Today brings another amazing discount for the Indie Author Spring Festival, this time for Viviene Noel's fantasy, A Curse of Blood and Power, which is on sale for 99p/c! To celebrate, we chatted with Viviene all about her writing process and the inspiration behind this new series.
What made you decide to self-publish rather than follow more traditional routes?
I wanted to retain the creative rights on my work. I remember thinking I would be heartbroken to have a cover or interior design I didn’t like. Furthermore, I wanted to be in charge of the timelines. The only aspect I underestimated was marketing.
Publishing can be daunting! Do you have any tips for other indie authors set to release their debuts?
Take your time. Do your due diligence. Make yourself a part of the indie community. I know it sounds like common advice, but nothing is truer than that. I rushed mine a little because I wanted it out so badly, but looking back I would have pushed it back a couple of months.
Tell us about your fantasy, A Curse of Blood and Power, and what inspired you to write it.
I think I transferred some of my escapism into a story I would have wanted to be a part of, so Mahena is a bit of me. She is the main character of the story and, being originally from Earth, awakens in another realm and is soon told that she has a spell on her that has blocked her memory. It’s a bit of a dream that I transposed onto paper. And then there are the great love stories, the found family, the betrayals, the coming into power… but it’s a for the long haul series, and the first one really is only breadcrumbs that readers will understand later on in the story.
Your story is set in a fictional world named Fanhalen. What was the process behind building this strong fantasy setting and were there any challenges? Is this place inspired by any other fantasy worlds?
Is it bad if I say it was all written on the go and I pantsed it through and through? Aha.
Do you have a favourite character from the book? One you enjoyed spending time with most during the writing process, or maybe one that feels most personal/similar to you?
I love all of them. Mahena is a version of me, or at least how I would probably react in her position. I am increasingly loving writing about Nepherym. She only has short appearances in the first installment but takes her place in the second and I am pretty sure she is going to become a favorite.
What drew you to the fantasy genre?
As far as I can remember, I’ve been talking about fairies and dragons. There’s never been a question on what genre I would write. I guess it’s the escapism of it all, but I couldn’t imagine myself writing anything else. I guess it’s the full creativity and creation of it all that I love.
Book Two will be titled A Kingdom of Gods and Monsters. Can you give us any hints about what we can expect to see in the sequel? Is there anything different about the process compared to the first book?
The first book was completely pantsed. It was a binding between different ideas I had for a long time, and I managed to finally put them together. To the point where after editing, the third of the ending became the third of the second instalment. For this one, I had to mix in plotting because too many threads can’t be missed.
The second instalment is faster paced, deals with serious topics and digs into the politics of a kingdom with a very specific history that will be key in answering many questions from book 1. There’s conflicted romances, grief acceptance, and new characters. I am not through yet, but I am so excited with how it is turning out!
You’re also working on The Forbidden Duology. What can you tell us about this new project and will it be linked to A Curse of Blood and Power?
This is a fun side project that is meant to be a very fast-paced enemy-to-lovers YA. A young fire-wielding woman who lets herself get captured and enslaved into the royal household to find her father’s murderer, and finds herself in a strange game with the infamous cruel boneless prince. It is about a character that is mentioned in the first book, and is tied to Emmerentia’s past.
Do you have a favourite movie, show, and/or book and has it influenced your own work at all?
Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The 100, The Last Airbender (the anime). The settings and found family of Lotr, the complexity and overlapping storylines of GoT, the strong females of The 100 and the character development, the magic of Avatar…
Our podcast focuses on media we’re currently loving. Are there any books, shows, or movies you’re enjoying at the moment? Any recommendations for our audience?
I’ve been in the biggest reading slump for months, so except recommending Throne of Glass once more, in terms of books I am really short. Shadow and Bone’s TV adaptation is amazing, and I disliked the books. In a non-fantasy way, I love The L Word, which fits perfectly into the podcast, and I am so utterly gutted that they cancelled it (even though the last season was terrible).