V.M. Sawh was born in South America and grew up in Toronto, Canada. He’s had pen and paper in his hand since he was 6 years old and his first trilogy of novels was completed at age 16. Despite the urgings of his Writer’s Craft professor, he didn’t publish at the time. He’s spent the years between then and now honing his craft and engaging in all manner of geeky pursuits including assembling a ridiculous collection of graphic novels, anime and movies.
In a fit of ill-advised ambition, he recently built his own computer which took him a year to assemble because as one computer expert put it: “You got the parts from Ferrari, Lamborghini & Boeing and then tried to make them talk to one another.” Several explosions and bouts of linguistic extravagance (that would make sailors blush) later he’d assembled a behemoth that still kicks all kinds of ass.
It is on said behemoth that he currently writes his newest collection of tales. He often fears that if he doesn’t write, the characters in his head will sing Barbara Streisand songs to him non-stop until their stories are told.
He currently resides in Markham, Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife-to-be, Kristin and his devoted lover-of-tummy-rubs, Beatrix the cat.
What inspires you to write?
I’m usually inspired by music, art and movies. I’m the guy that will sit there and dissect a movie scene visually (probably because I studied film) or will pay ridiculous amounts of cash for studio headphones so I can hear the notes behind the notes or discover something new in a piece of artwork even after 10 years.
I’m also generally inspired every day. Sometimes I see something or someone out of the corner of my eye and I want to write a story about it. Other times I’m yelling at the movie screen and vowing that I could write it better. A conceit, yes, but I’m looking at you Van Helsing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a rabid note-taker, which means I’m constantly on my phone and am pretty sure I have carpal tunnel at an embarrassingly young age.
I’m always listening to music when I write, as I used to make concept albums for fun when I wasn’t writing, so music is and will always be a part of my life.
Due to necessity I am an early riser, but I’m a grumpy cat about it. Sometimes I’ll stay up if one of my characters is demanding I write her story before she jumps off the cliff due to sheer boredom, like Sonic on a pause screen.
I am a pants-liner. Yes, that is a pants-only cruise ship. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
The less interesting truth is that I am half and half. There are story beats that I know I want to happen, but how I get there usually changes because along the way I realize a way to do it better. All of my stories start out as a scene or an image that just won’t let me go.
Character Sketches: I used to, but it’s more fun to let your characters surprise you with the way they breathe in their own stories.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They talk to me. Some of them are better at taking directions than others. Some scare the bejeesus out of me. Yes, that’s a word. No, I’m not going to say ‘Heebie Jeebies’ instead because it’s not 1955.
All of my characters start out by calling to me, insisting that their stories be written. Some I delay, due to story order or work commitments. But I can’t ever make them go away. They’re like loan sharks, if they were actual sharks.
What advice would you give other writers?
You think you suck, don’t you? Well you do. Yes, your grandma loves it. Keep writing until more people do. Never quit. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I met Guillermo del Toro, director of Hellboy, Blade II, Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim. Yes, really. I met one of my heroes in the flesh. I wrote all about it on my Facebook page ~ check it out.. The ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of it are all there.
The other push I received was from a fellow author by the name of Mark Leslie. I met him at the Ontario Writer’s Conference. He was a gracious, patient man and told me the truth: “Your stories aren’t going to do any good sitting in a drawer.”
Since I would rather more control over my cover art, release schedule and general output, I chose to go the ebook route through Amazon. Hit #2 on the Short Story charts within days and also hit #2 on the Free Ebook charts during my 1-day promotion.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishers are in a difficult position. Everyone is looking for the next Twilight and are therefore only looking for Twilight-y things. You can’t fault them, agents gotta eat too. Publishing is a business and they can’t afford to take risks on newcomers unless they know for sure that a book is going to sell.
The downside of this model is that it discourages creativity and experimentation. Cover design, plot-lines and protagonists start to blur together because there’s so much homogeneity because that’s what sells. That’s why there’s babyfaced teen popstars. It worked once, and it’ll work again.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Action, Spec Fiction
What formats are your books in?