What author out of history would you most like to meet, and why?
Douglas Adams. I really would just like to have a meal with him, or chat it out over a cuppa. Not even about books, necessarily. Because I think that the way he saw the world and expressed his thoughts were rare and exciting and so so very smart. I think he'd be lovely to talk with, if only because I might walk away a better person and it might enrich my reading experience of his works even more.
What books are on your nightstand right now?
Oh, gosh, this is embarrassing. The books on my nightstand are a stack that I've been trying to get through for about 10+ months. Normally the nightstand selection is in and out so fast it's spooky, but now? Yikes. The books are actually my Goodreads “currently reading” pile consisting of Tolkien's “Two Towers” and “Return of the King” + Kant's “Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason”. Some heavy heavy stuff in that pile. (Recently added “Sailor Moon” Book 3 as a 'just for fun' quick read.)
What was the last great book you read?
Laurie R. King's “Garment of Shadows”. I picked up Ms. King's latest while on a vacation and was floored with how wonderful it felt to return to her world of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Admittedly it was not my fav of the series (that is forever reserved for “Monstrous Regiment of Women”) but reading it was like coming home. I still cannot quite get over the power that Ms. King's writing has over me.
What writers do you most admire? Did they influence you?
There's a few of them, really: Madeleine L'Engle, C. S. Lewis, Ursula Le Guin, Douglas Adams, Orson Scott Card… And I think that what each of these has is the ability to stay fully rooted in sci-fi or fantasy or whatnot and yet also provide real keen insight to Life within that realm of make-believe or, as the case may be for Mr. Adams, pure nonsense. Each has shown me, through their own differing styles, secrets of the human psyche… As far as influence-- they influenced my life, my thought… it is doubtful that my writing could ever be improved by someone else's genius, however. Which is fine, for I will continue to read their works and get more out of them as I grow.
What are your most and least favorite genres?
Fav genres: Fantasy, sci-fi, YA, 'classics', and historical adventures that cross over into the aforementioned genres (e.g. some steampunk, so long as it is light on the steam).
Least fav genres: Horror, very tense mystery, and risque romance. They just don't tend to offer the type of escape that I seek from reading.
What moves you most in a literary work?
Incredible insight. (See my thoughts on other authors above.) Whether it's through a swift and startling description or slow reveal of a character's heart, what makes me come back to fiction again and again is a storyteller's incisive, knifing words that cut me to my soul.
Now let's talk about you. What brought you to writing?
I fell into it. :)
I never set out to write. I had a couple half-finished stories lying around on my hard-drive, just some things I'd been goofing off with because I just couldn't get them out of my head any other way. And then I found my publisher quite by accident and figured that maybe these scribbles of mine were worth reading by the public. (What I was really aiming for was to become an animator. So, storytelling either way!) But I have always loved what books do—for me and others—and thought I could give this a go.
And then I fell in love with it. It's fulfilling. And freeing. And frustrating. And when you finish one thing you find that you are immediately on to the next as quick as you can. A couple of months ago, I came to the realization that if I really keep with this whole 'writing thing' I will never retire! There is no option to retire. Because the words keep coming.
I claim that I came to writing by accident… I am starting to believe that perhaps something drew me to it. Time will tell, I suppose.
Tell me about The Bookminder.
Bookminder is the culmination of 10+ years of an idea.
In 2004 I had a very vibrant dream. Now, there are dreams that haunt you for the day after you wake and then there are dreams to return to… honestly I don't know what made this one special, important enough that I called it out and ruminated on its meaning for the better part of a week. I kept returning to: “Who were these people?” “What had led to That One Moment?”
What grew out of that questing was a story that I felt happy with, that felt like the sort of thing I would want to read, that would fill a hole in my bookshelf. And so I wrote and scribbled and wrote and scribbled, thinking nothing of it other than the fact that it was a rather fun exercise and, heck, maybe it'd even be readable some day.
I was rather aimless with the whole thing.
And then Xchyler happened. And I was aimless with them for the better part of a year or so. Because that was fun. But nothing serious, of course. “Me? Writer? Preposterous.” Author? Goodness! Authors are superstars—“I'm not one of them! I'm just having fun with stories and words!” And then they believed in the story I was working on and sold me on the idea.
And so, two years later (plus buckets of sweat and tears and endless drafts and questioning and poking and prodding at my gosh-I-don't-know-what-I-am-doing) my funny persistent little idea became a real book.