A. J. Vrana
I write fantasy, magical realism, paranormal, and psychological horror inspired by fable and lore.
While the setting of my work is often modern, I incorporate elements of the surreal, the forgotten, and the fantastical. My work tends towards the gritty and explores that which is hidden beneath the surface. I enjoy playing with time, perception, and imbuing my stories with multiple layers of reality.
A lifelong resident of Toronto, Canada, I am the product of the Yugoslavian diaspora that fled during the country’s violent collapse. Growing up between two cultures has always given me a sense of liminality, of being neither here nor there. This has given me a unique perspective that has served as inspiration in both my professional life and my creative endeavors. I hope to make a meaningful impact for others through storytelling.
I hold a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Humanities from York University. I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto, exploring the supernatural in modern Japanese and Balkan fiction and its relationship to violence. In January 2019, I also began a Masters degree in Public Health, with the hope of one day influencing policy pertaining to mental healthcare for individuals living with chronic illnesses. In both my research and my creative writing, I have always been captivated by the unseen.
In my spare time, I am an amateur jeweler and a lukewarm gamer. My favourite videogame franchise will always be Zelda, with Majora’s Mask capturing my heart like no other game. I have a soft spot for Capcom’s Okami and the Devil May Cry series, but I will rabidly defend Ninja Theory’s horrendously underrated DmC: Devil May Cry reboot. I live with my snow-white rescue cat, Moonstone, and deeply miss my Alaskan Malamute, Navi.
Prior to writing The Hollow Gods, I completed several fiction projects that will never see the light of the day. I like to think of them as my teachers; they provided me with the skill, patience, and determination to complete my debut novel, which I am proud to finally present to the world. The Hollow Gods is a creative exploration of my passions and a love letter to the unseen.
Some of my inspirations include Murakami Haruki, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab, Katherine Arden, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Kyōka Izumi, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and Andrew Davidson.
Looking for an awesome beta reader, editor, or proofreader? Please check out the wonderful Malorie Nilson. Her services are an invaluable asset to any writer!