Hello, I’m R.W. Van Sant

I guess that every writing project has to start somewhere, even a blog. So it’s only fair that if you are going to be following me, reading my thoughts and discoveries, or experiencing my writing explorations along with me then I owe it to you to explain a bit of the philosophes that drive my literary choices.

If you have ever read ancient Egyptian love poetry, you might come away with the same epiphany that I did.  The desires, hopes and dreams of a person living in that ancient world were similar to those of people today. I found myself realizing that if the ancient Cro-Magnons had had language sophisticated enough to record their hopes and desires a translation could be put to music and could easily make it into the top ten. We, as a species haven’t really changed that much. Sure, medicine and technology have increased our lives and made living them easier and more comfortably, but we still love the people around us, greave those we have lost, and fear the things that can take those people and things we care about.

We are as driven by love, lust, greed, hope and fear as our ancestors were, as our descendants will be. It is the very essence of what it is to be human.

When I write, therefore, it is that struggle that is important. The setting, in many ways isn’t nearly so important. If the main character’s love is killed by a blood thirsty killer, his pain is the same, his motivation to stop the one responsible, whether it be a serial killer, werewolf, dragon or alien invader. The setting, changes, the weapons and methods used to track the killer change, but not the main characters devastation, sense of universe shattering loss. Because of this, I strive to make my characters as down to earth, or everyday as possible, starting with their names; Jerry, Mat, Annette, and Tod.  They all live in relatable situations and have normal, dreams and fears. It is how they deal with the loss of these lives that drive the story, not the particulars.

The settings for my stories, as the antagonists themselves are much more influenced by the setting of the stories. Science Fiction , dark fantasy and horror genres each have their rules. These rules will in part, guide the formation of the threats and challenges the characters face. But really, how much more terrifying is a razor toothed, blood sucking slime lizard from a distant word than a cleaver, devious psychopath in a large city.

With this in mind, I choose to write in worlds and places that are removed from the everyday. It would be easy to write about people I know dealing with problems in the city and state I grew up in, but those kinds of stories are always a little too real. I believe that reading, as well as writing should be an escape so some or most of the stories must contain elements of the dark and fantastic. Why have your detective track down a gang, when they could be tracking down vampires, or doing it on a space station about to be attacked by a previously unknown alien species. It is this dark, supernatural, science fiction element that can add the “uncanny”, “uncomfortable”, “unfamiliar” mystique to the piece, and make it far more interesting.

Yes, I may write a boy meets girl story. If I do, however, it will more than likely have a strong, horror, science fiction, supernatural or dark fantasy tint to it.

I hope that you will visit often and read this blog. It should be quiet a ride.

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