RJ Truman is the author of the White Chronicles, a series of fantasy novels for grown-ups that began with Obsidian White Shades Of Violet. With The Red Cliffs and her most recent novel, Blue Like My Heart, Truman’s self-published novels have blended the supernatural with deeply human issues and have garnered her a dedicated following.
Blue Like My Heart is the story of Adrianna, a demon who finds herself in the body of a mortal human. How will she cope in the real world?
Truman talked to SciFiNow about writing fantasy tales for adults, the journey of self-publishing, and her advice for first-time authors.
How would you pitch the White Chronicles to a first-time reader?
I would say that the White Light Chronicles are fantasy stories aimed at adults more so than children. They contain many different elements of fantasy in them, from elves and vampires to gods and goddesses. I even have unicorns in there so there is something for everyone.
What was it about the character of Adrianna that drew you in, that made you realise you wanted to write Blue Like My Heart around her?
Adrianna is a very exciting and complex character. Although she lives in the Under World she questions its existence, and in doing so ends up living as a human. It’s her living this life that gives the main vampire in the story the idea that he wants to go to Earth. So it was important for me to write her story as it explains lots of the reasons why certain things happen.
Has exploring different characters in each book, with their own supernatural experiences, been part of the joy of writing the White Light Chronicles?
It’s definitely been great fun writing all the different characters stories. Each character has their own personality and set of supernatural abilities so it allows me to tell the story from lots of different angles. It’s also given me the space to introduce different characters into each story. Ones that might not appear in other stories.
Do you enjoy the collision of real world and fantasy elements?
I find it very interesting trying to mix elements of the real world with the fantasy one. I try as much as possible to put the reader in the characters shoes. That way it allows them to get a feeling for what the characters must be going through. For example I might start a story in the real world, and just when you feel comfortable there I transport you to the fantasy one. That way its as much of a shock for the readers as it is the characters.
Do you think that the supernatural aspect allows you the freedom to explore your characters more vividly and more excitingly than you might with a more traditional coming of age tale?
Making the characters supernatural definitely gives me more freedom to explore different aspects of their personalties. i have to think about things such as for example how would a vampire react in a certain situation. Then I combine that with the personality traits and extra powers I have given them, and that’s when things get really exciting.
Were there any particular authors or inspirations that you were looking towards when you began writing?
I absolutely love Tolkien, and the whole Middle Earth concept. Other than that I’ve read most of the vampire diaries series, and twilight. Along with Dracula, and The Historian. I think it was the love of Tolkien and my interest in vampires that lead me to create a character that is half elf half vampire.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing?
Self-publishing is an interesting experience, it’s allowed me to have complete control over how I want the books to look. Both inside and out. It’s a very time consuming process when you do it all yourself and very challenging. I never thought I would be doing all the formatting and making the kindle versions all myself. I’m very lucky though to have a friend who is a very talented artist she has designed the last few book covers for me. That has been a real blessing.
How important is interaction with your readers?
It’s very important for me to interact with my readers, as I’m self published I have to do all of the promotion work for my books. I like to know what my readers think of my work, and also rely on them a lot to spread the word for me.
What advice would you give an author who is just starting out?
The main advice I give to authors who are just starting out is don’t rule out self-publishing. Its a lot of hard work but it’s also a great way to get your work out there. And you never know what might happen as a result of it.
What’s next? Are you going to continue in the White Light Chronicles or do you see yourself breaking off and exploring something else?
As for what happens next I have a few different ideas for other stories that tie in with the White Light Chronicles. But I am also working on something new and will be interested to see where that takes me.
The three books of The White Light Chronicles are available now. Discover RJ Truman’s work at Amazon.co.uk.