Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcoming Voss Foster & His Debut Novel Tartaros

Adriane: Hello, Voss thanks for joining me today. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.

Voss: Well, thanks so much for having me. I’m a young adult (for the most part) writer, and a fantasy (for the most part) writer. I’m also an amateur belly dancer and photographer.
How I got here…it’s an interesting tale, depending on your definition of interesting. I’d say the idea first popped into my head when my fourth grade teacher nominated me most likely to become a famous author. Mind you, I then forgot about that for years. Then, right after I graduated from high school, I wrote Tartaros. The rest is history.

When you write a book, especially speculative fiction, so much doesn’t make it in. With this book, most of the stuff that didn’t make it was character sort of things. The thing that stands out to me now is the way the hunters fight. You don’t get to see as much as I would have liked and, by the final draft, seeing all the nifty little things like that just weren’t quite as important.
But, you don’t have to be a hunter to fight demons. Trust me, it helps, but here’s ten tips that’ll keep you alive in the event that this turns out to be a non-fiction book at some point in the future:
1.   Always keep salt on hand. It won’t necessarily do a lot of damage to a demon, but it will definitely be enough pain to distract your would-be attacker.
2.   Silver is silver is silver. It doesn’t have to be a stake or anything and you don’t have to be a hunter. Great-great-grandma Ida’s silver gravy boat, in a pinch, could be used to fend off a demon.
3.   Holy water is definitely effective. It can aid healing, even if you aren’t a hunter, but it’s also a great deterrent for demons—it burns.
4.   If you can, fight the demon in a kitchen or a supermarket baking aisle: almost every spice can do something to a demon.
5.   Don’t waste your time making a cross or symbols or anything—it’s not going to do regular humans an ounce of good against a demon.
6.   Health food shops are your friend. At least, any health food shop that sells essential oils.
7.   Learn what’s around you. If you have old dimes, nickels, and quarters, those are made of silver. So are old dollar coins. Pumpkin pie spice and five spice powder both have cinnamon in them. Wooden chairs, depending on what they’re made of, can be bloody useful, too.
8.   Copper used to be the metal of choice for hunters. It’s not as effective as silver, but is far more readily available. Tip over that change jar on top of your fridge and watch what happens when pennies hit your demon.
9.  Tobacco smoke is a natural repellent. Bust out those cigarettes.
10. When in doubt, don’t over think it. Hit the freaking demon with whatever’s at hand rather than let it attack you while you’re figuring out what’s most effective.

Adriane: That’s so clever! I wish I’d thought of it. :)

Adriane: What genre would you say you generally write in and is there another genre you’d like to write but haven’t yet?

Voss: I normally write fantasy, with a little dabbling in sci-fi, paranormal, and horror. But fantasy is definitely my main zone.
As for a genre I’d like to write in, I’ve been fascinated with bizarro fiction for a few years, but it’s really hard to pin down exactly how you write it. It’s sort of a combination of splatterpunk and magical realism, I guess. Something to that effect. Mind you, I’m not so great at writing either of those either, so that’s not a helpful definition, is it?

Adriane: As Tartaros draws to a close how do you feel about the book in general? And what is your hope moving forward?

Voss: There’s definitely a sense of excitement. This project has been two and a half years in the making, and I’d almost completely decided it was just going to languish in the realm of trunk stories. Of course, that obviously didn’t happen
Moving forward…in a general sense, I have an awful lot of projects in the works, including stories about puppets and the circus.
In the sense of Tartaros, I don’t make any promises that there will be any more books…but I don’t make any promises that there won’t be any more books.

Adriane: Do you have a favorite character?

Voss: If I was forced to pick, at least when it comes to Tartaros, it’s a real tossup. I have to admit, I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Isaiah. But, from a character standpoint, Archer tugs at my little old heartstrings.

Adriane: Can you remember how you felt when you first saw one of your books in a bookshop, or being read by a member of the public?

Voss: Hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully soon, though.

Adriane: What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?

Voss: My first acceptance was another interesting one. I was actually at a convention when I got the eMail. It was just this little piece of flash fiction (Sky Symphony) written under the name Dee Williams. I didn’t make any money, but I think it was very important that the first thing I ever submitted got accepted.
And yes, it’s definitely still a thrill. I think of acceptances like a drug—you’re always chasing after that ideal high.

Adriane: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do, or did you deal with them?

Voss: Yes. Rejections rejections rejections. So many stories getting rejected, sent back out, rejected, lathered, rinsed, repeated. A few will come in a row, I’ll decide to live in my backyard and knit sweaters for cats the rest of my life. Then I’ll start writing again and fall back into the rhythm.

Adriane: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?

Voss: Agents. I suppose an agent wouldn’t hurt. I have yet to sub to one, although that day is probably coming sooner rather than later. I also don’t see how an agent could be seen as vital. Too many self-publishers and unagented authors out there, paying their bills, for me to believe that.

Adriane: Given how busy you are, this sounds like a silly question but do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Voss: Writer’s block doesn’t exist. You can be creatively drained, or disinterested in your project, or have too much going on to make a decision about what to write, but writer’s block, in the traditional sense of not being able to write, doesn’t exist. Even if you’re writing utter crap, you can write. Just accept that it’s crap.

Adriane: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?

Voss: Both. Sometimes, I’ll sit down and meticulously plan out every detail of my story (sometimes multiple times). Sometimes I just start writing and see where it goes. Sometimes I have a sort of vague thing in my head as to where the story’s headed, but I leave it open to the universe. It just depends on what my whim is.

Adriane: Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop etc., do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?

Voss: I’m big on having some sort of noise. Given complete control, I’ll put on music…normally a playlist I’ve designed for the purpose of writing said project. Or I’ll put on a movie or something that’s a nice match for the project and use that as background. Either way: sound is good.

Adriane: You’re on Twitter and have a Facebook Page, how valuable do you find social networking?

Voss: I can see it being very useful…of course; I rarely ever use Twitter or Facebook. Maybe I will once I actually have work out…that sounds far more likely.

Adriane: What do you think the future holds for a writer?

Voss: I don’t know, really, so I won’t make any industry predictions. The only thing I can say with any level of confidence is that writers, at no point in the near future, will be able to do the job without actually writing. Which I know is a huge disappointment. Like you, I’ve often dreamed of a hat that just spews books out of your brain and onto paper.

Adriane: It’s definitely an interesting time at the moment. You have a blog ( is this the best place to find out about you and your writing?

Voss: It probably is, but I also have a Twitter account (@VossFoster) a Facebook page (, and I have a Goodreads page for all my works, as well.

Adriane: Can you give you a brief blurb of the story?

A demon hunter, Daniel Tartaros is sworn to slay the denizens of Hell and, for over a decade, he has. He’s kept the world, and his girlfriend, safe. But, one night, the demons cross the threshold to his home. His girlfriend is taken, possessed by a powerful demon. Too powerful for him.

But the horror increases when he finds out the truth: it’s not just a demon. Lilith, the Queen of Hell, bound herself into a human body to be with him. But, broken free and without the restraint of a human life, she still needs him, and plans to use all of her power to keep him. She’ll do what it takes to keep him, even if it means the end of life.

They should pull apart, should, by all means, abandon their relationship. But something powerful pushes them together, something so subtle neither notices until it’s too late to turn back. With Earth hanging by spider’s silk, the tiniest ripple from either Daniel or Lilith could send it swinging into the fires of destruction.

Adriane: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Voss: Thank you so very much for having me here. And remember: Tartaros, out through Prizm Books. For all you fans of YA fiction. I will also be giving away a free eCopy of 'Tartaros' at the end of the tour. Commenter's wanting to enter will have to leave their eMail address in the comments, below.

Adriane: Thank you Voss! I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you and am so grateful for your time.

Voss Foster has written several stories including: The Drying (Evolution Volume 2), Misplaced (Wandering Weeds: Tales of Rabid Vegetation), Playground (Apocrypha and Abstractions), and Coffee (Signals from the Void). A full list of her work can be found on his website (


January 2nd: Voss Foster :: Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics (
January 3rd: Frances Pauli :: Speculative Friction (
January 4th: M. Pax :: Wistful Nebula (
January 5th: B.B. Hartwich :: B.B. Hartwich Author Blog (
January 6th: Adriane Ceallaigh :: Adriane Ceallaigh (
January 7th: Jaleta Clegg :: The Far Edge of Normal (
January 8th: S. Evan Townsend :: Writer's Thoughts (

Voss Foster lives in the middle of the Eastern Washington desert, where he writes speculative fiction from inside a single-wide trailer. When he can be torn away from his keyboard, he can be found cooking, practicing photography, singing, playing trombone, and belly dancing, though rarely all at once. His first full length work, Tartaros, is out now through Prizm Books.

Twitter: @VossFoster


If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just and I’ll send you the questions.