Monday 11 March 2013
Author Interview & Giveaway: Viola Ryan
A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.
Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.
On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.
Her oldest daughter (16) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I used to be a panster and just let things flow. That left me with a monster to tame. I didn’t want each book to take several years, so I took every plotting workshop I could. From those I cobbled together a system that has some structure, but still allows my muse to play. I start each day with an index card that tells me what needs to happen in a scene. Then I allow my muse to play. She figures out how those things happen and can even throw in surprises.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Minor characters try to become major characters all the time. I have to promise them later books to get them to stay quiet so I can finish what I’m working on. With The Mark of Abel, the heroine kept taking over, but really the story belongs to Lucifer. It was quite a task keeping the focus on him. I cringe to think of all the words I needed to toss.
What is your favourite food?
I love sea food, especially scallops. Fortunately they’re are tons in New England where I live.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
What are mornings? I get up, get my kids off to school and/or take my husband to the train station. Then I go back to bed. I can’t stay up too late, but I love nights. I am a vampire at heart.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I’d love to go to London. I could spend a month in the British museum. I grew up near Washington, DC and practically lived in the Smithsonian Institute. History, especially ancient history, has a special place in my heart. I’d love to tour the countryside looking for standing stones.
Do distant places feature in your books?
My heroine was killed in different massacres throughout time. These massacres actually happened and I researched them thoroughly to avoid being debunked like what happened with The Da Vinci Code. In my book there are Judea, India, Dacia, Sumeria, New York, France, and Isle of Wight.
Do you listen to music while writing?
I listen to music constantly, except when I am in the zone writing. Then it distracts me. I will use music to help get me in the right mood for a scene. Duran Duran is for sex scenes (not in this book). Hard rock like Def Leppard for fight scenes.
It is my first book. It is Lucifer’s struggle to determine what’s more important--redemption or his heart. Lucifer needs to learn what redemption means and his journey starts with The Mark of Abel. It will continue in The Chalice of Creation.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
A lot about marketing. In addition to writing grounds, I belong to several groups that focus on marketing, such as Marketing for Romance Writers and Book Worm Bags. They have taught me everything from how to use social media and arranging book tours to what sort of swag works.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I’d schedule the tour and ask for reviews as soon as I had galleys in hand. This time my book release got messed up when I came down with shingles. That’s what inspired me to call this the Holy Hell tour.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Two writers have influenced me the most, Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman. Not only have their works and words shown me how to write, but their example showed me the type of writer I want to be.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Many gurus push conflict as the most important thing in a story. It is important, but not for its own sake. Conflict is the crucible by which our characters change. It is that growth which attaches the reader to the story. That growth is important. People don’t grow by talking or thinking. They change when things happen. That’s the key to understanding conflict.
What are three words that describe you?
Passionate, eclectic, determined
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
There are some writers that are immediate buys as soon as their new book comes out and I have to start them early in the day so I’m not up until 5 AM finishing them. Rachel Caine, Angie Fox, Charlaine Harris, Rebecca Zannetti, Kelley Armstrong, Kresley Cole, Neil Gaiman, Rachel Vincent and Gena Showalter. Which one is my favorite? Whichever one I’ve read last. That would be Angie Fox currently.
Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.
Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.
Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/violaryan
Thank you, Viola, and good luck with your books!
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