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The Media Man Interviews: R.M. Walls

It's time for something new around here on themediamanblog. And that thing is an interview.

If you've recently read my review on The Solitale Vampires: The Child, then you may be interested to see this interview for I'm actually going to be talking with the author himself. You once knew him as The Wandering Fox in many different posts he wrote throughout the year such as his Dragon Prince and Sonic posts. Now he goes by another name for his books.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us welcome for this exclusive interview the author of The Solitale Vampires: The Child himself, R.M. Walls.

R.M. Walls: Well, um, hi everyone! I’m a regular here but this time I’m being interviewed! Gosh this is nerve wracking, I must say! Thank you for having me here today, Media Man.

Media Man: Pleasure's all mine mate. ^^

For this interview, I'll ask about six questions and you can choose to answer them or not if you wish. I don't want the interview to be too long so it'll be best I don't ask too many questions.

Let's start off with the most obvious one to ask:

Question 1: Where did the idea for The Solitale Vampires come from and what inspirations went into making it?

R.M. Walls: The idea came from various places, from experience of watching vampires on tv or movie like Blade, Doctor Who, Underworld, Van Helsing, to giving my home city of Southampton a fictional setting and detective stories being one of the many franchises I love.

Vampires always fascinated me, with their immortality, how they operate within the daylight without getting killed by it, the concept of immortality being one of the first things I was introduced to was through vampires. On one hand, being immortal means you can’t die, which at first seems quite cool, but on the other hand it’s a curse, you are forced to outlive those around you, and the entire world begins changing. How does that affect someone, who’s always hiding, trying to live with this curse? Are they lonely? Are they close to being more antisocial?

I often thought of how would I do a detective story, then on the way I thought “What about a detective, but it’s a vampire? And the vampire is part of a secret organisation dedicated to killing the most disgusting of criminals?”. And where to set it? In England, but where? In a fictionalised version of Southampton.

I live close to some empty apartments and it’s right by some woods, it’s always creepy thinking who or what are in those apartments. I then thought they’d be the best place for Helena and Jackson to live at.

Southampton is mostly well known for being where the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage, so I wanted to fictionalise the place to make it more grand, including bringing back the ice skating rink we once had, turn the Mayflower Theatre into a gorgeous street dedicated to many pantomimes and musicals they did, making it this beautiful place but hides the darkest of criminals in it.

I also wanted to create a good female character for my readers to read. I’ve been surrounded by strong ladies in my life from my mum, to my aunts, my grandmother and my many sisters, and I thought of how to make this girl a badass, sexy, strong and funny woman who has a great heart. And then you had Helena. I also gave her Jackson because it’s nice to give the audience a male character who is loving to his daughter.

Media Man: That's some interesting stuff there mate. And very interesting to hear how you brought your inspirations together to give us what we have today.

Now for the next question.

Question 2: Who was your favourite character to write for and why?

R.M. Walls: Ohhhhh, okay, quite difficult. I liked writing for Helena, Jackson and Ben the most of I can say.

Helena is a character I enjoyed making as with her being my first female character I wanted to do her right, this woman has been alive since the 80s but hasn’t aged physically since she became twenty, she’s already coming to wonder if there’s any point in caring about humans given they’ll all die while she will live, and her dad’s change in behaviour has only isolated her. The humans she works with are scared of her or don’t really like her. It’s kinda like how I was at work experience, I had a few colleagues who were kind, but others were very rude to me, either seeing me as a autistic person to babysit or coldly treating me for doing the right thing, making you feel like you are nothing but a mere thing. And I am autistic fyi.

Helena using humour to try and feel better is a human behaviour to do, yet she only really begins to reconnect with her humanity once she meets Ben and is given the job of finding the kidnapped boy Charlie.

Giving Helena this growth in meeting a human man who is a good guy, hard working and loving towards his dad leaves her wondering if there are other humans like him, and surely enough meeting a family who are in grief at the fact their son has been kidnapped only brings about something new in Helena. The actual love they have for each other, the pain and agony of losing their son, the genuine concern the teachers have and the humble kindness of Ben has Helena trying to grapple with her emotions which made her a character worth writing about.

Jackson was quite a character to do, as I did think of him as Helena’s opposite, as he’s a bit more serious, yet wise and aloof. Revealing he wasn’t always like this gave him room for a development between him and his daughter. The more I thought about Jackson the more I realised he is the tragic one out of him and Helena, yet with all he’s seen and lost, he is willing to give his best to protect the innocent and loves Helena greatly.

Ben I liked writing him because he’s an example of a good hardworking man. I can say he is Helena’s love interest but I wanted to do something different, because while most cases are “opposites attract”, I didn’t want to make Ben this bad boy who is all cool. Sometimes all you want is a nice guy, who has a good job, lives a simple life and is strong in mind, body and heart.

Media Man: That's really lovely to hear. It's always great to hear why authors love their own characters so much and what they love writing about them. ^^ And I'm sure plenty of readers will like these characters too.

Here's the third question:

Question 3: Are there any changes you would make to the book if you could do it a second time? Any deleted content you'd be willing to share with your readers?

R.M. Walls: I think there’s ONE deleted scene I wouldn’t use at all.

This one was gonna happen early in the book before Ben appeared. As Helena is walking through her home turf, she would’ve seen a driver almost run over a few children playing with their toys. She would confront the driver and leave a dent in his car and then walk the children home to their family.

I cut this scene out as I felt it would be too early for Helena to display some care for humanity and it wasn’t gonna be brought up again.

The one I would include is a longer climax I actually thought of doing. There was many climaxes involving a car chase, another in which Helena might’ve stayed behind to fight off the kidnappers while Jackson got Charlie to safety.

The one I almost included would’ve been Helena being shot repeatedly by Willy, who is just confused by what Helena is and starts shooting her for a laugh, keeping his foot on her head and beating her and shooting her. Helena would’ve fought back by swinging her foot up and kicking him so hard in his groin he spat out blood, with Helena back on her feet and stabbing him up through the chin while her dad shoots him in the back.

I cut this scene out as I felt it was cliché of the hero being held down by the villain and seeming like she was gonna die until she got a second wind and fought back, and I think it would’ve been a bit much for Helena. If I were to include this in a reprint of the book, I would maybe have Willy shoot Helena and she pretends to be dead while he cruelly mocks her and says he will always turn back up like every gang does, saying he will come back for Charlie and groom him into being like him. Helena then kills him in rage at the tides of Charlie being twisted into something he isn’t.

Media Man: That would've been quite cool for the climax and very crafty of Helena to pull that off on him. Should be interesting to see if we'll see that version some day.

OK, next question:

Question 4: How long did it take you to write the book and what was the most challenging aspect while writing it?

R.M. Walls: Ummmmm, this is a bit personal but I’ll tell you what I can.

I started this book early 2022. It was not easy. My autism and anxiety are something I struggle with a lot, and some things happened in 2022 personally. We all thought mum had cancer. Thankfully she didn’t. But then a few months later, dad had COVID and it was really bad, we thought he was going to die. He is alive now and is back on his feet.

I didn’t write the book again until this year, and by then I made some changes from the original draft. Helena and Jackson were going to have hive ears on their heads they’d fold down. I cut that because it was a dumb idea.

My anxiety has been one of my biggest challenges, and I blame that on part of the prose’s flaws and I only want to do better than this. I’m proud of the book but it’s not the best thing ever, I want to make the sequel and other books much more than what you have.

Media Man: I do apologize if that was a bit too personal to ask and I'm glad your parents are doing well now.

And given you mentioned a sequel, that brings me to this question:

Question 5: Do you have any sequels planned for The Solitale Vampires? If so, how many?

R.M. Walls: I can say yes, I do. I have two sequels fresh in my mind at the moment. The second book will see Helena and Jackson hunt a serial killer while Helena and Ben fall in love with each other. And don’t you worry, there isn’t gonna be any love triangle crap, I’m not a fan of those XD

And the third book will see Helena and Jackson on a cruise ship which the criminal elite of England are gathered on, to kill as many as they can and make the streets of England a more peaceful place.

I did have ideas of an arc in which they travel across the world to stop a virus, but I’m thinking twice on that as I want to keep it grounded in the context of a secret group hunting criminals.

Media Man: Those sound like intriguing follow-ups. I bet those who enjoyed the first story will look forward to those sequels. :) I know the third one in particular has my attention.

And to conclude this interview, here's the last question:

Question 6: What plans do you have for the future? Any more books outside of The Solitale Vampires you'd like to share with us?

I have another one published. It’s called The Adventures of Misty Beetle, she’s basically my own Mayday Parker mixed with Darkwing Duck, a bit of cheesiness but also a story worth following, reaching out to my younger readers.

Another book I have planned for the future is Henry and the Demon Princess. It’s more of a dark comedy, in which a knight and his squire free a Princess from her dungeon, only it’s revealed the Princess is actually a demon who wants to rule the world and bring her family back. Henry, the squire, is now her guard and is torn between trying to kill her or redeeming her.

Media Man: Those are some neat sounding ideas. I wish you luck in getting them published too. ^^

I think that'll do for this interview. Thanks so much for joining me for this and answering all the questions I had for you and providing the readers with some info about your book. It's been a pleasure to have you here today my friend.

R.M. Walls: I’m glad you had me here. And thank you for being so honest in your review as well.

Well everyone, if you’ve read The Solitale Vampires: The Child, tell me what you came away of it.

Media Man: Pleasure as always. And yes readers, please do. Share your thoughts with the author and let him know what you think to it. ^^

That's it for this interview. Will I do another one? I'm not sure but we'll see. In the meantime, I hope you'll join me next time for my next blog post, which will be a review on Pokémon Horizons Season 1. See you then media fans!

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4 komentáře

Good read. Gives us quite an insight on what went on behind the creation of the novel.

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04. 11. 2023

Some good questions and interesting answer, excellent reading 👍

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Reakce na

That's so kind of you sir. Thank you so much. :D

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I am well impressed with you on how you did the interview, you asked me questions which I could answer

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