Welcome back for another author interview! This month I had a chat with Villimey Sigurbjörnsdóttir, a horror author from Iceland.
Vill and I go way back. I’ve been her editor since her first book, and she’s been one of my critique partners for just as long. We’ve seen each other’s writing at its best and its worst, and I can say from personal experience how hungry to learn this girl is and how far she’s come!
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S: Let’s start by talking about what you’re reading at the moment. What do you like about it?
V: I finished reading Diabolica Britannica the other day. It’s a horror anthology which I really like because there are so many varieties of horror in it that appeals to my dark soul. Psychological, Lovecraftian, even gory stuff. I highly recommend it.
S: I read it, too, and also recommended it for its wide range! There’s something for every lover of horror – even wimps like me who can’t take much. With so much variety, what’s your favourite kind of horror?
V: Gothic with haunting scenes and also the psychological horror. Anything that can twist my mind is great!
S: Which book has influenced you the most?
V: The Harry Potter books and the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. The story telling of Harry Potter is riveting and imaginative, and I love the creepiness along with the heart of the protagonist of Cirque du Freak.
S: I haven’t read Cirque du Freak but will check it out! Let’s talk about your books though. What are you working on right now?
V: I’m currently working on Nocturnal Salvation, the third book of my vampire horror series. It’s in the editing process right now and is going along smoothly so far.
S: I must say, I personally love this stage, because my shitty first draft transforms into a beautiful thing of… beauty *ahem* But I know many, maybe even most, authors absolutely loathe this stage! How do you feel about it?
V: I both like and dislike it. I like it because I can add more meat to the bone, so to speak, and I can catch any errors or plot holes. I dislike it because I can be a bit of an underwriter so I’d have to look more thoroughly. I also tend to use many words way too often! So many convenient clutches…
S: I think we all have this problem! In my first WIP, I overused windows for reasons I can’t explain :O Do you know what’s next after this WIP?
V: The fourth book in the series. I’ve written down most of the plot so once all the hassle with book 3 is finished, I’ll sit down and write the chapter outlines. But in-between, I’m writing short stories as well and really enjoying it!
S: And wasn’t there something about a prequel, too?
V: Oh yeah, there’s going to be a prequel with Sophie at the helm. But I need more time to research physical and psychological trauma to really connect with Sophie in that book. I also need to channel my anger and frustration to it as well.
S: What do you enjoy the most about this process? It could be anything from writing the first draft to doing research to connecting with readers on social media. What do you like about it?
V: What I enjoy the most is being able to sit down with a notebook ready and write it all down by hand. That’s where my creative juices really flow out of me and I happily get lost in the process, which can be difficult, especially if I’m writing it at work XD
S: I admire authors who can write their whole books by hand so much! My hand cramps just thinking about it o.o
What do you enjoy the least? Why do you dislike this part of being an author?
V: The marketing process. I very often forget to market my books and I also often feel bad for bothering people about it. It’s hard to stand in the sea of thousands of other writers and shout out your book. But apparently, one person said that I was good at it, so I just need to discover what is good about my marketing and really hone that skill.
S: I think what you do naturally is social media. You’re killing it on Twitter, and I know you’re around on Instagram quite a bit as well. All that is marketing, whether you’re actively talking about your book, discussing horror books, or talking about your favourite cake. Marketing always sounds scary, but it can mean so many things!
Now, inspiration is an often-asked-after topic for artists of all formats. How do you approach it? Do you find inspiration, do you let it come to you, and how do you do it?
V: Music is a big inspiration for me. If I hear a song and I can let myself imagine different scenarios connecting to that song, I’ll be inspired. Watching anime has also helped a lot. Just seeing it all in action, with encouraging music in the background is very inspiring. I often listen to anime openings whenever I want to get into the groove of drawing.
S: What’s on your Nocturnal Salvation playlist?
V: Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit, Found & Lost by Survive Said The Prophet, Still Waiting by Sum 41, Start a Riot by Duckwrth & Shaboozey, Home by Vince Staples & Richie Kohan, Swan Song by Dua Lipa, Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons, This is Me by Keala Settle, and Peace Sign sung by Caleb Hyles.
S: I wish I could write with music, but unless it’s instrumental, it’s too distracting.
Authors like to joke that, if someone were to look through their search history, they’d be in trouble. What’s the weirdest thing you ever researched, and which book was it for?
V: The red-light district and the Museum of Prostituition in Amsterdam for book 2, Nocturnal Farm. I had an inkling on how the red-light district worked but I learned a lot of interesting things about it through further research.
S: That sounds fascinating! What are some of the interesting things you’ve learned?
V: That the prostitutes have a union there. They get paid salaries, get sick days and vacation time. I thought that was awesome!
S: What do you consider the most important thing you’ve learned since you first decided to write a book?
V: Patience. It’s been very hard for me because I’m a very impatient person and I want everything done as quickly as possible. But the writing journey isn’t like that. If you pace yourself and try not to worry about time and deadlines, your experience will be a lot better.
S: I relate to that so much. I rushed my first book because I wanted it out there, but guess who ended up getting it re-edited (with all the trimmings this time) and re-published a few years later? *points at self* This idiot.
When you’re not writing your book or reading others’, what do you do to relax and have fun?
V: I watch a lot of TV. It anchors me and allows for some mind-numbing fun. I also work out in the mornings, take walks while listening to podcasts, and do D&D with friends and my brother.
S: And finally, where else can we find you on the interwebs?
V: You can find me on Instagram as fangs.and.light where I post news about my books and my drawings. I’m also quite active on Twitter as VillimeyS so if you wanna chat, definitely connect with me there 🙂 I also have a blog/website which is in dire need of an update at www.villimeymistauthor.com
S: Thanks for chatting with me, Villimey!
As always, if you have a question for Villimey, leave it below and we’ll reply as soon as we can *high five*
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