Today’s guest is Josh Vogt author of Forge of Ashes, a Pathfinder novel that launches this week! Dwarves? Barbarians? Check it out!
What was the inception of this project? What were your first steps in building that idea into a viable story?
When I got asked to pitch a novel idea for the Pathfinder Tales line, I’d already been reading through many of the books Paizo authors had written. None of them had a dwarven-centric story, nor did a barbarian play a particularly key role in any of the adventures. So that became the core of the idea and evolved from there. I worked with James Sutter, Paizo’s executive editor, to nail down some specifics about the people Akina travels with, the beasts she fights, and the larger foes she has to face down.
What kind of research and/or world-building did you do before beginning?
Since this is set in the RPG world of Golarion, the world had already been fleshed out and established well before I came along. But I did have to go through dozens of game manuals to ensure I was familiarized with the setting enough to dive into the drafting. Of course, I did a lot of reading on dwarves as well as the various regions the story would take place in.
What’s your first-draft process? outline, edit as you go, speed-writing?
I’m an outliner by nature and preference. The more intensively I outline a project from the get-go, the faster the manuscript gets written. Paizo also has an in-depth novel outlining process in order to approve the characters and story details. So by the time I sat down to write the novel, I knew almost every detail from beginning to end, and sped through it quite nicely.
How do you start revisions?
I gather a wide range of feedback from beta readers (and my editors), and then look for common themes or issues people point out through the story. I’ll do a revision round focusing on the overarching developmental edits, reworking scenes, characters, and plot elements. Then, once those are dealt with, I can go back in for line edits until it’s more fully polished.
If you could choose a few descriptors that would go in a blurb on the front cover of your book, what would they be?
Monsters, magic, and mayhem!
What cool thing would you put in the DVD extra version that didn’t get into the published work? research or created detail you had to cut or couldn’t use?
In one of the battle scenes, there was a particular construct we originally had duking it out: cannon golems. They were lots of fun to write and are just cool monsters in themselves! However, we had to remove them for a variety of reasons (including legal) and rework the fight in their absence.
Where should readers go to find out more about your work?
You can find out practically anything you need to know about me and my work on JRVogt.com. I also am building a little YouTube channel with updates, event recordings, and behind-the-scenes commentary on the writing career. If there’s anything you want to know that isn’t already there, just contact me here!
Care to share a link (aside from your own work) to something amazing you think everyone should see or know about?
Check out Tabletop Audio! It has 10-minute long ambient music and sound effect audio tracks you can download and listen to for free. Some people use it to set the mood for a gaming session, but it also works marvelously as background noise for writers.
Josh Vogt has been published in dozens of genre markets with work ranging from flash fiction to short stories to doorstopper novels that cover fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. His debut fantasy novel, Forge of Ashes, adds to the RPG Pathfinder Tales tie-in line. WordFire Press is also launching his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor (2015) and The Maids of Wrath (2016). You can find him at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt. He’s a member of SFWA as well as the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.