We sat down with Victoria (V.E.) Schwab, author of the best selling Shades of Magic, Monsters of Verity, and Villains series. Together, we chat about her newest projects, world-building in the Shades of Magic series, and her amazing fanbase. Catch Victoria Schwab at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 this May 24-27, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Recently, Phoenix Comic Fest staff had a chance to sit down with Melinda Snodgrass, screenwriter and author of the Wild Card series. Check out the interview below and catch her at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 this May 24-27, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
I really love the amazing costumes that you get to see at a comic convention. I can’t sew a stitch so I find this both delightedly and awe-inspiring. And I love connecting with fans and just talking, and answering any questions people might have. Writing is a very generous profession. A lot of people helped me with my career and I like to pay it forward.
A novelist friend of mine, Victor Milan, invited me to a large group autographing and afterward, they let me tag along to Fred Saberhagen’s house. I wandered from room to room listing to people like Suzy Charnas and Fred and Roger Zelazny talking and I realized these were the most interesting people I had ever met and I wanted to be with them not with lawyers. So I started writing and I sold and the rest is history.
Another dear friend, George R.R. Martin, helped me make that transition. George and I had been friends and in a gaming group together and after he went out to Hollywood he called and said, “Hey, Snod, I think you’d be pretty good at this screenwriting thing and if you write a spec script I’ll show it to my agent. So I did, and it landed me my first job on Star Trek: The Next Generation and I’ve just continued since then.
Understanding that less is more. If a section of dialogue is over four lines long it better be the final speech from The American President or the filibuster speech from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or the famous Network speech.
It’s a big space opera that will take my two main characters from age 18 in the first book to their fifties in book 5. It’s got aliens and social issues of class and the role of women and also a love story at its heart. And of course, there are some battles.
The sex scene. I find them very hard to write. They can be either too clinical or just too cotton candy.
Noel Matthews aka Double Helix from Wild Cards. He is such a grey character and such a bastard. On the other end of the spectrum is Richard Oort the hero from my Edge books. He’s a paladin.
Not just George. I’m collaborating with up to 7 other writers when we do a Wild Cards book. Writing for a shared world is the closest you’ll get to the experience in a Hollywood writers room while writing prose. George and I co-created Wild Cards together a lot of years ago and we are still going strong.
I just finished the fourth Imperials novel, I’m writing for and editing the upcoming Wild Cards book Three Kings, and developing Wild Cards for television.
Recently, Phoenix Comic Fest staff had a chance to sit down with Christopher Paolini, author of the critically acclaimed ERAGON series. We chat about his experience as being one of the youngest authors published, his writing experience, and we even get a little technical on writing and planning a novel! Catch Christopher Paolini at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 this May 24-27, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Due to technical difficulties, unfortunately, we were unable to post a video interview, however, we were able to salvage the audio for this interview!
Phoenix Comic Fest Interviews ERAGON Author Christopher Paolini
Recently, Phoenix Comic Fest staff had a chance to sit down with Romina Russell, author of the NYT/International Bestselling YA SF-Fantasy ZODIAC series. We chat about her writing experiences, our zodiacs, and her recent and upcoming projects! Catch Romina Russell at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 this May 24-27, 2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
We recently had some time to chat with the lovely Shannon Messenger, author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series and the Sky Fall series! She was kind enough to share some details about her beloved series and her writing experience with us!
1. We’re excited to have you back at Phoenix Comic Fest! Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing or doing at the event?Eek–it’s hard to choose because there are so many amazing guests and panels! But honestly, one of my favorite things is just wandering around and seeing all of the incredible Cosplay. The amount of time, talent, and dedication people put into their costumes always blows my mind.2. What made you want to become an author?My head has always been filled with stories. It’s like constantly waking up from a really cool dream and wishing I’d had a chance to see how it ended. Eventually, I realized that if I wrote those stories down, I’d not only get to see where they went–but I’d get paid for it! So basically, I have the coolest job ever.3. Can you tell us a little bit about Keeper?The quick pitch I always give is that it’s The Lord of the Rings meets X Men, because it immerses you in a world of fantasy creatures–but it’s set on our planet, in modern times, and instead of relying on magic, the characters have abilities that read more like super powers. But at its heart, it’s the story of a girl who’s found herself caught between two fracturing worlds, trying to figure out how far she’s willing to go in order to save them.4. You’ve mentioned that you re-wrote Keeper #1 twenty times before it was published, what motivated you to keep going through all those revisions?Ha–besides pure stubbornness? It mostly came down to the fact that I truly loved my characters and I could feel that there was something special about them. I’d started and stopped several other books without ever giving it a second thought. But Keeper wouldn’t let me put it aside, no matter how tempted I was at times. And I had to believe that if I could just figure out how to tell the story properly, other people would love it as much as I did.5. I hear that Keefe is a fan favorite, do you have a favorite character?Well, aside from Sophie–who will always hold a special place in my heart–my favorite character is probably Silveny (I say “probably” because it’s so hard picking favorites!) She’s basically the embodiment of 12-year-old Shannon’s unicorn-filled dreams. And really, what could be more fun than spending time in the head of a sparkly alicorn–who thinks in all-caps with lots of exclamation marks!6. Which character is the most fun to write?Probably Ro–which is a new character I introduced in NIGHTFALL (book 6). I knew I would need a big personality to handle the job of Keefe’s bodyguard, and somehow I ended up with a sort of punk-rock ogre who always speaks her mind about everything. She’s hilarious. And it’s especially fun writing her opinions on the Lost Cities because she has such a different take on the elvin world. Spoiler alert: she’s not a fan of sparkles.7. Your books are longer than most standard Middle Grade, do you receive pushback about that?Not so much anymore, now that the series has taken off. But in the beginning, I definitely got some rejections that were related to the length. And even after the first couple of books came out, I’d hear some people say things like, “kids don’t read long books” which always made me super angry–not from a career standpoint, but because I knew they were seriously underestimating kid readers. Fortunately, I work with an editor who always tells me that it’s not about length, it’s about what the story needs. And my readers have really stepped up and proven all those doubters wrong.8. Can you tell us a little about your YA trilogy Sky Fall?Yes! I’ve always called the series my “Dude in Distress” because the main guy needs to be rescued a lot, and the main girl is super kick-butt and amazing. They’re both sylphs–or air elementals–caught up in the middle of a deadly war for control of all four languages of the wind. But Vane would much rather spend his time flirting with the cute girl who has to train him. So there’s a little bit of kissing. A whole lot of wind battles. And tons of humor.9. What were some of the challenges with switching between Middle Grade and YA?Honestly, the biggest challenge was the schedule–and not just the dual deadlines (though that definitely was tricky). Because of the quirkiness of publishing, I was always on an opposite schedule, meaning I would be out promoting one series while having to write the next book in the other, and trying to channel both age categories for such different reasons (marketing vs storytelling) at the same time seriously hurt my brain.10. In Sky Fall, the POV changes from male to female. What was the hardest thing about writing from both points of viewI’ve always been lucky that character voice comes pretty naturally to me, so switching between the two wasn’t that difficult. BUT, it was really hard to decide which POV we should experience certain moments through–especially since I’m also super Type A and wanted it to switch back and forth every chapter. So I had to constantly ask myself, “which character will this mean more to?” and make sure I was in the right POV.