My first book was born out of my lifelong dream to write. I’d known all my life that’s what I wanted to do, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I had the time, resources and opportunity to sit down and write. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t thinking about my stories before then. On the contrary, I think my stories flow out so easily these days because they’ve been written in my mind many times over.
Which part of the book was the hardest to write?
Overall, the book was easy to write. It sort of wrote itself. Perhaps the most challenging part was to stay consistent to the villain’s character. The curse giver really did believe that her craft was as an instrument of justice and I had to be true to that belief throughout the story.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
As writers, we are influenced by everyone who comes into our lives and everything that we see and experience. My travels have always influenced my writing and so has my exposure to different cultures, mythologies and histories.
What has been the best compliment?
I love it when people say my novels kept them up all night and that they couldn’t put them down. It means that I’ve successfully conveyed the passion I feel when I write. It’s also nice to hear that readers have fallen in love with a character. You know you’ve done a good job when people care about the characters and connect with the story at a very personal level. Some readers have pointed out that my writing has a lyrical quality which they associate with my romance language/Spanish background. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s nice to hear, because I try to showcase romance not just in the story but in the writing as well.
But the best compliments come from people whose lives I’ve touched with my stories, people who say my books have helped them keep their mind off problems, illness, grief and loss, readers who find refuge, joy and respite in my fantasy worlds.
What genre would you place your books into?
Like the Stonewiser series, The Curse Giver falls into the fantasy genre and fits well in the subcategories of epic fantasy, dark fantasy and fantasy romance.
When or where do you get your best writing ideas?
The shower, definitively the shower. Maybe it’s because I can’t sing, so instead, I think. Seriously, I think that after a long night writing, a hot shower relaxes the body, clears the mind and allows the stories to flow. I also get a lot of ideas in my dreams when I’m asleep. Driving is good too. In fact, I have a pen and pad always ready in my car. The scribbles are really hard to read, and so that you know, I only update my notes during long red lights.
Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
Absolutely. I think that settings are particularly important in fantasy. To create rich and authentic settings, I draw a lot of inspiration from the places I travel to. For example, I had an opportunity to visit Peru when I was writing The Curse Giver. The breathtaking sights of Machu Picchu, the religious ceremonies that I witnessed in Cuzco, and the Quechuan legends I learned about influenced The Curse Giver‘s settings, both physically and conceptually. In addition, my experiences rafting on the Colorado River, exploring the Mississippi River, and researching the Amazon River, helped create and authenticate the river-centered culture and geography of The Curse Giver‘s settings.
How do you celebrate the completion of a novel?
With an edit! J Seriously, the first thing I want to do when I finish a draft is read it again. The champagne is usually reserved for the finished product, although it has been known to make occasional appearances when a novel is accepted for publication and when the cover hits my screen.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
About a year from beginning to end. It felt like a century!
How do you think book promotion has changed over the years?
I think that book promo has changed a lot over the years. At the same time, I think it hasn’t changed at all. Let me explain. I think publishers expect their authors to do a lot more promo than we used to do. In addition, authors want their books to do better, faster. There’s also a lot more competition, which means we have to find ways of differentiating ourselves. So we do a lot more to promote our books and we try to be as active in promos as we can.
On the other hand, I think that the best way of promoting a book continues to be word of mouth. Nothing sells a book better than a personal recommendation, which is why strategies that hinge on word of mouth are so attractive to most of us. In that sense, book promotion hasn’t changed at all.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Hmm. I think I’m really hard-working.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I shy away from giving advice to aspiring writers because the journey can be very different for each one of us, and we all tackle the road in different ways. But if you pressed me on this, I would say that, above everything else, a writer has to write. So write, write often, write a lot and write with passion; and don’t forget to learn from the experience.
Are your books available in audio? If so, give us more details about where we can get them.
The first book of the Stonewiser series, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, has just been released as an audiobook. The entire trilogy will be available in audiobook by the end of the year. I have to tell you, listening to Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone was one of the most powerful and joyful experiences I have ever had as an author. The narrator, Melissa Reizian, is an incredibly talented voice actress. She did an amazing job, applying a broad spectrum of accents and sounds, enriching and enlivening the story.
Even if you have already read Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, I encourage you to listen to the audiobook. And if you’re an audiobook lover, this is one you have to hear. You can listen to a chapter sample at: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stonewiser-Audiobook/B00F52CJIY/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379186069&sr=1-1
It’s good, old-fashioned storytelling at its very best!
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
Give a new writer a try today. Try something different that you hadn’t considered reading before. Try fantasy, for example, and open your senses to the idea of new and different worlds. Reading is the fastest, most convenient way of traveling, and our minds really need to travel.
Lusielle's bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life.
To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.
Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author