Name: Birth Name: Asya (Asia) Danielle Ring
Pen Name: Kira Von Wolfe
Where are you from: Williamsport (Home of the Little League) Pennsylvania, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I grew up as an only child and have none of my own. I live with my boyfriend of almost three years and have three Dumbo rats; I guess you can call them my family. I went to about 5 different elementary schools in the area—we moved around a lot–but eventually I ended up at Loyalsock Valley Elementary in Montoursville Pa and went to Montoursville middle school and graduated from the high school. After high school I went to Green Mountain College in Vermont for two years and then transferred to Lycoming College in Williamsport because I was tired of being 6 ½ hours away from home. But, hindsight being 20/20, I dropped out after a year at Lycoming because it was not the right school for me in ANY sense. I had a miserable time there and did not like how the professors handled their classes. So I joined the work force full time in 2010 and have been trying to make a living ever since. In 2012 I signed a contract for my first publication, Beckon, a short story in the anthology, The Spark Volume One from Scribbcrib publishing. And then in 2013 I signed a contact with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. I am currently with both publishing houses.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My first novel, Beautiful Blood: Book One of the Eternal Sovereigns Series is scheduled to be released on January 31st, 2015 and I am very excited!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at a very early age—as soon as I could hold a pencil-same with drawing. I was always a creative child. I remember when I was younger I used to make picture books, usually of things that happened in my life; Mom and I going to the grocery store, my being bullied, etc. It was an outlet for me and I was an introverted child with hardly any friends; I made my friends up in my stories until I “learned” how to make real ones.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I finished my first story. I was in middle school, maybe 5th or 6th grade. I was hooked on the show Forever Knight, for anyone who remembers that show. What I ended up writing was a fan fiction, though at the time fan fictions were not well known—if they even existed—and I certainly had no idea that it was a “fan fiction.” It was clean since I was so young when I wrote it. It was about 15 or 20 pages, I believe, and I felt so accomplished when I finished it. I knew from that moment on I knew how I could actually get the ideas from my head—though I did not possess the necessary skills to do so. But I did it anyway. It all took off from there and I wrote every day and before I knew it I had all these stories, or parts of stories written down—I had an entire box full by the time my middle school career ended!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Go figure, as a gamer, a video game inspired my first “book.” I had gone to a friend’s house to play the PlayStation One (so long ago—most of the youngsters reading this probably don’t even know what the PSOne looks like!) and I started to play this game called Clock Tower. It is a survival horror game (and after that I discovered Resident Evil and then Silent Hill—which also feed my creative juices). My friend ended up giving me the game (also how I got the first Resident Evil). I was obsessed! I played it all the time and I ended up wanting to write a book about it and I did. It took me a few weeks to write and it was exactly 100 pages. I wrote it all by hand in a composition notebook (I didn’t have a function computer until I graduated high school in 2007!)
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I always try to go for horror, but my work always turns out to be more suspenseful than anything—at least in my opinion. I just don’t feel that anyone can put true horror into words without it ended up as just suspense. I feel the same applies even to master horror writers like Stephen King. I love his work and he is amazing, but I can’t find a sense of horror even between his words. Perhaps there is something that I am missing or maybe the fact that nothing I ever read or watch scares me or is scary to me, because I know that it’s just fiction? Either way, I always try to go for the element of fear, so I usually just categorize my works as “fiction/suspenseful/paranormal” and sometimes “gothic” and “romance.”
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
To try to answer this question as best as I can, if we are talking about my book Beautiful Blood, it just popped into my head right away and stuck. If we are talking about my first “book”, Clock Tower, I just used the video game title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think the only message that could be grasped from Beautiful Blood, since it’s a fictional story about vampires, is strength. I love portraying strength in my novels, especially in female characters. In Beautiful Blood, the main character, Sage, is given many opportunities to show strength and self-reliance. I hope that is something that ALL my readers can pick up on, especially any young readers. I hope that they can gather some kind of encouragement from it. One thing that bugs me is when I see someone not stand up for themselves and/or can’t protect themselves from whatever or whomever it is they are encountering. It’s hard to find your strength and words, trust me, I know that all too well, so I would feel even more accomplished if my readers could find strength from Beautiful Blood in some way or form.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
That is a very good question. Though the story itself isn’t very realistic, I tried to portray realistic relationships throughout the book. The biggest and most obvious being Sage’s relationship with her parents.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really. I never had a problem with drugs and drinking, ever, let alone at an early age as Sage comes to explain about herself in the book. And though some of my friends started to experiment and party at a young age, it was never a “problem.” Some of Sage’s friends are based loosely on some of my friends but the relationships in the book are nothing like the relationships I have with my friends and neither I nor my friends had relationships with our parents like Sage has with hers—which is fractured. The closest thing to reality is that Faith was based on a best friend of mine, but doesn’t necessarily have her personality. The setting for the book, when I wrote the very first draft many years ago, was located in the town where I went to school. And though I still imagine some of the setting as Montoursville, I really got away from that in the later re-writes and ended up crafting my own, fictional, town.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This question brings me to a VERY big change in my life. In fact I like to say that vampires saved my life, as strange as that seems. I was in 8th grade and had struggled to get there. In my middle school all students were required to participate in a program called Accelerated Reader. I don’t remember how many books were required to be read each year, but aside of reading the recommended amount of books, we also had to take a test on the books we read and pass them in order for the book to count towards Accelerated Reader. I HATED this program. I wasn’t a reader, in fact, I never read anything and even in 8th grade my reading level was still at an elementary level. I hated to read. My mother used to have to force me to read for assignments and even then I never finished what I was supposed to be reading. Naturally, not reading at my grade level interfered with my success in school. But that all changed when I discovered the book, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde. I had been obsessed with vampires since I was 3 or 4—when I started to watch horror movies—and I knew vampire books existed. But seeing as I was intimidated by books, and thought reading was boring, I never ventured into that section of the school’s library. But one day I ended up wondering into that section and found Companions of the Night. I kept picking it up and putting it down. Something about it beckoned me and I wasn’t satisfied until I checked it out and took it home with me. I started to read it and I couldn’t put down. I read the book after school—and whenever I had free time—and finished it in two or three days. I took the Accelerated Reader test and passed with a 100%. Every book I read after that was from that section and I read every single vampire book the library had. I finished every book I checked out in two to three days and became a regular at the library—the librarians were impressed. I read the Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike as well as the first book of his Remember Me series (the only one of the series my library had) as well as other books by Vande Velde and got into R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Series. My reading level shot up over an 8th grade level and my school work started to improve. I know that in some way, if I never started to read and didn’t discover the magic of vampire novels, I probably wouldn’t be where I am with my writing today. Writing is a natural gift for me, but one can’t fully understand it until one reads, and then does it and pieces everything together. But going to college helped and that experience—as well as high school—could have been worse or even none-existent if I never picked up that book.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading several different books right now—and I always do that. I can never wait to move onto the next one and I end up with a “to finish” list. But that list would currently compose of the Of Light and Darkness Series by Shayne Leighton Machova, the Hunger Game’s trilogy, James Patterson’s Witch and Wizard series—I believe those are the only ones.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Shayne Leighton Machova. She is an amazing writer as well as an actress and singer. She is actually the woman who graces the promotional poster AND cover of my novel Beautiful Blood. She is an inspiration for me and when I first met her, it inspired me to kick myself into gear and get my book finished and get published. And here I am today.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The Eternal Sovereigns series is the big one. Aside of that I have other writing projects in my head that I will be starting—or finishing—once Eternal Sovereigns is finished.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I can’t name just one—there are many. My friends, near and far, right here with me and ones I only know through Facebook. And then I have people like Shayne Leighton who believe in me. I can’t forget the wonderful people and fellow authors from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. I have met so many wonderful people in the business and other businesses like movies and music and those who follow me on social media or who actually know me have been supportive from the beginning.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing IS my career. I knew ever since I wrote that Forever Knight story that this was the career I wanted to make my living off of. Though I wanted to be published before I was out of middle school, and when that didn’t happen, before I graduated high school. It took me about 3 years after I dropped out of college and almost 4 years since I graduated high school, but I got to where I wanted to be and I know that how it happened was for the better and it happened that way for a reason. If I was published sooner, I wouldn’t have been able to enter the career with the skills and knowledge that I have now. So I am grateful.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have done it all over again and I have changed A LOT about it (another perk of getting published later than expected). When I wrote Beautiful Blood for the first time, it was about five years before Twilight came into existence. But Twilight, obviously, came out first and I discovered there were way too many similarities between Beautiful Blood and Twilight at the time. I didn’t want my work to be compared to Twilight and I didn’t want people to claim I was sucking off the success of Twilight by fashioning my book after it, because there was no way for anyone else to know my story was written before Twilight was published. I also don’t like Twilight, so with my dislike compiled with the two stories being too similar, helped me sit down and rewrite everything I had written for the book and then finish it. I then put it done and forgot about it for a while. When I picked it back up again, I discovered that it wasn’t mature enough for my liking—content wise and in style. So I set out and rewrote it yet again. That last time rewriting it is the result that the world will be able to experience on January 31st.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Like I said before, I just always wrote stories form the time I learned to write and then my interest and imagination only grew as I got older and started to reading more and get into things like gaming and watching movies.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am excited about Beautiful Blood. It’s the story of a teenage girl named Sage who is about to end her high school career, so a coming of age book of sorts, and is getting ready to deal with all the changes that accompany graduating. The biggest changes for Sage are just not being in high school anymore and her two friends going away to college while she wouldn’t be because of past decisions she had made that greatly affected her life in a negative way. After graduating Sage and her friends go to the library and get into a fight with an old enemy and his gang. It results in Sage’s parents loosing trust in her—though they didn’t have much to begin with—and forcing her to be on house arrest and to lose the last summer she had before her friends would part ways with her. Dealing with that situation and her neurotic parents and a few other situations that arise in the book, Sage falls back into partying and drugs and drinking, she starts defying her parents again and then she starts to discover some truths and secrets that had been kept from her. But you will have to read the book to find out what those secrets are and what happens to Sage.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I hate to say this, but it’s usually motivation. I have periods of time where I can sit down and write for hours and days or for whatever free time I have and get something done. But with writing not being a career that I can live off of yet, I have to work a full time job outside the home and when I get home after a full day of work, I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t involve a blanket, the couch and Netflix or Hulu. But I make it work as best as I can in hopes that I can not only do what I love and am passionate about, but someday be make a living off my writing. The goal is to be able to stay home and have my job as an author, not be an office girl working toward being an author.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have just one favorite; I don’t think it’s possible for any book enthusiast. I enjoy Anne Rice (as a vampire lover, how can I not?) Her writing is very mature and unique and that alone makes me want to read her work. She writes in a voice that is from the past somewhere and I love that. Stephen King of course, his writing it also mature and he always come up with brilliant ideas and is always able to deliver when it comes to the horror/suspense and the irony and just keeping the reader on their toes. I love James Patterson’s work. His writing is more simplistic but he can really tell a wicked good story and I love the ideas behind his Maximum Speed series and his Witch and Wizard series. Also that fact that he writes most of his work with other authors is cool—not many authors do it and certainly not as often as Patterson. Other authors that strike my interest would be R.L.Stine—even still, Annette Curtis Clause (Blood and Chocolate, The Silver Kiss), Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden Trilogy), Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Den of Shadows Series), Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series), Ellen Schreiber (Vampire Kisses Series), Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers Series), of course, Vivian Vande Velde (Companions of the Night), and Shayne Leighton Machova (Of Light and Darkness Series). Anyone who has ever ready any of these books or anything by these authors knows that their stories are amazing and unique. Also a lot of the books I just mentioned are from the 90’s and that was a very good time for vampires, I strongly believe.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Never. I hope to be able to travel some day and put a bit of a different flavor into my stories and even have them take place in another place/country. But that will have to wait until the opportunity makes itself available to me. In the meantime, I will write about what I know, and in most cases, just make up my own world.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did. The cover for Beautiful Blood was made by me using only a few, very simple and free programs, believe it or not. I really enjoyed doing it and would like to try and make all my covers, but I wouldn’t be disappointed to hand the torch off to someone else.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Like I said before, motivation; that is about all. I do get writer’s block, but not often and am usually able to find ways around it. But it’s a challenge sometimes not being lazy.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a little more about writing itself and the process of it and I learn a little more every time I write. I also learn self-editing a little more and since working with CHBB Publishing, I am learning the whole process behind a book being published/released as well.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you love it, never give up NO MATTER WHAT! There will always be people out there that will try and tare you down no matter what you do but for as many people that try, you have just as many friends, family, fans current and future who want to see you succeed. But you can’t succeed unless you believe in yourself and not let anyone hold you back. The road to everything you want is never going to be easy, not for anyone. So don’t let that hold you back. You had just read the interview up to this point. You have learned some of my hardships and I got where I wanted to be even though it was uncertain and hard. You just need to remember that it is for every one and if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen. And if you have no one to turn to and you have more haters then supporters, I will be there; available to talk, to give advice—writing and life related—and, most importantly, to support you. I am always available on my Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/asyad.ring and https://www.facebook.com/worksofadr
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
It’s the same message I have for other writers. I am here for anyone and everyone who needs someone. And never, ever give up on yourself, even if it feels like the world has given up on you. That is the best time to prove yourself and most people end up proving the world wrong and that makes me smile.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Well, Creatures of the Night—that was the first book I actually read and that changed my life. But first book I ever read? I couldn’t tell you.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I mainly cry when other people do and when they‘re sad. But things that make me laugh: my boyfriend, Family Guy, iFunny, Vine, my fave comedy movies (too many to list here), my family, and my friends (I know a lot of seriously funny people).
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Oh, gosh. This is another one of those “too long” lists. I would like to meet my Grandfather Woodring again—he wasn’t with us long enough for me to really get to know him. I was only five years old when he passed. My grandfather Moscow—he died when I was about seven but I didn’t know him very well before he passed either. Edgar Allen Poe—what a mind to dive into! Stephen King and all of my other favorite authors. Some of my favorite actors: RD Jr, Tom Hiddleston, Jack Black, Seth McFarland, H. John Benjamin, Seth Rogan, just to name a few.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I have absolutely no answer for this. I never thought about it. I just assume that my family will engrave the traditional “loving mother/daughter” and dates lived thing.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Oh yes. Art is a big one; drawing painting. My work can be seen in the “Art” file on my personal Facebook page. Also tattooing, which I learned but haven’t been able to actually do anything with since 2010.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Love this question: The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, South Parking, Family Guy, American Dad, Dead Like Me, Gotham, Marvel’s Agent Carter, True Blood (though, frankly, I find the show a little strange and sometimes . . . rushed, I guess would be the word for it?). And then there are the classics I go back to when I can: Rosanne, Forever Knight, MoonLight, and various other shows from the 90’s and 2000’s that are no longer on.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
I love almost everything when it comes to food. I love pasta and Italian, Mexican, Chinese/Japanese—I LOVE sushi! Basically any foods I can have access to and anything different I can try. For Music, I am a metal head: Metallica, Led Zeppelin, AC DC, In This Moment, KillSwitch Engage, Five Finger Death Punch, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation—these are some of my favorites, but honestly, the heavier the better. I usually just turn Pandora on to the “Heavy Metal” station or “Pantera”, etc. etc. and listen to whatever plays. Colors: mostly black—when it comes to my wardrobe.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Probably try to get more into tattooing or something with art. But I really can’t see myself doing anything other than writing.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I can be reached at/followed on all the following:
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worksofadr
Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asyad.ring
Vine: Kira Von Wolfe
Twitter: KiraVonWolfe, @kiravonwolfe.