Browsing articles in "The Master of Whitehall"
Jun 20, 2016

Author Interview – Rick H. Veal

indexHere is my author interview with Rick H. Veal so I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did. We are going to be highlighting his book The Master of Whitehall: Katelyn’s Chronicles which is available for FREE on KU so grab your copy today! This is book one in his series The Master of Whitehall so if you read and like book one you may also consider grabbing the other books in the series Lexi’s Legacy: The Epic Saga Continues (book 2), Dale’s Descent (book 3) and Charlotte Ann’s Coven: The Beginning (book 4).

What was your overall inspiration to write in the very beginning of your career?
I have read and enjoyed vampire stories all of my life and the idea of writing my own story has been around for a long time. I actually wrote my first ‘spooky’ story when I was still a child. However, the decision to actually write a book came after surviving two major heart attacks in the same weekend. During my recovery, I realized how short life can be and how quickly it can potentially be over. I came to the conclusion that if I intended to leave anything behind that was lasting, now would be the time to do so. I began to consider my own mortality, and realized that if I really wanted to write, now was the time to begin … not next week, next month, or next year … and that was five and a half years ago. When I decided to begin my story, I followed the advice of Anne Rice to “write the kind of story I would enjoy reading, and then other people would enjoy it too.”

How many vampire books do you currently have out with titles please?
I have five Vampire books, a short ghost story, and the fifth and final book of my series due to release, probably, in August. My main series is ‘The Epic Saga of The Master of Whitehall’ consisting of ‘The Master of Whitehall’, ‘Lexi’s Legacy’, ‘Dale’s Descent’, ‘Charlotte Ann’s Coven’, and coming soon ‘James’ Journey’. The two shorts are ‘Hannah’s Heartache’ a Master novelette, and ‘Jennifer’s Ghost’.

Do you have a favorite vampire book or movie/tv show?
It’s difficult to pick a favorite Vampire book. I’m a big fan of Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’, Rachel Craine’s ‘Morganville Vampires’, Charlene Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse’, and L.J. Smith’s ‘Night World’. I’m really picky when it comes to the movie/TV shows because as a reader, the film versions can, and often do, become unrealistic. I enjoyed the adaptation of ‘Interview with the Vampire’ and the first three or four seasons of ‘True Blood’, but they lost me pretty quickly after that.

If vampires were to really exist and you had the option to become immortal would you do so yes or no and why?
Can I answer ‘Maybe’ – although I lean toward the yes side of that question but only if no one else knew that I was an immortal. I would enjoy watching the advancements of mankind and see where they would take them and what they would do with them. Imagine having been around and watched such advancements in transportation as the invention of the railroad, the airplane, the car, or the spaceship. I think perhaps it would be difficult for the first couple of centuries because we are all men and women of our time, making the most difficult part of immortality being able to adapt to the times in which I lived.

What do you find to be the most challenging thing about being an author?
“Is that possible, does it make sense and will it be believable?” Since I am asking my reader to suspend what they know to be reality for an ‘alternate plausible reality’, that question is often the foremost in my mind when I write. I find myself asking that and then attempting to find a workable solution around any obstacles. As long as my reader says to themselves, ‘That’s possible, I believe that could happen’ then they will remain engaged with me. But, once I take them beyond the pale to the point that they say ‘That’s not even possible, I don’t believe that could ever happen’, then I’ve lost them as a reader and they will look for something else that they can believe.

Vampires by their very nature are and always have been erotic, so another big challenge is just where to draw the line with the sex scenes so that they are sensual but not pornographic. Beginning in 1897 with Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, vampires became extremely sensual. If one understands Victorian English and its nuances, they would find Dracula to be very erotic for the times it was written. Then with the development of the genre in recent years, Vampires are even more erotic now. I think the most difficult part of writing a paranormal romance is that you are beginning with a sensual character, the vampire. It can become quite challenging when you combine that with a romance, and attempt to prevent the story from becoming overly erotic and even downright pornographic.

All of the books in the Master series have some steamy scenes in them. The thought provoking part of those is fitting them in the story so that they are a part of and flow with the story and are not just tossed in as a “sex for sex sake” filler scene. Writing the various love scenes can be difficult because you have to consider each character and their personality. There are some things that one character will do that another would not. I want to always keep it fresh and not ‘cut and paste’ old ideas from one scene to another.

Finally the most problematic part of writing, after all the editing, reading and re-reading the manuscript is to know when to tell yourself, “That’s enough, it’s finished, edited and as complete as possible. Send it to the printer!”

If you could co-write a brand new vampire book with anyone of your choosing who would it be and why?
Clive Cussler! He is one of my two favorite authors, Anne Rice being the other. I love Cussler’s storytelling ability. He has a way of spinning a story that will draw you in from the very first page. He will take you deep into the lives of his characters and their adventures making them become a part of your life. It’s difficult to put down one of his books once you begin it.

I would hope that if anyone has read Cussler, they will see his influence in my writing. I have tried to emulate both he and Rice in bringing my characters to life for my readers. I wish above all that the characters of the Whitehall family become a part of my reader’s lives and are numbered among their friends. The greatest reward for me would be for someone to tell me that they laughed, loved and cried with Katelyn, Lexi, Dale, Gale, Charlotte Ann, and James as they told their stories in “The Epic Saga of The Master of Whitehall”.

Are you currently working on any new projects that you would like to share with us?
The foremost project right now is getting ‘James’ Journey’ completed and published on time. After that, I plan to take a break from writing for a few months to concentrate on promotion and marketing. I do have plans for a follow-up novelette to ‘Hannah’s Heartache’, a novella about the life of Gale, and there’s a sneaky little idea rolling around in my mind for another full length Master novel.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions that you think people have about authors in general?
Sometimes I think the public in general thinks being an author is a life of ease … all we do is live in a fantasy world and write our stories. They have no idea how much blood, sweat and tears, goes into developing and growing a character and their story. They’ve never been woken up at two in the morning by a character that suddenly decides to share a major part of their story, then have to get out of bed and get a draft of it down on paper. After that you’re awake for the remainder of the night!

If money was no object and you could travel to any place in the world for your dream vacation where would you go and what would you do?
I have traveled around the world four times, visited eighteen different countries and many other places besides so I am content being right here at home. But for just a few days away, there’s no place like Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana. The first is the setting for my books and the second is the traditional ‘Land of Voodoo and Vampires’ … and both have the best seafood and entertainment ever!

Do you prefer online events or live events and what do you think the pros and cons of each are?
I prefer a live event so that I can interact in real time with people. I have to sell myself to sell my books and to do that I need that live contact. To me, and this is just my opinion, many folks only come to an online event just to see what they can get for free, and then you never hear from them again. But at the live events, I have built a relationship with fans and readers that have purchased in the past who come looking for me specifically to see if I have anything new and talk about what’s going on with my writing. Sadly, the down side of many events, especially live ones, is that the promoter doesn’t spend any money on advertising outside of on-line and sharing with friends. As a former promoter of other types of events, I know that a promoter must be willing to lay down fifteen to twenty thousand dollars to sufficiently advertise and promote an event. If they are not willing to put out that much money, then the only ones who get ‘conned’ are the poor authors who spend large amounts of money for tables, travel, lodging and food, only to sit and look at other authors because the public doesn’t know about and so doesn’t show up to the event.

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