Interview With Author Vincent Fell
Great to chat to you Vincent and discuss about your new book, Bloodrock Ridge: Replacement Therapy in Kindle and paperback format. Before we delve into Bloodrock Ridge, what is your favorite read?
VF: My favorite book last year was Awakening Syn. This year, at least so far, my favorite is the nostalgia of The Horse and His Boy, the fifth installment in the Narnia series.
PeB: The Narnia Chronicles series is a classic and still as magical today. Can you share something fun or interesting about yourself to our readers?
VF: I live in Vegas, buy my heart stays in Utah. One of my favorite places there is Spring Canyon, a haunted canyon. It is so much my favorite place to be that it became featured in a new upcoming novella series, and the ghosts there made a cameo in one of the Bloodrock Ridge stories.
PeB: Certainly a great setting for a ghostly storyline, how did you start your writing career?
VF: I started writing in fourth grade, so a long time ago. I’ve been in and out ever since, writing across multiple genres. I’ve done short stories and novels, but the novellas of Bloodrock Ridge are my favorite, and are surprisingly challenging, because of the rules I have to follow there.
PeB: You mentioned Spring Canyon as the backdrop of your book, was this your main inspiration to write Bloodrock Ridge?
VF: Bloodrock Ridge is a place of many things happening all around, and bits and pieces of each novella cross into others in Bloodrock Ridge. The original inspiration for the series was that I was looking for a good horror series that didn’t focus too much on the gore, but tried to outthink the reader and deliver a surprising twist (or two!) before the shock ending. Bloodrock Ridge was born from my drive to deliver that to my readers.
Bloodrock Ridge- Replacement Therapy came to me first in the character of Karen. I knew that she had been wronged badly, and that she wanted revenge. The plot? I thought I had a good idea when I started writing it, but when I came to the end… it even shocked me, and I was the one writing it!
The inspiration for Bloodrock Ridge comes from my days and nights out chasing ghosts in old abandoned coal mining towns in back woods Utah, and in catching some of them on tape. Individual characters can often be influenced by songs, but ultimately the characters develop themselves and as the writer, I have to see how they emerge just as much as any of my readers. It’s really quite fascinating.
PeB: Interesting background on the inspiration and the character development journey, what three words describe Bloodrock Ridge?
VF: Thinking person’s horror.
PeB: Can you tell our readers more about the book?
VF: I have written this series of novellas so that you can read them in any order without messing anything up, but there are little perks of reading in order. For instance, each one ‘sees’ the next, which is to say, the characters in one novella will cross over the characters of the next one, and will witness a little snap shot of what is to come.
I also like to reward readers who pay attention to those little details, and take the series as a whole. Bloodrock Ridge- Replacement Therapy is the quintessential representation of attention to detail, surprise twists, and connections to the other novellas in the series. The more you read, the more you discover, and many of the stories, especially Replacement Therapy, offer rereadability!
Each title of the series (Replacement Therapy, Inherited Legends, etc.) has a special meaning, and often is a clue to the reader about what sorts of twists await. The titles are always chosen carefully.
PeB: What is the key message in the book?
VF: The key message of a horror story is often lost in the thrills, the scares, and in many cases, the gore. There is an underlying theme to each of my novellas in Bloodrock Ridge, and as readers experience more of the novellas, a larger theme begins to take shape. Being a horror series, good does not always win… one of the overall themes of Bloodrock Ridge is that reality is not always so easily dividable into ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and when dealing with humans, it is often one shade of gray versus another shade. I love exploring that theme in each of the novellas, and I really feel that it makes the characters that much more relatable.
I hope, when it’s all said and done, that readers have a good thrill from the stories that shape Bloodrock Ridge. More, though, I hope that I can get some minds working, some thoughts thinking, and I hope that I can equip all of my readers to deal with the Victors in their own lives.
PeB: You mentioned a character named Karen, is she your leading character, was the character inspired by a real person?
VF: Karen Culver was indirectly inspired by a character in a song, so perhaps you could say that she is the evolution of another fictional character. Who, exactly, was she loosely modeled after? The very first line on the back cover is an example of the numerous Easter eggs hidden in each novella. The line, if you change her name, is one of the lines from the chorus of the song that her character is based on.
PeB: Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover of the book.
VF: The cover of Bloodrock Ridge- Replacement Therapy needed to be right. Because a central piece in the narrative is the insane asylum, I spent a lot of time finding a picture of a real psychiatric hospital that had been shut down and is regarded as haunted. That hospital on the cover is actually a famous asylum. That little tidbit helped the cover out, I think, and is a little treat for the readers savvy enough to catch it.
PeB: What surprises or challenges did you overcome to complete the book?
VF: I’m more of a ‘natural’ writer than a ‘technical’ writer, meaning my stories will often change a bit as I write them, and I can’t have anything concrete in an outline. Replacement Therapy, however, surprised even me with how much it changed. The paperback version closes out at 43 pages, and I didn’t know how it was going to end until I hit about page 35. In fact, the way the ending changed on me was so shocking, that as soon as I finished writing it, I immediately had to read it! Those shock endings are my favorite.
In fact, I gave out the first 39 pages of the story to several of my avid advance readers and challenged them to predict the ending. Eighteen of the readers gave it a shot- not one of them got the ending.
PeB: What is the future for the characters?
VF: Bloodrock Ridge is a series of novellas, which is to say, really long short stories. Each novella is stand alone, and you could generally read them in any order without messing anything up too badly, although you would be missing out on how each one ‘sees’ the next. As such, there are no direct sequels… however, there is a flow of events in Bloodrock Ridge, and the individual stories do cross into other stories, and some characters appear in multiple novellas, or multiple ‘episodes’ of Bloodrock Ridge, if you will. So while there isn’t a direct sequel for the characters in Replacement Therapy, you can bet some of the characters will be seen again… even the ones who, uh, didn’t make it to the end of the story alive. Death is not the end in Bloodrock Ridge…
PeB: How many books will there be in the series?
VF: Bloodrock Ridge will be an ongoing series of novellas. I have the first 15 or 16 mapped out already, the first 5 are published with the sixth being released soon. In addition, there are other novella series that take place in the Bloodrock Ridge universe that run alongside or behind this series, including the upcoming Spring Gate series and Legends of Bloodrock Ridge. Due to the nature of Bloodrock Ridge, there never has to be an end of the series, which is one of my favorite parts of the series.
PeB: What advice would you give to a new writer, someone just starting out?
VF: First piece of advice is always- write! If you have a sweet idea for a novel, but you aren’t sure how a particular character should be developed, or perhaps you’re having some writer’s block on a plot point… step away from the novel itself and write a short story that takes place next to it. It really helps work things out, and you never know what might happen! You shape your characters and ideas in your head while driving, or standing in line, or during commercials if you watch TV.
But even as the writer who created the characters, you’ll find that no matter how much thought you put into them, you won’t really know them until you write them, and see how they develop on their own. Want to be a writer? Write!
PeB: Can your readers interact with you, which social media platforms are you on?
I should probably make an Instagram account at some point. I actually just picked up Twitter because a few of my fans suggested it, it’s new to me. And of course, there is www.bloodrockridge.com
I always love hearing from readers. Writing for me is a passion. I think it has to be for any writer. Perhaps the part I’m most passionate about is hearing from and interacting with my readers. I love seeing how I connect with people, and I love getting to see if I’ve had some effect on them.
Entertainment, provoking thought, providing an evening or two with some thrills and chills… I like hearing that I can acheive this for people. It’s what drives me.
Great to get to know you Vincent and the insider knowledge on your book Bloodrock Ridge: Replacement Therapy, grab you copy now folks!