Tell our readers a little bit about yourself… not something they’ll get from your bio… just about you in general!
Okay! Well, my bio does cover a lot, however, I’m a huge and lifelong anime nerd. Grew up with and on it and haven’t left it!
Tell me about your books. What do you write? What’s your preferred genre (or topic, if nonfiction), and what drew you to write it?
Well, my blog is on my website which I’ll link later. What I write is urban fantasy, so the supernatural set today. My works have often been compared to Jim Butcher’s, the Supernatural TV show, Buffy, X-Files, Quantum Leap, and Hellblazer/Constantine.
Urban Fantasy is definitely my favorite genre because I’m a mythology buff and I love the history, creativity and ability to put spins on an endless number of monsters.
Who is your favorite character you’ve ever written about, and why?
That’s a tough one, my favorite character…ugh. I love all of the ones I’ve written over my currently two series…but I’d have to say Vincent Graves. He started it all. The awards and award nominations. The fan base…everything!
Writing is tough, and finishing projects is even tougher. What drives you to write? Why/when did you start writing?
I don’t have a choice. No, really, I don’t. I never planned this. I was 18 and out of high school on summer break right before college. My life has been a struggle against suicidal depression and after an attempt to take my own life…something spurred me to write a fantasy novel…and I fell in love.
It was the most amazingly awesome story ever because I made sure to tell you how awesome everything was every page…and paragraph and line…
Okay, it was horrible. Trash, idealistic, fantasy writing. But I loved it. I spent the next 5 years practicing and getting better until I published Grave Beginnings which was the best thing I’ve ever done. Not my best writing as you obviously only get better. But boy-oh-boy did it get the ball rolling. I don’t have a choice, writing is what I love and made for.
What’s your elevator pitch? What would you add to your elevator pitch if you had more time? Sell us on your work!
The Grave Report is the Dragon Award-nominated urban fantasy series that’s Dresden Files meets Quantum Leap!
If I had more time? The Grave Report follows paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves. Murdered by the supernatural and left without a clue as to what did it, he’s forced to inhabit the bodies of those killed by monsters and use their minds, memories, bodies and skills to solve their murders. There’s only so long he can stay in a body to do it however. And the more he does it, the more memories and skills he keeps from the deceased at the cost of his original own. The series begins in media res of him having done this so long that he can no longer remember his own name/identity and is on a quest to recover that while helping people.
What would you say has been the hardest part of being an author/writer/blogger/game creator?
Making the time to write, at least for me. My daily life is hectic
What has been the best or easiest part?
Finishing the novels is the best part. Easy? What’s that? A French word? What’s easy?
What do you do when you find the words just won’t come to you?
Write anyways. Career authors finish, no matter what. 6 months after your book releases, you won’t be able to go back and read to find out which words came to you inspired and which you ground through to find.
We all have those things that keep us going… what keeps you coming back to your manuscript/blog/projects? Is it a process? Do you set goals for yourself? Are you purely inspiration driven? Pacts with aliens? What is it?
This is my calling. Yeah, that’s corny and metaphysical…but it just is. I love writing. I love the English language and medium of language arts. Playing with words, shaping them to voices, characters and more. You can have long, ethereal prose that continues to flow and mount to a masterstroke of a crescendo in a scene. Or, you can have something clipped. Punchy. Impact. Something a bit in between that gets the point across. It’s fluid, living, dynamic. I love it.
And…I’m at the point where I’ve got fan clubs and fans who…won’t let me stop even if I wanted to…
What do you love about the genre/subject you write and what others appeal to you?
All the mythology. Like I said, huge mythos nut.
What can we expect from you next? Tell us about the plans for your books.
My next work will be the third novel in The Grave Report. I just launched Dangerous Ways, book one of a new series in the same world, the series tile is: The Books of Winter.
How are you published or how would you like to be published? What are your thoughts on independent publishing and self-marketing? What direction would you like to see the industry move?
I’m indie published across the world. I’m available in all eBook sellers and formats, I’m in paperbacks world wide and hardcovers and soon to be audio books. I wouldn’t change a thing about how I’ve done it. I’d like to submit and have some traditionally published works and be a hybrid. That’s my likely future to be honest. I’ll have indie and trad pub series. I’ve had agents come to me and publishers interested at this time. But I’m taking it slow and building my name and brand first.
Who is your favorite character from a book you didn’t write, and why?
Fave character I haven’t written (yet I hope) is Batman. (I’m still hoping I get a job at DC comics to write him) Why? Because I grew up with the Dark Knight. I love his strength of character, convictions, all he has overcome and does. He works for everything. He pushes himself without superpowers to be in Superman’s own words, “The most dangerous man on the planet,” which is pretty awesome.
He’s well developed over decades. He’s well written. He’s the paragon of human ability.
What are your favorite computer games, and why?
Favorite computer games? Oh that’s easy…The Elder Scrolls series. I grew up on them with my first computer with Arena…Daggerfall, Morrowind on Xbox and Oblivion as well. Finally I got Skyrim on my gaming PC with mods… What can’t you do across such a beautiful fantasy realm? It’s perfect.
What are you working on currently and when can we expect to see it hit the shelves (physical or virtual shelves, that is)?
I’m writing the third novel in The Grave Report and it’ll be out hopefully summer/fall 2017 and then a dark speculative fiction/fantasy for a UK publisher hopefully 2017 winter or early 2018.
Editor’s Note: Virdi also has a fan club email list and a very informative and entertaining video blog series. Check ’em out! Also, check out his short story, along with several other excellent fantasy pieces, in The Longest Night Watch. Inspired by the late, beloved author Terry Pratchett, this anthology is published to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease. All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, in the hope of one day finding a cure.
R.R. Virdi is the Dragon Award—Nominated author of The Grave Report, a paranormal investigator series set in the great state of New York. He has worked in the automotive industry as a mechanic, retail, and in the custom gaming computer world. He’s an avid car nut with a special love for American classics.
The hardest challenge for him up to this point has been fooling most of society into believing he’s a completely sane member of the general public.