Author Interview - T. M. Ledvina
Genre: LGBTQIA+ fantasy
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?
Of Blood, Bones, and Truth! An indentured assassin named Kellan is tasked with solving a brutal string of murders in a futuristic city called Spiral City. Along the way, he meets another assassin named Cassian, and over the course of the story they slowly fall for one another. The story focuses on the power and illusion of choices, as well as the weight of guilt, and the shades of goodness and evil.Q2: How long does it take you to write a book? How long does each stage of the process usually take?
Honestly, it depends. I'm very much a chaotic pantser, so it could be a few months to a few years depending on how focused I am. I have noticed with each book that my process gets more and more refined. Of Blood, Bones and Truth took me almost two years to write, but it's sequel, TPF, took me about 6-7 months to write the first draft.
Q3: What is your favourite type of character to write?
I have the most fun with my MC Kellan, and I think that's mostly because of his complexities. I'm a big fan of characters with snarky exteriors and soft insides - there's something about a squishy character that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Q4: Do you mine your own life for ideas, settings and/or characters? If so, please give an example from your current book release where you have done this.
Oh absolutely! One of the main female characters, Selwyn, is inspired by two of my best friends. She even shares a birthday with my best friend since childhood! I also take a lot of inspiration for settings from travels I've been on. I recently went on a trip to the Florida Everglades and got a ton of inspiration for a setting in book three (no spoilers though!), but this is a frequent occurrence for me. I get inspired by movies and video game settings as well, since they're such a visual medium. A lot of OBBT was inspired by my favorite movies and video games, even if it's just for the vibes.
Q5: What is something you wish you had known earlier on it your writing career?
How to accept my writing style for what it is. I spent so long wondering why I lost interest in a novel idea after trying to plot it out like everyone told me I had to. It wasn't until I finally finished OBBT that I discovered writing with the loosest plot possible works the best for me. If you're struggling writing a book (either with or without it plotted fully) I'd highly recommend looking into the different types of writing styles and what works best for your type!Q6: What do you do when you find yourself in a bit of a writing rut? Is there any strategy you find works for you to help the words start flowing again?
This might be a controversial answer...but taking a break is what works best for me. If I feel like I'm forcing words, if I'm spending hours in front of my screen but nothing is coming of it, I know it’s time to take a break. I don't just step away from my words though - my breaks usually consist of reading books, playing video games, watching movies, and traveling. Getting outside my own story and taking in things that inspire me always helps me to get the writing bug back and gets me excited to dive back into my stories.
Q7: What is your favourite writing resource?
This is actually a tough question for me, because I tend to rebuke most structure and writing theories. But I actually love watching Brandon Sanderson lectures on YouTube. He's an incredible storyteller, and his lectures contain a lot of fantastic writing advice and techniques that can be applied in a multitude of ways, regardless of your writing style. I highly recommend checking them out if you are an epic fantasy writer or want to learn more about writing in that genre. I watched a lot of his lectures between writing OBBT and its sequel, TPF, and my writing in TPF has become MUCH stronger because of it!
Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Someone who wants to read modern fantasy. I personally got bored of medieval fantasy settings and couldn't find anything that was still considered fantasy but had modern technology other than Crescent City. My ideal readers are people who, like me, want more of the style of Crescent City with smoother, less confusing worldbuilding.
Q9: What authors or books inspire you the most?
C.S. Pacat is my hero and #1 inspiration. The Captive Prince trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time and I can't stress enough how much I love the story, emotion, and writing style of Pacat. Their works are vivid and had me completely enraptured. (PLEASE read trigger warnings before reading Captive Prince though, it is VERY dark!)
Q10: What are you currently reading?
At the moment, I'm reading an ARC of The Bear & The Rose by E.K. Larson-Burnett, as well as a short story collection called Soft & Rage by Myka Silber. I absolutely love reading books by fellow indie authors!
Of Blood, Bones, and Truth is available on April 4th, 2023 in ebook, paperback and hardback. Here is a sneaky snippet:
"The enneagram before him glowed a pale gray, the bounding edges of the circle dull in comparison. Minutes passed in silence, but the man did not move. He knew this was a waiting game, a test to see who would break first. He would not yield."
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