What inspired you to write your first book?
Um... I've really always wanted to write. If you mean what prompted me to finally tackle a novel, it was my husband. He basically dared me to make good on my claim that I would someday.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I get my information from research.
I get my ideas from...everything. The idea for My Soul to Save was sparked by 15 seconds of a music video I saw as I was flipping through the television channels. Often my plot ideas grow out of my world building. Once I know what the world is like, what the characters/creatures can do, I get ideas about what could possibly to wrong, which usually becomes the basis for a plot.
For instance, once I knew that in her world, Faythe wouldn’t have many lifestyle choices, I knew I realized that chaos would result from her rejection of the acceptable choices. So I had to write about that.
How did you come up with the titles?
For my (adult) Shifters books, I wanted something short and punchy, so I went with one-word titles that relate to the plot. Most of them have dual meanings. Stray is about a bad guy stray, but the main character, Faythe, is also a stray of sorts. She's strayed from her family and her Pride. The same with Rogue. Faythe is hunting a rogue, but she's also unintentionally become one. Etc...
Originally, I wanted to call my first YA novel Soul Song, but there was already another paranormal (adult) novel out with that name. So I started brainstorming. I wanted something familiar, but eerie and evocative. Thus, My Soul to Take. The other titles evolved to match that.
What are your current projects and can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now I'm working on a short e-prequel to my Soul Screamers series, which my publisher is going to release online for free shortly before the series debut. Unfortunately, I'm only a few hundred words in, so I can't share any of it yet. And trust me, you don’t want to read it in rough draft form. ;-)
**This is available now for free download. Click here to view**
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing my books is always writing my books. ;-) Seriously, it's all hard. Don't get me wrong, this is a great job. But it is work. Before any book goes to my editor, it goes through at least three complete drafts. Sometimes more. Then it goes through revisions, line edits, copy edits, and galley proofs. Writing a book is an enormous amount of work, and all of it requires total concentration. Personally, I can't do any of it while I watch TV or talk to my family, and unlike a typical day job, I can't leave it at the office.
Fortunately, I love my job, which makes all the work worth it. ;-)
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes. When I wrote My Soul to Take, I had no idea I would later be writing a prequel. Now that I am, I'm finding myself locked into several world building elements I wish I could tweak. As it is, I'm having to work around them, which is much more difficult.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Um... I can't think of anything that surprised me about actually writing the books. As for the publishing business itself, well, that was one big surprise. I had no idea that it typically takes anywhere from 12-18 months for a book to be published after it sells. I didn't know that authors typically have little to no say in their cover art, and sometimes don't get to use their own titles. Just about everything about the business side of things was a surprise for me.
Which book is your favorite?
Which of my own books? Well, so far, my most recent book is always my favorite, because it best represents my current skill level, regarding both plotting, character development, and writing. In my Shifters series, I'm very proud of Prey right now. I'm expecting it to upset some people, but that only means that I've done my job well--that I've made them care about my characters as if they were real people.
In the Soul Screamers series, my favorite so far is the third, which doesn't have an official title yet. That book allowed me to take advantage of the world building elements and the character relationships I'd been building over the course of the two previous books, and I like how it's turned out. Though it still needs to be polished. That one won't be out until June of 2010, so there's some time. ;-)
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Frankly, I don't write my novels with a message in mind. I write to entertain. That said, I have noticed several recurring themes in my writing. In the Shifters books, those include seeking independence, gaining maturity, and the fight for both gender and class equality.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! Thank you so much for reading!
For more information about Rachel Vincent and her Shifters & Soul Screamers series check out her website here.