Monday, November 25, 2013

My Interview with Angelika Rust, Fantasy Author

Angelika Rust is the author of Ratpaths, a fantasy novel in a mafia setting.

She's currently writing the sequel, the odd short story and a stand-alone novel about the comical effects of depression.
Born in Vienna in 1977, she now lives in Germany, with her husband, two children, a grumpy old cat and a hyperactive dog.

Hi, Angelika! I'm so glad you could join us here in the blog studio. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like some hot chocolate?  Freshly made s'mores?  Help yourself.  And let me know when you're ready. This is a combined interview and game show, where prizes may be awarded for great answers. The grand prize, should you win all of the questions, is a signed copy of my brand new epic literary novel, “Whoops, Maybe I Shouldn't Have Shot That Guy.”

When did you start writing fiction? Was there anything in particular that sparked your interest?

From the moment I discovered fantasy for me, I all but stopped reading anything else. For years, I read all that was available in the fantasy genre, right up to the moment I got heartily sick of almighty wizards and divine intervention. You know, deus-ex-machina solutions. I wanted to read a book with no magic at all, one in which the characters would need to rely on their own wits, luck, friends, whatever, to help them out of whatever they've gotten themselves into. That's when I started writing the story which had occupied parts of my brain for quite some time already. It probably sounds hopelessly arrogant, but I wrote the book I wanted to read.

It doesn't sound arrogant to me.  A lot of people say "Write what you know," but I've always thought "Write what you love" works better.  

For people who haven't checked it out yet, what's your novel about?

My book, Ratpaths, is about a young thief who gets caught between the machinations of the rightful regent of the city and the resident crime lord. It's a story of friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and of how a person's past will shape his character, and thus his future.

Which character of yours is the most fun for you to write? 

Nivvo, my main character, fortunately. People tell me that it's hard to tell whether he's simply very brave, or actually a bit mad. He probably teeters on the edge. After all, it's running in the family. I call him 'one spark short of a bonfire'. He's one of the bad guys, obviously, since he's a thief, but he's good people, too, and willing to sacrifice a lot if he considers it necessary. I especially enjoy it when he's sparring with his best friend, Fedoro.

What's your favorite (or favourite, if you prefer) fantasy book or movie of all time?  

My favorite fantasy book would be The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. I've read it thrice already. It's one of those rare books you can read again and again without them ever getting boring. Great sense of humor.
My favorite fantasy movie would be Pirates of the Caribbean. Only the first part, mind. The others can't compete.

Cliched question time: Being a mom, is it difficult to find time to write? How do you manage to balance everything?

On the one hand, yes, it is. Especially if you're a working mom. On the other hand, I'm in the lucky position to work only two days a week, so I have three mornings to myself, with relative peace and quiet, until the kids come home at noon. And there's always the evenings. Spare time suffers, of course. I hardly ever just lean back and relax with a book anymore. Any spare time I have, I use for either writing, editing other people's books, or desperately trying to promote my novel (and I really suck at the latter).

If you could be any fantasy character, like a thief, a warrior, or a magician (or even a wood elf), what would you like to be?

That question made me smile. A thief, of course. I am. Not in real life, mind. I do Live Action Role Playing. I used to play healers, but a thief is just more fun.

Is there any advice you would you give to writers who are just starting out?

Don't let anyone stop you. Even if you never sell a single book, the experience alone is worth the effort. You'll meet a whole lot of wonderful people. Amazingly nice things will happen to you. And you'll be forever proud of yourself for the achievement.

Can you tell us a little about your current writing project(s)? 

I'm currently writing the sequel. The bones are there, but I'm not yet pleased with it, so I've put it aside for a few weeks to get a little distance and get back to it with a fresh mind. In the meantime, I'm writing a novella about the more or less amusing side effects of depression.

And the final question. This one's for one hundred points, and a chance to play for the grand prize. Remember that honesty is the best policy or whatever. On a scale of one to ten, where one is pretty awesome and ten is fully awesome, how awesome is Michael Matula?

Abso-friggin'-positively-lutely awesome. Oh, wait, I was supposed to rate you on a scale of one to ten. Then let's make it a nine. You never wear sunglasses on any of your pics, or I'd give you a ten.

And now, please tell the folks at home about when and where they can find your books, and where you'd like them to look on the internet for your stuff.

My novel is on Amazon, both as an e-book and as a paperback edition. If anyone wants to find out more, you can find me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, The Indie View, and my very own blog. I have a book trailer on YouTube, too. Here are the links:

Thanks so much for playing, Angelika.  It was an absolute pleasure to have you in the studio.  And congratulations on winning the interview! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Express Aisle (100 Words or less) - One Bullet

It only takes one bullet to end an entire world.  A world full of thought, promise, and wonder. 

A lifetime of experiences and knowledge dribbles away across the weather-scarred pavement, slipping between chewed up bubblegum and castaway cigarettes. 

Long ago, I might have felt sorry for the poor sap.  But as I thumb the safety back on, all I can think is, There are so many worlds left to conquer.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Character Interview is up!

Mia Darien just posted an interview with my character Samantha "Sam" Reiss over on her blog.  Here's a link:

What is Sam's opinion about me as an author? (Hint: she has a bit of an axe to grind with yours truly, after all the things I put her through in the book.)  What kind of story would she like to appear in next?  Check out the interview to see what she has to say for herself. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Express Aisle: 100 Words Or Less


The wandering eye.

Restless. Reckless. Tilting with curiosity, lingering on a flash of skin and a spark of flame. Lover of the shiny and the slippery, of the horrific and the grim. A ravishing woman and a smoldering wreck. Both will draw your fickle gaze like an insect to a spider's web.

The sweet, the sour, it doesn't matter...It all serves as candy to the wandering eye. 

 Photo Credits: "eyes" by Ahmed Sinan, Aka Scinern on Flickr

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Character Interview with Samantha Reiss

My first Character Interview has just gone live on Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews.

The character, Sam, mentions who her favorite author is (it's not me?), tries to figure out what an iPod is (she died in 1993), and talks about the scariest moment of her life.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stories of the Week for November 5, 2013

This week, I've been invited to submit a story for Wrapped in White, Sekhmet Press' follow-up to the newly-published Wrapped in Red.  This time, instead of vampires, the anthology will focus on ghost stories. 

The deadline to get the story in is mid-January, so I have plenty of time, but I'm still a bit nervous about living up to the story I did for Wrapped in Red, titled "My Boss is a Vampire."  That one was quite fun and quirky, focusing on a young woman named Cameron Bailor, who gets a job interview for a reclusive Southern gentleman, and starts to realize that this might not be the dream job she'd been hoping for. 

In other news, I've gotten two great new reviews for Try Not to Burn, one from Knightmist's blog, and one from a top 500 reviewer on Amazon

I don't know if I'll ever get used to seeing people say such positive things about my stories, as I'm constantly doubting myself (every time I get stuck in a book for five minutes, I think, "Well, there goes my ability to string two sentences together"), but it's incredibly encouraging to see how much people have been enjoying the book and the characters. 

Photo Credits: "PUPPY!" by _jennieMarie on Flickr.