Neil Staley

I just completed my author interview with fairly new author – Neil Staley, who gave us the privilege of reviewing his book Out of the Light. Thank you for taking the time to do the interview with us Neil and I look forward to seeing book two in the series. Click HERE to read the book review that I did on this book.

Check out the books that we have listed by him: Vampires

How old were you when you knew that you was destined to be a writer?
I wrote some short stories in high school, and always had that ‘itch’ to write something, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s that I knew exactly what I wanted to write and that I would really end up doing it.

What was your inspiration for Out of the Light?
At the time I wrote the first draft, I felt that there was something missing in some of the books I was reading. I had recently taken a trip to the US alone and it was while traveling that I began to hit upon the idea of an adventure story; one that encompassed adventure, tragedy, horror, revenge, and vampires. As for the actual events as they happened in the story line, one thing literally led to another until, about half way through, I knew where the plot was finally going and how to draw this first chapter to a close.

Who is your biggest supporter and why?
My father. He told me when I was younger to just go for it, and when I received the letter from the publisher, saying that it had been accepted for publication, he framed it and hung it on the wall. Ever since, even after the rewrite, he’s been encouraging me to push on and write the second, the third, as well as other books and stories.

What made you choose to write about vampires versus other paranormal areas?
It’s a genre that has held a long fascination for me. There is a certain romanticism and nobility with vampires that you just don’t have with other areas of the supernatural. There is a lot to work with as far as character development goes, and even though these creatures share the same general traits and characteristics, you can have a lot of fun shaping individual characters and building a really diverse universe within the story.

How long did it take you to complete the book Out of Light from start to finish?
Eleven weeks. Once I had decided to write it, I sat down and it just poured out. I literally wrote line by line, sentence by sentence, until the last word had been typed and I knew I was finished. That led me to believe that there is more to this adventure and that this story doesn’t end with Book one.

Do you have any other books in the works?
Besides Out of the Light books two and three, I have outlines for two more stories and a rough draft screenplay for book one. I like the idea of short stories, so I’ll be heading in that direction also.

What one word would you use to describe yourself and why?
Scattered. I have a million ideas flying around in my head most of the time and very limited time to get them down onto paper in any sort of organised fashion. I’m a graphic artist professionally and so there is the visual side of my creative nature to be fed and nurtured also.

Do you have a favorite author and if so do you believe they have impacted the writer that you are today?
I have to mention Anne Rice, even just to acknowledge that, while I greatly admire her and her works, it was while reading her vampire chronicles that I grew a little frustrated and first began to really think about writing for myself.

What one thing about your book “Out of the Light” do you think makes it stand out from other books that may be similar?
I really focused on the characters and the way they interact and are connected to the real world. I tried to make sure that, although this is an introduction to an adventure that is rooted very deeply in vampire lore, I kept it firmly fixed to their presence in the world, the time frame, and how they are just players on a very mortal stage, rather than, say, ‘this is a vampire story and here is how they live and hunt and feed and kill’. There are moments where humans are witness to just fragments of the vampires’ actions, and you can see how deeply shocking and impactful it is for them to see that. However behind the scenes these creatures are, there will be reminders that the undercurrent of their existence is far more powerful than anything any human could hope to be able to stand up to, so I wanted to keep coming back to reminders of that throughout the book, especially as it plays a big part in how the story comes to an end.

What advice would you give to new authors?
It’s easy to be concerned with having too many tiny details. If you think you have a good story to tell, I think it’s far easier to be a little overly-detailed and then simplify, than to have to add more detail later because some of the dialogue, or a particular scene description is a little light. As I mentioned, mine just poured out. It wasn’t hard work and frameworks and notes trying to put it all together. The research was there, where it needed to be, but I wasn’t held up by worrying about how detailed or not it was. It’s there in front of you and you have all the time you need to go through it and fine tune until you’re happy with the finished story.

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