What motivated you to start writing? Who or what is your muse?
I started writing in 1996 when I was in middle school. My friend Richard created a character and wanted me to do the same, so we used them in a group called the Alpha Squad. The character I created was a robot with floating parts called Vecto, who has since evolved but has stayed true to his origins. There was something special about creating a character, and it motivated me to write a story about him. I continued the stories for years, writing several books and dozens of other unfinished stories in the universe (longhand, mind you) until I decided to type my latest one, which is simply titled VECTO. After all this time, I’d say that Richard is my source of inspiration for my stories in that universe.
Why did you choose a Light Novel format? Was it the anime influence or something else?
Actually, I didn’t choose a light novel format. The format so happened to match what I wrote. What I mean is that I starting writing VECTO as a fun, easy-to-read story for young adults. I originally planned one big book structured into three parts but decided to split the story into three books since each part has its own ending. That would leave each part at novella length, which so happened to be the length of Japanese light novels. Also, I love anime, and my VECTO book has an anime tone to it–especially when Leroy Johnson enters the story–so I wanted to show readers that if they like anime, they may like my book. When figuring out how to classify my story, I had an epiphany: I’m writing a light novel! I did some more research on light novels in America and came across yours. There are not many light novels originally written by people who speak English (most of them are translations), so I hope we can changed that.
You coined a term called “BitNovel.” What is a BitNovel?
A BitNovel is what I call a story divided in small “bits”–usually around 500-1000 words. It’s ideal for readers on the go who use their mobile phones to read (like me). There are quick stopping points, and each bit has a quick preview of the last part so readers can jump right back into the story after taking a break. I think it’s a perfect size for my ReidKemper.com blog, so I’m releasing a new bit every Saturday at 10 a.m. along with a video clip on something I enjoy. Anybody is welcome to write a BitNovel. I just ask that they credit me with the name.
What types of media and stories influenced VECTO?
It’s sort of hard to pinpoint any stories that have influenced my book. My main influence comes from stories that my friends wrote. We all like superhero movies, anime, RPG video games and similar media, so our stories reflect that.
I noticed that you’re a big Star Wars fan, do you think VECTO will also go the grand-scale space opera route?
I think it already has (unbeknownst to the public)! VECTO is only one story in a huge collaborative universe that me and my friends have been building since 1996. I don’t know if they’ll want their stories published, but we have hundreds of characters, hundreds of storylines and hundreds of locations at our disposal.
Finally, what do you think readers can expect in the future from VECTO?
Readers can expect Vecto’s obsession in finding Morphaal, who he blames for his friends death, to consume him. There’s going to be a lot more action-packed violence, and the story will become more emotional near the end. I expect readers will want Vecto to stop killing. It’s a difficult but different plot to write, although I believe readers will learn to forgive him in the end.