On the Raven’s Wings is an interview series presented by Sumayyah of The Raven Desk blog. It interviews aspiring writers (both agented and un-agented alike) to get their perspective on writing, the business and life. This week, I'm interviewing Vee (known as Ink on the AbsoluteWrite forums). Welcome, Vee! 

Q: Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
A:Oh God, I hate this question. Mostly because there aren’t many things about me that are quantifiable that I can say (this is a complicated way to say I’m boring). I’ll stick to the basics: I’m seventeen, I like to write and I’m currently working on my third novel while querying the shit out of the second.

Q: What genre do you write? What attracted you to this genre?
A:I write YA – all sorts, dystopian, fantasy, contemporary. Maybe I just write in this genre because I’m a teen and I’m writing what I know, but I like to think it’s more than that. I like to think I write about teens because there’s something about the feelings explored in YA fiction that just floors me – wanderlust, coming of age, self actualization. These are all things I want to explore in my writing, and YA allows me to do that.

Q: What are you currently working on at the moment? How was the story inspired?
A:I’m working on an urban fantasy with dystopian elements currently titled PIPER’S REALM. I guess I got inspired when I was doing edits of my other novels and noticed that pretty much all of them have a reference to the Pied Piper. There’s something about the myth of a person who can lure children with music that fascinates me. So I decided to write a story about a girl who knows and falls in love with the Pied Piper without knowing that’s what he is.

Q: Is there a place you like to go to write? Are there any rituals you stick to when writing a story?
A:I write every day and I guess that’s my ritual. In my moleskines. On the laptop. On my arms. Writing as body art is actually quite fun. I strongly recommend it.

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing? Why?
A: I’m going to cheat and say two things. The first is playing God. This is especially true when I write books that are fantastical enough to have alternate universes, like PIPER’S REALM. Not only do I get to create people and shuffle them through situations that are awkward, poignant and funny, I also get to slip into a mystical realm for a little while. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I live for escapism.

The second thing is putting a little piece of myself out into the world. I know the world rails against self-insertion and Mary Sues and whatever else, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ideas that are always spinning in my head. Every book that I write is a snapshot of my frame of mind at a certain point in my life, and even if I don’t know what that frame of mind is now, twenty years from now when I read these novels, I’ll hopefully be able to work it out

Q: If you had to pick a soundtrack for your current WIP, what songs/bands would be on it?
A:Muse. I think everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’m a massive Muse fangirl (maybe it’s a sign that I’m the new Stephenie Meyer?). Songs like Unintended, Nature and Bliss by Muse are on my playlist.

But for PIPER’S REALM, I really have to give props to MGMT. The book has a very surreal feel to it and watching the Electric Feel video on repeat gets me in the right mood to write about my false paradise. Also, thanks to you Sumayyah, for recommending the Fountain OST to me.

Other artists on my playlist: Radiohead, Pavement, Arctic Monkeys, Weezer (old school), Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab for Cutie, Kasabian, The Kooks, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson , Imogen Heap and Schubert.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current work? Who is your favorite character to write?
A:Riley van Harlen, hands down. Just for the name, obviously. And then there’s the fact that in order to create a truly conflicted character I decided to draw on the myth of the Pied Piper and then combine it with Peter Pan. Riley is both Captain Hook and Peter and my dystopian world is a Neverland of sorts with a contemporary twist.

Q: What plans do you have for the future writing wise? Any new ideas in your mind?
A:This year is going to be all about querying and finding the right person to represent my work. As for long term plans with writing – I just want to get better, and I eventually want to be able to do this full time, whether it’s when I’m twenty-six of sixty. And like choco and some of the other twifties, I want to be living in a castle.

The SNI (Shiny New Idea for those of you who don’t frequent Absolute Write) I’m currently in love with is called THE GNOME IS WATCHING. It’s about a girl whose best friend commits suicide in her garden during a party. But as the book unfolds (and there’s some pretty psycho edgy stuff as it unfolds, like human dartboards, because this novel is a bit Fight Club-esque) it becomes clear that she didn’t want to kill herself – someone pushed her. The question is who. The answer is…Not telling.

Q: What keeps you from losing interest in your work? How do you make sure you finish a project?
A:I subscribe to the BIC method (Butt in Chair). I also eat a lot of chocolate and cookies during drafts and if I’m stuck with anything I listen to Weezer. Weezer is my ultimate no-more-writers-block music. Sometimes I make up words like I did in that last sentence and it helps me loosen up.

Q: What’s the best part of finishing up a novel?
A:You get closure and this massive sense of accomplishment. It’s like, hell, I might have failed calculus to do this but here’s this product and it’s so tangible and real and wonderful (even if it’s a shitty first draft).

I love the idea that something that was nothing more than an errant thought in my head can become something other people can read. That I can give people a ‘grand tour’ of my mind, I guess.

Q: What advice do you have for writers, both veteran and amateur?
A: Taking advice from me is a really bad idea.

But I guess I’d say just keep on writing, because if you keep on going you’re bound to write something that resonates one day. Also, don’t dream of becoming the next Austen – just sets you up for failure.

Vee has since completed her search for an agent and is paired with the fabulous Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Her novel THE COLORS OF SKY is currently on submission with publishers!
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