My guest today is fantasy author Vanessa Finaughty, whose books come alive with magical new beings, intense characters and high adventure. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’. Her passion for the written word started her career as an editor and copywriter, and she part-ran a writers’ critique group for close on seven years. She’s been writing ever since she learnt how, has always been an avid reader, and currently lives on coffee and cigarettes. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.
EEG: Welcome to Chimeras, Vanessa! Tell us a bit about yourself and your background as a writer.
VF: As soon as I learnt how to read, I wanted to write. I think it was somewhere between ten to fifteen years ago that I finally put pen to paper, so to speak, and started writing my first book. The first few books I started were eventually left to gather dust (I don't remember getting more than a few pages into each) - it seemed so daunting to write a whole novel! Eventually, I decided to 'just write the story' and if it turned out to be a novel, great, but, if not, I would be happy with having written a short story (this is how most of my short story collections came about). Today, I don't really know why I found it so daunting a thought - it seems easy now, but that's probably because doing anything regularly for years makes that thing easy after a while. I've never studied writing or publishing - at least, not formally. When I started out - and even sometimes now - I Google anything I'm unsure of or haven't had experience with yet. So far, so good!
EEG: What's the premise of your Wizard of Ends and how did you get the idea for this series?
VF: The plot in Wizard of Ends, Book 1 revolves around the sorceress Assassa trying to claim rulership over the Kingdom of Ends. When the king refuses to give in to her intimidation, she conjures magical creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and kill her. The wizard, Lashlor Leaflin, is unwittingly caught up in the conflict and subsequently offers to help protect the queen. Overall, the series deals with Lashlor's unwillingness to use magic - at almost any cost.
Lashlor's character popped into my head one day - a wizard who refuses to use magic to the point where most people think he isn't really a wizard - and I started writing. The story pretty much wrote itself from the start, so I'm not sure I could say it was my idea - more like Lashlor's idea.
EEG: Do you listen to music while you write?
VF: I prefer silence when writing. Sadly, our neighbourhood (and home!) is a noisy one, so I do listen to music quite often, because music is less distracting than yakking dogs and other 'nuisance noises'.
EEG: What are you currently working on?
VF: I'm quite far (almost a third of the way) into writing Wizard of Ends, Book 3: Mountains of Eclador, and plan to finish writing that before I continue with the next book in my other series, Legends of Origin.
EEG: I can't wait to read it! Best of luck with your books and thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.
To find out more about Vanessa and her books you can visit her website, blog, her Facebook fan page . You can also follow her on Twitter and Goodreads. The first book in the Wizard of Ends series can be downloaded for free from the following sites:
Barnes & Noble