Today’s interview is with Victor Acquista. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.
First off, I would like to thank you for the interview. I am a full time author and speaker; although, this is my third career. My first was as a primary care MD and my second was as an administrative physician. I wrote Pathways to Health, a non-fiction self-help book, which went on to get translated and is an Amazon bestseller in holistic/alternative medicine. I recently had a science fiction novel published: Sentient, an epic story of humanity’s defeat and resurgence following our near total genocide by a telepathic warrior species. There is a lot of social messaging in that novel. All my writing has an underlying intention to raise consciousness. I am very intrigued by the evolution of consciousness and have actively followed research in this field. I live with my wife in New Mexico and enjoy gardening and contemplation.
Tell us about your writing process.
I do not follow a disciplined writing routine in spite of repeated recommendation. When the muse grabs me, I try to hold that embrace as long as possible and write with fury. Slowly, I am working on having weekly word limits to achieve some modest goals.
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
In some ways that is akin to asking, “What is your favorite food?” I tend to favour books about spiritual growth and development, the evolution of consciousness, and non-fiction books in these genres when I read. In fiction, I enjoy a good sci-fi or fantasy novel and the occasional adventure novel.
I enjoy writing fiction as I find that allows the maximum flexibility in expressing creativity, bound only by the limits of imagination.
What are you passionate about?
To answer “life in general” sounds trite. I am passionate about exploring human capacities and potential and in particular how to develop/evolve consciousness at the individual and collective levels.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
Yes. My first book, Pathways to Health—An Integral Guidebook is at one level a self-help book about health. At a deeper level, it is about personal growth and transformation. Part of the book, the Map Your Health Mission Designer, requires completion of a series of self-assessments based upon information presented in the book. Upon completion of the very assessments I had designed, I learned things about my own health that I was not fully aware of. The experience for me was quite profound and the insights were transformative.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
I find inspiration everywhere – people, nature, conversations, or something I read or witness. In a way, I believe imagination provides a vast playscape of potential and at any time something might surface in the form of an idea for a story or a character or something poetic.
If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?
I write cross genre in both fiction and non-fiction. All my writing is designed to be thought provoking and to challenge ideas or expand thinking in some way. My tag line on my author website and business card, Twitter and Facebook pages states: “Writing to Raise Consciousness”. This is not some fancy marketing slogan.
Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?
I understand this distinction and recognize why this is an important distinction; however, I do not conceptualize my writing as favouring or emphasizing one over the other. The best novels I have read or written have strong plots and memorable characters. I think these need to work together in a creative interplay. At times in a story, the plot elements are carrying the story forward. At other times, the story arc is driven by character elements. Strong dialogue and narrative exposition weave these pieces into what I hope is a compelling story that readers will enjoy and remember.
Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer? Why?
I have a very loose outline about a particular chapter and a sequence of events, but I don’t know for sure how the contents of a particular chapter will unfold until I write the chapter. Sometimes revisions are needed. Sometimes the chapter will cause my loose outline to be revised. In some ways, I am often surprised by how a story is ultimately told or unfolds.
Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
Absolutely! Social messaging is an essential component that drives my writing. I’m not sure I could sustain the passion to write something that did not have some aspect of social messaging.
What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?
I would like them to become engaged in thought provoking and soul searching ways, to ask themselves some hard questions about certain aspects of their lives or society. I want them to feel a connection to the characters. My primary goal is to write something entertaining, but I want the reader to appreciate that there is something more than entertainment in the pages of a novel I have written. I want readers to feel excited enough to talk to their friends, or family, etc. about what they have read and why they enjoyed it.
Where can readers find you and your books?