Interview - The Wonderful Ronel van VuurenToday I have the great honour of having Ronel Janse van Vuuren on my blog, and she has been kind enough to answer some of my questions.
1. Hello and welcome back! For those who are new here, would you like to introduce yourself and tell everyone what it is you love to do?
Thanks, Tasha. I’m award-winning, dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. Though I mainly write for children and teens, I have short stories in various anthologies meant for older readers. I tend to use lots of folklore and mythology in my writing. And though I love writing, I’m also a Rottweiler pack leader, chicken wrangler, horse servant and compost enthusiast. I also blog about folklore on my website. www.ronelthemythmaker.com
2. What draws you to be a writer and means you can never give it up?
Creating new worlds and seeing how people react to situations. I guess I can throw crazy situations at real people, but it probably won’t be legal (and it might get me locked up with the criminally insane).
3. What is the first thing you ever remember writing?
Something about faeries, lady bugs and a rock garden. Sadly, that story got lost in time.
4. Dark Fantasy is one of those terms that seems to pop up a lot these days, how would you define the genre?
Dark fantasy is all about examining the human condition, looking at the consequences of actions and decisions, and how the beliefs we hold can change the way we see our world. It can contain some gore, darker and frightening elements of fantasy, atmosphere of dread, but it mostly deals with studying the dark and frightening sides of our nature.
5. What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser?
Is there a term for something in between? Basically, I’ll have an idea of what I want to write (theme), create basic characters and an outline. Then I have fun with a first draft (getting to know the characters better) before doing a synopsis and a rewrite. Though, this differs from one project to another.
6. You have a new book out, what's it about?
“Magic at Midnight” is about a farmgirl who takes care of her pegasi until one she is “asked” to take the place of a princess at a gathering of all the princesses from all the lands to compete for the hand of the prince of Acacia Wood. Conspiracies, betrayals, magic and romance become part of her life as she does her best to prevent war. She doesn’t want her pegasi to die needlessly in a senseless war.
Some readers have called it a “Cinderella” meets “Miss Congeniality” coming of age story.
7. Which aspect of the new book gave you the most trouble?
Writing about Amy’s feelings for Rachel. This is the first time one of my main characters have revealed to me their bi-sexual gender identity. (I’m not rude enough to ask if it isn’t pertinent to the story.) So dealing with Amy’s feelings, society’s rules against it, and juggling the other ways Amy can get killed made for a troublesome -- but fun! -- time.
8. Which aspect of the new book was your favourite to write?
The scenes with the pegasi. I based them on my chickens and horses -- and a bit on my Rottweilers! -- and it was by far my favourite time spent writing this book. For some readers, the pegasi made the book.
9. Do you have a favourite character from your new book?
Idil. She’s a pegasus and Amy’s best friend. (She’s also on the cover -- though the how’s and why’s are only revealed near the end of the book.)
10. What is your comfort read book(s) – the one(s) you can go back to when you need something you know will relax you and bring you joy (like and well-loved cardigan)?
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman.
11. Do you enjoy movie/TV adaptations of books, or do you find they never do the source material justice?
I enjoy adaptations. Sometimes they are my first introduction to a book/series! Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Mortal Instruments, and Vampire Academy are a few that come to mind. Of course, you should see them as their own story and not compare them to the original book.
12. What part of the writing process do you love best, getting the first draft down, editing the first draft or polishing the final draft for publication?
Depends on my mood and the time of year. Spring and Autumn are best for first drafts. Summer for editing and Winter for polishing. But we don’t always get what we want. There’s always treats (bribes!) for getting through the not-so-much-loved parts.
Thank you so much to Ronel and don't forget to check out her new book below. Sounds exciting!
Magic At Midnight
by Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Amy has only known one life. Now she needs to put it all on the line to save what is precious to her. Can this simple farm girl survive court-life? Can she stop a war from burning down her world? And what of the mysterious princess of Hazel Wood and her covert glances…? Not to mention the prince of Acacia Wood who might or might not be involved with the prophecies ruling their kingdoms. With mysteries and secrets threatening the life she longs to return to, can she separate her feelings from the mission?
TO WHAT LENGTHS WILL SHE GO TO SAVE HER LOVED-ONES?
Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.
All of her books are available for purchase from all major online retailers.