Hi, world! This is… me.
(Or, to be grammatically correct… this is I.)
If you are reading this, there’s a fifty-percent chance you already read my bio on the About page, so the real question is, what is there left to say about myself? That I love blue? That this created a harrowing conflict in my soul when I set out to design a website that included no blue for its color scheme? That I have been obsessed with Tolkien for the last eight years of my life?
All of these are true, but hardly relevant. What you probably want to read is my story. How she got here and all that.
I like to tell people I’ve been writing for ten-plus years, thirteen to be technical, which sounds impressive until you learn that I started when I was six (or maybe seven. I’m not really sure anymore). My writing career is also not very impressive: finished one story out of several dozen before age sixteen, joined an online writing site and gained a medium following, and “won” a prizeless contest on aforesaid writing site along with roughly twenty other stories.
Well, then I got accepted by a publisher. And after my emotions stabilized from that — it may or may not have taken several months — I came down to earth and realized that the release date was rushing up much more quickly than I was ready for it to. It was time to delve into the nitty-gritty: or, What Your Rosy Daydreams Don’t Tell You About Publishing.
Turns out, there was a lot of that nitty-gritty. And all of it seemed to include getting a website.
So here we are. With my debut novel The Journey three-and-a-half months away from release, and a stack of other books waiting on the side for their turn in the spotlight.
But what, exactly, do I write?
In a nutshell: Character-driven fantasy with a focus on the downtrodden and the ordinary.
Characters are, quite simply, why I write. They live and breathe for me. Sometimes I can hardly believe they aren’t real. I never can quite believe I made them up. They take the story out of my hands and write it, leaving me to scold them for refusing to cooperate, demand explanations for their occasionally shocking behavior, and mostly tell them how much I love them.
Fantasy I can’t get away from. Legea, the world I’ve developed for nearly a decade, is teeming with more stories than I could tell in a lifetime, so I figure I’ll be here till my dying day.
And I focus on the ordinary because even the ordinary is extraordinary. I see poorer and middle class people get sidelined regularly in fantasy. Sure, there are rags-to-riches stories, but what about the people who go from riches to rags and learn to be content in it? Or the ones who stay in rags their whole lives? I like to think my writing has a well-rounded scope of perspectives, and some of my favorites are right up there in the aristocracy, but I’m not ashamed to have a particular love for the people whose stories don’t get told as often.
Then there’s themes…
Themes are my other jam. You tell a story with characters, but the story means nothing without the themes that pull it together. To be up-front honest, most of my themes grew out of the characters themselves, and were not intentionally implemented (at least, not at first!), but they give me great joy nonetheless.
What sort of themes?
Loyalty fascinates me the most. The concept of conflicting loyalties, what loyalties mean the most to different people, how far people will take their loyalties, what people will do for loyalty. Political loyalties, military loyalties, personal loyalties. You’ll see loyalty and its implications recurring a lot in my writings.
Then there’s fear, responsibility, loneliness, courage… I could go on for a while.
Siblinghood is a theme so central to my books that I’ve begun offering it as a summary of my books when asked about them. “Yes, I write sibling stories.” The joys, the worries, the frustrations — there is so much potential in the sibling bond. But more on that in a future post.
At the risk of curtailing things too soon…
There you have it. I’m Verity A. Buchanan, an aspiring young author doing her best to strike the line between candid and professional as she navigates this remarkable new world. Who writes sibling stories. Come back soon!
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