Writer Q&A 2020 No. 6: Blayze Vanek

 

Blayze Vanek is the author of All Hallow’s Evil. I appreciate Blayze taking the time to answer questions about writing!

How long have you been a writer?

Blayze Vanek: I really started seriously writing in 1998, when the idea of the first part of All Hallow’s Evil, came into being. Originally, it was going to be a film noir-type detective novel, but I wanted something different; something unique.

Being more realistic and hybridization of the story proved more gratifying, relatable and more readable to people.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Blayze Vanek:  Being a storyteller, writing became an obvious choice. When you produce a movie, you are only getting one interpretation of a story. The same with a television show. With radio or books, you can allow a reader’s or a listener’s imagination interpret how they wish to perceive that story, no matter how precisely descriptive it might be. That’s what I want, when I write stories.  

Are you a full-time writer? If not, what’s your day job that helps pay the bills? If yes, how do you keep the process fun instead of feeling like it’s…ugh…work?

Blayze Vanek: Well…(scratching my head) This may seem odd, but, I don’t perceive it as work, unless you deem your characters in the story, dictating their actions to you, work. 

To me, I don’t consider it work or a hobby. It’s more of a passion. A good friend once said to me, “If you’re going to do something, make sure you want to do it. Then, give it everything you got, because life is too short for ‘I’ll try’.”

I still follow his advice to this day. 

As far as paying bills, I get by. And I juggle those things, with playing with my doggie, Tiger Lilly.

Do you have a family? How do you balance quality time with them and with your creative process?

Blayze Vanek: Right now, I’m the last of my bloodline, so all I have is my Mom, who is residing elsewhere, and my doggie.

I do surround myself with good friends, online and offline. I’d like to mention my followers and friends from Twitter’s #Writingcommunity , who have been unrelentingly wonderful in support, praise and humor, especially now, in this crisis we’re facing. I never take that, or them, for granted.

What’s your favorite genre to read – and why? 

Blayze Vanek:  My favorite genre? Oh, gad. I mainly stick with my favorites: Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi. But, I skip around & sometimes find inspiration in others. 

Share some works that were influential for you – and why?

Blayze Vanek: Influential works? Hmm. Tricky. H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror…Dean Koontz’s Servants of Twilight, Stephen King’s IT, among many, many others. 

Going off on other genres: Michael Moorcock’s The Elric series, Robert Aspirin’s The Myth Adventure books, and Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker series.

What drives you to write? What do you get out of it?

Blayze Vanek: I guess what I really want to achieve, is what Hollywood calls, “the Wow factor”. Like seeing Star Wars for the very first time when it was released, or reading King’s IT all day and being afraid of clowns coming after you that night.

If someone said or tweeted that my novel not only blew them away, but they excitedly told all their friends about it, because they never read anything so realistic or unique, I did what I set out to do. Job satisfaction.

Are you powered more by character inspirations or plot ideas? Why is that?

Blayze Vanek: Absolutely both are essential to a good story. What an excellent writer/author should focus on is a good balance between the two. You should not try to do so both at once though, in case both seem weak and not compelling enough. And if they do, I’d advise them to keep writing. Flesh out the story; there’s plenty of time for embellishment and corrections later.  

What do you do for fun? Interesting hobbies? 

Blayze Vanek:  I’ve recently taken up a martial art, not just for protection, but meditative and stress relief. I play with my doggie, Tiger Lilly. I used to sing karaoke, however, getting older ruined my vocal chords! 

What advice do you have for would-be writers?

Blayze Vanek: The best advice I ever heard when I started out was, “Stay focused and keep writing.”

There are people who believe that, “it’s just a hobby”, “it will never sell”, or “you’re just wasting your time”. Those are usually the ones that want to discourage you, because they can never attempt to do what you are doing.

Prove them wrong. Put your due diligence in and continue, no matter the odds against you. 

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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