A.J. Vrana

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A.J. Vrana

Goodreads Author


Born
in Toronto, Canada
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Influences
Some of my inspirations include Murakami Haruki, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Sch ...more

Member Since
July 2016

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A. J. Vrana is a Serbian-Canadian academic and writer from Toronto, Canada. She lives with her two rescue cats, Moonstone and Peanut Butter, who nest in her window-side bookshelf and cast judgmental stares at nearby pigeons. Her doctoral research examines the supernatural in modern Japanese and former-Yugoslavian literature and its relationship to violence. When not toiling away at caffeine-fueled, scholarly pursuits, she enjoys jewelry-making, cupcakes, and concocting dark tales to unleash upon the world. Her published works include The Chaos Cycle Duology: The Hollow Gods (2020) and The Echoed Realm (2021) from The Parliament House Press, and a short supernatural horror story, These Silent Walls (2020), printed in Three Crows Magazine.

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A.J. Vrana Thanks for your question! It does definitely play a role in the story, though most of the connections to specific tales are quite loose. Folklore was …moreThanks for your question! It does definitely play a role in the story, though most of the connections to specific tales are quite loose. Folklore was my starting point for certain aspects of the book, but I changed them quite dramatically. I don't think they'd be too easily recognizable, but there are a few Easter eggs in there for Slavic readers. I do also think my storytelling style is influenced by folklore; it's quite unconventional and relies heavily on dreams, metaphor, and oral history. The sequel will have more direct ties to folklore, and some of the figures will be more obviously recognizable!(less)
A.J. Vrana Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks so much for your question. I wish I had a one-size-fits-all answer, but in truth it's a very messy process, and editing is key. For…moreHi Kaitlyn! Thanks so much for your question. I wish I had a one-size-fits-all answer, but in truth it's a very messy process, and editing is key. For side characters, I think what's important is to make sure they don't feel like cardboard cut-outs just populating the world. I like to come up with elaborate backstories for these characters to flesh out who they are, what motivates them, etc. This stuff never really makes it into the book, but it always informs how I end up writing them.

For main characters, it's a LOT of trial and error. Part of it is taking a holistic approach; I don't write the characters as isolated entities. Rather, I write them with the specific purpose of interacting with the story and with each other. Put another way, I create problems and consider how different people with different worldviews might approach those problems. In The Hollow Gods, Miya, Kai, and Mason all represent very different worldviews, and the way each of them tries to make sense of things has to be consistent with those worldviews.

I'd also say it's important to try and be empathetic towards your own characters. People are very diverse in how they see the world, and so if you want to write a cast with diverse ways of thinking, you need to keep asking yourself, "Why? Why? Why?". But, even then, your characters' motivations may not always come across or be clear to readers. That's why it's important to have editors and beta readers you trust to tell you when your intended meaning isn't coming through, and adjust accordingly. All of my characters underwent substantive revisions between the first and final draft of the book! (less)
Average rating: 4.04 · 256 ratings · 205 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Hollow Gods (The Chaos ...

4.02 avg rating — 253 ratings — published 2020 — 4 editions
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The Echoed Realm (The Chaos...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — expected publication 2021 — 2 editions
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Three Crows Magazine #7

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

PAPERBACK PRE-ORDERS ARE UP!

THE HOLLOW GODS paperback Pre-orders are UP on The Parliament House website! Get your copy now!
http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/p...
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Published on January 13, 2020 20:40 Tags: bookrelease, preorders
The Hollow Gods The Echoed Realm
(2 books)
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4.03 avg rating — 254 ratings

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Red Widow by Alma Katsu
Red Widow
by Alma Katsu (Goodreads Author)
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Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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The Deep by Alma Katsu
The Deep
by Alma Katsu (Goodreads Author)
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I have always been a sucker for hauntings, for the blurring of reality and unreality, the interpersonal and the social. And this book has all of that. The Deep was such an amazing, slow burn horror--a slow, painful downward spiral into a strange, sim ...more
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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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Actual rating: 3.5 (I think?)

Overall, I enjoyed the first installment of this series. I found some of the narrative choices to be a bit odd in the first half of the book, and even though they were explained later, there were aspects of Tamlin and Fey
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A.J. Vrana is on page 247 of 432 of A Court of Thorns and Roses: Fracturing...AND splintering...
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
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A.J. Vrana wants to read 15 books in the 2021 Reading Challenge
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She has read 1 book toward her goal of 15 books.
 
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A.J. Vrana and 6 other people liked Emma Murray's review of When Robins Appear:
When Robins Appear by Densie Webb
"Beautifully written, well-researched story about a mother (Deb) who is struggling with empty nest syndrome, and her daughter (Amanda) who is desperate for her own independence to explore a new romantic relationship with an older man. The narrative sw" Read more of this review »
A.J. Vrana and 6 other people liked Danielle's review of When Robins Appear:
When Robins Appear by Densie Webb
"This book was so well written, and I absolutely fell in love with all of the characters. My heart is still broken for Deb, though.

Deb and Richard have been married for 20 years. Having come from a large family, Deb was adamant that she only wanted 1 " Read more of this review »
More of A.J.'s books…
“Cut the seams of reality, and chaos is bound to spill out.”
A.J. Vrana, The Hollow Gods

“Once upon a time, when the earth was formless and empty, and darkness stretched over the surface of the deep, we plunged one another into the abyss, and the world has trembled ever since.”
A.J. Vrana, The Hollow Gods

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