Interview with R.J. Vickers

What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Name of the Wind--the language is gorgeous, and the story rich
2. Seraphina--I really related to the protagonist!
3. Ella Enchanted--a book I read over and over and over when I was growing up
4. Harry Potter--how could I leave this off? Fantastic characters and a world I always wanted to inhabit.
5. The Lies of Locke Lamora--such a beautifully-developed world, and a lovable rogue as the main character
Describe your desk
I love spreading useful papers all over my desk, along with as many pens and pencils as I need (because most of them are lost under the papers). I have to-do lists, outlines, mind maps, brainstorms, marketing plans... Oh, and don't forget the hot drink! Anything Celestial Seasonings (tea) goes, plus coffee if it's the right time of day.
When did you first start writing?
My first story was a gem from second grade. I called it "Shadow's Enchanted Journey," after my cat Shadow, and it's about a cat who falls into an ice cave and meets a baby dragon. The story was terrible, but I loved writing (and especially writing fantasy) ever since.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the mountainside town of Boulder, Colorado, where I was always hiking and biking and canoeing and exploring. This love of nature has influenced most of my writing; I love writing books where the landscape plays a large role in either the mood or the plot of a story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love that feeling when you completely get lost in a story. It doesn't always happen, but sometimes when I'm writing in a cafe, I'll look up after 30 minutes or so and have to blink a few times as I leave the story world behind. I love writing for those moments, and also for the depth that comes with knowing a story and a plot backwards and forwards.

Hearing that my readers enjoyed my latest book is always a joy, but even without readers, I wouldn't be able to stop writing!
What are you working on next?
Several projects. First, I'm working on the third book in the Natural Order series, titled Rogue Magic.

Second, I'm in the process of revising two novels set in a new fantasy realm, both of which should be released in the next two years.

And finally, I'm revising a middle grade fairy-tale-esque fantasy for publication later this year.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm always busy! I love crocheting, photography, reading, cooking, and hiking. My husband and I just finished hiking a 1,000-km track that ran the length of New Zealand's North Island...and I wrote 35,000 words while on the track! I love combining hobbies and trying new hobbies; I'm never bored.
What is your writing process?
I usually don't outline too much before I start; I tried that with Beauty's Songbook (my middle grade fairy tale), and found that while the book turned out well, it sapped most of the joy from the writing process.

Instead, I jump right in with a fragment of an idea. Usually I have the characters and the general direction of the plot figured out before I start, though I always panic when I have to come up with names.

Then, about 10 pages in, I realize I've run out of my entire plot. That's when I go through a frantic period of brainstorming and outlining to give me a bit more direction. I never follow the outline rigorously, but it's always reassuring to know it's there.
What do you read for pleasure?
Usually fantasy and historic fiction, though I also love reading food policy books (think The Omnivore's Dilemma) and current issue books (like Collapse, by Jared Diamond).
Published 2016-01-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Fall of Lostport
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 144,630. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Lostport is a backwater kingdom thrust into the spotlight when wealth is discovered on its shores. The king's daughter cannot inherit the throne—but she alone can keep her homeland out of the High King's grasp.
The Natural Order
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 86,980. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
15-year-old Tristan Fairholm trades a stint at Juvie for a place at a school of magic. But the lines between good and evil soon blur. Who is the true enemy?
The Last Day of Freedom
Price: Free! Words: 13,530. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
Tristan Fairholm is an ordinary teenager who would give his own heart to save his brother. Suddenly his life is turned upside down when an earthquake hits his sleepy town of Valley City, North Dakota. He panics, and makes a fatal decision that lands him in court. But no one else felt the earthquake. Is he lying? Or are darker forces at play?