Featured Interview With J.R. Vikse
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Kelowna, BC, Canada, in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famed for it’s vineyards, lake monsters, and skiing. I always considered myself a homebody, but ever since I got married I’ve lived all over the world, including elsewhere in Canada (Victoria), Australia (Melbourne), and Switzerland (Zürich), where I currently live. My wife and I enjoy travelling and I find that the cultures and landscapes we come across always find their way into my latest work!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was all about books as a kid. Still am, in fact. They’re a wonderful way to expand one’s horizons without having to deal with jetlag! I’ve always had a fascination with storytelling. Whether creating worlds with Lego or reading something in a beanbag chair in a nook in the children’s library, I couldn’t help but be absorbed by the many worlds the imagination could create. After a while I turned my storytelling skills to the stage, where I currently act and direct in a couple of productions a year. But I didn’t start writing until I was 23. At first it was just nonsense poetry and the odd short story. But those were just gateway genres. Now I spend my time writing full-on books! I published my first book in 2012 and have no intention of letting up anytime soon.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
As always, there are too many to name! Right now I’m loving Scott Lynch, Conn Iggulden, Patrick Rothfus, and Lois McMaster Bujold, but I’m always on the lookout for the next great author to sweep me away to another world.
I suppose my favourite genre would be fantasy, because I feel there are even fewer creative limits on that genre in particular than other styles of fiction. I think that when you read a fantasy novel, you’re getting into the author’s head with fewer barriers between you.
I am inspired by reading and by watching the world around me. One teaches me how to tell stories. The other shows me which stories to tell.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book (Reaping the Whirlwind) is the closing chapter of a trilogy: The Keeper Chronicles. It brings to an end a journey that my characters (and my brain) have been on for the last year-and-a-bit. Readers of the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter will enjoy the odd and engrossing world of Tranthaea, which always seems to be under threat. Young men and women from Earth are called over to this other world to defend it against its attackers, and have to overcome obstacles, face their fears, and survive. The main characters come from all cultures, countries, and time periods. It’s a wild and exciting ride through a world unlike anything you’ve ever read before!
I’ve also published a short contemporary fiction novel (The Lazy Postman) and a short story collection (Fictions of Questionable Length). And of course I’m working on something new right now!
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