Author Spotlight: Vanna Smythe

Ever since the eBook revolution started, reviewers complained about the lack of quality of self-published stories. They claim that too many of the available eBooks are badly edited, have confusing stories, or are plain boring. They are partly correct, but there are also wonderful new authors that deserve to be noticed (like my colleagues here on the Independent Bookworm). Therefore, I will present a new Indie author once a month; one that is worth being read.

Through the Magic Appreciation Tour, I got to know author Vanna Smythe. She has been writing creatively since her early teens, though one could say her creative writing efforts started long before that. While still in kindergarten, she once tore up a library book to make alphabet soup, and has been fascinated with what words can do, the pictures and worlds they can create, ever since. She is the author of “Protector”, the first book in the “Anniversary of the Veil” fantasy series. Book two, “Decision Maker”, is due out this autumn.

Protector by Vanna Smythe Kiyarran always wanted to be a Protector of the Realm. Untold magic and forbidden love for Princess Issiyanna awaken inside him once his wish comes true. Now the Priesthood that rules the realm from the shadows see Kiyarran’s extraordinary skill as a threat. Issiyanna is needed for a reaction on the other side of the Veil—a man-forged barrier separating the world in half. A Beacon and Answer gave up their lives to Don the Veil 1,000 years ago. Issiyanna is a Beacon needed to renew the Veil. When Issiyanna is abducted by a group of Keepers from across the Veil Kiyarran follows to save her. Will he choose to bring her back, or run from all he knows to follow her across the Veil? Will Kiyarran fulfill his duty as a Protector, or allow his love for Issiyanna to guide his future path? Magic, loyalty, childhood friendship, greed, and love all clash as Kiyarran is forced to make his decision.

I love Vanna’s cover. It’s so clear and uncluttered (although the delicate white swirls get lost in the thumbnail a bit). I’m looking forward to read more of her work. Now, enjoy her answers to my questions.

How did you get started? Was it a childhood dream?
I always liked to write, though I only started to get more serious about it in High School. But, yes, publishing a book is a childhood dream come true for me.

Why are you focusing on fantasy fiction?
As a reader, fantasy is probably my favorite genre. What attracts me to it is learning about whole new worlds, cultures, places, and people. The story I started with Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1) can only be told as a fantasy novel.
I am also ecstatic to be making my own contribution to this great and entertaining genre. Reading fantasy is a little bit like being a kid again, immersing yourself in a fairytale. I hope I’ve made a worthwhile contribution to the world of fantasy fiction with my novel, Protector.

Are you comfortable being categorized as a fantasy author?Vanna Smythe
Yes, yes I am.

Is there a kind of character, or an activity-like description, or dialog, which always seems alien to you?
Can’t think of anything off hand. Though I am not a very descriptive writer. I prefer to simply give only enough details to set the scene, and not go over the top with descriptions of settings, dresses, rooms, and so on.

What formats do you offer your readers?
Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1) is currently available as an Amazon Kindle eBook. I plan to release a print version next month. Other eBook formats will be available this summer.

What experiences have you had promoting your work. How about a highlight, an uplifting moment?
I have been promoting mainly through social media (Twitter, Facebook). One of the greatest things about it is people personally telling me that they liked the description and sample of my book, and are buying and reading it. That’s the true power of social media, it allows you to connect with your readers on a very personal level.

What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
That would have to be sitting down and writing on a daily basis. But I have gotten a lot better at this since I started writing Protector.

Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite fantasy and sci/fi authors are Tolkien, of course, and George RR Martin, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Patrick Rothfuss. But that list is growing everyday.

Tips for other Indies?
There has never been a better time to go Indie, so don’t worry too much about the stigma of self-published vs. traditionally published authors. All that is going away, and if you focus your efforts into producing a professional final version of your manuscript you can find success.


About Cat-Gerlach

I am an author and a triple mum. I am living in Northern Germany with my family and my dog.

Posted on March 24, 2012, in Age - Adult, Author Spotlight, Genre - Fantasy Stories. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Welcome Vanna and congratulations. I agree with Cat, the cover is a real asset to an already-interesting sounding tale. I wonder if you’ve read Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series? Maybe not his best work (I’m getting tired of every character being a jerk, like GRRM) but there is a kind of Veil cutting across that kingdom too. And it’s moving! All the best.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Vanna! I’m with you in that I embrace the title “fantasy author.” I didn’t even realize that some people worry about being characterized as such until recently. I figure that a good story is a good story, regardless of genre. The same with good writing. The idea that some authors would consider themselves superior (or inferior) based on the genre they write mystifies me.

    • It’s even worse over here in Germany where they divide books into “Literatur” and “Belletristik”. Generally, L means boring stories with high concept language that only few people understand without reading the sentences more than once, and B any story with entertainment as the main focus. B has a negative connotation. Only occasionally, you get a story that is both entertaining and uses language wonderfully. What I find so funny is the critics surprise.

  3. Will, thanks! Glad you like the sound of my book 😉 I haven’t heard of Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series, but if it’s like GRRM’s works I might have to check it out. The more I read, the more similarities I find across books. I think it’s just the way our minds work, coupled with sharing a similar educational and cultural background.

    Daniel, I agree 100%. Given that fantasy is one of the most popular genres, I just don’t see where the prejudice against fantasy writers comes from 😉

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