Author Interview: Ronel Van Tonder
About the Author
Ronel van Tonder is a science fiction author from South Africa. Having recently completed her dark, dystopian sci-fi trilogy, The Corrupted SUN Script, she’s hard at work penning a new standalone sci-fi novel, The Seventh Glitch. When she’s not writing, Ronel spends her free time slaying rendered baddies in the form of robots, gangsters and aliens – with any weapon that happens to be at hand.
What inspires you to write romance books?
My characters are always falling in love, falling in lust, stalking or craving someone in the books I write. The relationship between two characters is always such an important element to develop through the course of a novel or a series, and it seems falling in love is always so easy to do. But to have that love returned? That’s a different story.
Tell us about how you write:
I love outlining my novels before I begin, but my characters have a way of twisting the story to what they want to do, who they want to fall in love with, and how they want to live. Sometimes I just have to hold on and hope it will all pan out okay in the end. Luckily, it usually does 🙂
I’ve found that outlining my novel using the “Snowflake” method does wonders for writer’s block, since I always know what I want to write next, down to the exact scene.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to listen, but only when they’re not shouting. That’s just rude. I don’t talk to them, since they’d never listen if I tried, but I hear them out, give them a number, and hope they’ll take a seat and be patient.
What advice would you give other writers?
Try to let relationships develop naturally. If you feel like a relationship is being forced, it’s most likely the case. If you ever get to a scene and you struggle to write what you intended, try and let the characters lead the way. If you get a case of writer’s block, then take your characters out of their world and try and let them have a normal conversation somewhere away from your story. You”ll find gems if you free-write in this way.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m obsessively controlling about my writing, my cover art, and just about everything about my books. I think I’d have been very unhappy if I’d tried traditional publishing, but I also know that traditional publishing isn’t the golden ticket new authors think it is. You still have to build your own platform and do your own marketing, and since this is the most difficult part of creation for me, I don’t see what a traditional publisher can do to make this any easier.
I strongly recommend all new authors to listen to podcasts like “The Author Hangout” and other podcasts that discuss writing and marketing in your genre. I’ve only recently discovered these treasures, and I only wish someone had pointed them out to me when I was first starting out.
Also, start your mailing list today! Keep emails of interested readers close to heart, because those emails are gold.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self publishing is only going to grow in strength. One strength indie publishers have is that they stick together. I think there’s so much less competition, and more collaboration between indie publishers. We share ideas, marketing advise and our struggles. This makes us all better writers, and better writers mean happy readers.
What genres do you write:: scifi, romance, horror, fantasy
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print