Sparked is an otherworldly Epic of Vampires and the Undead, Hsien W. Lou’s debut novel tells the tale of Ner Relc Alcott, the immortal son of Death, sent to Earth to capture undead beings. The undead are stealing Sparks from people on Earth to extend their own lives.
Hsien, what motivated you to become an author?
I have always had an interest in writing and wanting to express personal, interesting and strange tales. I hope that people would be able to relate and find them interesting and fun.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is enjoyable, creating a whole universe with unique, simple characters and placing them in interesting, puzzling situations and finding how they solve them is great fun, at times it seems like the characters begin to write themselves.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about two children. A boy and a girl. The boy was trapped in another world that was linked to the girl’s mirror. So one day the mirror in her bedroom cracked and she entered the world to save the boy but she ended up trapped there too. It was a horror tale, it did not end well.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend it working as an environmental consultant, volunteering at church, reading, spending time with family and most importantly sleeping.
What is your writing process?
My writing process begins with a strong storyline. I like to create original storylines and once this is done it is quite easy to follow through because it tends to place a foundation and you continue to flow from there.
When did you first start writing?
It seems like I have been writing forever but I do recall starting with poetry and then deciding to write short stories and now novels.
What are you working on next?
I am working on three new books, the sequel to sparked, a romance novel and a fantasy book about a mage. I realised I really like writing fantasy, when I write the story, it flows out easily.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s about a lazy thirteen year old mage whose parents are the most powerful mages in the universe but he has no powers at all. He witnesses the culprit who kidnaps a few of his classmates at school and goes on a journey to save them and in the process finds his powers.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town and a close knit family. And since my family is a big supporting factor and most of the time we get a long fairly well, I always want all the characters in my book to have happy endings but it is almost never the case.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think Terry Pratchett’s Mort had a big impact on me, I love his writing so humorous and interesting. He can really liven up his words and characters.
Describe your desk
My desk is a mess, there are random papers and sticky notes and different coloured pens scattered everywhere. My laptop is placed on top of the papers, I don’t think you can see the colour of the desk any more, instead of brown I think the appropriate name is paper desk.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read fantasy books, I am currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance. It is a great read, especially the main character Kaladin, I enjoy the way he is overcoming his personal challenges.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My loud alarm clock.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean a lot, I do hope they find an interest in the books and I believe it is important to gain their opinions of the story and characters. I think it is important as fans/ readers assist you to improve so I do value them and their opinions.
How do you discover the books you read?
Sometimes I will randomly pick a book in the fantasy section of the bookstore and read it. I find appealing storylines that attract me and also inspire me to write.
Who are your favourite authors?
Terry Pratchett, C. S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Julia Quinn, Lewis Caroll, Mark Lawrence
Thank you, Hsien, and best of luck with your novel, Sparked!
Sparked is scheduled for release Dec 2014/Jan 2015, so look out for it in all your favourite places, like www.swannbooks.com.