MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR TINA SILVENS♥️
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Tina Silvens—from “silver”, and “silvae”= “forest” in Latin; these were the words I had in my mind when I chose my penname. My main genre is fantasy mixed with fights, lighthearted jokes, sweet love and hidden messages because I think all these make the perfect combination for a book meant to entertain.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
“The Mysterious Soldier – Part I” is the first book I wrote in an epic fantasy series. I’ll talk about it because it has a great history.
I was a typical teenager trying to avoid being bullied in school when I started building up the story in my head. Every random scene I imagined was cheering me up and helped me stay positive.
I was mainly inspired by the super-girls you find in comic books and cartoons, historical dictators and events from my own life. Then, when I grew up, I wanted to put all those scenes in order and create a proper story.
As I was studying arts in high school, I decided to make my own comic book by illustrating what was going to become “The Arid Kingdom” series.
Snippets from what I was calling a “comic book”. They were all drawn by me.
It didn’t take long to realize that the story was actually very complex and it would take decades for me to finish it. My sister, my first reader who was able to enjoy it despite the amateurish images, suggested starting writing it instead of illustrating it. Thankfully, I listened.
Now I have a new goal: to make others feel good, optimistic and enjoy life through my writings. After all, if the characters we create with our own imagination are able to withstand so many challenges, why wouldn’t we as well?
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I researched about weapons, the parts of a gun because I had to describe one of the laser guns the soldiers of the Arid Kingdom were using. I also studied the medieval titles for castle workers because, although it’s a fictional world, I didn’t want to use just the titles of a prince or a king. It’s a neo-medieval world, so the rest of old titles had to appear to enhance that contrasting aspect.
My other book, “Kyle’s Nightmare” needed medical research. I even contacted a person who had worked in a hospital to make sure I am realistic. After a long discussion with the medical assistant, I had to change the way a character was injured because otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to continue the rest of actions.
The assistant pitied the character when I said he would get stabbed. She made me feel cruel and heartless for imagining such a thing! Funny, yet she might have been right.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
My favorite book in the Arid Kingdom series is the third book (unpublished yet) because it goes deeper into the main characters’ secrets. There are certain action and romance scenes I like a lot. There might be even a kiss scene.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
After the morning routine, I open my laptop and start writing. When I feel I can’t concentrate anymore, I go take care of the house chores, study marketing, apply the new things I learn, verify social media accounts, draw or make plans, read fiction or nonfiction.
Unfortunately, I don’t do all these at the speed of light and I need to take breaks in between.
The best schedule so far was when I had only one thing to do: to write. No marketing, no social media, no people around, just me and my laptop for hours. I’m tempted to switch back to it, although by doing so I risk losing friends and a lot of helpful information that is shared on Facebook.
I have a daily writing goal of 3k words but I don’t always manage to accomplish it.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Oh, at first I wanted them to say a lot about the characters. While the names Soris (from the French word: soleil—I’m sure anyone who read this name thought about the sun) and Selunia (Serena + Luna) will be explained in the story, there are the rest of names that were chosen to reflect a particular characteristic:
Fulgerus—from the Latin word “fulgere” meaning “flash”, as fast as a flash.
Dual —dual character.
Angela Aripini—as good and pure as a winged angel.
Inerishia—from “inner”, inner power.
One of these names was chosen to actually make a contrast with the true self of that character. I won’t tell which one. It could be a big spoiler.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would say three things:
- Train yourself to be confident. It’s very easy to lose faith in yourself after you launch a few books.
- Stay hungry for information—especially when it comes to marketing. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve heard enough and you should manage by yourself. Take a break, as long as you need, then let your mind open again.
- Start with a (very) simple schedule. You can add more daily tasks to it after you notice you can keep it up for weeks.
Bonus advice: avoid distractions like social media and this:
My cat while I was trying to start editing…
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I read the reviews and I’m thankful for each one of them. It’s thanks to them I understood the book needed another round of edits and that the second book wasn’t being displayed properly on Amazon—there was no connection to it from book one. No one knew that the second book in the Arid Kingdom was up there.
I never reply because it’s a general rule in the writers’ world. If an author replies to a review, it might hinder others to speak freely what they think about the book.
Bad reviews aren’t “bad”. They just let you know that sometimes the book attracts people who don’t like that kind of story. If they’re frequent, it means that you need to tweak the descriptions. Other than that, well, maybe someone was in a bad mood.
Despite knowing this, some things I find in reviews still affect me, and, because I’m hypersensitive, I think of giving up writing, blame myself and so on and so forth. I’m not trying to deal with them anymore. I take the blow, fall apart and then rise up. Maybe after a while I’ll get used to them and avoid this exhausting process.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
Formatting the manuscript for the paperback! It’s tedious and time-consuming. You must pay attention to every detail and verify multiple times. Although it doesn’t require thinking or searching for solutions like writing and editing do, I always postpone this activity.
What are you working on now?
The third book in the Arid Kingdom series and a sequel to “Kyle’s Nightmare”.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Yes, here are two from the draft of the upcoming book in the Arid Kingdom series:
Soris remained calm. He saw in Dual the copy of his father. “What did you talk with my dad for so long?”
“Ah, trifles about the attack from yesterday. But now I know that Selunia is our life-savior.” He shifted a glance between the two. “And also a spell-changer. I don’t think I’m wrong to believe you were a frog before she kissed you.”
“As long as you were a dog before she slapped you,” the prince replied and crossed his arms on his chest.
Fulgerus barely got his chance to curse when he noticed a dark cloud of smoke rising from the base of the fence. The soldiers who inhaled this became unconscious.
As most of them were falling like the apples from a tree, Fulgerus retreated and dragged other two after him. Upon seeing what happened to the rest, the two soldiers thanked their leader with much gratitude.
“Don’t thank me, idiots!” Fulgerus shouted as anger was boiling inside of him. “Don’t you have the instinct to protect yourself?”
Where did your love of books come from?
I’m not sure. I just noticed that whenever I got a text in front of my eyes, I read it. That’s how I ended up reading even books that were not what I liked.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Inerishia! I simply love her! I like that she is strong, witty, has the courage to fight against the stronghold’s old principles. She loves her daughter Selunia, worships her husband and knows exactly when to be soft, when to be rough.
When I wrote the scene where she makes her first appearance in the story, I felt warm inside. Her protective and caring nature made me choose her as a favorite character, although Selunia and Soris, the main characters, are always in my heart.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It exhausts me at the beginning but energizes me after I reach my daily writing goal or after I write the last sentence of a story/book. I feel so happy and accomplished that I could celebrate all night!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Personal life matters. They completely ruin my schedule and drain my energy. This year I had the worst case. A few weeks ago, one of my closest relatives passed away and since then I’ve been struggling to get back to my usual schedule. I’ve already had to postpone a book release because of this sad event.
Thankfully I discovered that doing other activities like gardening help me get back on track. It’s a slow process but I’m sure I will soon succeed to achieve my daily writing goals again.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be original because I think most readers like to read something new. However, I keep in mind some of their preferences like sudden plot twists and well-developed relationships.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Julia Benally, a horror writer. I met her on Twitter and she was the one who helped me find the right editor for me. She’s a great person with a catchy sense of humor. I even interviewed her on my blog.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
My website and blog: http://fantasybooksland.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/tinasilvensauthor/
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️