Monday, October 1, 2012

Interview with Rashaad Bell

Well it has been a long old month of author interviews and guest blogging.  We have seen almost twenty authors sharing with us their thoughts on what it is to be a writer and what journey they took to get there.  Today we are meeting our final author, Rashaad Bell.  He will also be joining us tomorrow for a special guest post that I really think sums up our month of indie authors perfectly.  Here is Rashaad, in his own words.

My name is Rashaad Bell. I'm a former United States Marine and old school comic book nerd. I love movies and video games. More importantly, I'm just a guy with a story to tell. Check it out, it might be kinda awesome.

Tell me a little bit about your latest book?

Fledgling is my most current novel. It continues the tale of Madison Amber Rose and deals with the ramifications of what happened in Oakland, California in the previous book. The Translucent Man is still hot on her heels and his acolytes, the Marauders are still tracking her every step. The Prophecy concerning the Boxes of Pandora has yet to come to pass and a new enemy, the United States Government, has entered into the equation. They have now labeled her dark haired savior, the Vampire Connor, a terrorist and are attempting secure his location.

How did you come up with the title?

I chose the tittle Fledgling because not only Madison, but a number of her associates go through a transformation of some sort and are inexperienced in their new found abilities. It doesn't mean that everyone becomes a Vampire however. There are other things that go bump in the night that you can transform into.

When and why did you begin writing?

After reading The Lord of the Rings in middle school, I knew that one day, I wanted to write. Of course back then, it was this big, sword and fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons epic, but I've dialed it back in scope somewhat. Not that I don't still have plans to do something like that, I've got a nice little idea on how to work that in the current storyline I have going.

Do you write in the same genre you like to read?

Sure I do. I read lots of comics and I love Anne Rice. So I've got a nice blend of both. Just because Vampires are involved, doesn't make it a Vampire story. It's just a story that happens to have Vampires in them. There is also the looming return of the Gods of old popping back up, genetically engineered government agents, humans being illegally modified to gain Post Human abilities, not to mention a dash of time travel and alternate dimensions thrown in. Don't ask me what genre this would fall in cause I have no idea. The kick ass genre maybe?

Do you plan your work or just go with it and start with the initial idea?

Well I plan out the big action set pieces. If somebody is going to die, I plan that out as well. The overall plot is there in my head, so I know where it's going, but the other stuff, I don't plan ahead for. I sit down and write and the characters create their own voice. Maybe that villain, isn't really a villain at all. After hearing his voice come alive on the page, maybe his doing something that my appear villainous, but there is something going on behind the scenes that he knows about that he's trying to stop, something evil, something horrible. On the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe that person who you thought was good, was that shady person lurking in the shadows all along.

How do you deal with writers block?

I walk the street like a beat cop. Put some music in my ears, take a walk and work it out.

What inspires you to write?  Where do you find your influences?

Grant Morrison, who writes for Action Comics is a big inspiration. He wrote All star Superman, which is considered the quintessential Superman story. Also Scott Synder who is working on Batman. Love that guy, Court of the Owls is just the best. Not to mention Anne Rice, who gave me my man crush on Lestat. If I can be even half the writer that they are, I would consider myself blessed.

What are your current projects?

Right now I'm working the book three of the Vampire Manifesto series and I'm also putting together the Temporal War storyline that's going to run through that and my new Agent 13 series that's under development.

How do you come up with your characters?

A good death scene. Nothing says a new character to me then how they are gonna die.

Are the names of your characters important?

Sometimes they are. If I can't come up with a really cool name, I'll end up using a place holder name in the book so I can keep writing. More often then not, the place holder name becomes their name because it's just been ingrained in the character for so long that I don't want to change it once the story is done.

Favourite/worst book to movie?

Well, does the Game of Thrones count? It's not a movie, but I think that's the best book to film that I've seen. If we are going for just straight up movie then The Lord of the Rings. As for the worst, I'm going to go with the Green Lantern movie. I watch that and think, out of all the Green Lantern stories you could have picked, this is what your running with?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just do you. Don't look for approval. Haters are always gonna hate. You have your dream, then stick to it. Take baby steps if need be, but don't let negativity dethrone your dream.

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