Hai Spicy Hoomans!
Ever wanted to know more about the book you just read?
All three posts have been made possible by the wonderfully lovely Chloe Hodge who’s kindness over social media started it all. Her amazing novel Vengeance Blooms, which I reviewed on Monday kick-started my list of questions and Chloe was kind enough to answer them all. You can read the first set of questions which I posted on Wednesday revolving around Self-Publishing and Editing.
The questions in this interview were developed during various stages of reading Vengeance Blooms and then refined once I’d finished the novel. I find that the best way to create questions is to write as I go so I don’t forget anything and if my question is answered within the book it may be deleted on modified in case as there are still things I want to know!
Please Note: The entire Q&A is full of spoilers from Chloe’s novel Vengeance Blooms. If you don’t mind, continue reading. If you hate spoilers, please read my spoiler-free review, Chloe’s first interview about Self-Publishing and Editing or the novel (it’s amazing).
I’ve you’re not fussed about spoilers, I’ve pasted the blurb from Goodreads below in order for you to get an idea of the context of the novel before diving into the Q&A.
Blurb: Orphaned and alone, Ashalea Kindaris has just one goal in life-- to avenge the death of her parents. But when darkness descends on the land, she discovers her motives are linked to a much larger quest. To protect the world from elimination, she must find the next Guardians of the Grove-- Everosia's inner sanctum and gateway to other dimensions. As shadows disperse and the forces of evil mount, Ashalea travels through water and wood, sewer and summit, to reach the chosen. Will her training lead to victory, or will the weight of unravelling secrets lead to her ruin?
A lot of these questions match up with comments that I made in my review, so if you’ve read that and enjoyed it, you’ll love hearing Chloe’s answers!
Questions about Vengeance Blooms
Do you play Dungeons and Dragons (DnD)? The use of party and OP (over-powered) characters during a fight hints towards being part of a DnD campaign.
“I love this question! I’ve never played but I can see the similarities. I do play video games in my spare time though, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much this has helped me to write! My worldbuilding, action scenes, and knowledge of fighting/weaponry is partly due to games!”
How do you keep track of all the races and places in Everosia whilst writing? Do you have a wall of post-it notes, etc?
“This is a great question. I’m a terrible planner, and I am what we authors call a pantser: someone who “flies by the seat of their pants”. I like to roll with it and let inspiration do the talking. While this was great for book one, it is not ideal for the writing process on book 2 and changes need to be made. I plan on making an inspiration board filled with notes and a glossary of characters.”
There was a lot of chemistry between Ashalea and Shara when they first met (or maybe that was just me), was there going to be any romance between the two or was their relationship always purely platonic?
“I had always envisioned Ashalea ending up with Denavar, so I knew where her love interest lay from the get-go. Shara, on the other hand, is such a confident and complex character. She’s never had time to develop relationships given her… shall we say… line of work and her childhood lacked close relationships—familial or friendly. So, she’d much rather have a roll in the sheets without commitments! Her sexual preferences and love interests will be explored more in book 2… Perhaps we’ll even see a love interest down the line…”
I love the family chemistry between Ashalea and Wezlan, especially when another member – Shara – joins the party. Where did you gain emotional inspiration (if you write like that) from when writing this?
“I enjoy writing bonding scenes between Ashalea and Wezlan. There’s a strong focus on darkness, inner turmoil, haunting memories and the need for revenge in this book, so I felt it important we see pleasant connections, too. When I drafted Wezlan’s character, I took inspiration from Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. I found his cheeky, headstrong, kind character a joy in those books and I wanted to replicate that in my own father figure for Ashalea. Shara’s smirks and witty remarks just add to the foundation!”
Chloe’s answer to this question made me go ‘ahh’. I love hearing where people get their inspiration from and this was no different.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
“The Guardians of the Grove trilogy—combined with my clients over at Chloe’s Chapters—are my focus for this year and next, but I do have plans for a few different projects once this series is finished. I’m particularly excited for a fantasy series that will likely have strong elements of Vikings and witchcraft!”
I. Am. So. Keen! Vikings and witchcraft? Count me in!
And last but not least, when are you releasing the next book in the series and is there anything that you’d like readers to know/ expect for the sequel?
“I am hoping to have Book 2 out around August this year! No release date has been confirmed yet, but I will certainly let readers know once a date has been named!
Readers can expect a whole lot of action in the next novel as we explore new areas of the map and the crew face new hurdles. Some fantastical characters will be introduced, and development of original favourites will increase as they face some unexpected dramas and personal challenges. It’s going to be a wild ride!”
Chloe is a journalist turned author from Adelaide, South Australia. From radio producing to reporting, then technical writing to creative, she’s no stranger to media. But her true passion lies in fiction, and this book is the first of many to come.
Living with her fiancé and two dogs, Chloe finds joy in life’s simple pleasures: a walk along the beach, a cosy nook to read in, a morsel of chocolate and a good movie to watch. When she’s not living a thousand other lives in the pages of a book, she’s travelling the world and seeing other cultures.
The adventure of the Guardians of the Grove continues in book two, releasing mid-year. To learn more about Vengeance Blooms, head to www.chloehodge.com or pop by on her socials!
Instagram: @chloeschapters // Facebook: Chloe Hodge Author
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See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).