IndieView with A.K. Rouse, author of Phineas Varga and the Revenants of Windsor
I always knew what the struggle was. When a key plot point comes to me, if I’m not in front of my computer, I jot it down to add to my outline later. I am not much of a user of social media, but I know that depending on my level of future readership that may have to change.
Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Phineas, too, has his secrets, secrets that shaped who he is and who he will become. It is only when mysteries are revealed, and tragedy occurs that the reader discovers why five-hundred years is but a short time for some. Theirs is a love story, but one filled with rivals and conflict, and an introduction to the supernatural world occupied by vampires, lycanthropes, and gargoyles. The younger one does not truly understand why she barks at the friendly man who gives her treats, but feels compelled to do so because the older one does. Other characters, including a female assassin, join in this effort sponsored by Queen Elizabeth I to protect her kingdom. Do you have a target reader? Therefore, this time around, with encouragement from two other writer friends, I decided to forgo that process, and just do everything myself, save for the professional editing. Where did you get the idea from? I’m working on the next book in the series. How long did it take you to write it? She welcomes into her court at Windsor Castle, a man, Phineas Varga, who offers protection. From conception through the first four years, I wrote on and off when I had time, perhaps five to ten hours a week, average. my interest in architectural elements like gargoyles… It doesn’t hurt also that I have all the rights and creative control. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? However, the young queen soon finds that his strategy includes the use of gargoyles… Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? When the mail is delivered, I listen to an obnoxious pair of barking Irish terriers. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? my love for a good vampire tale… My book does have a social media account and I do take emails from my webpage and Goodreads. My childhood was spent predominantly in Louisiana, with stints in Oklahoma, Texas and England. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? About You
Where did you grow up? Was it a particular event or a gradual process? I’m an introvert… The secondary storyline features Nieve O’Raghallaigh, a peasant woman in Ireland five-hundred years prior, who finds amongst the dead at the Battle of Clontarf, a wounded soldier named Fintan whom she nurses. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Did you hire a professional editor? Pacing the stories appropriately, including key clues and plot points in sync with one another so as to not give away anything too soon or too late was quite challenging. After he read that, I did detect a bit more swagger to his step. I edit after each chapter while it’s fresh in my mind. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? I struggled with how to adhere to this requirement without it appearing from the reader’s perspective that there was a lot of unnecessary detail. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Yes, as I described previously, I do outline, but not extensively. With some images so strong I know I am not in jeopardy of losing, I can wait until I sit down to write. The primary tale is of Phineas Varga, a revenant hunter in 1563 who works with his immortal friend, Cornelius, a gargoyle, to rid the world of vampires, but a very ancient and evil one, in particular. It varied day to day. And then, of course, comes the editing, which seems to never end. If so can you please describe it? Having that break gives me the perspective to more readily see plot holes, grammatical mistakes, weak elements in my writing, etc. After months of researching agents, writing and sending queries, reading rejection letter, after rejection letter, three agents were interested enough to ask for the full manuscript. Afterward, one bowed out saying it wasn’t for her, and the other two said they loved the writing and the story, but did not see big commercial success with it, so could not make the time investment. What are you working on now? No. Then, I go chapter by chapter, piecing in the detail— the foreshadowing, the descriptive elements, dialogue, action, etc. I have always been able to visualize the characters, both how they appear physically, their personality, speech, etc. Rouse – 29 February 2020
The Back Flap
In 1014 AD, Nieve, a young Irish woman, nurses wounded Fintan, a mysterious foreigner fighting for the Irish at the Battle of Clontarf. I know the general things I need to do, and I have executed on most of those, but I know that the marketing part, including my social media presence, is my weakness. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? In fact, the invented ones, of which there are many, include the antagonist and protagonists of the tale. If you read the dedication, you will see that the hero’s best qualities are modeled after my husband. Luckily, I found the perfect one. Where do you live now? No, I do not. I would advise above all else to hire a professional editor. A.K. When it comes to trusted early readers, find ones who both like and dislike the genre. I have chapter headings as much for my own navigation as anything else. I do also have entirely fictitious characters. I prefer smaller groups, though I can have fun in a larger group for restricted periods of time. Basically, if you want a mindless beach read, my book is not it. Do you listen to music while you write? that of… England and all mankind are at the mercy of the revenant should those most ancient and evil have their way. The Great Midwest
What would you like readers to know about you? looking for those nuggets of foreshadowing, those clues. When did you start writing the book? What came easily? The other area in which I struggled was in the telling of two storylines, each of which had elements of foreshadowing to the other. Characters and key plot points came easily. Three of my best manuscript readers are three good friends who are independent, intelligent women who don’t worry about hurting my feelings. The actual idea came from several places… Do you outline? I would say my target reader is someone who loves works of fantasy, likes to be surprised, horrified, swept up in a romance, but not of the bodice-ripper kind, and who enjoys reading carefully… Over five-hundred years later, in 1563, the Black Death descends on the kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I. I would say my target reader is someone who loves works of fantasy, likes to be surprised, horrified, swept up in a romance, but not of the bodice-ripper kind, and who enjoys reading carefully… About the book
What is the book about? vampire. Find ones who are good at articulating their opinions and don’t hold back because of an inability or fear of disappointing you. I am basically winging it. I also went through a Phillipa Gregory phase, so the love of these genres is somewhat embedded. something I only really discovered about myself about five years ago. in addition to their own conflicted feelings for one another. I always knew what the “gotcha” moments would be. Sometimes, I would focus on a set of chapters as a grouping, and then jump to earlier or later chapters all in the same day. Get your copy of Phineas Varga and the Revenants of Windsor from Amazon US or Amazon UK. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and horror. End of Interview:
For more from Ms Rouse visit her website and her Instagram page. From this point on, their fates are intertwined as they attempt to navigate secrets, supernatural beings, a rival for Nieve’s affection… Today, the revenant is known by its most popular name… Then, I wait days, sometimes weeks to re-edit those parts, jumping around quite a bit. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? I was able to write steadily the last year with fewer distractions, so perhaps wrote between four and five hours, six days a week, excepting for vacations and holidays. Because the novel is a mash-up of genres, including historical fiction, I have characters that are actual historical figures, such as Queen Elizabeth I, Lord Robert Dudley, and Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, to name a few. Years ago, I went through the process of trying to find a literary agent for a different book. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? During a break in a work project about five years ago. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? I did it myself. In his quest to rid Europe of the foul revenant, he is joined by a young, eager apprentice, a gargoyle warrior, a female assassin of a strange guild, and others who seek to find the source of the revenant outbreak. The older one has a long-standing feud with all mailmen that is probably the reason she has outlived the average lifespan for her breed. Yes. Without giving anything away, I will say that one of my characters has a “limitation” that creates an underlying requirement in how I write details of the plot surrounding this character. The book tells two stories in one, in which the connection is revealed before book’s end. I’ve always had two creative loves in life—writing and art. I wanted an editor that would not only do a line-edit, finding mistakes, but one who could point out where the plot slowed too much, where I could streamline, where there might be holes in the story (mine is complex), and suggestions for overall improvement. The main turns of action and conflict came easily as well. Pick an editor whose style meshes with your own. I also recommend aligning with trusted readers to review your manuscript pre-publication. for she and her kingdom are to be defended against something far worse than the plague. and an epiphany one day to use several key myths as the framework for reimagining the historical periods of Ancient Ireland and Elizabethan England to seamlessly include supernatural creatures like vampires, gargoyles, and lycanthropes, along with other immortal beings. I did NOT want an editor that was simply rewriting my story in his or her own writing style.