Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Today we’re sitting down with indie author Rrrenbo, author of two novels available with more on the way. His social media links will be down at the end of the interview so if you want, you can check him out and he might be your next favourite author. Anyway, let’s get into the interview
Thanks for joining me, Rrrenbo. Tell me a little bit about your book. Let’s focus on your characters. Who are they? What are they doing in your novel?
It’s called Dragonfae. It’s a medieval/epic fantasy/drama about a group of people who try to overthrow an autocratic empiric governing system that has already been responsible for thousands of deaths, with millions more if it’s not stopped.
I have 15 characters that I consider to be vital to the plot; Jazpah Nach, Rhaen Barc, Neen-Ah Cullen, Heresee Tonkin, Vae, Kelan W’Yne, Ro-Bain W’Yne, Goulde, Kehl Hi, Kana-Vieve Tonkin, Valminy W’Yne, Agatha del Sordas, Sactus, Fea-Be W’Yne, and Paragon W’Yne. Without them, the story would feel incomplete.
Jazpah is the main protagonist of the story (also the POV character) and he turns out to be the unlikely hero that everybody was hoping for. Rhaen, Neen-Ah, and Heresee are all deuteragonists and help Jazpah along the way - also, Rhaen is Jazpah’s love interest, Neen-Ah is the one with all the baggage, and Heresee plays the mentor role. Vae, Kelan, Ro-Bain, Gould, and Kehl Hi are all supporting characters that present for most of the story.
Kana-Vieve is the main antagonist and she’s the Empress of the aforementioned autocratic, empiric system. Valminy, Sanctus, and Paragon are secondary antagonists. Finally, Fea-Be and Agatha del Sordas both have limited page time, but are still pivotal to the plot.
Neen-Ah used to be married to Valminy, and Paragon, Ro-Bain, and Kelan are their children. But Neen-Ah had a love affair with Heresee during her marriage to Valminy, and they had a child of their own. Fea-Be is Valminy’s mother, Jazpah and Kehl Hi are brothers, and Heresee and Kana-Vieve are cousins.
What and who inspired you to write this book?
My primary reason for writing this book is because of a sub-plot in one of my other books, Ghost of a Chance. I became so in love with that subplot and all the drama, history, and exposition that I decided to develop it into its own book. My book series (called Tonkin Trilogy and Novellas) consists of a central trilogy with 5 novellas, and Dragonfae is one of the novellas - a prequel novella to be specific.
As for the writing style, I took inspiration from the Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. In that it’s clear who the protagonist is, but it can sometimes slip between first- and second-person narration from time to time. Jazpah sometimes feels like an observer in his own story.
And for mood and tone, I took inspiration from a Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin and Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.
My favourite authors are Colleen Houck, Jenna Moreci, Liane Moriarty, George RR Martin, and Margaret Atwood. While Dragonfae doesn’t include inspiration from all of these authors, some of my other books do.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I am a full-time student and I don’t have a job. So, I have a schedule: 8am - 2pm I do school work, 2pm - 3pm I have a break, 3pm - 5pm I do something writing-related, whether it be writing, editing, research, etc. Then from 5pm - 7pm I do exercise, then from 7pm - 9pm again I do writing-related things. I do fit eating and showering (obviously) etc. in there, but I have a good routine going, so I spread my energy out evenly so as not to tire myself out.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I’m reading a novel or watching a movie or something, I find myself dissecting every single little detail trying to find the seams between one thing and other, if that makes any sense? Like, I try to find the reasons why the author decided to some specific thing the way they did. It helps me write more seamless transitions and connections, that I do prize myself on.
Also (it’s not really a quirk, per se) I do write very impactful deaths. I am evil so I can say this: I absolutely LOVE writing death scenes. I do, however, only write deaths that are relevant to either the plot or character development or preferably both. I’ve gotten feedback from a reader who said I made her cry when one of the characters was killed. (This is going make me sound like an overall trash human being, but that made me happy). I know that she’s only one reader, but even just that one thing from her boosted my confidence a little bit. And all writers can do with a confidence boost.
Why is it important to support indie authors?
There’s this very inaccurate and unfair stereotype going around about indie authors, in that people self-publish because their book “is not good enough” to be traditionally published. I disagree 100%. That’s like saying dogs are sent to the SPCA because nobody bought them from the pet shop. That’s not true; dogs are sent to the SPCA so that they don’t die alone on the streets. They’re still animals, regardless of where you got them from. Just like how indie authors self-publish to keep their dream alive. The likes of Stephen King and Dr Seuss were indie authors, and nobody is denying the success of their careers.
Like I said earlier, every writer can use a confidence boost. If everybody who fails to sign with a publishing house just gives up, where would the writing community be, you know? It’s important to support indie authors to show the world that a book is a book, a story is a story, a writer is a writer, no matter how, what, where, when, etc.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a newbie writer, what would it be?
Cut yourself some slack. Setting yourself a goal to write 10 000 words a day while having a full-time job and a hundred-and-seven kids to raise isn’t realistic. Set your goals (and yes, you should have goals) based on your schedule, self-knowledge, and capabilities. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you missed your goal. Use it as a learning curb and try again. It took JK Rowling seven years to get an agent, and look how successful she is.
When did you write your first book/story and how old were you?
I think I was about seven or eight. I don’t think that really counts, but I called it a children’s book. I had no desire to get it published at that age, but it was featured in a couple of newspapers and magazines, and it won a competition.
As for a full-length novel, Dragonfae is the first one that I finished. Even though it’s a novella, I decided to write it first because I wanted to get the medieval English writing style out of the way. That being said, I still loved writing it. It took me just less that a year to write and self-edit, and I finished the penultimate draft on the manuscript on the third of April 2020. I’m currently in the beta reading phase, and I’ve made available on Wattpad to read for free during this Coronavirus pandemic.
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
This is very unoriginal, but my favourite part of the writing process is actually writing the manuscript. I would put beta-reading as a close second, because I love to receive feedback, constructive criticism, and reader theories and predictions. But actually, putting the pen to paper - so to speak - is just exciting to me. I get to take the entire universe I’ve created in my outline and actually bring it to life, with the only limits being my imagination.
Paint us a picture of your writing desk/area. What does it look like?
Haha, literally just my bed. Although I always have a cup of strong-ass coffee with me, because I would die without coffee. Also, I have a cat that always comes to lay on top of my arms while I’m writing. So when I chase him off he decides to walk on my laptop. So once that cat-astrophe (I’m so sorry for that pun) is dealt with, I just go to town with it.
Do you have any shout outs to any fellow writers or writing groups?
I would like to give a shoutout to MJ Henwood, author of the Blood Saga, which is also available for free on Wattpad.
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Have a great day,