Kevin Thijssen featured with us today. Right now he hasn’t published, but we’ll certainly be watching for his upcoming release… hopefully soon. 🙂
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)
I’m a 28 year old Master in Biology. Born and living in Belgium although I do see myself move away from here in the future.
I love reading and photography, although lately I feel I have been doing both of these too little. At the moment I’m also doing a course in psychology as I have always found it interesting.
I love to travel and meet new people, experience new things and get new ideas for my writing.
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
Either I use an online tool for name choosing or create a name in my head and say it out loud, changing it until I find it fitting of the character and easy to the tongue.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
I can see the character in my head, have a good idea of what they look like and how they are as a ‘person’. Some of my characters are based on people I know in real life, others are completely made up. So for a part I see them as real persons and feel myself travelling amongst them.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
I have never tried this before, although I do know a few writers that do. I do feel that I need some sort of distraction to be able to write more. This can be the TV on in the background or even chatting with someone in between paragraphs.
5. How long have you been writing?
Not for very long, and yet for over 5 years. I have plenty of ideas in my head but working them out in my mind is one thing, writing it all down is something else.
My first book I started 5 years ago. For a very long time it just counted a few chapters. Thanks to a very good friend of mine I managed to write the rest of the manuscript in a very short time (oh what the mountain air can do ….).
I recently received the manuscript back from an editor that I hired and I am trying to lift my story up to a higher level, listening both to his advice and trying to keep my vision of it alive as well.
I have not been published yet, but I hope to be soon.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
Hard to say if I really am meant to be a writer, but I do my best. Maybe in the future, when I have a few books out there and have learnt more about what it means to be a writer, I can come back and answer this question better.
7. Do you have a muse?
There is this nagging little voice sometimes that tells me an idea and then works it out further, maybe I ignore her too much.
It all started when I was little and made up stories to fall asleep, mostly involving the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. From that it evolved to fantasy stories, some ideas stuck and grew, others just disappeared as nothing more than basic thoughts.
8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)
Talking to other writers, taking note of what my editor says (meanwhile thinking of writing him into a story and having him die in a horrible way…) and of course reading. I am thinking of following some writing courses in the future.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I prefer writing in English over my native language (Dutch) as I find the English language much richer. I am also used to talking, writing and reading in English so this wasn’t a hard decision to make.
I tend to write more when I am abroad or when I have just come back. Does that mean I should just travel more? I need to look into that thought, I like the sound of it.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
As stated above I’m currently working on my first novel. It will be the first in a series of 3. The cover is finished but the editing will take some more time. It is an epic fantasy story.
The world I am writing about has enough material to inspire almost 20 books (I really should write more). I have incorporated little bits and pieces into my book that could become novels themselves in the future.
11. What book are you reading now?
At the moment I have started reading Dragonqueen written by a young fantasy author in Belgium. The next book in the series Dragonelves is also high on my list.
12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?
Currently I’m writing epic fantasy, but I also have ideas for novels in science fiction and the paranormal. For the latter I will most likely work together with a very good friend of mine who has more experience with it.
Third person seems to suit me best.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
I think my editor will agree that I need to put more care into the planning.
The novel I am finishing was completely in my mind before I wrote it. I know how my characters are as a ‘person’ but it isn’t as easy to put their personalities into words as it is to put them into thoughts.
The plot is also worked out in my mind. I do find it interesting that sometimes the story demands other actions than I had originally planned. New ideas and views can arise just by writing and following what your heart says. A long walk can make me want a character to follow a completely different path.
Some stories do ask for a lot of research. I have an idea around Norse mythology and another using parts of the ancient astronaut theory that both will require a lot of reading to get some facts straight.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
I have a pretty good idea how my stories will end. I like to avoid a happily ever after as life is never that simple. Although the end of the story is mostly set firm in my mind, the way to get there can sometimes change. Characters sometimes make different choices than I want them to make, they really sometimes have a will of their own.
15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
They are purely for entertainment although you could find some messages as ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
No, not that I can think off.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
I love to travel and I enjoy photography. It is good that I can combine both and use it in my writing as well. I also like to read, cook and go for long walks.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
Always a hard question to answer.
I write some small personal things down in my stories, sometimes to help deal with things, sometimes just to share a little bit of myself.
19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
After they had vanished from sight, Erling Zivon entered the woods and headed to a small opening near a creek where beautiful yellow and purple irises grew. It was a short hike, but it took him a while because of his leg. When he got there, he listened to the water purling over the cobblestones, the wind ruffling through the trees, smelling the faint, creamy odor of the flowers and the moist grass. He loved the quiet here, the sounds and the smells, so did his son. It was the most beautiful spot of the woods and it was all theirs. As he started to dig a hole to hide the powerful dark ring, he hadn’t noticed a large bird veering down from great height. When it was almost on top of him it flapped its wings to be able to slow down and turn, to use its sharp claws. The sound startled him and he looked up quickly, falling to one side. It was too late. The talons dug deep into his flesh as the creature cocked its head. His last screams were in vain, lost to the woods.
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
When you are interested in finding out more about me and my stories feel free to add my author page on facebook, I would love to interact with you.
I hope you will like my stories and motivate me to write more for both our enjoyments.
Thanks Kevin!! Good luck with your work in progress.