Earlier this year I read Oathbound, and Victoria McCombs immediately got added to my “read more books by this author” list! I am patiently(?) waiting for book two of The Royal Rose Chronicles, but McCombs has more in store for her readers! She was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.
1) What is the inspiration behind The Royal Rose Chronicles?
There was something inside of me that wanted to write a pirate story and wouldn’t let me stop thinking about it. I knew I wanted broken characters, and it was the characters that came to me before the plot did. I wanted a girl who was trying to make a life for herself after being denied a childhood, and whose mother was a pirate. I wanted a boy who could do whatever he wanted with his education but decided to sail the seas, but was intent on teaching everyone aboard his crew how to read, write, and do arithmetic so they would have options in life. Then the plot started coming: the island, the scorned best friend, the old lover, and the treasure that would be stolen many times over.
2) What are the underlying themes readers are likely to see?
Found family, overcoming weaknesses, identity, and right vs wrong
3) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written stories, but it wasn’t until I had my second child that I decided to start pursuing this as a career.
4) Do you type or handwrite your first draft?
I always type! I used to outline on paper but now I do that digitally, too.
5) What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love writing the first chapter. I’ll later edit it 100 times, but I love the fresh start of stories where you can do whatever you want. If I could write first chapters all day long, I would. It’s one of the ways I know a story is worth pursuing when I still want to write it after the first chapter.
6) Is there an aspect of writing you struggle with?
Endings are such a struggle for me. I never know how fast or slow to pace them, but I always have a million plot twists and big reveals planned for the end, that my endings are really fast. Then as soon as the excitement is over, I tend to just end the book right there. I need to work on slowing it down and giving a bit more at the end.
7) Describe your daily writing routine.
I’m also a stay-at-home mom with two preschoolers, so my day starts with getting them dressed and fed then I make coffee and get the practical writing things done for the day (answering emails, writing posts for patreon, reading for some coaching clients.) Then I do some school with the kids, then I write as much as I can before 1:30 when I always crash for the day and have zero productivity left.
8) Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?
Adrienne Young is a huge influence with how she starts her books, the phrases she uses, her pacing, and her character development. Others I love are Stephanie Garber, Leigh Bardugo, and Brigid Kemmerer.
9) What’s the last novel you read and enjoyed?
I’m reading A Vow So Bold and Deadly right now and Brigid Kemmerer never fails me! I love her cursebreaker series.
10) What are you working on now?
I’m writing a Viking story right now as I wait for edits back on the second pirate story!
A big Thank You to Victoria for taking time out of her day to answer these questions.
You can read my review of Oathbound here.