Today we welcome Viola Ryan to Dreamspring! Everyone gather around and give her a big welcome!
Thanks for having me, Marion. I am so super thrilled about your work and love talking about it. I’m a full-time writer and mother of two daughters (16 and 12). I’m a huge extrovert and writing is a solitary endeavor most of the time. I love getting to chat with people. The Mark of Abel was my first book. It chronicles Lucifer’s struggles to determine what’s more important--redemption or his heart.
Marion: What was the first book you ever read that really blew your mind, that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you’d finished?
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It’s why I write fantasy and paranormal. It had me hooked and I stayed up thinking of other stories to write in that universe. I was only 6 and never heard of fan fiction, but that is what I was doing in my head. It would be a few years later before I started really writing my own stories, but Oz is the standard I measure any universe I create against.
Marion: How do you start thinking about a book? Is it the characters that first pop to mind, or the setting, or the plot? Where do you usually start?
With each series I write, it is usually an image that grabs me. For The Mark of Abel series, it was a vampire biting the woman he loved in order to turn her, giving her the greatest gift he knew, but she didn’t understand, is abhorred and rejects him. The biggest rejection in the story is Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven, so he decided he wanted to be the hero. For most series, the stories tend to come to me thought out. I take a nap and wake up with a whole new universe to play in. Not that the story remains the same.
Marion: If you could invite five writers, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
Top two are living, Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman. They are my writing heroes. Not only does their writing inspire me to write and show me what I want to write, but they show me how to be a writer. Next two are also living. They are writing buddies and I’d love to hear them dish about writing and each other, Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole. To add a fun level of absurdity to the situation, I’d conjure up Mark Twain. I’d love to hear his take on my writing. I’m sure all present would love to chat with him as well.
Marion: When was the last time you just had to write, and what inspired that feeling?
I’m bipolar. I’ve been medicated since 2004. That doesn’t mean I don’t cycle. It just means my moods are more manageable. I’ve learned to use my cycles in my writing. When I am manic, I can’t write. Everything is too disjointed, but I am big idea girl. I come up with fabulous ideas that people wonder where they come from. I tell them I take drugs to prevent what others take drugs to feel. On the other side of the coin is depression. I can’t write at all then. I have trouble coming up with words and am hypercritical. The world slows down. This is when I edit. If I haven’t written in a while because I’m cycling, as soon as I stop, I have to write. It’s all bottled up inside and must come out. It’s been that way this week.
Marion: Have you ever tried to shake up your writing routine? Writing at a different time? Writing in new places? Writing nude? *waggles eyebrows*
When I get stuck, I will resort to pen and paper. That will usually get me going again.
Marion: What is your absolute favorite sentence--just one sentence--from your book? Why?
“They will really listen if you talk in circles.” Lucifer is talking to Jesus (Yeshua in the book). I loved writing their interaction. I would often lift Jesus’ words right from the Gospels. They are only in a few scenes together, but those are some of my favorite.
Marion: If you could choose one writing related question you never, ever wanted to hear spoken again, what would it be?
Writers asking agents and editors what they want. If I hear “A story I can’t put down with characters I love” I’m going to smother an agent or editor, and I’m sure that’s not good for my career.
Marion: What project are you currently working on?
The Chalice of Creation. It continues Lucifer’s quest for redemption. He must find and protect the Chalice of Creation from fallen angels/vampires or face humanity’s destruction. The first chapter really took me by surprise. The heroine’s story isn’t finished yet, either. It’s going to wonderful
Any parting words?
Thank you for having me. I love my cover. I even have it as a blanket and sleep with it every night. When I’m writing, word count is too abstract to feel like I’m accomplishing anything. I’m a very visual person. I print out each day’s work and put it in a huge binder. Then I can see my work accumulate. I made a cover for The Mark of Abel so the book would feel more real. Your cover blew it away. I can’t wait to see what you do for The Chalice of Creation.
The video I’ve included is very special to me. I made it. My husband arranged the music from tracks from Garage Band. I gave him the times I needed the music to change. The heroine even has her own theme.
You can find The Mark of Abel at MuseItUp and Amazon, and you can find Viola at her website, her blog, and on Facebook!
Thanks for dropping by today Viola!