Author of the Month Interview - Vaughn R. Demont

Today we welcome September's Author of the Month, Vaughn R. Demont, to the clubhouse!  After reading his stories this month, we had some questions, so we invited him in for a chat.  Please join us as we learn more about Vaughn and his writing :)

Oh, but first, can I just say how much I like how Vaughn signs his emails?
Vaughn R. Demont. Writer, gamer, waffle addict.  
Yes, I think Vaughn will fit in nicely here at the clubhouse.
*passses plate of waffles to Vaughn*
*begins asking all kinds of questions*

BMBR: House of Stone has such an intricate plot, where did the inspiration come from and how long did it take you to write it?

Vaughn: House of Stone was initially born from a writing prompt I was given by a reader that involved a porn star and a grand piano. The grand piano was worked into the background of one of the characters, but I thought it would be interesting to consider a modern noble whose fealty was pretty much a slum, and how he'd be able to keep up on the cost of running it. After talking with a few authors and researching articles on the realities of the porn industry, particularly the "endurance, endurance, endurance" line, I thought it'd be an interesting challenge for a Fae noble to keep his manor solvent by paying for it by doing gay porn. It gave me the opportunity to explore an aspect of the City I hadn't previously considered, namely the Fae, and it established a lot of events that have been referenced in the Broken Mirrors series. The plotline of Breaking Ties, the upcoming book in the series, is directly effected by the events of House of Stone.
Writing it was a lot of stop and start at first, and it sat on a shelf until I found a fan who was willing to give me real-time feedback on the story as I wrote it. I posted the story to her one paragraph at a time in an IM window, and knowing someone was waiting to find out what happened next was what kept me writing. She ended up getting the dedication for the book because I likely wouldn't have finished it without her.

BMBR: Which of your characters are you most like in real life and which one would you want most to be your BF/partner/whatever word?

Vaughn: I would have to say that James and Spencer from the Broken Mirrors series best reflect how I am in real life, James being what I was like in my 20s, while Spencer, surprisingly, represents me now that I've grown up a bit. Spence is a bit of a jester, sure, but at his core, under all the jokes and jibes and acres of pop culture savviness, he knows what needs to be done when everything's on the line. I'm trying to be more like that.
Well, I've already got a BF RL, we've been together 2 years now, but if I had to pick someone, it'd be a tie between Daniel from The Vampire Fred, and probably Ozzie, as he's one of the more down to earth characters I've written. Still, with most of the characters I'd love to hang out with them, or have a burger at the K Street Diner so long as AC/DC's not playing that day. :)

BMBR: I really enjoy how you constantly break through the fourth wall in your writing.  A lot of authors try but they just can't seem to get it right.  But you have a real mastery of the technique.  What inspired you to use the technique and is it something that always came easy to you or did it take a lot of practice?

Vaughn: To be honest I love genre-savvy characters, which is why Spence is so fun to write. I think the key to writing them is knowing a key point about readers: they don't just read. They watch TV shows, movies, procedurals, read comics and countless genres, and there are definite rules that we all know must be followed, you know? Having a character point things like that out to the reader without breaking it, it's like winking at the camera, and as long as you establish that it's okay to do that in your story, you should be able to get away with it. But again, it's all about knowing who your audience is, and respecting them even as you're getting in your little digs, letting them know it's okay to laugh. I think that's the difference between sly, organic, working references in movies like Scream vs. outright name-dropping in fare like, say, Epic Movie. The former tells the audiences they're smart enough to get the reference and crack a smile, the latter hits the audience over the head with it because they think the audience is stupid. Guess which one's going to fly better? :)

BMBR:  What is your favorite genre to read?  Favorite author/books?

Vaughn: I got my start reading traditional fantasy like a lot of writers in this genre, then branched out into cyberpunk, crime fiction, and finally urban fantasy. I have a lot of favorite authors, particularly William Gibson, because I love how his cyberpunk modernized noir writing as well as providing neologisms we all use today. Elmore Leonard just writes amazing crime fiction, and I think anyone who wants to learn how to write dialogue should have him on their reading list. Jim Butcher, well, he's one of the luminaries of urban fantasy, and he was actually the subject of my masters studies in grad school. I just love the way urban fantasy explores morality in fiction, in the endless shades of gray, but still provides so many opportunities for humor, romance, and the blending of so many other genres.

BMBR:  How did you get into writing?

Vaughn: I'm one of those guys that's been writing since 5th grade. An author, Bruce Coville, came to our elementary school to do a reading from one of his books, and he signed a story I'd been working on at the time, I think it was fanfiction for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but he signed it with "Keep writing!" And I did. During high school I used to buy one subject notebooks and just filled them with this long, meandering cliche-ridden fantasy novel. When I got into SUNY Oswego (Go Lakers!) I majored in Creative Writing and played a lot of White Wolf RPGs on the side, particularly Mage: the Ascension. James was initially a Hollow One, kind of a Goth mage, rolled/created for that game, that I gave a huge backstory too. He ended up getting desanctioned because he got involved with another character and they weren't too happy about that, so I said screw it, and wrote a book to further that relationship, writing a paranormal romance between a human and a satyr in modern times. It's since been cannibalized and disavowed, but it was the forerunner of the City setting that all of my urban fantasy works are based in. 
BMBR:  Any new projects we should look out for?

Vaughn: Book 4 of Broken Mirrors is due out in April 2015, and I'm currently working on Book 5, as well as a couple standalone side projects set in the City.

Thanks again for being our Author of the Month!

Thanks for having me!

As Author of the Month, Vaughn is an honorary unicorn here in the BMBR clubhouse. Please welcome his unicornian alter ego, Chestnut Charming Reins!
Chestnut is a prankster who loves to have fun. 
He is charming and cheerful, and he casts mischievous spells.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great interview! Demont was one of the very first M/M authors I read. I just loved Coyote's Creed and have recommended it to scads of people. House of Stone was even better. I continue to be a huge fan. Thanks for giving me a little insight into what makes a waffle lover tick. (Yeah, not a fan of those myself. I prefer French Toast.)