1. Please provide some insight into or a secret or two about your story.
The locations in Bookminder are real. Parentino truly did fall to ruins, while its twin fortification flourished. And while the town known as Dvigrad in the story did have another name, Moncastello, in keeping with the attitude of the characters in the story, I dropped the name from their fortification and merely called it Dvigrad. Call it a decision of character politics, if you will.
The tales of what actually happened to Dvigrad are a little muddled but history has the town mixed up in the middle of the Venice and Austrian conflict of the sixteenth century. And the town truly was abandoned due to plague—though history has that date at 1630 and Bookminder has it coming some 50-odd years later.
2. What was the most surprising part of writing this book?
The more I write (and this is, by far, the most writing I have yet done) the more I have come to realize that stories like to take on a life of their own. I used to hear that and scoff. But, in penning Bookminder, I found that sometimes an element would sneak into the narrative and then prove to be a stroke of brilliance in how it either foreshadowed a thing, or simply played a symbolic role. I kept looking at how things turned out going “but I'm not that smart!” or maybe “I've gotta just be lucky . . .” or “ . . . the story is asserting itself!” So I'm a convert to that philosophy, now.
3. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
Point of View. Point of View. Point of View. I really love an omniscient narrator. I almost exclusively read omni POV. So to have to convert over to 3rd Person in service of the voice and narrative was a bit of a square peg / round hole issue for me. But the story is better served cutting out that distancing narrator that I so love. As to how I overcame it, I figured that as I'd put myself in the hands of professionals who wanted my book out there for the world, I had better do my part and learn and grow.
4. What is your preferred writing genre?
You know those authors whose work you have trouble finding in bookstores because they might be filed under YA, or maybe fantasy, or maybe even sci fi, or just the catch-all new-release fiction sections? Yep. That is the genre I like to sit in because that is what I like to read. Historical fiction and fantasy get a lot of lovin' from me, as does light steampunk. As someone trained in librarianship, I value the concept of a genre but I don't like to think of the walls between them as all that solid.
5. Who is your favorite author? Who has most influenced your work?
Two questions. Two answers:
Fav author? Have to go with Douglas Adams. His humor is superb. And while my brain tends to go a little sideways when reading his stories, that's part of my enjoyment of his very unique work. I appreciate that there really is no other author with his touch.
As for who has most influenced my work: Brian Jacques. While this may not seem the most obvious choice, hear me out. His Mariel of Redwall is the very first book that I remember being completely in love with. I read, of course, before that. Quite a bit. But this one book seemed to change reading for me. It became more than merely enjoyable. Stories could be transcendent, not mere personal experiences. Reading could link you to others. Maybe it was just the right book at a certain moment in my life. But I was a lucky enough kid to meet Mr. Jacques on more than one occasion at bookstore readings/signings. He became my author rockstar and it was his stories that changed how I thought of books which, in turn, has influenced my writing at a very deep level.
January 9-16, 2016
|Sunday, 01-10||M. K. Wiseman|
|Monday, 01-11||Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind|
|Tuesday, 01-12||Are You Afraid of the Dark?|
|Wednesday, 01-13||The Howling Turtle|
|Thursday, 01-14||Dreams to Become|
|Friday, 01.15||JD Spero|
|Books in the Spotlight|
|Saturday, 01-16||Creativity from Chaos|