Thursday, February 21, 2013

Black Moon Awakening by Lina Gardiner: Interview


What was your first sale as an author?


My very first sale was a non-fiction piece in a magazine about the Fundy Parkway Trail in New Brunswick, Canada.  Not only was I thrilled to be published, but I was given the cover story.  That was my way of measuring if I was ready for the publishing world. 


Do you have critique partners or Beta readers?


I have both.  My critique group is called the Domino Divas.  One of the members of our group, Norah Wilson, suggested that when the first one of us sold, we’d be like domino’s falling one-after-another.  And she was right.  We all worked together at improving our skills and after the first Domino sold, several of us followed suit.   I have a Beta reader too.  My best friend from high school.  The best part with my friend is that she’s not afraid to tell me the truth.  We’ve always been that way.  


 How do you develop your plots and your characters?  Do you use any set formula?


I’m a pantser to a point.  As I grow as an author and my plot lines get more complex, I’ve morphed into using a plotting chart (about halfway through).  I got the plotting chart from an RWA Writers’ Conference.  It’s called Story Magic, and it really works for me.  If I’m writing along and I get stuck, it’s usually because some key element of my story is missing.  If I’m not sure what that element is, Story Magic helps me sort it out. 


As for the actual development of plots, I have no problem coming up with story ideas.  I’ve got a plethora of stories lining up in my head behind my current stories.  Sometimes the new stories call out to me with such force J I have to put some effort into ignoring them until my current WIP is finished.


I use no set formula, but I do try to use good plotting advice I’ve garnered over the years.  Start the story in the middle of the action, have great chapter hooks, utilize scene and sequel, turning points, develop character arcs, and write in deep POV whenever possible. 


 Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?  If so, what are they?


My number one piece of advice is don’t self-publish your first book.  At least, not until you’ve got several more books under your belt, or you’ve hired an editor.  I’m so glad I wasn’t able to self-publish any of my first books.  Looking back at them now, I cringe.  I thought they were wonderful at the time, but not so much now!  J  There’s a lot to learn in writing and what looked great back then, looks pretty rudimentary to me now.   That’s not to say everyone’s first book will be as rough as mine was, but it’s something that an author could consider seriously before publishing that first book.


 What is it that you like to do when you’re not reading or writing?


Anything artistic.  I find that I have to continually fill the well.  I quilt, paint, decorate cakes, draw, knit, crochet, walk, and enjoy the outdoors.  I have to be careful not to delve too deeply into another artistic endeavor since it affects my ability to write.  I don’t have a finite amount of creativity and I can wear it a little too thin on other things. 


  How do you react to a bad review of your book?


Bad reviews roll off me like water off a duck’s back – to use a dreaded clich√©.  I actually look for the good parts, highlight them and realize the rest is just one person’s opinion. (However, if I can see the merit in that bad review, I’ll certainly pay attention to what the reviewer said and maybe make sure it doesn’t happen in my next book).  If it’s just one person’s opinion, it’s one thing, but if several reviewers make similar comments, it’s time to pay attention.  Stephen King discusses this in his book “On Writing.”   To prove how subjective reviews are, check out some of your favorite NYB Bestselling authors.  No matter how wonderful their books, they still sometimes get a review that is not totally favorable and I’m sure they have a million fans who would dispute that review.  That doesn’t diminish the reviewer’s perspective; it’s how the book affected them.  It’s all so subjective.


 Morning person or night person?  How do you know?


Ha ha, I’m a night person.  J  I’m really not very functional until my first cup of coffee in the morning.  I’m sure if I had to be a morning person, I could be.  I’d have to change my mind set.  But for now, I prefer waking up slowly and writing later in the day.  Especially my darker scenes, they always seem to be better if I wait until dark to write them.  J


Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?


Not one of my characters is modeled after me.  They’re more likely the antithesis of me. J   My characters aren’t modeled after movie stars, either.  I know writers sometimes choose images from magazines, or from movie stars to create their characters.  I don’t do that.  My characters come to me as individuals.  They are unique in their world, and they don’t look like anyone else, at least not purposely.

I’ve been asked who would play Jess Vandermire in the Jess Vandermire Vampire Hunter series movie (if there was one).  That question really threw me for a loop?  I’m not sure.  Jess is Jess.  She’s not a particular movie star that I can think of.  Maybe that’ll be a benefit if there ever is a movie   I won’t have a pre-imagined person in that role. 


 Do you have a favorite quote, quip saying?  What is it?


Any of the Snoopy quotes on writing.  I love them all.  And I love this Groucho Marx quote:  Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.


Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you?  If so, what is it?


Yes, I took several creative writing courses at the University of New Brunswick years ago.  One of my instructors, and wonderful author, Linda Hall, (and now my very good friend) told me writing is always about emotion.  I understood what she said on the surface, but it took some deeper analyzing and revising of my book before I really understood the importance of emotion in a novel. 


Shapeshifter Jude Black, level six operative for the Therian Senate and their deadliest weapon, has served his superiors for ten years without question. He was raised to believe his job is one of the highest, most honorable occupations in the realm. Killing is what he does, and having each mission wiped from his memory is a non-issue until his brother Garrett goes missing.

When it appears that the Senate’s only concern is to make him forget the whereabouts of his only brother, Jude begins to question his loyalties. Then he meets the beautiful, hazel-eyed Letitia Hawkes and all his precepts are put to the ultimate test. She is a werewolf, one of his race’s sworn enemies, but she’s being used by Eideroche Medical, the same people who made his brother disappear.

Jude’s convinced Letitia is the key to the answers he desperately needs to find his brother. At least that’s what he tells himself as he teams up with her to find out just what Eideroche is up to. But soon Jude finds himself in the deadliest battle of his life as he falls in love with the one woman that both of their races will consider a traitorous act punishable by death . . .

Lina Gardiner, author of the award winning Jess Vandermire Vampire Hunter Series has writing in her blood. Living in New Brunswick, Canada, a hotspot for legendary ghosts and tall tales of odd happenings has probably added to her love of a good mystery. That, and the stories her grandfather told in the "parlor" when their grandmother wasn't paying attention, added to her love of storytelling, and the wonders of imagination.

Prism Award - Best First Book
Daphne DuMaurier - Paranormal-Time Travel-Futuristic - Winner


Twitter  @linagardiner


Favorite Reviews:


Kirkus’ Review:  Gardiner takes everything positive about romance novels, mixes it with a little bit of adventure and throws in an evil villain or two, resulting in a perfect petit four for sating a romantic craving. Just don’t be surprised if you are hungry for more 30 minutes later.

USA Today:  If you like emotional rides, if you love urban fantasy and, of course, if you adore sexy heroes and tough heroines, pick up Black Moon Awakening. It's a steamy, action-filled adventure that will have you running alongside the characters.  Jessie Potts

Enter to win a digital copy of Black Moon Awakening.
2 Winners will be selected.


Linda Hall said...

Lovely interview Lina - you are such an upbeat person ! Bad reviews send most authors to the floor! It is a pleasure to know you.

Norah Wilson said...

Lina, I loved that interview! In addition to be a fabulous writer, you're always helping other writers to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again. You always inspire me. :)

Laura D. said...

Great interview. Your book sounds really good, thanks for the giveaway. Kindle.

Lori Gallagher said...

Great interview, Lina! And some really great advice. I really admire how you handle rejections.

Lina Gardiner said...

Linda, thank you so much! It's always my pleasure, my dear. So glad we're friends.

Lina Gardiner said...

Norah, Speaking of inspiration, I'm always in awe of your many talents and your kick-butt writing talents.

Lina Gardiner said...

Laura D.
Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Lina Gardiner said...

Hi Lori! Rejections aren't easy, but they don't have to be the worst thing that ever happened either. My heart breaks for those people who can't take rejection and just quit writing.