Xao Thao

Xao Thao pic

Age: 30

Where you live: York, SC

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for many, many years since I was little kid. I loved writing and I had a crazy imagination. I also had very bad dreams which were terrible, but they are also the focus of many of my not-yet-published novels.

2) What or who was your inspiration to write?

My nightmares inspired me to write. It helped me to not have the same dream again when I wrote them down and it also gave me ideas on worlds and dark places that people don’t want to go, but find interesting as long as they’re really far away from it. Having vivid dreams and remembering them also helped because that’s a story in itself that is already written and all I have to do is translate it onto paper.

3) Which genre do you like to read? Why?

I love fantasy and science fiction because the imagination can have no boundaries in those books. You can have worlds that are flat and elves and faeries and magical creatures that don’t exist. Fantasy and science fiction also helps to stimulate the mind so any time I’me reading, I think about the real possibilities of those things happening here. Can we make machines that are intelligent or can we find mermaids in the deep ocean unexplored? It’s very interesting to think about all the possibilities because we truly don’t know everything that is out there or can be accomplished.

4) Do you write this genre or others? Why?

I do write fantasy and science fiction. I also write paranormal romance, romance, and horrors and thrillers. I find that what we write the most are what we know the most and since I love to read these categories, I know a lot about tthem and the type of story I would like to read next so I can write that book I’ve been trying to find.

5) Who are your favorite authors?

I spend a lot of time in the dark world of Dean Koontz. I’ve read many of his books including all of the Odd Thomas novels. Robin Hobb writes a fantastic fantasy saga about dragons that at are so incredible and different, I would like to recommend it to everyone who likes dragons. It’s called the Rain Wilds

Chronicles. Brian Lumley is a very old author whose vampire books, Necroscope, came out when I was an infant, but they are fantastic and absolutely worth the read! I read the entire Necroscope series which was well over 10 very thick novels with super small print, and I would read them again. His vampires are not like the traditional sexy vampires of today. There’s none of that, “come bite me” appeal. It’s more primal fear and it’s really awesome. Garth Nix writes an excellent children’s fantasy series of seven books called The Keys to the Kingdom. It’s such an original and creative story that it is definitely worth experiencing for yourself.

6) How do you create your characters?

My character creation process is kind of odd. I choose whether it’s a male or female, whether I want them to be human or anything other than human, and then I pick a name. After that, I give them qualities and a physical description. When I start writing, my characters can change. They seem to take on a life of their own and their personalities can totally be the complete opposite of what I planned them to be like. When that happens, I don’t try to stick to the original rough draft. I let my characters write about themselves.

7) Do you give them names before you develop them?

Yes and no. Yes on many of them because they are created with a name first before I develop any of their personality or characteristics. No because, some of them came with names. Dreams are the exception. For example, there’s an amazing dream that I had which is a children’s book I’m publishing soon called, Alcone and the Rhiaddon. Those were the two names I heard in my dream—Alcone, being the name of the 14 year old boy who is the main character and the Rhiaddon being the name for the group of people he was born into. I use the names from the dream because they are a much better fit than any name I could think of.

8) How do you choose your characters names?

I choose something that fits. For example, in my vampire series, The Turning, Marisa got her name from Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller. Gorgeous girl, total opposite of what the character really turned out to be. The others were made up and they had to sound a bit foreign because the brothers were from Russia so I had Alessander, which is Alexander spelled a bit differently and pronunced differently, Demetri which I have always liked the name, and Ra’vin which should not exist anywhere in the world because I sounded out words and stuck together. It’s effective and now, Ra’vin’s a really cool name that fits a really cool character.

9) Do you edit as you write or after you get your manuscript written?

I have trouble editing while I write. I’ll get to the second chapter and want to add something in the first chapter or go back and rewrite, but I learned that I will never complete a novel if I continuously go back and edit so I write first, make notes on what I want to change and edit when I’m done.

10) Do you have an agent, publisher, or self-publish? If you’ve used more than one which was most profitable?

I self-published. I think that now, self-publishing is actually not looked down upon as badly as it once was. For many back then, self-publishers were people who couldn’t get an agency to accept their work and that’s totally not true. I self published for the reason of having complete creative control over my work. I didn’t have a publishing house telling me it was too long or too short or that the characters had to be a certain way and follow a generic guideline. I self published so my characters can be themselves and tell their story how they want to, especially since they also want to be heard now. Publishing with a publishing house (going through a literary agent takes even longer since you have to query, then be accepted by an agent) can take anywhere from 18 months to two years from the time your novel is

accepted for publication and the time it is actually published. The Turning vampire series has ten books. I was not going to wait ten years for the entire series to be published (as publishing houses traditionally publishes books in a series a year later from the last one). I own and retain all rights to my work and I can also have the freedom to write the story I want to, and to publish when I want to.

11) What advice have you received to help you and what advice would you give a new writer?

One of the best advice I’ve gotten is, “Write the book you want to read”. It’s the same that I will give to everyone else. If you don’t really want to read your own work, how do you expect other people to read it? And don’t write a genre you don’t like just because it’s selling right now. It really shows up in the work. Emotions translate easily through pages, especially to readers. An author has a lot of influence over the characters, settings, tones, conflicts, resolutions, and all of that without being in the story. If an author hates a character, the reader will know it because the reader will dislike that character too. If an author loves a character, the reader will notice that too because of how the author loves the character. You should always write about what you love. Don’t write for money or expect huge sums or your books to sell a million copies. No—write because you love to. Write because you are doing an azaming thing be creating and sharing lives and worlds with everyone else. Never lose focus in why you write, because then, you will never stop writing!

List the links to your work here:

The Turning (Book One) Links:



Blood Lust (Book Two) Links:




Masquerade (Book Three) Links:



List your social media links here:





One thought on “Xao Thao

  1. Pingback: Xao Thao | theowlladyblog

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