What genre/s do you write?
Literary fiction with a historical background and a strong Christian theme
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I like physical books, especially those I want to refer to again and again, but recently I’ve been reading more ebooks; they are always available on different devices. I’ve discovered that one can highlight certain passages in an ebook, add comments and even review them (e.g. on kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights), share them, view popular highlights from other readers and copy things electronically for reference elsewhere.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work?
My book isn’t yet ready for launching. I don’t envisage doing a formal press release but I am considering making use of review sites (e.g. Kirkus Reviews or BookPage) when I do publish. Another channel I plan to use is to inform the Historical Novel Society, for instance, to get my book Aquila – Can Silvanus escape that god? mentioned in their magazine.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
C.S. Lewis – did you know he died on the same day as John F. Kennedy? I’ve read most of his popular books and anthologies and find that, after a rather godless childhood and atheistic youth, he acquired such a down-to-earth yet uncompromising faith in God and reflected deeply on a wide variety of academic, moral, political and spiritual matters, that his insights are almost invariably inspiring. I’m sure he would be a fascinating conversation partner and would have wise perspectives on issues that concern me, such as what the purpose of our life on earth is, or what our attitude should be towards terrorism or people having a different faith to ours.
How much research do you do?
The period – 6th century AD – and location – the Isle of Elba – were almost totally unknown to me. As a result I’ve had to read a lot – history books, period novels and original authors of that epoch. I also walked the hills and and sought out knowledgeable experts. This has proved exciting and very challenging.
But it wasn’t easy for me to discover how peasants lived on Elba in the 6th century; how they dressed; what they ate, traded, believed; how educated they were; what their health issues, fears and aspirations were; what role money played in their lives, etc.
How are you publishing this book and why?
I’m trying for traditional but, like most first-time authors, I’ve received several rejections or simple silence in response to my submission. At last I do now have a publisher who has shown an interest, so I’m hopeful.
To go indie would require so much marketing effort that it would probably overwhelm me. Just because a book is available on Amazon, doesn’t mean people will find it, read it, review it.
Vince enjoys the beautiful countryside around the little Swiss village where he lives, retired, with his Finnish wife, sharing a house with one son, his Brazilian wife and their Chihuahua. When he has a chance, he loves to go hiking in the mountains. He blogs as Greyowl (bilingual) and his historical fiction book is developing at www.aquilaelba.info. AquilaElba is also on Facebook.
In his spare time Vince explores the surrounding woods and pastures on the e-bike he was given when he retired, plays online Chess, Sudoku or Words with Friends and is heavily involved with supporting refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Vince grew up in the protected environment of the little island of Jersey (Channel Islands, GB). Moving to London to study physics at the prestigious Imperial College proved quite a shock to his system; not only were the distances huge, but everything cost so much and, in addition to no end of interesting and educational opportunities, there were also many distractions and temptations. Later, he had the chance to participate in a research group at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, which allowed him to use leading-edge technology and the most powerful computers of the time. But his priorities changed when he met a sweet Finnish au pair girl and they decided to get married and start a family.
In order to earn a living, Vince started as a computer technician but soon advanced through a series of promotions to become a consultant for networking solutions. After 25 years in IT, a forced career change introduced him to the field of technical editing for a company developing encryption solutions. This turned out to match his character and skills very well, although it’s a long way from writing fiction.
Raising a family of three children, extended by a lively foster daughter and a dog; heavy involvement in a small evangelical church; and multiple business trips around the world – these filled most of Vince’s free time while he was working. Now that his children have flown the nest – though not gone very far – he is thrilled to be able to accompany his two grandchildren one afternoon per week and watch them develop, even though he gets exhausted.
The relative freedom of retirement has allowed Vince to take winter breaks with his wife to warmer climes, recently to Madeira and Tenerife. They enjoy the beautiful scenery, exotic plants and challenging hikes. The sparse historical information available about the indigenous people of the Canary Isles – Guanches – may inspire Vince to work on another historical novel. Who knows?
Social media links: facebook.com/AquilaElba