Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.
When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.
What do you write?
I write mostly fantasy but I dabble in other genres such as paranormal, dystopian, horror, and sci-fi. My interest is all over the place so I’ve never been one to stick to one thing.
What do you read?
Anything that can hold my short attention span. Fantasy. Thriller/suspense. Dystopian. Sci-fi. Horror. Romance. Really anything that can stretch my mind. I’m especially partial to dark, eerie things. This is probably why I love a good old haunted house story. If you have any good recommendations please shoot me a rec here or over at Goodreads. 🙂
What are your interests?
I wish I could make a list of fun tidbits that would make me sound cool but I’ll do what I can. Aside from reading and writing, I love to run. Runner’s high is a thing and I’m always first in line for it. Above all, I love hanging out with the family and playing card games. I might be a bit of an adrenaline junkie because I love roller coasters. At some point I’m hoping to get the opportunity to skydive or zip line. That would be epic! Though I’m not much of a binge watcher, I do enjoy a good Netflix movie/series. Not a fan of cable TV. It bores me. I absolutely love playing video games. Rocket League obsessed. Grew up with the Tomb Raider series and older games like Mario and Donkey Kong. I could nerd out and list more but we’ll keep it to a minimum. Today, I prefer more story-driven, single player games.
Why do you write?
Because I can’t picture a life where I’m not writing. It feels like I was called to do this. Cliché answer, I know, but it’s the truth.
How did you get into writing?
I started dabbling in my late teens. I had this idea I thought would make a fun story for a video game. It was an adventure/action type of story set in New Zealand. Then I realized it would work so much better as a novel. So I wrote and finished my first three chapters of that story and then never continued it, lol. I was lost at the time because I knew absolutely nothing about writing. Even the basics, I had no concept of it whatsoever. I still have that first draft and would probably die of embarrassment if anyone saw it! The desire to better know the craft inevitably brought me to a free writer’s course called F2k Social (today known as Writer’s Village University.) The course opened up a whole new world. I learned the basics of writing. I connected with other writers and got support. I created new stories, mostly bits and pieces, nothing really connecting. And from there I kept growing. Met other writers. Had my first few critique partners. Some were okay, some never worked out. Some are close friends today. I’m very blessed to have them.
Cats or dogs?
Both. Though nowadays I relate more to cats because I’m just as moody as they are, haha.
Not anymore. Empty nest now. I had a little terrier dog for most of my life for about fourteen or fifteen years. Still miss my bff every day.
Two older brothers.
Where did you go to school?
I actually went to both public and homeschool.
Batman! Always Batman! Because he’s Batman!
Why are you an introvert?
I don’t know, why do I have to have a label? Maybe because extrovert was taken and someone had to step up and be the ultimate introvert. 😛
Where did you grow up?
South Texas in a little town.
When did you get saved?
I believe I was twelve when I was born again. I remember being really excited at the time. I was still very young and I don’t think I fully understood what it meant to be saved. I continued the journey but it definitely wasn’t a straight shot in my teens. I remember falling from faith more times than I can count. Heck, even today my faith and beliefs in Christ are still a work in progress. What journey isn’t? But the best thing about my walk is that I can only go up and continue to grow.
Who were your biggest influencers growing up?
My mom, my bff. My grandparents, who also practically raised me. Aunt and uncles. Many others too!
What weapon would you use if faced against a zombie apocalypse?
Now you’re asking the important questions. Knives! Since I already collect knives, it only seems right to finally put them to use and start chopping up some zombies. Hmmm. Maybe that should be my next book?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Spotify! Everything on Spotify. I like a different range of music. Rock/metal. Deep house. Original Scores. Jazz. New age. Chillstep. Electro-swing. Post-rock. There, does that make me hip now?
Do you believe in aliens?
Yes, fictional aliens! Yeah, I would love the idea if there was ET life out there. I’m a little too open-minded about that kind of thing and eager to believe in it.
Do you believe in Bigfoot?
NO! He’s not real! LOL.
So you want to believe aliens exist but don’t accept Bigfoot, what is wrong with you? What has Bigfoot ever done to you!?
AH, you caught me! I’m a prejudiced loser! I’m sorry…but I would be even more sorry if he existed.
Fine. Back to more serious stuff. What have you published so far?
Can we go back to the Bigfoot question? So far, several short stories in a few magazines, which can be viewed on the website here under ‘short stories.’ And a short story retelling that’s featured in an anthology along with five other authors that I’m very proud of. You can read more about Encircled under the ‘buy’ tab.
What are you going to publish in the future?
Well, I’m working very hard to get a dark fantasy novella published here. Shortly following, a YA fantasy novel that’s very dear to my heart and probably one of the oldest. But in the near future, I hope to publish a wide range of different genres. I would love to put out a sci-fi, a horror, a romance, or even a steampunk book. A lot of possibilities I want to explore them!
How did you come up with your pen name?
I knew I wanted a name that was very different, one that would stick out. I wanted it to sound good with all genres because like I mentioned before, at some point, I want to publish a range of different genres. I went through so many names. From Tori Winters, to Tori Stone, to Tori Arrows (which I did end up using before discovering it was already taken.) I wanted the middle initial V to make it extra unique, and of course, because V stands for Victoria. Rainn came just because it sounds nice and because rain is just awesome, right?
Why did you make a pen name?
Three reasons. First: personal matters. Second: I wanted a unique name. Victoria Perez wasn’t unique enough for me. Third reason: for privacy.
What writing software do you use?
Scrivener. I’ve been using this software for a few years now and absolutely love it. I refuse to write in anything but Scrivener. The only time I use Microsoft Word is when I’m editing docs for other authors or editing small pieces of my own work.
Do you have any writing rituals?
If you mean that I must have coffee before writing, then no. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. But I do us this app called Pomodoro Challenge each time I sit down to write. It’s basically a time management technique. It breaks down your work in a twenty-minute (or custom) intervals. It usually helps me stay focus because let’s face it, writing is one of the easiest things to not do.
Where do your ideas come from?
The shower. Late at night when my brain is in hyperdrive. Books, video games, music, and movies can also spark some ideas. Situations, observations, conversations with the family, can all help in getting the wheels turning too.
What is the most writing-related embarrassment you’ve experienced?
I thought this interview was supposed to make me look good? Well, if you must know…I once babbled like a fool in front of a respectable group of writers when asked what the heck my book was about. Till this day I still don’t know what I said. All I know is it was verbal diarrhea that could clear a room. And then I frequently mix up words like ‘snot’ and ‘snout’ so there’s that. I’m pretty sure my writing partners get a kick out of that.
What advice would you give a writer just starting out?
There’s that famous quote by Stephen King that I love. It’s pretty straight forward and I believe it to be true.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” —Stephen King
I would also add to find other writers to connect with. Find a critique group. Get comfortable sharing your work and receiving criticism. Criticism is something that will never go away. Get used to the feeling of rejection because it’s going to happen to your work, more than once. Maybe even a hundred times. You’re going to lose your vision or passion of why you started writing to begin with, so it’s important to learn how to reignite this passion on command. And this is a must! Develop a stubborn mentality because this is going to help you get past all the nos.
Thank you for your time. Can I come back for another round of interview questions?
After that Bigfoot question, probably not. But seeing that we’re basically the same person, you’ll probably come back anyway.