Interview with Ray East co-author of Voluspa

This week I would like to welcome Ray East the co-author of Voluspa a young adult Fantasy/Romance for age group 10 and up.

What is Voluspa about?

This is a story of two star crossed lovers, set against a magical backdrop of an enchanted land. Amy has a hard childhood, feeling unwanted and unloved whereas Drake’s childhood is shadowed by impossibly high expectations imposed on him by his father. However, the world of Voluspa in not a Utopic one; like most known civilizations, it has its own problems. One of the questions that this book subtly puts forward is whether individual freedom is sacrosanct or should it take a backseat when it comes to greater good of the land and people. Circumstances force both Amy and Drake to do certain things which one could consider a touch shy of evil. But at no time does their love for each other diminish and whatever they do is born out of a need to protect or help the other.

What have you learned as a writer?

Realizing that writing a book is only 10% of what makes a successful book. Getting the book out to readers is the real challenge. But with the rise of Social Media, there are more tools available to anyone than there was 5 years ago.

How hard is it to work with another person?

I am a somewhat disciplined author but I don’t do great at sticking to deadlines. But my co-author Sam D has no such problem and we balance each other out.

How do you split up the work?

I am more of a romance writer. Sam D. is a martial arts enthusiast and most of the hand to hand combat scenes have been written from his own experience as an amateur Tai Kwan Do performer.

What was some of your inspiration/sources?

Personally, I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre. And when I decided to write, I subconsciously chose this genre. I wanted to create this magical world which would be fundamentally similar to ours but yet so exotically different that it will capture the fancy of the readers. I also wanted to showcase the character of Amy as a constantly growing, learning, strong individual – a very ordinary girl who chooses an extraordinary life.

What are you reading right now?

Tiger’s Destiny by Coulleen Houck.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Jane Austen, C S Lewis, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton, Virginia Wolf, The Bronte sisters, J K Rowling, Rohinton Mistry

How much reading do you do within your chosen genre of fantasy?

I love reading books of this genre. Also, imaginative literature has limitless possibilities and it’s extremely satisfying to build a fantasy world from scratch. It’s a great escape from the humdrum of everyday life. But, I read any book that appeals to me. From children’s books to philosophical treatises, I simply read them with pleasure. Life is short. Why do I want to limit my reading enjoyment?

What is your next project?

I am working on the second book in the Voluspa series. The story of Amy and Drake continues. The second book in the series should be out in November 2012.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write a good book; put your best work out there. Identify your target audience, find ways to engage them and market your book intelligently.

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