Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a storyteller. It’s not just something I do. It’s what I am. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to pick up my favorite book (Rapunzel) and trace the letters. I remember wishing I could learn what those markings meant and how I could make them, too. Sometime later, I went to the movies and I realized stories weren’t just things you told your family or that you kept in books. They were living, breathing things. I haven’t stopped telling stories since. I’ve been in love with movies and books since that day.
I’ve written a handful of books, some of them are available on Amazon right now. I like to genre hop, but I flirt with Fantasy and Sci-Fi. My latest work, which comes out 01/15/2015, is Blood Red: The Complete First Season. It’s a serial. You can either read the episodes one at a time or you can binge-read the whole season at once. The first episode is free right now on Amazon, at http://amzn.to/1Hq3SAb
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I love Fantasy – especially Urban Fantasy. Mostly, I always looked to TV and film to feed my Urban Fantasy fix. I used to be a huge True Blood fan. I wanted to find something like that in book form. I wanted a solid cast of characters with interesting plots – with a big serving of steam and action (of all kinds) on the side.
Like most writers, when I can’t find what I want to read, I write it. Only thing left to figure out was how to do it.
Synchronicity is a wonderful little thing! I found out about serials and started reading Game of Thrones in the space of a month. GoT proved I could have multiple stories going on at the same time without turning people off. And serial fiction for ebooks was exactly the storytelling format I wanted.
Most writers are using serialized fiction for ebooks like popular writers used to write “paperbacks” back in the day: one single story broken into several smaller parts. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to follow the lead of other writers who used serials as something like TV series in book format. I wanted a complex story. And I wanted meaty conflicts and characters for my story. Besides, I have this shared universe I really wanted to put out there and I needed a calling card, so to speak, to introduce characters to my world.
From that moment on, I couldn’t write Blood Red: The Complete First Season fast enough!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. My writing habits are pretty normal… if you consider sitting in front of your computer and making stuff up as “normal”. I like to say my lines of dialogue out loud, which helps with flow. I also listen to music. Sometimes, I even sing along.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh, how long do you have? Because I could keep going all day.
I love Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen. I recently discovered Patricia Briggs and I’m reading her Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha &Omega series, too. I also draw inspiration from films. I majored in Film. It’s a big part of my life. I love Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. To brings things to here and now, I love Christopher Nolan’s work, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s.
What are you working on now?
I have a full writing schedule for 2015. On top of marketing stuff for Blood Red: The Complete First Season, I’m working on a few projects… most of them will be release this year.
My first project – the one I’m writing right now, in fact – is Blood Red: Season 02. I’m going to add more characters and new preternatural beings into the mix. Season 01 focuses more on vampires, witches and earthlings (that’s you and me and other mundane mortals). Season 02 will add werewolves to the mix.
I’m also expanding other corners of the Universe I introduce in Blood Red. I’m writing about witches in a YA novel and a group of mixed creatures who are the last line of defense between earthlings and the preternatural community.
These stories are not connected to Blood Red per se, but they’re in the same universe, happening at the same time. So, a character that appears in Blood Red in a “guest starring” role could be a major character in another series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
There isn’t one single answer. There are so many ways to promote a book nowadays. You can go on blog tours, get your book reviewed by bloggers, buy promo spots… but there isn’t a magic formula!
It’s my experience that two things help.
One: is be a real, decent human being. I know that sounds lame to the extreme, but it’s true. Don’t try to shove your book down people’s throats. Don’t try to make your book “happen” by talking about it non-stop. Pretty soon, people stop listening. Be a person, talk to people, let them know who you are. Then, they’ll be happy to hear about your project.
The other thing is: write more books, get your work out there, push your limits. Hugh Howey and his Wool series are huge, but that wasn’t his first book. Or his second. The same goes for other indie writers out there. Get out there, put more work out and build an audience one reader at a time.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read all the time… and read everything. Stretch those reading muscles. And write every day. Write when you’re happy and when you’re sad. Those writing muscles also need a daily work out. Don’t listen to “rules” that limit your imagination, but listen to advice on form and style. Above all else, realize that you can’t think outside the box because, really, there is no box.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Pretty much the stuff I said above: Read everything. Write everyday. Get your work out there again and again.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Frost Burned, by Patricia Briggs. I finished it two hours ago, in fact. I don’t know what I’m going to pick up next. It’s a moment I both love and hate: the in-between books when I can pick anything I want to read and I can’t think of any one thing I’d like to read next.
I’m sure I’ll pick something later… but right now I’m torn between several books on my to-read list.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The release of Blood Red: The Complete First Season (which is on preorder on Amazon, by the way) comes to mind. But I rather think about something else. I still have to write my daily writing quota (about 3,500 words… more if I can get away with it). I rather focus on one small task and project at a time. The big picture stuff scares me. If I break big projects down to smaller bites, I get everything done and I don’t freak out about it.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.
Author Websites and Profiles
Vivian Wolkoff Amazon Profile
Vivian Wolkoff’s Social Media Links