Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Author Interview: V.K. McAllister

We are very excited to share with you guys our very first author interview! We're still working out some minor kinks with the whole process, but we're getting there. Rick read and reviewed this book, so you can go check out his review here. I'll include all the other links at the end!

A little bit about the authors: We're a husband/wife duo with a unique approach to writing. We work simultaneously and in secret before combining what we come up with, resulting in dramatic and unexpected twists! Crazy? Yes, yes it is.

  1. What should we call you?
V. K. is our pen name, but I’m Andrew and my wife is Sasha.

  1. How many books have you written? What are the titles of your favorite three? *assuming you’ve written three*
1.5 good ones :) Inevitable ascension and its still in-progress sequel!

  1. Where are you from?
Salt Lake City

  1. When did you start writing?
Off and on my whole life, but I really started dedicating my life to it at the start of 2014.

  1. What/who is your biggest motivator?
I'm kind of a sucker for beef jerky. But who isn't? Probably vegetarians I guess. I don't understand how those guys even get out of bed in the morning.

  1. What inspires you?
I think anyone who endures rush-hour traffic on a daily basis gets some level of inspiration to set the world on fire, right?

  1. Do you have any pets (children included)? If so, what are their names?
We are about to get two puppies named Venom and Dr. Fluffycakes.

  1. What’s your favorite genre to read? Write?
Witty sci-fi adventure and witty sci-fi adventure.

  1. What’s your favorite line from a movie?
You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means. -The Princess Bride

  1. What’s the secret to juggling real life and writing?
I've slaved away doing finance, data analytics, real estate, and living a thrifty lifestyle to lay a solid foundation of security so that, when the time is right, I can quit and spend my days writing and doing the art for the Inevitable Ascension series without worrying about life.  :)

  1. What do you tend to snack on when you’re writing?
It's tough to beat a refreshing glass of peach-mango juice.

  1. What three words would those closest to you use to describe you?
Odd, brilliant and... tall?

  1. When you walk into a bookstore, where is the first place that you go?
Ah, a trick question. Probably over those floor mats by the entrance, no?

  1. What is the most difficult part of being an author?
Marketing. Without a doubt. I love the writing parts, the digital art parts, but getting people to realize your story is worth looking at is a tricky task.

  1. Besides being an author, what would your dream job be?
I think it would be fun to pilot a blimp.  I know, I know, I dream big.

  1. What’s the funniest/oddest thing you’ve been asked in an interview?
Someone once asked me how many times per week on average I hurt myself trying to dance in the shower. Answer? Zero. I am creature of grace.

  1. When you have time to sit down and enjoy someone else's work, what do you find yourself reading?
Does my wife's stuff count? I mean I know she's my co-author, but she's pretty fantastic.

  1. If you could be anyone, who would you be? Why?
Probably God? I mean duh. The idea of living forever in unending happiness sounds pretty neat. Also, the ability to basically have every imaginable superpower would no doubt be fun.

  1. If you could look back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Invest in Google, buddy. It's gonna be big.

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people don't finish their fries. Those things are tasty! Don't throw them away!

  1. What do you do during your free time (when you’re not writing)?
My wife and I like to play video games together. Let's see, League of Legends, Path of Exile and Starcraft are a few of the big ones. Also cooking. I make a mean spinach puff.

  1. Assuming you enjoy starbucks, what do you usually order? (if you don’t enjoy starbucks, how do you take your coffee/tea?)
Lemon cake and hot chocolate. Have you had their lemon cake?     
It's a delight.

  1. What is something your readers would be surprised to know about you?/What’s something you want your readers to know about you?
My wife and I co-author our books. We each write the same section in secret, then combine the best of both pieces. It makes for some pretty crazy unexpected plot twists.

  1. How did you choose the title “Inevitable Ascension”? Were there any doubts?
The original toss up was between calling it “Inevitable” or “Ascension”, but why
compromise when you can have both? The book is a giant puzzle, and while there
are subtle clues constantly strolling by the reader’s face as to what the Ascension
is and why it’s inevitable, it isn’t until the final chapter that all the pieces fall into
place and explode your mind.

  1. Did anything you really wanted to get included get cut out during editing? If so, what?
We had a joke in there about a radioactive cat having X amount of half-lives, but it took about a page of setting up for a mildly amusing payoff that had nothing to do with the story. Solution?  All the cats are dead.

  1. Are Violina and Lux based off of anyone in your life? If so, would you care to share who?

1459893001338.pngThey are actually two distinct halves of my wife Sasha’s personality. Violina, the go-getter, deep-thinking warrior type, and Lux, the adorable, hilarious, lovable type.

  1. You said Inevitable Ascension was written as a husband and wife duo. What’s the story behind the name “V.K. McAllister”?
My wife and I have had alter egos for several years now, the idea being that once we achieve becoming our best selves, we might permanently adopt the names. Hers? Violina.  Mine? Kza. Thus V. K.. We have a long ways yet to go before we are cool enough to pull those off though, but one day!

  1. I (Rick), feel as though this book/series needs to be an anime series, because that’s how I pictured the characters and setting….Have you ever thought about looking into getting Inevitable Ascension made into a motion picture of any kind?
A high-budget Inevitable Ascension movie is the life-long dream.  We’re planning on pouring many, many years into this series with the hope of it becoming a massive box-office hit. Today, a book, tomorrow, the world!

  1. About how long did it take you to write Inevitable Ascension (not including editing)?
Phew, we got the first draft done in about a year, and then spent another year rewriting a dozen times and polishing

  1. Where were you/what were you doing when the idea for Inevitable Ascension came to you?
So it’s not much of a secret that we’re a bit on the nerdy side. One fateful date-night, we were playing Dungeons and Dragons, and the way we play is without manuals or pre-made stories or anything.  I just make up the story from my imagination and my wife gets to experience it on an adventure. Well, by the end of it, we realized we had a story so fresh and original that (in our ever-so-humble opinion) surpassed the popular books/movies at the time—equal parts clever, hilarious and terrifying. From that day forward, we’ve been writing.

  1. I (Rick) had a very hard time picturing Inevitable Ascension on the planet Earth….did it take place on Earth, or a parallel dimension similar to Earth?
It’s basically its own little world, E.D.E.N., with one main city called Eden.

  1. Do either of you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
My wife’s favorite is Lux because she is just so freaking funny. Mine is probably Vexia for reasons I can’t say lest I spoil the story!   

  1. Would you/have you considered including illustrations for the vehicles and weapons described in the book?
    It’s tempting. The question is how good are my art skills compared to the reader’s imagination?

  1. Which character was easiest for you to create?
They all had their unique challenges, but Kza probably came most naturally to me.

  1. When can we expect book two?
It’s got quite a ways to go still, but I’m going to be quitting my job soon to work on it full-time.  I expect it to go much faster than the two years we spent on the first one since that was largely done on the side.

  1. What’s next? Can you give us just a smidge of insight into the next book?
Without getting too spoilerish, here’s a little clue. Readers may recall that a certain someone was left behind and pretty much forgotten about in the chapter “Rising Back Ten Thousand Fold”. The coming result? Absolute mayhem.

1459893292196.jpgNow here’s a little story about Lux. She’s a girl who just LOVES animals—especially steak, bacon and to a lesser extent, chicken. She’s also quite fond of their living counterparts  and kept many pets… until they burned her house down. The only survivor? A fish named Fish.

Lux loves Fish more than most people, meaning both that she loves Fish more than others love Fish, and that she loves Fish more than she loves most people.

  1. Do you have an ideas as to how many books you’re making the series? Is two it?
Because of the way the world is set up, the potential is there for an infinite number of books. That said, we for sure want to do at least 3, and if readers love our stories as much as we do, we will keep writing ‘til the day we die.

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