Author Interview with Nicholas Conley

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Pale Highway, a novel by Nicholas Conley.  Nicholas has been a longtime follower and supporter of The Eye-Dancers blog, and I am thrilled to feature him here.

In this season of thanksgiving, I am reminded of all the wonderful virtual friends I’ve made since launching this website over three years ago.  As I’ve said several times in previous posts, when I began The Eye-Dancers blog, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’d never blogged before, and was a neophyte in ever sense of the word.

The great people of WordPress welcomed me right from the start, and it’s been a pure joy to be a part of this very special community.

Nicholas was one of my earliest followers, and it’s an honor to interview him today.

If you haven’t visited his blog, I highly recommend that you do so, and his latest novel, Pale Highway, is a fantastic read and an impeccably crafted work of literature.

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I hope you enjoy the interview!

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1. I’m always fascinated by titles. I know, for me, sometimes a title comes before I even write the first word of a story. Other times (as with the WIP I am writing now), titles are elusive, shy, hiding in the literary underbrush and daring you to find them. How was it with Pale Highway? It’s a wonderfully evocative title. Did it come to you early on in the process? Or did it come much later?

I know what you mean, I love titles. For me, I can’t even start writing a story until I know the title, because so much of my central narrative is always framed by whatever concept the title evokes. When I first started researching for Pale Highway, I spent a long time pondering possible titles, most of them relating to Gabriel’s dementia, but nothing felt like it quite captured it. Then, there was one night where I just got this lightning bolt to the head, and this title—Pale Highway—came to me out of nowhere. When it did, it was the first time I truly understood what the novel was about, and the message that Gabriel’s story had to say about the human condition.

 

2. In a similar vein, each individual chapter has its own title. Did that prove to be a challenge at all? Or did the chapter titles flow easily throughout the process? Did you name each chapter prior to writing it, or did some of the chapter titles come later?

Chapter titles I tend to play around more freely with, changing them as I go, and seeing what jumps out at me. Since I tend to use shorter chapters that are focused on a single idea or moment, the chapter titles will often pop out to me midway through writing the chapter.

 

3. It’s interesting to hear how writers tackle a long work of fiction. Before you started Pale Highway, did you have a detailed outline of each chapter? Or–did you have a more general outline, with major plot points and perhaps an ending in mind? Or did you have essentially very little idea where the story would take you, and just decided to enter into the project without any concrete or firmly predetermined plans?

I’m the sort of person who always has to-do-lists, reminders, alarms and all of that stuff, so I’m definitely a detailed outliner. I outline a long time before I even start writing, usually on a chapter by chapter basis. Once I start writing, I do give my characters and story room to break free from the outline and do what they want—which they often do—but having a basic road map helps me stay focused, and keep the narrative tight.

 

4. Sort of a follow-up to the previous question, but, during the writing process, were there things that occurred that greatly surprised you? For example, did a character say something or do something, almost out of his or her own volition, that you just didn’t see coming? Was there ever a twist in the plot that just “happened,” on its own as it were, and afterward, you thought to yourself, Where did that come from? In short, how many surprises did you experience during the writing of Pale Highway?

Oh yeah, those surprises are one of the best parts of writing! The plot itself stayed pretty on track all the way through, but Gabriel himself often surprised me with his cunning insights, his occasional sardonic cracks, and the decisions he made. Victor, the rather strange fellow resident who Gabriel befriends, surprised me many times as well.

 

5. The novel is wonderfully written and beautifully layered. It flows so well. How long did it take to write, from beginning (first-draft stage) to end (ready for publication)?

Thank you, it’s amazing to hear that. After putting so much work into it for such a long time, that sort of comment makes my day!

I started coming up with the story ideas that would lead to Pale Highway back in 2012, even before The Cage Legacy came out. These concepts went through a lot of transformation after that point, but as a whole, Pale Highway was something that I worked on for the better part of three years. I’ve been anticipating its entry into the world for a long, long time.

 

6. The novel explores scientific and medical ideas–they are integral to the story. How did you balance the need to provide sufficient scientific details but at the same time not inundate the reader with too much information? It would seem this is like walking a tightrope. You need enough to make the material resonate but not so much that readers’ eyes glaze over. Pale Highway accomplishes a perfect balance. Was this something you consciously “game-planned” for before writing the first draft?

You said it perfectly, about how it’s like walking a tightrope. In order to explain the scientific ideas that impact the story—and on a character level, to demonstrate what kind of person Gabriel Schist was before Alzheimer’s, as his ideas were the most defining aspect of his persona—it required that I put in just enough information about his theories to explain what they were, while also not doing a massive info dump that takes the reader out of the story. I hope that I struck a good balance.

 

7. The novel, through the point of view of its protagonist, Gabriel Schist, explores several fascinating theories about the immune system. Prior to writing Pale Highway, did you need to perform a lot of research on the immune system? Or was it a subject you already had studied and pursued previously?

The Alzheimer’s aspect of the novel was one that I had already researched with my own experience, working in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home. Gabriel’s theories about the immune system, however, I needed to do an insane amount of new research about in order to understand. I can’t even begin to tell you how many books, essays and articles I read on the subject.

I saw it like this: if Gabriel was the kind of man who was defined by the world as a “mad genius,” then it was important that I had a good understanding of what his work was about. I also figured that in this sort of alternative reality that Gabriel lives in—a world in which he found an AIDS cure back in the 1990s—Gabriel’s theories were going to have to be unconventional, strange, something that isn’t usually explored by the establishment. Once I started reading about the work of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, something clicked, and I knew where to focus my studies on.

 

8. There are several flashback chapters expertly placed throughout the story that show different sides of Gabriel, and at different periods of his life. I found it interesting (and highly effective) that most of these flashback chapters were presented in points of view that were not Gabriel’s. The chapters, therefore, not only allow us to see Gabriel at various points in his life, but they also allow us to see him through the eyes of others, rounding out our perception of him. When did you make the decision to write these flashback chapters in different points of view? Was that something you knew you wanted to do right from the start? Or did that come about later in the process?

You got it. I knew early on that for the main story line—Gabriel being an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home—I wanted to keep it in Gabriel’s POV, to show that world through his eyes, to show what a nursing home looks like when one is a resident suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. But on the same token, I also knew that I wanted to tell the flashbacks from the perspective of others as much as possible, so that we could get to know Gabriel as a young man in the same way that others would encounter him—brilliant, quiet, introverted—while also having that slice into his older mind, so we’re able to understand him, form a full mental picture, and hopefully relate to a character somewhat outside the norm.

 

9. Pale Highway is a multi-layered novel, tying together medical themes, the plight and care of the elderly, not to mention various metaphysical and even theological ideas. It is also an in-depth character study. How did such a layered idea come to you? The novel is a mosaic of so many themes. Was this an idea that came to you all at once, or did it evolve, piece by piece, over a period of years?

I knew back in 2011 that I wanted to write a book about Alzheimer’s, and with that in mind, I started piecing together what kind of book I wanted to write. Once I knew who Gabriel Schist was, I knew that the central narrative had to be centered on his final attempt at redemption, a quest to do one more meaningful thing in his life. With him being an immunologist, this meant that the clear thing to do was have him try to cure a bizarre new disease, and so the book became science fiction.

The idea of writing this book as a literary novel, or even just a sci-fi novel, seemed limiting to me. It would have prevented me from delving into the more metaphysical aspects of what I wanted to express. Because while Pale Highway is about Alzheimer’s at its core, it’s also about death, life, and what it means to be a human being. Finally writing my way to the third act of this novel, and delving into these issues, was one of the most cathartic experiences of my life.

 

10. What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of writing Pale Highway?

The research was the hardest part to start with, but by the time I started writing I had a good handle on that. Writing about the traumatic experiences that Gabriel goes though, as more and more pieces of his brain fall away, was painful. By the time that Gabriel’s Alzheimer’s symptoms begins to worsen, I’d developed such a connection to him that it felt much like watching a friend with Alzheimer’s, and knowing that I couldn’t do anything to help him.

 

11. What did you find to be the easiest aspect?

Writing about the nursing home itself, with all of its flaws, problems, humorous moments, and overall this pervading sense of bittersweet tragedy. In all honesty, I could’ve written at least 30 books about Bright New Day, the residents there, how it all works. I never see nursing homes properly represented in the media, so it was great to put that out there.

 

12. Who are some of your favorite authors and literary inspirations?

So many. I always say Stephen King first, primarily because reading his Dark Tower books as a teenager was one of my most inspirational experiences, and I don’t think there’s ever been another book series I’ve been so enveloped in. I also love Richard Matheson, Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, and Philip K. Dick.

 

13. If you could offer just one single piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

It’s all about perseverance. Inspiration is the electrical charge that powers your work, but perseverance is the cord that connects it to the wall.

 

14. What are your future writing plans? Are you currently working on a new project?

I have multiple works in progress, all in various different states of development. Part of my writing process, after finishing a first draft, is to put it aside for at least a month and then come back to it with fresh eyes, so I’ll often write another first draft between these two drafts. There’s one novel in particular that’s rising to the top right now, so I’m pretty sure that’s going to be my next book.

 

15. Where can readers find and download your work?

You can find me on www.NicholasConley.com, and my blog is linked to from there. You can also follow me on Twitter at @NicholasConley1. Always happy to meet new readers! I wish I could send complementary coffee cups over the net, but unfortunately technology has not yet advanced to that level. Someday, maybe…

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Nicholas Conley’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire.

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To learn more about him, take a stroll over to www.NicholasConley.com.

 

Thank you, Nicholas, for a great interview, and thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

 

Author Interview with Jessica Wren

When I began blogging three summers ago, little did I realize how much fun and rewarding it would be.  I was, to put it bluntly, clueless when it came to the blogosphere.  So many aspects of blogging are great, but if I had to choose the best of the best, that would be easy–the many virtual friendships I have formed with so many talented and wonderful people throughout the WordPress community.  I am continually humbled by all the support and goodwill that permeates this very special network.

One of those talented and wonderful wordsmiths is Jessica Wren.  Jessica took the time recently to interview me on her great website, and now I am returning the favor, chatting with Jessica about the art of writing and about her engrossing novella, Ice, which I very much enjoyed.

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It’s my pleasure introducing Jessica Wren.  I hope you enjoy the interview!

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1. Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer? When did you first discover that writing was something you had a passion for?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was twelve, I wrote a novelette. My seventh-grade English teacher did a serious review, writing on a piece of paper the good and the bad (this was, of course, before the Internet). The fact that someone took me seriously at that time spurred my confidence as a writer. I still have that review; it is one of my most treasured possessions.

 

2. What, or who, are some of your inspirations as a writer? Do you have any favorite authors? Novels?

Stephen King. I think I have read just about every work written by him, and Ice has been compared to some of his works (most notably, The Shining). I have also drawn inspiration from some of the Latino writers, mainly Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In fact, Ice was loosely based on One Hundred Years of Solitude. I created Minterville as an American Macondo.

 

3. If you could offer an aspiring writer any single piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t listen to negative people. Pay attention to constructive criticism, of course, but if someone is actively trying to work against you, get as far away from him/her as possible.

 

4. In your novel, Ice, it struck me right away that there is virtually no cell phone presence in the town of Minterville. Of course this is mostly due to the telepathic Minter ability of the residents (more on that in a moment), but I couldn’t help but wonder if, in presenting the town in this way, that you might be making a statement about the smartphone culture we live in? Do you feel that society has gone too far in its dependence on smartphones and digital technology in general?

I never thought about it, but now that you mention it, maybe I was, subconsciously, trying to make a statement about the importance of community and ties, and how technology addiction can be damaging to one’s social skills. Cell phone reception is poor in Minterville because of their location deep in the woods, but the residents there are used to it and have come to rely on the Minter and person-to-person communication.

 

5.Speaking of the Minter, and the ability of the town residents to communicate on a telepathic level, I was struck by your portrayal of small-town America. Are you from a small town originally? Do you live in a small town today? 

Today, I live in Brunswick, Georgia, which has grown a little too much for my taste. Minterville is modeled after Argyle, Texas (where I did live as a child). In Argyle (at least at that time), everyone knew everyone, there were many community events, and while we couldn’t communicate telepathically, we all knew each other’s phone numbers. It was also virtually crime-free.

 

6. Ice is written in several Parts, each Part narrated, in a first-person format, by a different resident of the town. That’s a very interesting literary technique, and one that presents the reader with different perspectives over the course of the novel. What inspired you to write the story in this manner, as opposed to a third-person narrative throughout or from the first-person point of view of just one character?

I chose to tell Parts 1 and 5 from Elliot’s point of view because he’s a mainly objective character. He was actually originally going to be my only narrator. However, my editor (who’s also my husband) pointed out that by doing that, I would miss out on the emotional depth that characters directly involved in the events, such as Andy (on the outside) and Carolyn (on the inside), could provide. I finally decided to keep Elliot as the narrator for the beginning and the end (before and after the main crisis) because of his objectivity and because as far as that particular town is concerned, he functions as an “everyman.” To be honest, I wish I had used the third-person.

 

7. One of the characters in Ice refers to the press as a “group of blood-sucking vultures.” Does this harsh critique of the press mirror your own views at all?

I do believe the media does “spin” stories to generate ratings, but my view is not nearly as harsh as Elliot’s. He is upset because he feels the media presence in Minterville is disruptive and that they are taking advantage of their tragedy to boost their own ratings (and once again, he is pretty much speaking for everyone).

 

8. There really isn’t a single main character in Ice. In effect, the entire town of Minterville is the main character. This brought to mind certain other works, such as Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson, a short story collection where the stories are not chapters in a single novel, but rather separate, individual stories that are connected through theme, characters, and location. Was it an intentional choice you made before writing the novel not to have one main character? Or did that evolve over the course of writing Ice?

It evolved over the course of the writing. It took me a lot of time and frustration to decide the best way to present this particular story. At one point, I was even planning to do it vignette-style (similar to Winesburg, Ohio). Out of everyone who reviewed Ice, I think you are the only person that got that Minterville itself was the main character. I made it a deliberate point of saying that the populace tends to be of one mind. One thing I deliberately avoided doing was presenting anything from Tom’s perspective, even though he is directly at the center of the action. As a “naturalized” resident, so to speak, he simply does not have the ability to think about things the same way everyone else does.

 

9. In a similar vein, did anything really surprise you as you wrote the novel? Did some things go in a completely different direction than you had at first envisioned?

Absolutely. For starters, the twist at the end involving Cierra was something I added in a week before publishing. I had to tone down a lot of the characters who were becoming too mean. Stephanie was originally a bully who verbally abused Elliot their whole lives, and Barbara was a lot nastier in the beginning. In one deleted scene, she told several of the other women involved that they deserved to die (for various reasons). Ice was a short story that I started writing for a contest that just kind of grew.

 

10. Ice is an emotional roller-coaster ride, with a lot of ups and downs as the characters navigate a terrifying situation. In the end, when it’s all said and done, what do you hope the readers of Ice will take away from the novel?

The main lesson is always trust your instincts. When your gut is telling you that something (or someone) is “off” it probably is. The other main things I am hoping readers will take away are compassion and empathy, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. The people of Minterville don’t for a single second blame the person whose long-ago misdeeds caused the whole incident, because when it was all said and done, he had done everything in his power (which included a plan to permanently get rid of the criminals at the expense of his own life) to avert the tragedy, and when he couldn’t, he alone accepted the consequences. I hope readers will notice that he never once blamed Manuela or anyone else for his decisions.

 

11. Will there be a sequel? What are you working on now?

I’m planning a whole Minterville series. Although it was the first published, Ice is going to be Book 7. Book 8, which I will write when I’m done with my current project (about that in a minute), will be called Chill and it will be a sequel in which Manuela gets a taste of her own medicine. Book 1 will be Blizzard (James Minter’s story), Book 2 is Freeze (Manuela’s story), Book 3 is Snow Storm (Tom Watson’s story), Book 4 is Shiver (Sebastian’s story), Book 5 is Frost (Barbara Jenkins’ story), Book 6 is Winter Winds (more about the events of 1993).

What I’m working on now is a four-part series called the Cadiz Beach Series. The titles will be Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind, which revolve around a criminal defense attorney named Vincent McPherson who tries to rid Cadiz Beach, Florida (another fictitious town), of the Irish Mob. I’m doing the rough draft for Earth now. Vinny (as he is called) defends two young people accused of killing the son of a notorious Irish mobster. This trial unleashes all the fury of the Mob on this small, beachfront community . . .

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Jessica Wren is a writer who has published exactly one ebook. She has created this page to share her infinite wisdom with professionals such as herself. A high school teacher in a small Georgia city, she knows everything about being a cop, a lawyer, a drug dealer, a serial killer, a teenage boy, and every other known identity. She gives top-notch professional advice about writing by which she consistently fails to abide. Her other talents include boring teenagers to death, aggravating her husband, driving extra-slow when others are behind her, and dropping food on her blouse. Jessica’s ultimate dream is to retire to a one-room shack with 20 cats, where she will sit on the porch and shout “Get out of my yard!” while swinging a broom at anyone who happens to pass by.

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You can connect with Jessica on her website, her Twitter page, and on Goodreads.

Thank you, Jessica, for a great interview, and thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

Author Interview with Sonya Solomonovich

Last summer, I ran a promotion for The Eye-Dancers.  During that promo, Sonya Solomonovich purchased a copy of the book.  Later that fall, she took the time to interview me on her website.  It was a fun interview, as she aimed several of her questions at the main characters of The Eye-DancersMitchell, Joe, Ryan, and Marc had a great time answering her questions, and so did I.

So when she announced the release of her new novel, Dryad, it was an easy decision for me.  I purchased a copy, and genuinely enjoyed the book.  I also wanted to reciprocate and interview her–along with several characters in her book.

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What follows is my interview with Sonya, and Solena, and Tyler, and . . . well, you get the idea.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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1.  The main character of Dryad is, well, a dryad!  Have you always been interested in dryads?  Or is it something that you’ve recently discovered and wanted to write about?

I’ve always been interested in Greek Mythology but not so much in dryads.  The idea for Dryad emerged when a friend of mine suggested I should write about a dryad from the Amazon rainforest climbing the corporate ladder.

2. As a writer myself, I am always fascinated by ideas–how they strike, when they hit, and how complete they are when they do come.  With Dryad, did the idea hit you all at once?  Or was it gradual–a scenario here, a character there, a scene there, and you had to build it slowly, over time?

I’m so bad at coming up with ideas for my own books.  It was really a friend of mine who came up with this idea–and wrote it down on a napkin for me–but then gradually I started building on it.  For a while I was considering the main character to be a male dryad, but then I changed it to a female.  Then I decided to add a time travel element and the talking alligator.  Then I forgot all about it for a couple of years.  Finally, it all came together when I realized I wanted to write an adventure that would be both silly and epic, and by that time most of the characters were already in place.

3.  Solena, the main character of Dryad, is a dryad who sympathizes with humans and who takes on the appearance and identity of a human for the majority of the novel.  How much of yourself would you say is a part of her?  Are you a lot like Solena?  Or is she the polar opposite of you?

I have to admit I’m a lot like her.  Sometimes I think I’m a different species and I’m still trying to figure out what humans are all about 🙂  Also, like Solena, I’m a romantic and I enjoy all the superficial glamour and glitz of Hollywood and pop culture.  I think it’s okay to do that in moderation.

4.  The character of Teddy Goldman intrigued me–a self-help guru who, for years, even as a best-selling writer, had his better-looking brother pose for him in PR photographs.  Did any real-life self-help or celebrity personality serve as an inspiration for Teddy Goldman?

I’m glad you asked this question because I love self-help books.  Some are funny and ridiculous, while some are really helpful.  Teddy Goldman is mostly based on fitness guru Matt Furey, who calls himself “Zen Master of the Internet.”  There are a lot of similarities there because Matt Furey is a martial artist who also writes on other diverse self-help topics.  Initially it was meant to be just a small joke, but then he became a more and more important part of the plot.  Then there came a moment when I thought, wait a minute, this character is too perfect.  So that was when I decided he is actually not hunky and has a limp and a better-looking brother.

5.  One of the central themes of Dryad is respecting the environment.  Is this something you have always been passionate about, and do you often incorporate this into your fiction?

I didn’t really become interested in the environment until about two years ago, when I moved to the west coast of Canada.  Everyone here is so environmentally conscious that I couldn’t help but get into the spirit.  And of course, I love animals so it finally dawned on me that animals can’t survive without a habitat!

 

And now, here are questions for the characters themselves!

1.  Tyler–you are quite the unique character–a talking alligator!  Do the alligators who cannot talk resent you?  Do you have trouble “fitting in” with other alligators?  And do you feel more “at home” with humans than with alligators?

Man, I don’t want to fit in with those yokels, the other alligators.  I’m sure they resent me, and I just love being resented: it means I’ve made it big!  I’m a hotshot executive now, and I’m much happier with my human friends and frenemies.  My life is like some sort of crazy reality show.

2.  Solena–you of course are a dryad.  But over the course of the novel, you take on the appearance and identity of a human and spend a lot of time with other humans.  You even have a romantic relationship with one.  What do you feel are the main differences between humans and dryads?  And what can we teach each other and learn from each other?

That’s a really good question, Mike.  Humans have so many different arts and sciences that there is almost no limit on what they can do!  They could certainly teach dryads to be more innovative.  On the other hand, dryads are good at being happy with what they have.  They inhabit the natural world and are in harmony with it.  (Some) humans could learn from us to connect with nature and enjoy life!

3.  Roger St, Amour, as a seventeenth-century pirate transported to the twenty-first century, what are your thoughts of our way of life today?  We’ve progressed a great deal as a society in terms of knowledge and technology.  But, in your eyes, have we lost anything precious along the way?

Aye, we have lost much of what makes a man feel alive.  How is it that you ride about in magical carriages and yet do not feel a sense of freedom?  A man cannot go anywhere without everyone knowing where he is and sending him those blasted emails.  I’m setting a course back to the seventeenth century as soon as I can!

4.  Sir Lancelot and Gawaine!  Knights of the round table, and, along with St. Amour and others, time travelers from the distant past.  The two of you are the epitome of chivalry.  Based on your observations, is chivalry still alive in the twenty-first century?

Aye and nay…  There is much amiss in this world, and chivalry does not rule the day.  Yet we have seen many ladies and gentlemen fighting against injustice, and that is the most important part of chivalry, methinks.

And, we will finish with Sonya–one last question!

Do you have a sequel for Dryad planned?  What are some of the writing projects you will work on next?

As a matter of fact I do!  I’d like to write a sequel with the knights and Jackson (St. Amour’s lieutenant) as the main characters.  So far they have been minor characters, but maybe they should go on their own time-travel adventure.  Right now, I’m taking a break from writing but I’m sure I’ll come up with a new novel or screenplay one of these days.

 

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Sonya Solomonovich has been a journalist, a teacher, and an editor. She briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a fitness instructor, but then realized that what she enjoys most is writing novels. Sonya is passionate about all things swashbuckling and seafaring. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

You can connect with Sonya on her website and Goodreads.

If you’d like to buy a copy of Dryad, please click here.

Thanks so much to Sonya (and Tyler, and Solena, and . . .) for doing this interview, and thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

An Interview with Author Shannon A. Thompson

Nearly one year ago, I interviewed author Shannon A. Thompson here on The Eye-Dancers site, and it’s my pleasure to virtually sit down with her again for a second interview.  Shannon was one of the very first followers of The Eye-Dancers blog, back in the late summer of 2012, and I thank her for her ongoing support!

Last year, I asked Shannon about her great website, shannonathompson.com, which has now grown to include nearly 14,000 followers, and which I cannot recommend highly enough; her novel Minutes Before Sunset (the first novel of The Timely Death Trilogy), which debuted last spring; her views on writing; and the advice she would give to new, aspiring authors.  This time around, we’ll discuss what she’s been up to these past twelve months, the new novel she is about to release next month, and her views on the writing process and the way characters have a penchant to do and say things you would never envision ahead of time.

So, without further delay, I hope you enjoy the interview . . .

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1.  It’s been almost one year since our first interview.  How have the past twelve months gone for you?  How has your website, shannonathompson.com, evolved over this time?

Wow!  What a question.  It’s been a crazy ride.  When you last interviewed me in March of 2013, I didn’t even have a contract for my novels.  Since then, I have signed with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., and I’ve been published twice–one novel and one short story.  My novel Minutes Before Sunset has since become award-winning, and the next installment of the series comes out on March 27.  I’ve graduated college, and I also work for my publisher now.  Like I said, it’s been a crazy ride–a very enjoyable one.  My website is where I’ve shared all of my adventures, but I’ve mostly been amazed at how many other readers and writers I’ve connected with over the year.  I started off with no followers, and now I’m about to hit 14,000.  I am so grateful to be able to speak with so many readers, writers, and dreamers on a regular basis.

2.  You have a new novel coming out next month–Seconds Before Sunrise, which is a sequel to Minutes Before Sunset, and the second book in The Timely Death Trilogy.  Tell us a little bit about this.  Can you give us a summary of your new novel, and how it picks up the story from the first book?

The second book starts in August–one month after Minutes Before Sunset ended.  The beginning opens up with Jessica, who no longer has a memory, but it immediately shows how the characters have changed and what events are looming over them–the main event being Eric’s approaching birthday.  While Minutes Before Sunset revolves around the Dark, readers can expect a new focus in the second book.  Seconds Before Sunrise shows what it is like to be a human in a paranormal world, but don’t worry–there is plenty of action and love struggles to look forward to.  Here’s the summary on Goodreads.

3.  I am in the process of writing a sequel, too, and I find that it has its own inherent challenges.  What did you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing a sequel?  The most enjoyable?

Actually, I wrote the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, before I ever wrote the first novel.  It wasn’t until I realized that book 2 didn’t make sense without book 1 that I wrote Minutes Before Sunset.  I learned a lot writing the trilogy, but I mainly learned how much having a plan can help prevent confusion like this.

4.  While writing Seconds Before Sunrise, did you encounter any surprises?  For example, did any of your characters sometimes act in certain ways you wouldn’t have foreseen?

Oh, definitely!  They change so much from the beginning of one novel to the ending, let alone from one novel to the next, so guessing what exactly they will do is nearly impossible.  I always have a plan, but I am often taken over by their decisions.  The biggest moment in Seconds Before Sunrise that I didn’t plan for at all happens in the last three chapters.  Only Eric saw that coming.

5.  When, exactly, will Seconds Before Sunrise be released for sale?  Where can readers purchase it?

March 27, 2014–it will be available through all major retailers, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

6.  Of all the many aspects of writing novels, editing them, revising them, publishing them, and promoting them, is there any one thing you enjoy the most?  The least?

Writing is my favorite part, of course, but I also look at editing as writing.  I find most of it enjoyable.  I rarely have moments in any part of the process that I don’t enjoy.  The closest I get to that is when I’m spending a day promoting when I really have the itch to write.  That can be a confusing bummer.

7.  If you could, in one or two sentences, sum up Shannon Thompson and what she stands for, and what she hopes to achieve through her writing, what would you say?

With my passion guiding me, my dream is to create wonderful worlds, aspiring characters, blissful love, and virtues for readers to complement their everyday lives with.

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shannon

“At sixteen years old, Shannon A. Thompson became the published author of November Snow.  At twenty-one, she was featured in Poems: a collection of works by twelve young Kansas poets.  On May 1, her paranormal romance Minutes Before Sunset was released by AEC Stellar Publishing.  In July, it was awarded Goodreads Book of the Month.  It’s the first novel in The Timely Death Trilogy.  Her first short story, ‘Sean’s Bullet,’ released in an anthology in October 2013, and her upcoming novel, Seconds Before Sunrise, is expected to release March 27, 2014.

“She’s lived in five states and moved over fifteen times, which she uses as inspiration for writing.  Shannon dedicates all of her published works to lost loved ones, and she encourages everyone to find their passion.  Shannon recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing.  She also works as a Social Media Marketing Manager for AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc.”

In addition to her website, you can find Shannon on Twitter  and on Facebook.

Please click here to purchase her novel Minutes Before Sunset.

Thanks so much to Shannon for doing this interview, and thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

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Author Interview — Joanna Wiebe

For over a decade now, I have been a freelance proofreader for a handful of book publishers.  I really enjoy it.  I have always loved to read, after all, and the publishers I freelance for offer a wide, eclectic selection of titles to work on.  Many are nonfiction, which I don’t mind at all.  I’ve always been a big nonfiction fan.  But, of course, as a fiction writer myself, I always feel excited when I am assigned a novel.  Such was the case late this past summer, when I was asked if I could proofread a Young Adult paranormal novel with the eye-catching title of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant.

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And as I read the story, I literally forgot I was proofreading, that this was supposed to be a job.  I was captivated by the words, the plot, the characters.  It was a joy to read.  I reached out to the author, Joanna Wiebe, asking her if she would be willing to do an interview here on The Eye-Dancers blog, and she was gracious enough to accept the invitation.

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And so, without further delay, I hope you will enjoy the interview with Joanna . . .

1.  Your novel The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, published by BenBella Books, is due out at the beginning of next year.  It is also the first in a series of three novels, called the V Trilogy.  Please tell us a little bit about the book, as well as the trilogy as a whole.

Well, the first book, The Unseemly Education, describes the beginning of a series of pretty major discoveries that our hero, Anne Merchant, will make about herself and the people she loves throughout the series.  In the first book, we see her very focused on what a lot of teenagers focus on: getting the hell through high school and off to college, where ‘real life’ is supposed to start.  Anne has always been a top student, so she expects to become her class valedictorian, but she finds out quickly that all the Cania kids share her drive to become what they call “the Big V.”  By the end of the book, we learn why the Big V is such a big deal to these kids, but we don’t yet know why Anne, who is a far cry from the standard Cania student, has been allowed to come to Cania; we’ll learn that in the second book, and that’s when we’ll see Anne begin to live life instead of thinking life is something that happens after you’ve got through the muck and mire of being sixteen.

2. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant tackles the issue of regret, and the lengths parents will go to give their children a second chance.  How did you decide you wanted to write about this theme?  Did the idea for the book just hit you, suddenly, as ideas sometimes do?  Or was it something you had thought about for a while?

The lengths parents will go to was an issue I fought to keep central to the story throughout its evolution because, from where I stand, we read a lot of romantic love stories but not quite so many stories of the love between parents and their children.  I’ve experienced the way romantic love comes and goes—I mean, the guy I was crazy about in high school is essentially the opposite of attractive to me today. 🙂  And I’ve experienced how everlasting the love between parents and their children can be.  My dad essentially raised all five of us on his own, and when he died when I was in my early twenties, I felt a desperation to have him back from which I have yet to fully recover.  That said, I’m not suggesting romantic love takes a backseat to parental love—not at all!  They’re equally complex, and that’s what I hope to explore.  Of course, this book isn’t ‘about’ a girl and her parents—it’s a fantasy-paranormal-romance-suspense book. 🙂  But it does center around how desperate a parent’s love for their child can be and how vulnerable that makes them—to say nothing of the powerful feelings children have for their parents: desire to please, worry about disappointing, fear of being unable to be real with them, and ultimately, for some of us, understanding.

The issue of regret is really interesting—I love that that came through for you.  Certainly the parents here feel regret, and some of the kids do, too, but I’ll be exploring Anne’s regrets in greater detail in the second book.  So stay tuned.

3. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is a wonderful title!  I am always fascinated by titles of stories, and know from firsthand experience that titles sometimes do not come until very late in the game.  Did you know what the title for the novel would be before you began writing it, or did it only come to you in the middle, or at the end, of the writing process?

So glad you like the title!  A few other writers have commented on liking the title, too, which is a great relief to me because I’ve come to understand that I am terrible at titles.  When I was a creative writing student, the other writers in class would tell me how much they loathed my short story titles, but I thought they were awesome!  Stuff like “Prep School Boy’s Last Chance to Dance” and “There’s a Hole in My Boat.”  They’d groan; I’d smile.  With this book, my poor agent and editor had to wade through my suggestions very patiently over a very long period of time.  I’m like, “Shadows and Tall Trees!”  And they’re like, “You realize this is supposed to be something people want to read, right?”  Yeah, I guess I’m brutal.

It was actually my partner, Lance, who suggested “The Education of Anne Merchant” just around the time I was surrendering the final manuscript to BenBella, which happened after the book deal and then-title had been announced.  My editor, Glenn, added the word “Unseemly,” and voila.  I had nothing to do with it beyond coordinating it.  Which is probably why people think it’s good. 😉

4. There are some very memorable characters in the novel.  Were any of the characters inspired by anyone you know, or have known?

Thank you!  I actually worked with a guy named Manish, so (spoiler alert, but not a biggie) when my old coworkers found out I killed him off, they were like, “I knew you didn’t like Manish!”  But I totally do like him!  This minor character just felt like a Manish to me . . . and he needed to die. 😉

The character Stanley is my dad.  No question about it.  One of the greatest things I’ve heard about my book is something my sister Sarah said after she read the chapter where Anne and Stanley reunite; she said it felt like I’d created a new memory of our dad for her.

Oh, and the Pomeranian, Skippy, is the name of my nana’s Pomeranian we grew up with.  That dog had the stinkiest breath on earth, but that didn’t make it into the book, to my dismay.  When you’re writing a story like The Unseemly Education, where a reveal is around every corner, all the little details become clues; so giving Skippy stinky breath might have confused readers, even if it would have made my siblings laugh.

5. The setting for the Cania Christy Preparatory Academy, where Anne Merchant goes to school, is Wormwood Island, Maine.  Is there a special significance to this setting?  Why did you choose Maine as the location for Cania Christy?

Maine is just one of those locations, isn’t it?  I think Stephen King has done something to it; it seems cloaked in mystery and paranormality.  The school needed to be remote and on the East Coast, so it really came down to the Boston area or Maine.  And Maine just felt right.  Wormwood Island is named after the character Wormwood from CS Lewis’s amazing The Screwtape Letters, the significance of which will hopefully make sense to people who read the book.

6. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is a Young Adult novel in the sense that it tells the story of a teenage girl and her unusual experiences at the Cania Christy Academy.  (Though I believe the story will appeal to readers of all ages.)  Have you always enjoyed YA fiction?  Do you have any favorite YA authors?

I love YA.  When I was what I guess people call a “tween,” I read a lot of VC Andrews and Christopher Pike; prior to that, I read the Hardy Boys.  I guess around the time I was in grade eight or nine, I graduated to bigger books with bigger stories, like The Clan of the Cavebear series by Jean Auel and the novels that would shape my appetite since, with The Jungle and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being chief among them.

It seems to me that the best YA writing ever is happening now and has been for the last decade or so.  I find I don’t have favorite authors as much as favorite YA books, which include The Book Thief, Fiend, and Miss Peregrine’s School—plus wonderfully indulgent reads like Smith’s Lockdown, Meyer’s Cinder, and Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

7. Have you always known you wanted to be a writer, ever since you were little?  Or did the calling to write come slowly, over time?

It has been a forever thing, but it really took form after my parents’ divorce, when I was eight and we moved in with my nana.  I was very shy then, and she had a typewriter.  Writing was the most natural response to where I was and how I was feeling, and that’s never changed.

8. If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a new or aspiring writer, what would it be?

Write with a deadline.  Start writing that f***ing book right this second, and tell yourself you’ll have it done exactly four months from now.  We writers make a lot of excuses, and you just know someone’s reading this right now thinking, “It would be so cool to hold my own book in my hands, but . . .”  No buts.  Just set a date, and write.  Don’t sleep.  Don’t watch TV.  One of my favorite writers (okay, I guess I do have faves) is the late Donald Barthelme.  His brothers also wrote and taught writing.  One of the Barthelmes—it escapes me which—was describing his rigorous writing process to his students; a student asked him when he found the time to sleep, and he replied, “Who said anything about sleeping?”  Carve out time to read, to work enough to cover your bills, to sleep enough to stay alert, and possibly to run outside just to freshen your head.  All the time left over is time you should be outlining your story, writing it, revising it, editing it, and ultimately querying agents.  That’s how you move from aspiring writer to published novelist.  At least, that’s what people kept telling me, and that’s what worked for me.

9. Please tell us when and where The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant will be available for purchase, and where readers can discover more about you and your work.

It comes out Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014, and it’s available in bookstores throughout Canada and the US.  If you’d like to keep up-to-date with news, new books, giveaways, and general awesomeness, join me on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/joannawiebefiction

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Thanks so much to Joanna for doing this interview!

And thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

Author Interview with Janice Spina

One of the truly nice things about publishing The Eye-Dancers and maintaining this blog has been the opportunity to meet so many great people around the world.  One such person I’ve had the privilege to communicate with and get to know is Janice Spina.  Janice is a book reviewer, author, and cofounder of a fantastic new website called PIA (Published Indie Authors).  I highly encourage you to check the site out, as well as her blog, jemsbooks.

I had the opportunity to interview Janice recently about her new children’s book, Louey the Lazy Elephant,  her approach to writing, and more.  So, without further delay, I hope you enjoy the interview!

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Thank you, Mike, for having me on your blog.  I am very excited to be here and to answer your questions and share my book and my goals with you and your readers.

 

1.  You have a new children’s book that you have recently published–Louey the Lazy Elephant.  Please tell us a little bit about this!

louey

Louey is a cute little elephant who is a lazy fellow.  One day he oversleeps and finds that he is all alone because the herd has moved on without him.  He is sad and very lonely and determined to find his family and friends.  But I won’t tell you what happens–it would ruin the mystery.  I guess you and your readers will just have to pick up a copy and take little Louey home with you.  You would make Louey very happy!

 

2.  What motivated you to write Louey?  Was there something specific, or was it something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?

I come up with poetry in my head all the time and really there is no rhyme (sorry for the pun) or reason for some of it.  The story just swam around in my head and I had to write it down.

I used to visit the zoo with my parents as a young child and I was always amazed at the care the elephants gave to their young that mirrored how humans care for their children.  Besides, I have always loved elephants and thought that this animal would be a likeable fellow for children to read about.  My husband and I have many, many elephant knickknacks all over our house.  Did you know that the trunk up on an elephant means good luck?

 

3.  Did the process of publishing a children’s book go the way you thought it would?  Were some aspects easier than you envisioned?  More difficult?

It has been a rough road getting published since I have done it myself by self-publishing.  I have learned a lot about publishing and downloading my material, illustrations, bleed, and templates, to say the least.  My husband is my illustrator, and he and I worked together to get the material ready for download.  It didn’t help much that we knew nothing at all about doing this and even had to learn how to use Photo Shop to enhance the illustrations.

The hardest part of this process was the downloading and assuring that we had the right size for the illustrations and that they were within the trim so nothing would be cut off.  We downloaded many times.  I am embarrassed to say how many!  The book cover was very difficult to do, too.  But the next time it should be a lot easier since we are both more educated in the process.  We both have a lot more gray hairs now, though!

The easiest part was . . . I haven’t found that yet, but maybe just reading the finished product.  I felt relief and accomplishment after completing the book.

 

4.  I saw on your website that you are working on another children’s book–Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon.  Can you tell us a bit about that book, and how it relates to Louey?

ricky

 

Ricky is a fine little fellow, cute as can be.  My husband has made him just adorable.  Kids are going to love him!  I do!

Ricky gets into all kinds of trouble when he goes out to forage one night.  He is a friendly sort of raccoon and curious at the same time.  I think children will enjoy reading about his crazy adventures.  This book is also in rhyme.  I try to do all my books for children in rhyme.

Ricky is not in any way connected to Louey except maybe they could be friends if they knew each other.  I will let you know when Ricky is available and has met Louey and if they like each other.

 

5.  What are some of your favorite children’s books?  Did you have any particular favorites when you were a child?

I am really dating myself when I say this.  I loved the Mouseketeers and Annette Funicello.  I read everything I could get my hands on about her and Cubby.  I loved fairy tales, especially “Hansel and Gretel,” which scared me out of my mind but made me appreciate my parents even more because of their love and caring ways.  I always felt safe, not like the fairy tale.  LOL!  I read Nancy Drew and even The Hardy Boys later on.

I had a complete set of books about space exploration and the astronauts during the 1960s during the Kennedy era.  I even made two scrapbooks many years later about the assassination of the Kennedy brothers.  Their deaths had affected me so profoundly that I was inspired to make the scrapbooks as mementos of their legacies.

 

6.  Have you always known you wanted to be a writer, ever since a very young age?  Or is it something that evolved, slowly, over time?

I have always loved writing poetry.  The singsong sound of the rhyming is a panacea for my soul.  Did I just say that?  I don’t usually speak like that.  I have no idea where that came from!

Well, I do love rhyming, and that is how I started writing.  I wrote poems in the form of greeting cards for my mother.  She just loved them!  Having her praise made me feel good about myself, so I wrote more.  I was a very shy little girl, and writing was one way I could express myself.  Today I have a large collection of poems but only the new ones . . . since the old ones I wrote my mom got thrown away in moving from place to place.

I also wrote for my high school newspaper in the form of silly poems.  I then graduated to children’s stories in my twenties and then novels in my fifties.  There was a large span of time when I did not write anything.  I was too busy raising a family and working.  I got inspired when I was in my fifties after reading an emotionally inspiring book, The Secret.  This book got my creative juices flowing big-time!  I couldn’t stop writing poetry, and shortly thereafter submitted a sports poem to The Lawrence Eagle Tribune newspaper and got chosen as the first Boston Red Sox Fan of the Day.  I made the front page, much to my surprise!  The article included an interview with me, #1 Red Sox Fan, and my poem was published there.  It was a very exciting day!  It got the bug in me to write more and to get back to my novels and children’s books.

Now I am retired and have more time, but it is filled to bursting with all kinds of social media, marketing my book, blogging, editing others’ work, and finally writing my books.  Whew!  I am tired just writing about everything I do.

 

7.  I read on your website that you are in the process of writing four (!) novels.  That is remarkable.  How do you juggle all those writing projects at once?

Like I mentioned above, I wrote over many years in spurts.  At one point I wrote two novels simultaneously–a murder mystery and a YA fantasy.  I am still editing both of them endlessly.  The murder mystery is almost ready for publishing.  I just need to tweak it a little more.

One romance/mystery/spiritual novel is still in the outline stage, but I plan to work on that one after I finish the other two.  The fourth one is a historical novel, which may never see the light of day.  It was just one I wrote in memory of my grandmother who lived to be 100.  It is too close to the memory of Avoa (“grandmother” in Portuguese) to share it with anyone.  I may change my mind one day.

I need to complete one project before going to another, and that is why I have so many projects out there that aren’t complete.  Since there are so many stories and ideas in my head, I feel the need to write them down before I forget them.  I am a very organized person who likes to finish my projects, but I spend a lot of time now helping other new authors and marketing my children’s book.  I am getting better at filtering the social media and will devote more of my time to my novels.  I promise to get one out before the end of the year.

I am also involved in a new site, PIA, Published Indie Authors.  I cofounded this site with a very talented author, Paul G. Day.  It has been very exciting taking on this new venture.  Here is the link if anyone wants to peruse the site.  They will not be disappointed.  It is a wonderfully supportive, educational, and worthwhile site for all indie authors.

 

8.  If you could give just one piece of advice to a new, aspiring writer, what would it be?

Do your research about social media and how to market your work.  I took the advice of an illustrator friend of mine when she told me to get myself out there on social media links right away, before publishing my material.  I did just that over eight months ago and I got into FB, TW, LI, Pinterest, and Google+ and set up my own blog and website.  I am not saying any of this is going to be easy, but it is necessary to get started.  I am still doing it all trial and error, with many errors but having the time of my life.

Also, you must visit other blogs and websites and leave messages about their blogs and thank them for connecting with yours.  The more you do this, the more followers and readers you will attain.  It is also a wonderful feeling to connect with so many people all over the world that you wouldn’t meet otherwise.  But most of all, have fun and keep writing and editing your work until you have created the best book, novel, or illustration, etc. before publishing.

 

9.  Where can readers find and purchase Louey online? 

Louey is available as a printed book on Create Space and Amazon, as well as an e-book on Amazon.

https://www.createspace.com/4324983

http://www.amazon.com/Louey-Lazy-Elephant-Janice-Spina/dp/0615836534

 

If you would like to contact me about writing, editing, or just want to talk and share, you can reach me through my links:

Blog:  http://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.jemsbooks.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/janice.spina.9

TW:  https://twitter.com/janice_spina

LI:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janice-spina/59/321/a01

PI:  http://www.pinterest.com/janicespina/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/102370955158139843400/posts

 

Thank you so much, Mike, for this interview.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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Thank you, Janice, for a great interview!

And thank you to everyone for reading!

–Mike

Author Interview with Luciana Cavallaro

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to be interviewed by Luciana Cavallaro on her great website, Eternal Atlantis.  And now, as I write this in my little corner of Vermont, as the summer season shows its first, subtle hints of ripening into a New England autumn, it is my pleasure to return the favor.

I have been a fan of Luciana’s website for quite some time, and really enjoy her work.  I’m sure you will, too.  She was kind enough to answer a few of my questions recently . . .

1. On your fantastic website, you mention that you love both Greece and Italy.  What is it, specifically, that you enjoy so much about these two countries and cultures?

As a teenager I was drawn to Greece, the history and the magnificent historical sites.  There’s a mystical quality to the country which fascinated me and still does.  I’ve been to Greece twice and each time was a memorable trip.  Being of Italian origin, Italy was always on the cards to visit but my appreciation of the country really hit home when my sister and I went there on a Contiki tour.  I must admit it was an odd feeling, as if I was going home.  Both of us felt it the maternal pull, even though we were born in Australia.  The history of Italy and what the Romans achieved, the good and the bad, is still remarkable.

2.  Who are some of your favorite authors?  Were there any authors who inspired you when you were growing up and/or who were driving forces in your development as a writer?

I have many favourite authors across a variety of genres, though stand outs would be David Gemmell, who sadly passed away, Michael Connelly, Massimo Valerio Manfredi, Robert Harris, and PD Martin.  I was in awe of authors who created amazing stories and could take you on a journey where for a while you are immersed in the plight or danger of the character.  Writing stories was something I didn’t consider especially growing up.  English was not my strongest subject at school but I loved to read.  It wasn’t until I read Herodotus’s The Histories while studying at university and then Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey that I was inspired to write.

3. Many of your stories center around ancient history and myth.  Do you have a particular favorite Greek God and/or Goddess?

Not really,  I find them all equally mesmerising.  Each has flaws as well as positive traits which is a great way to explain the nature of human behaviour.

4. When you write about famous characters, such as Helen of Troy, you are of course somewhat restricted by historical and literary precedent.  There is an established story in place for such a character.  How do you therefore walk the line of staying true to the classical literature and yet, simultaneously, inject a fresh, new, and perhaps unexpected or even controversial point of view?

Reading various sources and watching documentaries helped create a profile of Helen and of the other characters in the short stories series.  I wanted to tell their version of events but still keep some of the characteristics of their personalities as well as keeping true to the myth or story.  The most challenging aspect about the stories I have written is how well known they are and how readers will react to my translation of them.  I do hope I have, to use your words, “injected a fresh” perspective of mythology with my stories.

5. The stories you write clearly entail a lot of research and study into the subject matter.  Do you enjoy that part of the process?  Or is it something you like to get done and out of the way?

I love the research and learning new intriguing information, it is what drives me to write the stories.  I read Euripides’ play on Phaedra and followed it up with research.  There is not a lot of information about her but there is plenty on her father King Minos, her sister Ariadne, Theseus, and of course the Minotaur.  She was a little-known character amidst these huge players and yet she had a story to tell.  Most of the nonfiction books I read tend to generate ideas for me and then I go and explore.

6. Do you have any new works in progress that you can tell us about?

I am currently reworking my epic novel, The Legacy, a huge task as I am deconstructing each chapter.  Had hopes of getting it published early next year but may take longer, depends on how much I can get done between now and the end of the year.  I am also working on a print version of the short stories titled Accursed Women, and aiming to have it out late this year.

7. Where can readers discover more about you and your work?

People can visit my blog Eternal Atlantis: http://luccav.com/

Come say hello on my Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/YSfKap

Follow me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ClucianaLuciana

I have a Google+ page, too, and if you really want to keep up to date with the latest news on book releases, launches, competitions,  I have an e-Bulletin: http://eepurl.com/upMxL. I am on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/Zc48zg, and have a Smashwords page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Moirai, Amazon Author page: http://bit.ly/V9ATb1, and am on Kobo: http://bit.ly/16l3OiC.

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luciana

Luciana Cavallaro grew up in a small country town in Western Australia and moved to Perth to study teaching at university.  After some years teaching teenagers, she decided it was time take some of her own advice and follow her dream.

curseoftroy

 

boxedcurse

 

Luciana has travelled extensively and since her first trip to Europe revisited her favourite destinations — Greece and Italy — the inspiration for her stories.  “Mythology and Ancient History has always been my passion and I want to share these wonderful legends.”

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Thanks so much to Luciana for doing this interview, and thank you to everyone for reading!

–Mike

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