Friday, May 15, 2020

Interview with sci-fi novelist Victor Arteaga

Today’s special guest is sci-fi author Victor Arteaga who is chatting with me about his new paranormal, Unrest.

During his virtual book tour, Victor will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Victor Arteaga is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. Though he’s always been an avid reader, his dream to be a writer was jump-started when he got sober in March of 2015. What began as an exercise to keep his sobriety billowed into a deep and unbridled passion to create. His experiences with addiction and being a first-generation American from immigrant parents inject a flavor of unique authenticity to his characters and worlds that he creates. His imagination is given free rein to conjure worlds and experiences on the page which enthralls and captivates readers.

Welcome, Victor. Please share a little bit about your current release.
I’m always super bad at answering these without just giving away the whole plot so I’ll just put in the blurb that took me three months to write lol.

Remembrance Day is a garbage holiday. It’s just an excuse for vampires and humans to throw themselves a parade and pretend they did us werewolves a favor. But I guess it’s not all bad. I get cheap booze, live in an underground lunar city, which some would find cool, and working at a hotel keeps me busy. Sejanus Industries isn’t a benevolent corporate ruler, but they’re the devil I made a deal with. My life is quiet and mostly non-violent but one message from my cousin could cause me to lose the sliver of peace I sacrificed everything for.

What inspired you to write this book?
A friend of mine asked me, “Hey, Victor settle a debate for me. What would happen if you put a werewolf on the moon?” I wasn’t sure what she meant, so she clarified by asking if you put one on the moon, assuming it could live there, would it transform or stay the same? The answer involves a space elevator, manned missions to the moon that go horribly wrong and vampires. Obviously.

Excerpt from Unrest:
Abandoned hope thickened the air as people streamed between polished stone pillars that fronted this house of false promises. Equity and justice for all were laughable concepts the powerful wielded to fit their will and whim. The sky drizzled and misted enough to be cold, damp and miserable. Its gray cloud cover blunted the vibrant colors of the sparse, yet immaculate landscaping, and the wet air smothered the flowers’ sweet fragrance. I trekked past the throngs of caged miscreants as a lone wolf would pass through a swarm of rodents. The weight of my misdeeds forced my shoulders low, lined my mouth, and left my gaze fierce and steady. Guilt over leaving the cousin who called me sister slowed my steps. Betrayal of my chosen family left the bitter taste of regret on my tongue.
Lady Justice, the sullen patron saint of my temporary home, was painted and carved on every available surface. We were told the cloth around her eyes meant Justice was blind and fair. But I know now she didn’t mask her eyes to symbolize the blindness of her virtue. Justice wasn’t blind. She just couldn’t bear to see the truth.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Oh man, so many. For NaNoWriMo of 2017 I wrote a manuscript about a teenage girl who discovers she can channel elemental magic through guns and I need to get back to it. It has one of my favorite antagonists and a unique magic system that I’m really quite proud of. I’m working on the sequel to Unrest, I’m drafting another series about a phoenix who’s been trapped as a human for the last five-hundred years with his best friend, Eleni. Spoiler alert: she’s actually Aphrodite hiding in plain sight as a social media influencer. I’m laying the foundation for what I hope will be my magnum opus which is a secondary world fantasy. I’ve written a short story in that world on my Patreon which I absolutely love, but there’s so much more world-building that needs to happen before I feel ready to start drafting novels.
I have a series on my Patreon about a vampire who starts working for Sejanus Industries to find the werewolf that killed her. Lots of irons in the forge you could say haha!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I self-published my first short story. I go back to it every so often just to remind myself how far I’ve come. I made a lot of mistakes and I have to fight the urge to rewrite it with all that I’ve learned but it’s good to keep around. I did a lot of good things in it, but some mistakes just make me cringe.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I wish. Before the lockdown I was mostly stay-at-home during the week for the first couple years of my youngest’s life. I also have a massage practice that I run on the weekends when there isn’t an airborne pandemic. When my daughter turned three and started daycare, I was doing some construction work to help my wife with finances. I find time to write whenever I can. Early mornings, lunch breaks at my clinic, empty time slots between appointments. It's a rare opportunity that I can write at home recently though. With stay-at-home orders in place here, I’m out of work and the kids are home 24/7 so I wind up having to choose to either unwind and regroup or write. Unfortunately writing loses that battle more often than not.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably my penchant for being a little TMI. I’m a recovering alcoholic so radical honesty is something that helped get me sober and I practice it frequently. I figure it’s better to share a little more than keep things hidden. I recognize it can be a little much for some people so I’m trying to curb that a little lol.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Batman, a cop, an astronaut, an x-games competitor, snowboarding legend, a rock star, a writer. I had so many ambitions and dreams as a kid and in some ways, I worked towards most of them at some point in my life. I was the lead singer of a band, I learned martial arts, I used to skateboard and snowboard as often as I could. Never tried to be a cop, but I did pass the physical test for being a firefighter so passing the one for law enforcement would be a breeze!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Tons! But I’ll keep it short. Unrest is a labor of love and truth. It took four years to write and I was in rehab for most of that time. You’ll find nuanced, flawed, multi-dimensional characters, and a rich well-built world that doesn’t pull punches. It’s got great action, a touch of romance and some great turns and twists. It was an incredible experience to write, and I’m excited to share it with everyone.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
It was my pleasure!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing! Do you think it was harder to write when you were finding minutes between jobs and in lunch breaks or now that you're split between writing and the kiddos?

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Victor Arteaga said...

Hi Andra, thanks for stopping by!
It's definitely a lot harder now than it was. We just don't have any free time now. With no school or daycare, no job, my wife and I are "working" 13-16 hours every day and only one of the kids still naps. It's pretty tough to squeeze it in, but occasionally I manage to get an hour early in the morning before they wake up.

Victor said...

Good morning, everyone! Thanks to Lisa for hosting and thank you all for coming by. Feel free to post any questions you might have as I'll be stopping by regularly today.

Victoria Alexander said...

Happy Friday, thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

I enjoyed the interview. I'm having a really good time following along with this tour.

Caryl Kane said...

Congrats on your release! Sounds like a page-turner.

James Robert said...

I appreciate getting to hear about  a book new to me. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway.

Bernie Wallace said...

Have you read any good books in quarantine. Congrats on the release.

Victor said...

"Have you read any good books in quarantine. Congrats on the release."

Not really, sadly. I read Oathbringer and finished it shortly before quarantine but I don't have much time to read currently. I pick up Ruin of Kings every now and again and it's an amazing book, but I can only usually fit about 20 minutes of reading time in. Though I think tonight I'm going to read that before bed, thanks for reminding me!

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