Please give Hannah a warm welcome!
1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, The Vu: Gathering?
The sequel to The Vu, my debut novel from 2013, this new novel ups the ante for the protagonist, Sabella Hall, who is still healing from the tragedy that befell her in the first book. She is obligated to allow the entrance of a new member who makes it clear he is not there to make friends. Rather, he begins to manipulate her reality and threaten her life for his own dark purposes. This urban fantasy tale has a duel city setting: Tulsa, Oklahoma and Rochester, New York.
2. What part of the story came to you first?
I receive my inspirations in snippets, usually from songs. I had no plans for a sequel, until I dreamed of Sabella being attacked by the antagonist. Why would this young man do such a thing? The intrigue settled in and I knew, then, that Sabella’s story was unfinished.
3. Your main character, Sabella, runs a coven. Did you base this coven on a specific existing tradition?
No, although many of the coven’s powers revolve around pagan systems. Sabella can move like the wind, while Tommy can soothe with water. Everything is in some way based on an element. Originally I called the group a clan, but it didn’t fit.
4. How much planning/research did you do before beginning The Vu: Gathering?
I researched Rochester, simply because it’s been a few years since I last visited. Other than that, I let the characters do the walking. The beauty of the story is that the setting doesn’t have to be overly intricate, and the world of the Vu is completely my own. I did reference the first book occasionally to verify the accuracy of traditions and training styles.
5. Was writing this book more or less difficult than writing the first book in the series?
It was less difficult. The world was already in place, the characters (mostly) established. The hardest part was to weave through Sabella’s healing process and experience the moment when she was jerked out of that process and thrown right back into danger and turbulence.
6. If you could attribute your current writing success to one turning point in your career, what would it be?
Networking and learning that social media won’t bite! I have started attending events and making myself more available as an author figure.
7. What is your definition of writing success?
Writing success is writing. So many people talk about writing. They dream about it, plan it, and never do it. I’m incredibly proud to have my third book releasing soon, because it means I stopped talking about it and just did it.
8. What type of marketing have you found most effective so far?
Marketing is about connections, and they have to be personal or the reader feels no obligation to spend their hard-earned money on your books. Even J.K. Rowling’s fans sense a personal connection to her through the story, the characters, even if she isn’t standing there shaking their hands. To get the commitment from the reader, the writer has to give the commitment first.
9. If you could give an aspiring writer just one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Get the words down and don’t stop to edit. That’s what revisions are for.”
10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
The Vu: Gathering is releasing in the next couple of months, and after that I will be finishing the next book in The Shades of Orthea, my historical fantasy novel. Tentative release date for that will be October 2016.
Hannah Gray Gordon is an Oklahoma transplant originally from upstate New York. She is an infant care specialist by day, fantasy fiction writer by night, and waiting for the day she can move to writing full-time and spending every waking moment with her characters. She has avidly written in some form or another since the age of twelve, with her main interest always nestled within the fantasy and science fiction realms. She has her Associate of Arts from Tulsa Community College and is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with a minor in English from Oklahoma State University. She has studied under such academic greats as Stacie Takacs, David Gray (no relation), and Teresa Miller, and her degree focuses have been research, popular culture, and writing.
In other news, Hannah is also a violinist (Oklahoma Junior State Champion), photographer, and social media addict. She relishes a wide variety of books and films, and devours them in order to further her own skills and, of course, to have an excuse to consume a ridiculous amount of popcorn on a regular basis.