Sunday, March 24, 2019

Welcome Our New Contributor V. S. Holmes

V. S. Holmes is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. She has written the epic fantasy REFORGED series and the archaeological sci-fi series the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in her fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, she has published short fiction and poetry in several anthologies. She also runs Amphibian Press, dedicated to helping hybrid authors with publishing.

When not writing, she works as a contract archaeologist and, as a disabled gender-queer person, is an activist for equal rights and climate change. She lives in a Tiny House with her husband, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and owns too many books for such a small abode.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Like most of us, I started writing at a young age--my first series was 12 books about my teddy bear, Heidi, and all her adventures, from trekking the Amazon to getting a new adopted sister (I was an only child and "vicarious" isn't a strong enough word!) Despite this, I never considered getting a degree in English or related fields. Instead, I did pre-med, got a bio degree. Archaeology, however, renewed my love for writing. I realized what I loved was discovering the story of people who were dead or--in case of writing--never lived. I renewed my work on what would become Smoke and Rain, started an indie press, and never looked back.

What draws you to your particular genre?

Though most of my schooling experience was unpleasant, I was lucky to have parents who were passionate about the world and instilled a deep curiosity in me. I was one of those kids who wasn't allowed to watch TV, but the exceptions were NOVA, Cosmos, and the Nature Channel, and the occasional Wish Bone. The drive to explore and question ultimately brought me to science fiction and fantasy, worlds I could create to be gentler to people marginalized in this world. Plus, let's face it--space is awesome!

What can the Readers of The Aspiring Author Blog expect to gain from your posts?

I hope readers will begin to notice how others navigate the emotional, mental, and physical world, and what we can do to help those who have inherent struggles. SFF is a genre that is supposed to push the boundaries of what we feel possible, so what better genre to show where we want our world to go. If I can instill hope in people who see themselves in my writing and posts, and increase empathy in those who maybe didn't realize the difficulties others face, I'll consider it a success!

What is one tip you have for aspiring authors in your genre?

Keep exploring. Keep reading, keep writing, really immerse yourself in the world and never stop asking yourself "what if?"

V. S. Holmes is our fantasy contributor, with her posts focusing on disability and mental illness in SFF worlds. Her posts are on the fourth Sunday of every month.

Connect with V. S. Holmes: Website  Amphibian Press Podcast   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram