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Meet VH Folland author of Fire Season
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on May 12, 2011
 



Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews VH Folland Author of Fire Season

Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, VH Folland author of Fire Season.

Good day VH and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

How did you decide you were ready to write Fire Season? As a follow up, I believe this is your first fiction-writing project, did you enjoy the process?

VH:

I have already written a range of short stories and other fiction and wanted to expand into longer stories. I have always liked writing and, although novels are a change from my normal field, it was definitely something I enjoyed working on.

Norm:

Was Fire Season improvisational or did you have a set plan?


VH:


Fire Season was largely improvisational. The entire story comes from one scene that I jotted down, and then started to wonder who these people were and how they had got into that mess. After I developed the idea of the story I wanted to tell and how I wanted to tell it, I just wrote. Then I went back to do research, correct errors and fill in gaps afterwards, which meant making a lot of changes for accuracy.


Norm:

In fiction as well as in non-fiction, writers very often take liberties with their material to tell a good story or make a point. But how much is too much?


VH:


The point at which the reader can no longer believe in the story is definitely too far. Before that there is a grey area, but in general the more familiar the readers are with the setting the fewer liberties you can take. Sometimes an author has to take liberties to be responsible; for example in Fire Season I have removed all radio references and created fictional call signs, in the same way a police author will fudge procedural details.


Norm:


Is Fire Season based on events you know about or events in your own life? As a follow up, how did you go about creating the various characters?

VH:


Fire Season is purely fictional, as is its setting. However it was inspired from stories by friends in Australia and California about respective fire seasons and my own experiences with heathland fires in Britain. The Shackleton and its caretaker came from an earlier manuscript. I started wondering what it would be like to work at an airstrip with one of these large grounded bombers in it.


I tend to come up with characters as a broad idea and then flesh them out as I go. After all, real people don't tell you their entire background on your first meeting.


Norm:


How much research went into writing Fire Season?


VH:


I wrote the first draft in six weeks and then spent several months researching and rewriting.


I'd thought the Shackleton would be the hardest thing to research, but I was lucky that Gatwick Aviation museum had two, including one of the few ground running aircraft remaining, and were prepared to let me inside them. I can truthfully can say part of my research involved climbing around a live nuclear bomber.


The firefighting aircraft were more difficult because the procedures and approaches vary from country to country. In some cases, I had to find a middle ground between arguing experts – in one notable case by setting a house on fire! (In the book, of course.)


Norm:


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

VH:


With Fire Season, it was internationalization due to the differences between countries. Originally set in New Zealand I was asked to make it more international. Now, although fictional, it could be set in most countries. The other issue was also keeping the action level consistent, as the story is told in real time.


Norm:


What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Fire Season?

VH:


Why cropsprayers aren’t used against fires. It is something that is suggested very often, but without going into details it's because the spray setting tends to boil off before it hits the fire and the emergency dump is not accurate enough. Then I found there are companies selling kits to convert cropsprayers onto firefighting aircraft, which was a definitely unexpected.


Also the differences between national and international firefighting methods.


Norm:

What is your secret in keeping the intensity of the plot throughout the narrative of Fire Season?

VH:

When I wrote it I wanted to model the pattern of the novel after the approach of the fire which was the key element and keep the tension increasing as it slowly approaches. I was aiming for a steady build through the book rather than a series of ups and downs. After all, with a forest fire approaching their town the tension never really eases for the characters. Why should I let the readers off the hook?

Norm:

How do you celebrate Fire Season's completion?


VH:


Ironically it was released the week of the worst snows we’d had for ten years. Celebration plans were halted because all the transport was shut down, so on the actual day my celebration involved reading an author's copy while dripping dry in front of the radiator.


Other than that, to be honest, it celebrated by picking up the pen and getting back to writing. Once one story is told, I want to know what the next one is.


Norm:


Where can our readers find out more about you and Fire Season?


VH:


My blog is updated fairly regularly, at http://vhfolland.blogspot.com, and I am on twitter at @vhfolland.


The book's website, with news, reviews, and offers is at http://www.fireseason.co.uk


Norm:


What is next for VH Folland and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?


VH:


I’ll be releasing a novella as an ebook shortly. I also have two more novels in the works, and am hoping to find a publisher for them.


Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors


Click Here To Purchase Fire Season