End, encompasses all of these things.
3. Tell us a bit about your main character; what are they like, how did they come about, and what are some of their strengths and weaknesses?
There are three main characters in Subaru’s End. In the beginning of Lurid Lantern, Cahya is introduced as a strong, capable woman. She is a commander in the Refulgent army. She’s pragmatic and matter-of-fact, but she’s been forced to hide who she really is and is operating under lies fed to her from birth. This makes her vulnerable to manipulation. Kage is King of Kurai, the realm of darkness. He is the literal embodiment of pain and pleasure, of torture and tears. He and others like him feed off negative emotions, but due to a cataclysmic event Kage finds himself trying to maintain balance in three fractured realms. Kage is selfish, sometimes nasty, but often overcomes that with accidental acts of heroism. Tariq is Cahya’s Lieutenant Commander, and while maintaining his position in the Refulgent army, he’s spent most of his life making sure the King of Hikari doesn’t harm Cahya. Like Cahya, his life is a lie, but unlike Cahya, he still believes his homeland can be saved.
4. What was your hardest scene to write in this (or any) book?
For Subaru’s End, I have a dual answer. The action scenes, of which is 95% of the books, were all new to me. I’ve never written something where major events were happening constantly. The second hardest scenes to write were the sex scenes. Cahya and Kage have a unique, unconventional relationship, and I wanted to be sure that the why and the love were apparent despite the nature of their connection.
5. Did you go the traditional route when publishing your book or did you choose to self-publish?
Lurid Lantern, as well as all of my books, are self-published. I love the freedom to write in whatever genre I’d like. This is my first fantasy, but I’ve written in horror, science fiction, paranormal and contemporary romance. Self-publishing is a great way to keep creativity alive.
6. What would you say is the most difficult part of your writing journey and what advice would you give to other writers?
For me, the most difficult part is marketing and staying engaged with readers. It’s so important. Setting up some sort of solid plan and schedule to work on marketing and reaching out to others is my best advice. Also, write the book you want to read. I believe Anne Rice gave that advice, and I live by it.
7. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
For Subaru’s End, it is a trilogy, and I have several series available in different genres. I hope that a reader can pick up one of my books and know that it’s me, but there aren’t necessarily any connections between them.
8. What are some of your favourite authors and books and what inspired you to become a writer in the first place?
Some of my favorite authors are Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan, and Andrzej Sapkowski. I love a good story and read almost every genre. My mother is a poet/writer, and it was her that inspired me to be a writer as she encouraged me to write my stories down at a very young age. Once I began, I never stopped.
9. What would you say has been the best way to market your books?
This is a tricky question as different things have worked for different books. As an overall answer, I’d say doing the groundwork by getting your book seen in absolutely every place possible,
10. Are there any tropes, clichés, or writing styles that you dislike and, if so, what are they and why?
I hesitate to say there is a trope I definitively hate. Every time I make a statement as such, I find an exception.
11. Do you read reviews of your book and, if so, how do you handle negative feedback?
I try to never read reviews, but like most writers, sometimes I find myself taking a peek. If I have a negative review, I pout a little, and then I try to look at the review objectively to see if there is something I can improve upon. If there is, I keep it in mind for future writing.
12. What are some of your quirks as a writer? Do you like to plot everything out or do you prefer to just “wing it” and see where the story takes you? Do you listen to music when writing and, if so, what do you listen to?
Oh, I have a few writer quirks. I don’t always write first drafts out longhand, but when I do, I like to use the same ink pen until the ink runs dry. I do a lot of plotting and character building, but then, at some point in the creative process, I just wing it. The only other thing I need to write is music. Something is always playing in the background as inspiration.
13. What is the best advice you’ve ever had when it comes to writing and what advice would you give to new writers?
Write! Take every opportunity to write. Write for blogs, for contests…wherever.
14. What’s next for you? Are you currently working on any new books or stories?
In the next two months the following books in Subaru’s End will be released. After that, I plan on finishing up my New Orleans Vampire series and beginning a new mythological retelling standalone.
15. Finally, feel free to plug your social media, website, and links to Amazon, GoodReads, and other relevant sites below, and detail any current offers available for your book/s:
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