In times of uncertainty
I have been watching the polls roll in from America in the last few days on our local news, in between my scribbling for NaNoWriMo, and it's been comforting to have some control over my character's lives in such a time of uncertainty for the world. I enjoy watching my new characters interact and evolve, their understanding of each other growing with each page. Sometimes I wonder if that is what makes us want to write? The drive to manipulate the outcome in a world where the outcomes seem increasingly unreliable? Either way, it's keeping me on track for my writing, if not my waistline. I was keen to see how other authors were tackling their writing challenges.
This month's authors:
Robecca is a prize-winning author of short stories and romance books with a twist of paranormal. I was keen to find out what it took Robecca to achieve her success to date.
What is the appeal of paranormal for you?
I’d say the unknown.
My interest in paranormal started young. I had a closet of things that I was scared of – I was also scared of the closet. All creepy crawlies, the thing under my bed, the bats in my attic. Hell, I was afraid of butterflies, but not the cute ones. Growing up we had those huge gray ones with prints on their wings that resembled eyes.
As I outgrew these fears, the images and the feelings of those experiences remained.
Paranormal doesn’t always send you screaming. Sometimes, something twisted, mysterious, with a dash scare is enough.
The folklore that scared the crap out of me as a child feeds my paranormal stories.
Your work has a historical element, do you have to do a lot of research?
Research depends on the story. I really try to not get overwhelmed by historical information. My new Regency romance series for example needed less research than the pioneer western romance I’m writing.
Why? I believe it’s because I’ve started leaning into my culture. The country I was born in was once controlled by the British. Before them, the Dutch. For many years (still today in regions) a lot of their infrastructure remains. In addition, language, terms etc. So, without going back in time to 1860 London, England, I saw overhead water tanks and how they worked (wood, metal and later, plastic). I know what an outhouse and water closet are and what they smell like.
Although I grew up enjoying westerns, I wasn’t versed in its history beyond what I saw and read.
I combat research by incorporating elements close to me. I also free myself to write what I love at any particular moment.
How important is it to get the historical elements correct?
It’s very important, I’ll not downplay anyone’s dedication to factual accuracy. It’s doubly important though, to have elements that are relevant, advances the story and characters.
Historical elements are just part of the journey for the reader and writer. Some like to be beaten over the head with detail, while others prefer small doses. I try to find a healthy balance.
I rarely come away from a novel criticizing the historical elements. But I do remember the characters and how the tale made me feel.
Who is your favorite dead author and why?
Oh gosh. I struggled with this question. Not because I have so many, but because I struggle to recall names. Faces and images, yes! But remembering names suck.
Oh! Here is one,
Louis L’amour’s western novels.
I’m a big Bonanza fan you see. That’s what we got on our rabbit ears tele at four on a Saturday afternoon.
An avid reader, my stepfather introduced me to Louis L’amour. One of his worlds were set around the pioneer life of the Sackett brothers. I loved that strong bond of the family wherein times of crisis they always banded together. His descriptions and setting gave a sense of history and were a replay of Bonanza—at least to me.
Robecca likes to stay in touch with her readers via her website and blog which you can find here:
Colorful Pen blog: https://colorfulpen.com
Robecca Austin: https://robeccaaustin.com
I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking out her book, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Liz is an award-winning horror, paranormal and fantasy writer based right here in Australia. With a string of books in her name, I was keen to hear how she managed to stay so focused.
Having previously written short stories, and now novels, what is different or the same in the process for you?
I find the two very different! Depending on the length of the short story, you don't go into as much detail with the characters and their backgrounds. Yet writing short stories is a wonderful way to learn concise writing. So for me, it's a very different writing process between the two.
Your stories have a horror theme, what is the attraction to this genre?
I've loved all things horror for as long as I can remember. So long, that I'm not even sure what the initial attraction was. As a child, I was always reading books on the paranormal, and then when I read my first Stephen King book at the age of ten (much to my mother's horror!) there was no looking back.
If you could give a new author one tip, what would it be and why?
Back yourself. It's a long road that requires absolute dedication, even when you don't feel you're achieving your goals. So you have to believe in yourself - and do it for the love of it!
What does your writing space look like?
I'm so excited, as we've just bought our first home, so it's the first time I can really create my ideal writing space. I bought a nice, broad desk with lots of drawers to hide my stationary fetish, and even though I use a laptop, I like space to spread out all my notes, etc. I have my box of index cards filled with ideas, my diffuser (I love a nice-smelling space!), a terrarium hubby put together for me, and a glass dragonfly my mother gifted for me as a birthday present (to represent my Poppy). I also have a bookcase with all my non-fiction books (fiction books are in the spare room, my Moon phase wall chart, some photos of my daughter and a rotating display of her artwork, and her very own children's armchair which she sits in when Mummy's working back. There's also the guitar I never have time to play, the telescopes I wish I used more, and the exercise bike I really should use more... On the side of the bookcase hangs the funeral notice for my Poppy who passed away a year ago, and beneath, my degree. On another wall hangs a framed copy of my first novel, Fates' Fury, which was also a gift from my mother for my birthday. Fortunately, it's a large enough space that I don't feel cluttered in! It's a work in progress.
Liz likes to engage with her readers via:
I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking it out, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler
For lovers of romantic suspense and set on the beauty of the South Australian Coastline!
Grab your copy of The Risky Business of Romance here: