Today I am glad to be a stop on the Blog Tour for Shards of History. The author, Rebecca Roland, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
I've written off and on since I was a kid, but I didn't start writing with the intention of publication until 2005 or 2006. That was when I joined an online writing community and began maneuvering the ins and outs of short story and novel publication as well as the craft of writing. I started off writing a couple of novels because that was what I read and enjoyed. I wasn't much of a short story writer or reader back then. I actually sent out a few queries after I finished the novel. I'm rather embarrassed now to think of what I sent out back then. It wasn't very good. I was fortunate enough to get a scrawled noted on a form rejection from Barbara Bova that helped point out one of my writing weaknesses. I put the novel in a drawer and began writing short stories to work on the craft.
Which authors have inspired you the most?
There are so many! I love the character of Miles Vorkosigan in the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Stephen King is good at atmosphere, writing quirky characters, and taking our terrors and inspecting them with a magnifying glass until chills run down your arms and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I wish I could write prose like Ray Bradbury and Margaret Atwood.
How would you describe the process of writing Shards of History in three words?
Rewrites. Revisions. Relief.
What was your inspiration for Shards of History?
The novel started out as a short story written at the Odyssey Writing Workshop. I needed to turn in a story in a couple of days and was starting to sweat bullets trying to come up with something to write about. My subconscious came to the rescue when it provided me with a dream about towering, steep cliffs and houses built in them with no discernible way to get to them. I wondered what sort of people would live in such a place and then realized that nobody human would. That led to the Jeguduns, which led, eventually, to the rest of the story.
Are you currently working on any other projects?
I recently sold two short stories. Yay, me! So I feel the need to write more to send out. But I'm also working on a YA urban fantasy novel that I'm trying to wrap up by the middle of December.
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I enjoy learning new things when I research for a story. Some of my favorite bits of research have included learning about Teddy Boys in 1950's London and the history of CPR.
Which character do you most enjoy writing about in Shards of History?
I loved writing the Jeguduns. It was like coming up with an alien species.
How did you come up with the idea for the Jeguduns?
The first thing I came up with when I had that dream about the cliff houses was winged humans, but that felt clichéd, not to mention how improbable it would be to come up with biologically possible winged humans. They'd have to be smaller, among several other issues. So I figured I'd come up with a different species. I wanted the Jeguduns to be sort of like living gargoyles that would protect the valley. So they became part bird, part human, and a teensy bit wolfish.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you'd like to see your work published, keep at it. It takes perseverance to spend years working at the craft and to keep on submitting when you've received dozens or hundreds of rejections. I had over a hundred rejections before I sold my first story.
To find out more about Shards of HIstory and World Weaver Press, check out these websites: