I’m hosting an interview today for the book tour for urban fantasy “Spring Blessings”. I’ll leave the word to autthor S.C. Houff now. Enjoy the guest post.
I’ve lived with a bit of a fear since I but this novel out on paper. If you told me at the start of this journey that I would be sitting at my lap top drinking an ice cold diet soda on a late summer afternoon working out a post that had to do with a novel that I wrote I think I would have cried. This path has been very overwhelming in the best of ways. So I am very grateful to be sitting on the point where I can take a breath and relax and finally reflect.
The question that I am constantly asked when doing panels or book signings is “when did you start writing?”. You can tell people that you were telling stories when you were three-years-old and playing make believe. I think my mother knew that I would do something with storytelling when I had convinced everyone at her favorite hair salon (every Southern woman has one) that I lived out in a hollow (or as we call them in the mountains a “haller”) in a double wide with Donald (Duck. Not mentioned at the time of this story) despite knowing my mother didn’t know anyone named Donald apart from the cartoon character and lived in a three bedroom house in the downtown in our small town. Sure I did the amount of writing that every school child does and thought no more of it. My desire to tell stories is a product of the nineties and the dawn of the internet age. I became a writer because I became a fan fiction writer.
No, no, don’t leave me yet. I know that seems like a terrible thing but hear me out. When I was eleven, I was allowed to watch TV at night. I was no longer told to go to bed at 8:30 and a whole world of primetime opened up. The damaged had been done years before by a brother who was an avid Star Wars fan and cousins who were fond of the kid friendly fantasy movies of the eighties (you know which ones) along with my obsessive reading habits as a child. So naturally I gravitated towards science fiction and fantasy programs and I was not sated. By the middle of high school, my addiction had become intolerable. I became a fan fiction writer.
I bring this up because it’s a constant issue for those of who are fans of the genres we write for. George R.R. Martin and Orson Scott Card both advocate against fan fiction writing as a starting point. J.K. Rowling, who has always been an appreciative of her fans, has also taking strives against fan fiction writers. While that’s based on content and some unsavory notions of what her characters could or could not be doing. The most odious is that of Fifty Shades of Grey which started out as a Twilight Fan fiction. These things can be hard to swallow for a young writer starting out. I think we can get so caught up on these story of things to understand that there is a benefit to writing fan fiction. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m someone who needs a pattern to work from. If you give me a road map I might be able to follow the instructions a little bit better. I think the benefit of writing fan fiction is like reading obsessively as a writer. It gives you a chance figure what you like and what you don’t. I found that early on what I thought were the pit falls of writing and what were too good to be used. Like many things I think using someone else’s characters and ideas can be a learning experience. It was slightly infuriating to me when a person asked me at a Con recently who my primary character was based on. I didn’t say it at the time but that’s extremely biting to me since I had thought of my work as, well, original. Asher, the hero of Spring Blessings, is based on the best parts of my husband, father and older brothers as well as my own personal pieces. But it the more I thought about that question the more I realized that there is also Luke Skywalker, Spike Speigel and Richard Decker. But that’s sort of a tight rope. Like the training wheels on a bicycle one will have to learn how to write without the help of your fan fiction. Mine came when a friend of mine wanted to market my early work as something. That plan fell through but it left me with a decision to make. Could I spend the rest of my days writing fan fiction? Sure but did I want to? Well, yes. It’s something everyone must make as a choice. Are we brave enough to leave what made us comfortable and create something new? Many of us are. Others? Not so much. But don’t be ashamed of your fan fiction. It worked wonders for Virgil.
About the Book
Author: S.C. Houff
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Asher Stone didn’t want to be a hero. After spending two years recovering from an isolating drug habit, his life was getting on track. He had a girlfriend who he loved very much. He was holding down a job and had a repaired relationship with his mother. One day, Asher was attacked by a manticore that escaped the clutches an order of magi and his world gets turned upside down. Now, Asher is dealing with old temptations and new problems and a destiny that he has to embrace or the fate of the world will crash down on him. The only thing Asher can hope is that Blessings and Hope do spring eternal in this first book in a series.
S.C. Houff was born in the backwoods of Southwestern Virginia to a small town lawyer and a recovering radical. She has been a telemarketer, a part-time educator and occasional bodyguard but now is working on writing. She has started working on her very first novel which is fun for everyone. When she is not writing she’s perusing her other love which is history. She also is an avid fan all things nerdy and fun.
While she’s not received any accolades for her writing, S.C. Houff is a two time Geography B champion.
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