Interview with H. S. Cook

H. S. Cook is a U. K. author with a much fancier day job: she’s a molecular biologist whose training and background is in forensic science. You’d think she writes gritty detective novels — and sometimes she does — but like me, she’s mostly working on fantasy novels. You can follow her on facebook or twitter.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I can’t remember ever deciding to. I used to enjoy creative writing in primary school, and started writing beyond that when in secondary school. I wrote my first full-length novel at the age of fourteen and never stopped.

That’s impressive! I wish my high school freshmen were so dedicated to writing — it’s a struggle to get them to write a paragraph sometimes, much less a book, haha. What all have you written so far?

Book-wise, I have written two (almost 3) YA fantasy novels along with several NaNoWriMo fantasies which are in my ‘come-back-to-later’ pile. I have nearly half of my latest book, which I am far more invested in.

I started writing with various short stories. Mostly it was comic horror. There was a very dark piece of fiction I am particularly proud of. I have also dabbled with some poetry, which I write during creative droughts or when faced with writer’s block.

I have also written a host of beginnings that I hope to return to someday.

I feel you on that. Sometimes you’ve got a great idea and no time to flesh it out, because there’s already a work that needs finishing. That’s why I have so many posts about premises here on my blog.  What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on a multi-book series: The Blood King Chronicles. The first book, provisionally titled The Blood Within, follows a dragon and a prince as they discover their importance in the fight for mankind’s survival. The world building has led to outlines for several other books in the same world, but with other stories. I am nearly halfway through my first draft.

Is there any part you regret writing but is integral to the plot? No spoilers!

Yes. There are two scenes I really regret writing, though it had to be done. The first is really early on. The second felt like I was tearing my heart out with every word. Unfortunately, the world is not all sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes I feel too cruel, however.

No, the world definitely is more complex, and sometimes dark. On that note — what do you think about the ebook revolution? I know a lot of people have complicated feelings about ebooks, myself included.

It is an interesting and inevitable path. The convenience and price of ebooks makes them attractive to readers. The ease of plagiarism is not so good. A good way forward would be multi-format purchases: buy a physical book and get the ebook with it. Like we have with DVDs and Ultraviolet.

For myself, I prefer ‘real’ books, especially when at home. I love curling up with a book and getting tactile feedback. However, when traveling, I have a bank of ebooks on my Kindle.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

About H. S. Cook

Working in a world of logic and reason, while dreaming of one filled with magic, H. S. Cook lives between her scientific research and her fantasy writings. A molecular biologist by day, she finds ways to inject the magic of her worlds into daily life, making time to write. She is currently working on an epic fantasy series: The Blood King Chronicles. Learn more at her website: http://www.bloodkingchronicles.com/

By the Blood, may the Fates show mercy.

Let me know what you think!