It's funny you asked. My newsletter always has a quote at the top, something meaningful to me. For example, the spring edition's quote was from Lloyd Alexander. It said: "Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it." It perfectly described my own views on fantasy.
The quote for the summer newsletter came fromThe Curse Giver. "The difference between fear and courage is not the absence of danger, but the will to tackle the risk." I'm not in the habit of quoting myself. I promise! But I shared this quote because I realized that all of us—readers, writers, friends—we all need a little bit of courage each day to fully tackle our lives.
If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
don't know that I would ever want to be someone famous. In fact, the
mere notion freaks me out a little. But I would want to be someone with
access to knowledge and insight, someone able to look at the world in
new and wondrous ways. I think it would've been great to be that first
human who realized that if you add yeast to the mix, bread rises; or the
person who first understood that when you put a seed into the ground a
new plant grows. I think it would've been really cool to journey with
those first explorers who broke out of Africa or came across the Bering
Sea, or with the Hopi's ancestors, or the Vikings, or maybe even with
the universe's future explorers.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to travel and I do so whenever I can. I also love walking and hiking. I'm slow on the uphill, but I enjoy it. I like stories and therefore I love movies, books and any other medium that tells stories. I really like theater and in particular, I love Broadway productions, the more lyrical and epic, the better.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
In terms of research, instruction and support, the Internet is the mother of all tools. You can research a new story, authenticate the details, learn about the craft and connect with readers, writers and additional resources with the click of a mouse. The challenge is to learn to differentiate credible sources from the rest.
In terms of promotion, I think social media offers some of the most innovative ways to connect with readers and writers everywhere. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, I also like to keep in touch directly through my blog and newsletter.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favorite/worst book-to-movie transfer?
I think that books and movies are two different and distinct media. I usually approach them with different expectations. What makes a book great is not the same thing that will work for a movie. The translation is particularly challenging for science fiction and fantasy. There are an awful lot of great SF/F books that have been made into terrible movies. I used to say that I never wanted to see my books made into movies. That is, until I watched George R.R. Martin'sGame of Throneson HBO. It might be time to rethink the old prejudices. . . .
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
Oh, gosh, there are so many things I love about my writer's life. After so many years working nine to five, I love the freedom of setting my own schedule, the fact that I can work in my pajamas, and the absolute satisfaction that comes from spending hours at the keyboard. I love the process of writing, the intellectual challenge and the luxury of creating without boundaries. I love my writer friends, the feel of a new book in my hands, the excitement of a new idea blooming into a story and the birth of a powerful character. I love typing "The End" at the bottom of the manuscript, even though I know it's never truly the end. But above all, I love my readers—meeting them, talking to them, reading their emails and their comments—because they are the ones riding shotgun in all my adventures.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?
Write like the wind, write often, diligently and continuously, write for yourself and my favorite, write all the way to The End.
What is your opinion about critique groups? What words of advice would you offer a novice writer who is joining one?
I think critique groups can be very helpful, as long as they are a good fit for the writer. In my experience, critique groups come in all different types. Some are exclusively social groups, some offer support, encouragement and commiseration, some are very much into the mechanics of writing, others are very production oriented. There are groups that are very strict about membership and participation requirements and others that are very relaxed. I think the best thing to do is ask yourself: What is it that you are looking for in a critique group? If you have a clear goal in mind, the search will be easier.
Lurking about is a good practice to learn more about a group and get acclimated when you first join. Reading old posts and getting familiar with the members and their work will also help to establish the nature of the group that you are considering joining. Visiting is always a good idea and reciprocating is vital. Notice how members treat each other and how they approach their critiques. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of openness and respect that the group demonstrates. And if you don't like what you see, you can always try another group.
Can you share with us your current work in progress?
I'm currently working on several different projects, including a contemporary dark fantasy with a Latin twist and another standalone fantasy romance that takes place in the world ofThe Curse Giver. It's not a sequel, not exactly, but rather a related novel. It's currently calledThe Soul Chaser. Also, the Stonewiser series is coming out in audiobook. The first book of the trilogy,Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, is already available athttp://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stonewiser-Audiobook/B00F52CJIY/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379186069&sr=1-1. Take a listen. It's good, old-fashioned storytelling at its very best.
Thank you for this interview, Dora. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thanks again for introducing me to your wonderful readers.
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