When Estevan Vega contacted me to see if I would be interested in review his book Arson, I couldn't resist! The cover is amazing; it's dark and eerie yet eye-catching. I read the blurb and I knew I had to get my hands on this book. I read the book and found myself in awe of Vega's writing. The book ends with quite a cliffhanger but don't fear, a sequel is in the works. Though, I may stalk and nudge him in the ribs from time to time to get him to hurry up...KIDDING! (mostly.) You can read my review of Arson here.
Today, I have Estevan Vega here as part of the Arson blog tour. Arson will be released on May 4th, 2010. Estevan Vega kindly answered some of my questions.
Could you start off by telling us a little about yourself...
Well, I love music, movies, books, and the idea of love. Other than the fact that I am an ab model or that Tom Cruise once said he envied me, I just don't know what else there is to say.
What was your road to publication like?
It was a long and tortuous one, for sure. When my first book released, Servant of the Realm, I was just a punk kid. I mean, I was 15, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing or how to really get published. With ARSON being my third book, I was much more in the loop as far as publishing goes. But that didn't make anything easier. I attended a writer's conference, and at one point had an editor from Penguin interested. But I think I took too long to get the manuscript to her that she forgot about me. After that, I spent about nine or so months sending the manuscript out to agents and publishers. I got more bites than both of my other two books combined, people requesting fulls and partials. I had four publishers interested. Two of them, though, wanted me to change the story. It was crazy. I had one publisher say she loved the story, but there was too much of the supernatural. Then I had another publisher say she loved the story and the characters, but there wasn't enough of a supernatural hook. I was, like, forget this. I'm going with someone who can understand my vision for this book. So I went with Tate. I had the best editor (Audra Marvin) work on my book, a great cover artist (Tyler Evans), and the process has so far been awesome.
How long did it take you to write Arson?
I got the initial concept for ARSON back in the fall of 2006. I then wrote the first scene, which I called "Bonfire Play", and that now became the final bonfire scene in the novel. I submitted it to the lit-mag at my high school, but it was rejected. From beginning to end, the painful publishing process about three and a half years. I was meticulous about everything. I wrote and rewrote the ending, the beginning, the middle parts, took out characters, added characters, changed scenes. Everything had to be perfect. If it made the novel, you know it was definitely on-purpose.
You're currently working on the sequel to Arson. What can you tell us about the sequel? Is there a title for it yet? Can you give us a taste, just a little nibble, of what we can expect to come for Arson and Emery? When we can expect to see its release? You left us with quite a cliffhanger!!
Well, I've been working on it for a few months, but because of ARSON's release so close, haven't given it the complete undivided attention it deserves. But what I can say is to expect more! ARSON was all about build-up, the tensions and struggles of these characters are only intensified this time around. Plus you feel like you know the characters now and can get inside their skin even more. Arson and Emery are in a very new world, and as for the other characters, you'll have to wait and see what happens. But get stoked. It's gonna be sweet. As for a release date, I can't speculate. I gotta finish the bad boy first.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Arson?
I wrestled a few times while writing this book. Like I said, it had to be perfect. I read it, re-read it, edited it, sent it in, got rejected, fixed stuff, repeat. It is such a personal story. I wrote this one for me, essentially, because I had some demons to settle a score with, and this book helped me through a lot of stuff. These characters are the most real I have ever written. Other than characters, though, the beginning, the ending, and the title is where I struggled the most. My editor wrestled with me most about the title, but in the end we ran with ARSON.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading a book by genre-jumper Travis Thrasher called Ghostwriter.
Who are your favorite authors?
Well, maybe I should say which are my favorite books, because I jump around a lot, and I respect a lot of authors for the works they've done. Since I was a kid, I was a huge admirer of Stephen King, and I read Cell. That dude's the freakin man for what he's done in the last thirty or so years. Ted Dekker's books like Showdown and the Circle trilogy stuff is pretty cool. I loved I am Legend, and of course, The Great Gatsby may be my favorite high school-read book.
What genres do you like to read?
Usually either the supernatural, cool stuff, or the literary stuff. I try to blend the two in my books, because I just love both.
List 5 things about you that people might not know about you:
- I have three brothers.
- I've been to three colleges in three years.
- I wrote my first real story when I was in fifth grade.
- I love rock music.
- I am a secret agent.
Anything else you would like to add?