Interview with WJR Parks

william ramosWilliam Ramos is a Texan, born in Lamesa and raised in Stanton. He began drawing comics at age four, becoming an accomplished artist in his teens. By his early twenties, he’d written his first fantasy epic spanning over 500,000 words.

William pursues acting and photography while working on his ‘Raven’s World’ series, and plans to have more books published that focus on other characters and groups in her world.

His next big project will be ‘Solare’, a fantasy world based on the role-playing games he enacted as a child. Among them, dragons, wizards, and of course vampires! Check out his works at http://ravenvampire.com/.

 

Williamthank you for agreeing to this interview. You have said that you were an avid comic reader growing up. Were there any specific comic books that influenced your storytelling?

The idea of comic universes, in general, influenced my concept of world building. I can’t write a book without having a whole universe that revolves around it and my current Raven Universe is a good example of it. But Spawn is one character that stands out form many of the comics I read. The darker aspects of his story influenced my stories where demons and angels are concerned.

 

Let’s be honest. We are not going to be able to get out of this interview without talking about vampires. When did horror, the supernatural, and specifically vampires garner your interest?

When I was drawing comics in my teens. Again going back to Spawn, I had created a world that revolved around the concept of genocide when humans either went to Hell or Heaven. Either way, God or Lucifer both were committing genocide of the human race. I also played D&D and White Wolf games to escape the real world and created much of my stories from my experiences of DMing.

I was intrigued by the idea of eternal youth and power when I was young, which all came from the stories of vampires. When I was younger I was a big werewolf fan, but as I grew older, vampires captured my imagination and I wished I could be one. A dream of making fantasy into reality.

 

Tales of vampires seem to touch every corner of the earth. Do you primarily draw on vampire folklore from around the world or do add in your own nuances for flavor? What about your version do you hope intrigues your readers?

I would say both. The history of the vampire is vast, so it gives me good substance for a story with the many variations of the undead. From what I learn of the folklore, I then add my own ideas.

My vampires can’t survive on any other blood beside human. Which is why Raven has a large dilemma. Unlike other vampires that people read about where they can choose to live off the blood of animals, mine can’t. Raven is against killing humans, but since she also fears death, she has no choice in the matter. Vampires in my world also have to have sex to survive. There are certain differences depending on the creation of the vampire, but for the most part, my vampires are pretty sexual beings.

My vampires are also usually gifted with powers more so than your usual vampire, unless we are talking about anime. But I did garner influence from Hellsing and Claymore, which I give a few winks to in the stories.

The undead fall into three types as well, vampire, lilin, and nosferatu. While Dracula is as powerful as lilin, vampires are pretty much the youngest species and thus weaker the other two.

 

Let’s dive into your books. Raven Vampire was your first short story featuring a vampire roaming on the streets of Los Angeles. What was it about the setting and culture of LA that drew you to choose it as the introductory setting for your series? What other settings have you explored in subsequent stories?

Raven actually started out as a screenplay for a film rather than a novel. I had always been a big fan of fantasy and thus worked on my world called Solar. I had finished three novels that were around 500,000 words back when I was in my early twenties. For some reason I decided to put all my backups in one location, being my backpack and it was stolen. It burnt me out for many years. Writing screenplays seemed faster and more in line of what I wanted to do as far as acting and filming. I was wrong in that part, but still, I finished the story and from there I decided to start writing books again. She pulled me back and the Raven Universe started to form.

I wrote Raven Birth Into Darkness as my first novel that I self-published and sold a few copies before I stopped marketing it because I wasn’t satisfied with the editing. From there I found out about BWP.

LA was always the city I wanted to live, mainly because of acting and movies and the energy. The short story came after Birth Into Darkness, and I was living in LA and knew the area. That and plenty of evil humans for Raven to hunt.

West Texas Blood takes place in the flatlands of West Texas, which I grew up in and found it easy to describe in my story.

Birth Into Darkness is based in 1776 and thus the Revolutionary War is a big setting there.

 

Your latest release is Allegiances: A Raven Walker, a novella and the next chapter in your Hidden World Series. What transformations have we seen in your character from the first book to this one? Without giving any spoilers, do you see an end in sight for her?

Raven has definitely grown stronger physically and in her powers. Vampires know her as the black haired hunter who hunts her own. She is more confident in her abilities for sure, no longer the child she used to be.

I do see an end, but there are phases consisting of Past, Present, and Future. So a thousand years from now when things have changed the final chapters will be told.

 

Admittedly, I am intrigued that some of your other novels—The Pact: Elspet Short Story and Churiphim: A Leonette Short Story—include demons and angels. What type of research did you do to weave these major concepts together? Will readers recognize familiar names from religious texts or other resources in your story?

 

I read demonology and researched the different types of angels. My research is ongoing but for the most part, I have a pretty good grasp of the direction to head in my world. But, my vampires are deeply anchored by Heaven and Hell and influenced by angels and demons. Elspet will by my main character that delves deeper in that story though. While I did throw her into my first novel, and she will be in the second, I had to separate her from Raven’s storyline because she is just too powerful. Elspet deals with demon princes and seraphim’s, so. So I don’t want a superman type character clashing with Raven’s story.

 

What can we expect from you in 2019? Will you be publishing any more stories?

Aiming to publish my second book Raven book 2: Demon of Darkness, the next Elspet short story called Elspet – 666, and Leonette’s second short story. If I can squeeze in Werewolf Conversion, Ashia Storm – Mage, and Lilith Book 1 it would be awesome.

 

It has been a pleasure, William! 

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