Welcome Guest Author Cynthia Vespia & a Contest
Tell us about your Demon Hunter series. What inspired it? How many books do you plan to have and when does the next one come out?
Demon Hunter is a trilogy of terror that follows the great horror novels and mixes them with epic fantasy. You have a band of characters setting out on adventures but constantly looking over their shoulders in stark terror. The idea came from my own love of the two genres and I really wanted to explore the dark side of human emotion. I'd dealt with frightening villains before but never on this level. The evil that torments the heroes in Demon Hunter are the vampire, demon, and werewolf of myth and legend but brought to reality with grit and unapologetic viciousness. The other element I had facing the hero, Costa, was his own personal demons as he struggles with pain from within while coming to terms with his new role in life as a hunter of demons. This is a constant battle that is evident throughout the series. Demon Hunter: The Chosen One is available now via AspenMountainPress.com and the sequel Demon Hunter: Seek & Destroy will be released just after Thanksgiving on November 27th, 2009. I'm two-thirds of the way into the third and final installment and let me tell you there is going to be a surprise to this one right off the bat that readers won't be expecting.
Who are your literary heros and why?
I read a lot when I was younger. Back in those days I was drawn to Piers Anthony, C.S. Lewis, and Robert E. Howard. But it was Dean Koontz who really inspired me to become a writer. His work resonated with me and compelled me to write, to draw the same emotions out of my readers that his work did for me.
What would you tell aspiring young writers about the publishing business?
It’s hard, no lie. But if you’re passionate about writing and you know nothing else will quell that fire within your heart then it is up to you to learn everything you can about the business side of writing and publishing. Writing the novel is only half the battle. You have to know how to market yourself and your work if you expect to see longevity. There are thousands upon thousands of authors out there all vying for the top positions or the showcase shelf at the front of the bookstore. What is going to make your book stand out from the crowd? In other words “why should we read you?”
Tell us five random things about yourself.
1. I love to workout and I used to compete in fitness competitions before focusing more towards martial arts
2. Often times you’ll find me in a bookstore writing longhand on a legal pad rather than using a computer.
3. I like to collect weapons and statues for display
4. My first screenplay is based off my novel The Crescent and is currently in preproduction for a feature film
5. My name is Cynthia and I am a chocoholic!
What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?
The fantasizing is what I enjoy most about the writing process. You get to escape into worlds you created alongside characters who become a part of you. But I will say bits of reality almost always creep into my writing.
From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
For Demon Hunter to really become the thrill ride I envisioned in my head it took me two years of planning, researching, writing, and rewriting. I went back to the first installment several times to see what worked and what needed to be tweaked. Part two Seek & Destroy ran a bit smoother. I already had the characters established and all I needed to do was set them loose on a new adventure and let them lead the way.
When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?
I’m a vampire at heart so I tend to stay up late regardless. It is also the best time to get my thoughts in order. The house and the outside world are quiet enough for me to hear the voices in my head.
How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
I searched far and wide to find a publisher I really wanted to work with. My best advice is to pick up a copy of Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market. Besides being filled with an ample amount of publishers in every genre imaginable there are also articles devoted to helping the newbie on their writing journey.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a compilation of short stories called “Murder in Vegas” in preparation for my next novel. I’m a Vegas native born and raised, I thought it about time to write a thriller based in my hometown and shed a little light on what REALLY goes on beyond the neon.
If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?
It’s not so much what I’d enact as it is what I’d protect. Without sounding too political (I hate that) this country is being given away. The right to bear arms, freedom of choice, free speech, these issues and more are constantly under fire from fanatics who nitpick on every little thing, thus our God given rights get attacked. It’s almost like walking on a mine field these days; any little thing is going to set someone off. Last I checked it was a free country.
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
My Muse would probably tell you she doesn’t always get through to me. She has to work extra hard sometimes to inspire. What can I say? Life gets in the way sometimes. But she’d also be apt at sharing the fact that when I’m on a roll I just can’t tear myself away.
If you were a Superhero, would you wear tights and a cape?
Tights, definitely! I look good in tights. But the cape is a little out dated.