Thursday, August 9, 2018

V.M. Escalada Author Interview

Photo Credit: Jessica Kennedy

V. M. Escalada lives in a nineteenth-century limestone farmhouse in southeastern Ontario with her husband. Born in Canada, her cultural background is half Spanish and half Polish, which makes it interesting at meal times. Her most unusual job was translating letters between lovers, one of whom spoke only English, the other only Spanish.


What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Most people seem surprised when they learn I have a PhD. Maybe I don't look like an academic.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I remember telling stories to my friends when I was very young. At first I just told them the plots of movies I'd been allowed to stay up and watch. When they started asking me "Then what happened?" I began to add on to and elaborate on the borrowed stuff. It took me a while longer to start coming up with my own material.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby.
Well, the first sale really helped. Seriously, I finished my PhD just in time for a down turn in the economy which meant there were no teaching jobs. After a while I realized that I could continue to write academic papers in preparation for a job that might never come, or I could use the same time and energy writing fiction instead. Equally uncertain in terms of outcome, but far and away more fun.

If you could be a character in any novel you’ve read, who would you be and why?
People think it's odd, but I've never wanted to be one of my own characters. I always thought I'd like to be IƱigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, or maybe D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers. Basically, I'd like to be able to kill people with a sword. An elegant weapon from a more civilized age.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the Faraman Prophecy Series?
It would be hard to pick out just one. The main character, Kerida, obviously has to lead the pack. So much rides on her outlook, her motives, her emotional state, that I had to get to know her really well. It was aggravating at times, but ultimately wonderful. Wynn is a snarky, fun-loving character with unexplored depths, so she was a lot of fun to write. Maybe in another book I'll get to explore her further.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kerida, how would you introduce her?
Ker is someone who has had her world turned over not once, but twice. She loses her military career when it's discovered she has Talent, and just as she's coming to terms with her new life, the Halians invade and begin systematically killing Talents. Kerida's had to land on her feet with no support and very little help. She's resourceful, stubborn, and a little pissed off.

GIFT OF GRIFFINS: Can you tell my Nerd community a little about it?
Well, to start with it's the second book in the duology that started with Halls of Law, which introduced the main characters, Kerida Nast and Tel Cursar. At the moment there aren't any other books in this universe planned, though I do have some ideas. The Faraman Polity, a loose political structure not unlike the Roman Empire, has been invaded by the Halians, a warrior society that so far has never been defeated. Part of their success, particularly with the Polity, stems from their mages, known as Shekayrin, who can change and control how people think. To make matters worse, they're a patriarchal culture that feels they have to destroy Talents. In Gift of Griffins Kerida and Tel have to find a way to defeat the invaders when certain allies they thought they could depend on desert them.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I'd have to say Tanya Huff. She's a wonderful writer with a lot more experience in the field than I have, and she's been terrifically helpful with advice and support over the 20 years that we've known each other.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Deal with honour. Act with courage.

How would you like to spend a Sunday morning?
After sleeping in, breakfast on the deck, preferably including bacon. Then the Sunday crosswords.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
I wish I could. The novelist John Gardner says – and I'm paraphrasing – that it isn't necessary to have had an unpleasant childhood to become a writer, but it helps.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
"The moment when I learned I'd sold my first novel" is the one most people believe. Actually, no point in time before I turned 19, and any point in time afterward.

Where can readers find you?
This is a bit tricky, because I don't have much of a presence online, and most of that is in the name of my other persona, Violette Malan. That's the name you'll find me under on Facebook, and Twitter. Or, you can check for my (our?) website – though I think you may find it woefully out of date. As Violette Malan I write the Dhulyn and Parno sword-and-sorcery series, and the Mirror Lands series of primary world fantasies. I post every second Friday at, the fantasy magazine.

The second book in the Faraman Prophecy epic fantasy series returns to a world of military might and magical Talents as Kerida Nast continues the quest to save her nation.

Kerida Nast and her companions have succeeded in finding Jerek Brightwing, the new Luqs of Farama, and uniting him with a part of his Battle Wings, but not all their problems have been solved. Farama is still in the hands of the Halian invaders and their Shekayrin, and it's going to take magical as well as military strength to overcome them.

Unexpected help comes from Bakura, the Princess Imperial of the Halians, whose Gifts have been suppressed. As the Voice of her brother the Sky Emperor she has some political power over the Halian military, and she will use it to aid the Faramans, if Kerida can free her from what she sees as a prison. But whether Kerida can help the princess remains to be seen. If she succeeds, Bakura may prove their salvation. But should Kerida fail, all may be lost....

You can purchase Gift of Griffins (Faraman Prophecy #2) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you V.M. ESCALADA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Gift of Griffins (Faraman Prophecy #2) by V.M. Escalada. 


  1. I read and dust when I have a day too myself.

  2. "What do you when you have a day off?" It's a mad whirl of the best restaurants, adventure, travel, ending with spa baths at a grand hotel, eating canapes and surrounded by creepy candles!

  3. I go to the casino on my off