Below is my interview with Will Van Stone Jr. I’m a fan of his and I hope that by the time you finish reading this and visiting his sites and enjoying his work, you’ll be one too. I think that next interview session with Will I would like to do a video chat interview or somesuch. I felt so detached just sending him the questions I had for him and then reading his replies. I think the interview would feel more natural if it was a real time interaction. All in all, I’m proud of how it turned out and I hope to bring you more interviews and articles by intriguing people.
BP: Where are you from?
WVSj: Bridgeport, CT. Currently residing in Milford, CT.
BP: When and why did you begin writing? Not only when did you begin, but what was the spark that made you decide to write?
WVSj: I’ve always loved stories; reading them, telling them. Probably why I lie so well. But it wasn’t till seventh grade that I actually sat down and put pen to paper. We had an assignment where we had to write a hero story. Because I’ve always been a fan of sci-fi, I of course did mine on an alien searching for a worthy competitor and, because psycho aliens do bad things, it kidnaps some poor guy’s wife and he and his siblings set out to save her. My teacher loved it. While I was writing it, I didn’t really see it as anything special; just some humans kicking ET ass. She saw something else and was really the first person to push me to keep writing. Turns out, she might’ve been onto something.
BP: Do you write to deliver a message, or to share a story?
WVSj: Fuck messages. One thing I had about writing is some so-called “expert” reading into a story and pointing out hidden meanings or something the writer was trying to say. Sometimes, a story is just a story. If there’s any kind of message squirreled anywhere between the torture porn and dirty porn, I am totally unaware.
BP: Do you write based on experiences you’ve had or heard from others?
WVSj: In every character I create, there’s a piece of me somewhere deep down in the bowels of their (sometimes black, empty) souls. While what they’ve been through may not mirror my own experiences, the way they react to the people and happenings around them is based on how I’ve reacted to similar (if only in the vaguest meaning of the word) circumstances. Now storylines are a different breed. There are things the characters go through and do that I have been party to. Don’t try asking what they are; my lips are sealed.
The Black Book column, on the other hand, is completely real life craziness. Each character is some I know and the shit (and orifices) they get themselves into cannot be made up.
BP: Who is your favorite known author?
WVSj: This one’s hard. The perennial favorite is Anne Rice. Ever since “The Mummy: Or Ramses the Damned” I’ve been a huge fan. I’ve devoured her Vampire Chronicles (The Queen of the Damned is her best book ever) multiple times, spend all-nighters with her Christ the Lord books and poured over The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. A close second is a tie between Laurell K Hamilton (Merry Gentry is a great naughty series but my favorite Hamilton novel is Bloody Bone) and Dean Koontz.
BP: Also, I’d like to know – Who is your favorite author that you’ve met via the internet that you would like to share with other people?
WVSj: Okay, so back when I first got a Twitter account, I had no clue what the fuck I was doing. I’d go on, tweet, retweet, respond to tweets… the usual bullshit. And one day I responded to something someone I’d never met said. And from that came a series of cool, fun, interesting conversations. Y’know, like the kind you’d have at a bar with a stranger. Well, one day I notice he’s hawking his goods and one of them is called “Simple Simon” and I’m looking going “I know that title…” but for the life of me couldn’t figure out from where. Later, I see another Titter-tisement for “Simple Simon” but this time he includes “the novel that became Mercury Rising.” Are you shitting me? Did I really just have stupid talk with a bonafide celeb? This guy’s done what I’m trying to pull off and here he was, being so… normal! Awesome fucking experience tight there. He even ‘liked’ my fanpage. Does it get any more awesomer??
BP: What are you reading right now?
WVSj: I just finished a book; Frankenstien: The Dead Town by Dean Koontz. Sadly, the end of the series. I’m also still reading Incubus Dreams by Laurell K Hamilton and I’ve just begun George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones.
BP: If you could make revisions to your most currently released piece of work – what would they be? why?
WVSj: So far, I only have the one book released into the wild, The Three. And the only change I could think of making is another round of editing (I obsess because I suck at fixing all the mistakes and never fully believe that anyone else has caught them all). The book came out the way I’d envisioned from the start. Everything I wanted in there is in, the story flows nice and quick and the set up for a sequel is in place.
BP: What is the hardest part of writing a story for you?
WVSj: The first page. Hell, the first sentence. It’s always a bitch and a half getting the perfect opening written. Once that’s in place, it’s all just a matter of keeping the momentum going, though sometimes that runs like it’s ass is on fire.
I remember the opening scene for Crescent Point. It was just Elijah waking up and looking in the mirror. Simple enough, right? Hell no. Five different versions of that shit existed before I finally had the opening I liked Same with Hollywood Harem and The Three and everything else I’ve ever written.
BP: What do you do when you find yourself feeling blocked or challenged to come up with material?
WVSj: Video games. Seriously. Stop laughing.
Me and my “Awakenings: The Wrath Saga” co-author, S I Hayes, have been playing the WWE Smackdown Vs Raw games since 2006. Now, these games, besides being fun for WWE fans, have this awesome Create-A-Superstar mode where you can build your own wrestler. And we put our own characters from our various stories in there. So besides drawings of my babies, I also have 3D moving versions of them on my Xbox 360 that I can look at, edit and use anytime I want. So sometimes, when I’m feeling blocked, challenged or just pissed the fuck off that my brain is not working with me, I’ll pop in the game (currently WWE12) and see where the visual aids take me.
Other times, cause if I get blocked it tends to be late at night, I’ll turn on my happytime music (The Queen of the Damned soundtrack) and invite dreams of new scenes. And normally that works. Sometimes though, there is no way to break through the wall and I just walk away fro a bit and latch on to some other project fighting to get out of me head.
BP: Do you feel like you’ve learned anything from your writing, and if so, what?
WVSj: People are dirty and love hearing about the naughty shit others do. Which is great for me! Also, that some people who claim to be professional are really not. There was this one person who left a comment on “…And the Walls Closed In” (Crescent Point) pointed out, quite publicly, that there was a grammar error. While I take no issue with a reader letting me know they noticed an oops (I am a writer. That means my spelling is atrocious and my grammar scares small children), by leaving that comment there (maybe to prove her superior editing skills?) I found one editing service I will never use. So I guess, in the end, it was a good thing.
BP: Any advice for other writers who are trying to self-promote?
WVSj: It’s a special kind of hell. Not save the Children enough? I know, but it’s the truth. Indie publishing and self-promoting (ie whoring oneself) is akin to strapping the rock of Gibraltar to your back and trudging up the Great Pyramid without a buddy. There is no easy way to go about and there’s a good chance you’ll have those days where you want to smash something soft and squishy against a cold, hard surface. Fuck those days. It sucks harder than Paris Hilton at the Grammys, but since when is the worthwhile shit easy? Get out there, flash your shit like you’re Sharon Stone and never take no for an answer. Do shit your way, not how the so-called “professionals” say you should.
BP: Give us the dish on what you’re working on now, your most currently released piece, and what we have to look forward to from you.
WVSj: The sequel to the un-mega selling The Three: A Death Dealer Novel is still in the early planning stages, so those handful of rabid fans will have to wait a bit longer to see what happens next with Dylan and Cody and the rest of The Order of Three. My current labor of love/hate is “Le Fey”, my fractured, fucked up retelling of Avalon, Camelot and the families that live and die there. While the names have been retained, many of the characters have been tweaked, altered and (in a few cases) completely revamped. Nothing and no one is safe. I’m actually hoping to piss off a few Arthurian purists and diehards; I think I’ve made nervous, but she’s a friend so if she is scared and/or pissed as shit, its not like she’d say. Fingers crossed. And yes, there is a lot of sex and violence, drama and politics crammed in there. Look for it by Spring of this year.
There is also more “Hollywood Harem” on the way as well. Kalen, Delilah, Tyler, Crystal, Lucky and Braden are all in for some major life-altering insanity. I don’t want to give too much away but just for you, I’ll let you in on a few vague tidbits: before the first season ends, we’ll have a wedding, a murder, a rape. Appetite whetted? And of course, Crescent Point returns this spring. And along with the cast from season one, a few new faces will be popping up to cause trouble and fuck like pornstars.
One more thing worth mentioning… “Awakenings: The Wrath Saga” is damn near completion (after a horrible, blood-freezing scare where it was almost lost – again). If all goes well, it should be out no later than summer this year and you can all meet the clusterfuck that is Clan Wrath.
Will Van Stone Jr – The Official Site http://www.willvanstonejr.com/
Facebook Fanpage – http://www.facebook.com/willvanstonejr
The Three: A Death Dealer Novel – http://amzn.to/gxQaIt
Thank You Will!