Monday, 8 February 2016

Marta's Bookshelf interviews Kev Heritage!

Readers! Today I am bringing you my first interview ever! After Reading and highly enjoying a mysterious sci-fi novel, Vatic, I went ahead and asked some questions to its autor, Kev Heritage.
Before jumping into his answers, let me introduce you to him and his novel.


Vatic is a Skilled, a genetically enhanced human being. The Company sends him to solve a crime and discover if Chen Jelinke, a very important scientist, killed himself or was killed by one of his colleagues. 

With time running out, not many chances of survival and a very peculiar team of scientists, Vatic must work fast to find out the truth.

258 pages.

Published October 23rd 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.


Kev is a bestselling UK author of fast-paced sci-fi mysteries & epic fantasy. His 'Into The Rip' series represents a return to classic, fast-paced adventure sci-fi of the 50s but with a modern edge. 'Ripped' to a globally warmed 2454, Blue (named after his startling blue eyes) is plunged into adventures that take him to many worlds. But what is the secret behind his peculiar genetic history? Vatic is a 'page turning burn of a read' - a sci-fi mystery with a terrific twist. The IronScythe Sagas is pure adventure fantasy set in a world where two suns fill the sky and metals are forbidden, dangerous things. And introducing the hooded nemesis of delving himself--the enigmatic Cowl, the wielder of the land's own avenger, IronScythe. Kev has worked as a driver's mate, factory gateman, barman, labourer, telesales operative, sales assistant, warehouseman, Student Union President, university IT helpdesk guy, British Rail signal software designer, premiership football website designer, mobile banking content team lead, gigging musician, graphic designer, stand-up comedian, sound engineer, improv artist, magazine editor and web journo. Although he doesn't like to talk about it. Mostly. He was born in the UK in the previous century. Originally from Derbyshire, Kev now lives in the seaside town of Brighton. He is a tea drinker and part-time stand-up comedian.

Subscribe to Kev's newsletter:


Kev! It's a pleasure to have you on my blog!

And it’s very nice of you to ask me. I’m having a little Crimble-time break from writing and this is just the antidote—I can now write about my writing! Result.

If you had to live in a dystopic society, which one would you choose and why?

I love technology and gadgets but they are all a distraction. I read somewhere that Dickens and the other great classic writers of the past were only great because there was no Facebook,  phones, TV, movies, game consoles, etc., heh. So a lonely, one room shack somewhere by the  sea with enough paper and pens. Writing in the morning, fishing in the afternoon. And I’d be happy with that. Very happy.

Which fantasy world would you absolutely hate to live in?

Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast. I can’t imagine a bleaker place to spend the rest of my days.

What inspired you to create Vatic?

Not sure. I fancied writing something in first-person-limited, just to see if it was easier than third person. So I thought I’d knock out a quick short mystery for a compilation that I’ve been working on for a while now called The Lady in the Glass. I had no idea about who Vatic was or who he may be, but I knew I wanted to write a mystery—and that it would start with someone thrown out into space with no oxygen.

Did it take you long to have the whole idea of the novel clear in your mind, or was it immediate and easy to do?

I’m a ‘pantster’ - I write by the seat of my pants, not to any pre-conceived set of notions. I learnt a long time ago that it’s a waste of time for me to plan ahead as I have no control over 
events and characters. They refuse to go the way I want them to, and besides, it’s more of a thrill ride to let myself be swept along as the story unfolds, although I can sometimes dig myself into such a big hole that it’s impossible to get out. It’s a difficult, annoying and sometimes unhappy process but I’ve learned to trust my instincts.

What is your favourite thing about being a writer?

I don’t get excited about my print books or by reviews (although they are still great) or anything else that I thought would thrill me. But sometimes, when I get that idea—like I did with Vatic—when I had my eureka moment that made sense of everything I’d written, when the twist arrived fully formed in my mind… wow! Nothing beats that. I live for those moments. 
They’re magical.

What is your favourite science-fiction novel?

Impossible to choose. There are, I would say, fifty or so sci-fi books that have had a big impact on me—nearly all of them classics in the genre. I see my job as a writer to bring back that classic feel, whilst adding a modern, action-based narrative. There’s still a whole load of exposition and introspection in my novels, but I try to place that within the action.

Define your novel, Vatic, with three words.

Space! Mystery! Death!

What are you working on at the moment?

Blue Into The Moon. The sequel to Blue Into The Rip. I spent a year and 125K words on a failed sequel before I realised that I’m at heart a mystery writer and the Into The Rip novels are adventure-mysteries not just adventures. It’s a lesson well-learned. I’m 62K into Blue Into The Moon and at the difficult ‘what the hell is going on’ stage. But confident it’s all gonna come together soon… mostly.

If you had to make a soundtrack for your novel, which two songs would be in it for sure?

I have no idea. It’s not something that I ever think about. I write to non-stop drum n’ bass tho, if that helps?

I went ahead and asked some of the people who had rated Vatic with a 5 stars if they wanted me to include some of their questions in this interview.

April wants to ask you:
Are you planning on writing any post apocalyptic  tales based on Earth time?

Hi April and many thanks for reading Vatic and leaving such a lovely review. I have no idea what I’m going to write. I usually get the feeling… and then I know I’m going to write something, but I never know exactly what it’s going to be about. 

My Into The Rip series is the only Earth time-line post-apocalypse stuff that I’m working on at the moment. The sequel has been difficult, simply because I felt the need to try and plan and panicked myself when I couldn’t come up with anything. But Book Two now half-way done and going well.

How many other Vatics are there and where are they?

I don’t know is the honest answer. I find stuff out when I’m writing. If/when I write a sequel, the possibility of more Skilled is um… possible I suppose. He’s a loner, that much is for sure. I still haven’t worked out who’s in charge of the Company yet. It may, indeed, be the Skilled. We will both have to wait and see on that one!

Are there any other genres that have you wondering if you could write them? If so, which ones?

I’d love to have a go at most genres, just for the fun of it, but at heart I’m a mystery writer. I also write epic fantasy and have finished a steampunk short for a compilation coming out later this year.
I would love to know if you had to do a lot of research for the complex scientific project the scientists were working on, especially Bill and Trinny's project.

Hi Sophie. I didn’t do any research. I keep my eye on science breakthroughs etc., but that’s all. I think it’s very important to stay abreast of all the new areas of exploration because, particularly for science fiction writers, this is a great source of inspiration.

I hope my review conveyed how much I loved the book and the way Vatic was like a modern day Poirot in the way he gathered everyone together for the final showdown in the canteen in the chapter 'Rats'.

Yes it did. Thank you very much. Peculiarly, I’ve never read any Agatha Christie until this last week. My first one, was a Poirot story and damn good it was! The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I’m now reading And then there were none. I love the stripped down nature of Christie’s writing and all the subtle clues. Nice. I wasn’t sure I’d feel an affinity with these novels, but so far, I’m loving them. Wonderfully dark and, in her time, ground-breaking and shocking.

Kip McKnight has two questions for you:

Can you share some insight as to how Vatic was plotted? It's so full of twists. Do you outline your novels ahead of time, or kind of follow that creative muse and go where the writing takes you?

Thanks Kip. I follow the creative muse and see what happens. Everything is ultimately character driven. I literally had no idea who any of the people were until the moment they arrived. And yet, who they were influenced how the story developed.
I find by far the most interesting part of the process is in the conversations. It’s through them that everything unfolds (and, as often as not, becomes more complicated). Vatic’s affinities and dislikes are all organic, so that when we get to the denouement, we don’t feel cheated. Or at least, Vatic didn’t. All the clues were there from the start. Even if I didn’t know what they were at the time!

Vatic is a really fun character to spend time with (six hours in fact on a Friday night for me). Will we see him again?

I don’t know. But already he’s nagging me to finish my latest book and get back to him!
However, I do suffer with nervousness—I worry that I’ll be unable to recreate what I’ve done before and won’t do Vatic justice. But I can feel my sub-consciousness working on a sequel… so it’s wait and see.

Thank you so much for stopping by at Marta's Bookshelf. I hope you had fun answering all these questions.

I may have been a little self-indulgent… but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you very much.