Welcome to another Monday... er. Blog Ring of Power time! So grab a coffee, take a few much needed sips to start the day and check out this week's guest.
Don't forget to check out the rest of Vera's interview with the rest of the hosts:
Part 1 @ Terri
Part 2 @ T.W.
Part 3 @ You're looking at it.
Part 4 @ Sandra
Part 5 @ Vicki
She is the author of critically acclaimed novels Dreams of the Compass Rose and Lords of Rainbow, as well as the outrageous parodies Mansfield Park and Mummies and Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons, and most recently, Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy's Dreadful Secret in her humorous and surprisingly romantic Supernatural Jane Austen Series, and the epic Renaissance fantasy Cobweb Bride Trilogy.
After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.
Her official author website is www.veranazarian.com
Section #3: The Creative Process
· BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?
VN: I am going to admit to something less than glamorous. I get the best ideas from the stupidest things. Things like idiotic TV commercials. Spots on the wall. Cable news. Something I hear at the supermarket. Woozy dreams. Tree branches swaying. A cat butt. Really! It’s all fodder for the imagination. My latest wild idea source? Someone spilled a bunch of water on the red carpet during the recent academy awards, and I had a wacky dream about it the next day that provided a major book subplot for my current project, the YA dystopia series The Atlantis Grail. See? I told you, dumb things are the best idea factories!
· BRoP: Do you have a specific writing style?
VN: I am probably best known for an old-fashioned, stodgy, literary-historical “purple prose” style with much descriptive imagery and rich detail that has its influence from the Russian classics tradition where long sentences, complex clauses and poetical visual images are ingrained into you from an early age. I savor slow pacing and enjoy pulling the reader deep into a world that drowns and overwhelms and then packs an emotional wallop. I am the anti-Hemingway. However, I am also capable of a snarky and chatty modern style.
· BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block?
VN: Now that I finally understand what it is, I work through writers block and past it. There are two kinds of writers block—the kind where you simply have not thought far enough along the storyline, and have not determined the best logical course of action for the characters—and the second kind where you’ve taken a wrong turn and written yourself into a corner. In case of the former, my solution is to write a few sentences of an outline for the next scene or two, to give myself a road map, and then to take a day off (if the deadline permits) and just relax and let the hind brain simmer and cook up the solution. And for the latter kind of block, I grit my teeth and howl at the moon, and then toss out the most recent parts that are wrong or out of character and rewrite the scene or chapter in a new direction. Admittedly the second kind of block hardly ever happens to me any more. And that’s a good thing ‘cause I hate thowing good prose away. I am not one to “kill my darlings,” but to reuse them in other places and other works.
· BRoP: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
VN: It is perfectly organic and unformulaic. I let my characters react however it feels right for their personality. They frequently take me into very unexpected directions, which make the stories far more interesting, both for me as a writer experiencing the story for the first time, and for the reader.
· BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
VN: I used to be a pantser for many years, writing myself into a wild jungle of the imagination, never knowing the next twist or turn, but lately I jot down a very barebone and changeable outline of major plot points. Still a pantser, but a more organized one, and it definitley helps keep the writers block away. Plus, I usually know the ending, so it gives me an end goal to aim for as I “pant away.”
Goodreads author page:
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The world is broken... A dark Goddess rises. A mortal maiden must stop her.
COBWEB FOREST (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book Three) is the third and final book of the intricate epic fantasy flavored by Renaissance history and the romantic myth of Persephone, about death's ultimatum to the world.
Percy Ayren, ordinary girl from the small village of Oarclaven, and now Death's Champion, has delivered the Cobweb Bride to Lord Death--or so she thinks!
But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Percy and Beltain Chidair, the valiant and honorable Black Knight, discover that even more is at stake than anyone could have imagined, when ancient gods enter the fray.
It is now a season of winter darkness. Gods rise and walk the earth in unrelieved desire, and the Longest Night is without end...
Meanwhile, landmarks continue to disappear throughout the realm. The cruel Sovereign's dead armies of the Trovadii clad in the colors of pomegranate and blood march north... As the mad Duke Hoarfrost continues to lay siege to the city of Letheburg, it is up to Claere Liguon, the Emperor's dead daughter and the passionate Vlau Fiomarre who killed her, to take a stand against the enemy.
But Percy still has a difficult task to do, the greatest task of all... For in the end the Cobweb Bride awaits, together with the final answer.
At last all the occult mysteries are revealed in this stunning conclusion to the Cobweb Bride trilogy.
Is your book in print, ebook or both?
Ebook, Trade Hardcover, and Trade Paperback.
The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...