Author Interview from Words in Sync

My full tour schedule and links can be found at Dark Minds Book Tours (<–highly recommended).

The following interview was part of my bumper post for Day 3 of 7 on the BLOOD LIFE blog tour courtesy of on her personal blog. I am extracting the interview portion only here in case you missed it, but for the full experience and to read her impressions of my book, or to enter a giveaway, visit Words in Sync.

Otherwise, here’s the get-to-know-me-a-little-better part of it. Enjoy!

The Interview


The Personal Questions

  1. What’s your idea of total happiness?

Riding a horse bareback through the woods on a clear spring day.

  1. Which trait do you most deplore about yourself?

Sometimes I can be very indecisive, and I don’t like it at all!

  1. What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?

Chastity!  haha

  1. What’s your worse vice?

Probably impatience.

  1. What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty.

  1. Do you have a mantra or motto?

Don’t ever be afraid to make sure you’re happy, too, regardless of what that may mean.

  1. Which living, and which dead person, do you most admire and why?

Living: my mom. She is the strongest person I know and I love her and look up to her with all my heart.

Dead: Marilyn Monroe.  She was beautiful and tragic.  Intelligent and talented.  Never afraid to speak her mind, and despite her addiction and her past, she tried her hardest and gave everything her all.

  1. What is your greatest regret?

I guess I’m supposed to say I don’t have any, but that would be a lie.  I have a few regrets in my life.  But I’d say the greatest one so far was giving an ex a second chance that didn’t deserve it.  It ruined a great flow I had built in my life, and it was a mistake.  I lost things because of it.  One of those things being my horse.

  1. When are you most likely to lie?

When I might get in trouble if I don’t.

  1. What is your favourite (song) and why?

I have so many favorite songs!! This is a very hard question for me to answer because I really love music.  At the moment, it is Conjure One – “Extraordinary Ways.”

  1. What is your favourite cuisine?

Veggie burritos!!

  1. Have your personal experiences (or situations) influenced you, creatively? Give us an example.

Oh yes.  In all of my writing, there are personal experiences past and present scattered through the text.  For instance, Devendra, my witch/vampire heroine, is loosely based on me.  Her looks, her actions, her strengths/weaknesses, her favorite things.  She’s my inner witch.

  1. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate and how much is   learned?

Most, if not all, of my creative abilities are innate.  =)  Though, I always pay attention and learn things from others.

     14.  How often do you read? What are you reading now?

I read as much as I can.  Sometimes, I’ve just got too much work and life things that get in the way.  But I love to read.  Right now I’m reading: Possessing the Secret of Joy: A Novel

15. What other interests do you have?

Health and fitness, eating and cooking healthy vegetarian/vegan cuisine, horror films, animal advocacy, yoga.

16. What was the last movie you went to see?

Cabin in the Woods.

       17. Do you have a favourite genre?

HORROR!  =)

The Writer Specific Questions.

  1. What got you into writing?

My lifelong love of words, the paranormal, and storytelling.

  1. Are you an indie or traditional author?

Indie.

  1. Did you publish the first book you wrote?

Yes, I did, under my own imprint: Bright Eyes Press.

  1. What is your biggest problem with the writing process? How do you tackle it?

Finding the time. I do my best to put aside at least a couple of hours a day for writing, whether it is in a story I’m working on or blogging. Also, stress slows me down creatively, so making sure I’m taking care of my whole self is important.

  1. Do you feel writing is something you need to do or want to do?

Writing is hands-down something I need to do. It nurtures my soul like nothing else can.

  1. Whose writing inspires you most and why?

Edgar Allen Poe.  He was my first ever inspiration and will always hold that spot in my heart.

  1. If I gave you a license to brag, what would brag about? Give us the links.

Well, myself, of course! ;-)  I am a writer (obviously), so my first book should definitely be looked at, as well as my website: http://www.giannaperada.com – and I am also a proofer, light copy-editor, and book interior layout designer for small publishers and indie authors. I’ve been doing that for several years: http://www.brighteyes.org

  1. How does your creative process benefit you?

It allows me to write my stories with my own unique voice. I sit down at the computer and channel the muse. My fingers move to their own rhythm. I’m just along for the ride.  😉

  1. Do you believe that creativity and genius go hand in hand?

I think it depends on the person, but mostly, yes.  =)  You are your own creative genius.  Each and every one of you.  Whether you use it/see it or not.

The Birthday Girl in her Birthday Suit with a Birthday Wish or three.

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Little me: 1983

Today is my birthday. Yes, that’s right. I like to tell everyone because it makes the day extra special. Today I leave another lower-numbered year behind in favor of “the climb.” What are we climbing for again?  Oh, yeah, the aging process!  The normal, humanoid, earth-bound curse of getting older. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN… Can’t I write in that I’m immortal?  Who’s editing my story of life over here?  Hellooooo?! Slow it down, wouldja? Geez.

No, but really, it’s okay. 38 ain’t so bad, especially when everyone gasps in dismay when you divulge such information because, “YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY PAST 28!!!”  Thanks, heh… *blush*  Sometimes they even preface with, “OMG, YOU’RE OLD!”  haha, uhhh, thanks?

It seems like just yesterday I was on the video arcade game show, Starcade (anyone remember that one with MC Geoff Edwards?), with my older brother, Cayo. We were on two shows. We won the first one and lost the second one. If you want to see a clip of our shows, go to the Starcade remembrance site and do a search on that page for my first name, Gianna.  Click on that thumbnail and you’ll get a one-page site of our shows. You’ll get a kick out of it. I was TINY and oh-so-young!  I swear that feels like yesterday to me. I still get… I want to call it fan mail but I’m not sure what it is, from people who used to watch the show to ask if I am THE GIANNA from those episodes. It’s cute.

Anywhoo… today, on the date that marks my birth for the 38th consecutive time in a row, I will make a point to tell everyone I come across that I am 38 years old, and then wait for the inevitable, “OH NO! I’D NEVER HAVE GUESSED IT! YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY PAST 2__,” to make myself feel better. All day. Yep. That’s my goal.  *giggle*

Have  great day everyone! And to all the Taureans out there: you seriously rule, bull! Keep rockin’!  xoImage

Writing Research, Book Signings, and Excerpt Readings… oh my!

Have you ever wondered how some writers get their research, or if they even research at all in their writing?  I know I do.  I LOVE to research topics that I write about. For instance, I’m working on Devendra’s book now, the life and times of my witch heroine, my own inner personae, and it starts out with a witch trial set in the Witch Court of Burgundy, one of the colored towns of the United Spectrum. The United Spectrum is a world I created so that I didn’t have to worry too much about accuracy and time… a little lazy on my part, I’ll admit, but so forgiving and lenient! As a writer, it’s nice to have a little of that.

However, with the actual trial, I wanted some accuracy.  So I purchased books (including the “The Hammer of Witches”: the Malleus Malificarum) and read a ton about the European Witch Craze, and of course, the Salem Witch Trials since they made it mainstream public in works like, “The Crucible,” and, “Three Sovereigns for Sarah.” These were excellent adaptations and stories based on the witch hysteria of the small village of Salem, but the witch hysteria infected inquisitors far beyond Salem. In books like, “The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe,” by Brian Levack, and “Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts,” by Anne L. Barstow, questions are explored pertaining to why women and men were accused in the first place (most often out of greed and religious disagreements – one only had to point a finger at that time and a person could be burned), and how they were handled, tortured, and killed. It was madness!

I took from these ideas and used them in my writing. I put Devendra there in that dilemma but in Burgundy, accused and on trial for her life. I used names of some actual people of the time in Salem and placed them as the executioner, Devendra’s personal jailer, etc. and played on real facts, working in the fiction, to build the scenes and overall storyline.

Although it takes time, the research was/is fun and I’m looking forward to doing it all over again with another book I’ll be working on, “The Butcher’s Daughter,” about a female serial killer set in late 80s / early 90s San Francisco.  I’ll need to contact the SFPD about interviewing or “riding along” with officers/detectives to gather insights on the day-to-day workings of the homicide department when it comes to serial killings.  Fun, scary, and exciting!  The first chapter of that one’s written but put aside in favor of finishing Devendra and getting it out by Halloween. 😉

This week, I’ve put up a promo on my Facebook Fan Page. Get your vampire and witch loving friends to “like” my page and post to my wall that YOU referred them, and get entered to win a signed copy of Blood Life! I’ll run this until Saturday at midnight, so get your booty moving if you wanna win.  ❤

Below is a small gallery from the book signing I did in Petaluma, CA, on April 22nd.  What a great turnout! We sold out and had to take special orders.  That felt good.  Next up: I’ll be reading an excerpt from Blood Life at Redwood Cafe in Cotati on Tuesday, May 22nd. It’s an intimate event from 6-8pm. Five other authors will be presenting their work.  I’m assuming I’ll be the only one reading from a horror novel.  Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb!

My Debut Novel: Blood Life

Blood Life is one book of a planned trilogy. I first finished writing it close to 15 years ago and have since rewritten it about 100 times. 😉 After finally finishing it, I realized that one of the characters had so much more to say, so I’ve begun writing her history, which will be released later this year as a prequel to Blood Life. Next year I’ll release the third in the series, a sequel, and that will be that! The vampires will go to sleep. Mine will, anyway.

Blood Life is a vampire/witch adventure story full of blood, magic, love, violence, and sex. It is no Twilight or Vampire Diaries!  It’s much darker and sexier, but equally as engrossing and unique. The witches and vampires of the fictional world of the Spectrum have united and created a race of half-breeds called the Combined. These are very powerful entities, but their race has been threatened by a rogue vampire with very old, powerful blood named Lokee, the son of the Great Witch, Devendra. This story is about letting Fate play out, but in all its turmoil, trying to save one woman who will be the key to saving the witches, the vampires, AND the Combined. Of course, the villain is very much against all that, and tortures her time and again to try to destroy her.

I learned a lot about my ability to tell a good, solid story writing this the 100 times it felt like I did. I had trouble letting it go, but finally decided it was time. And now, I can focus on the other two books, and the ones still begging to be written in completely different realms (other than the vampire/witch world). Blood Life is my first born, and I feel the name speaks for itself… a blood life, in the blood, of the blood.

The previous cover was a quick release, limited 1st edition intended for a short run. I purposefully released it with typos and imperfections (including two extra chapters that were cut) as a soft launch. If I ever make it huge, that one will really be worth something! This newer, more appealing cover (courtesy of the very talented Myah Frazer of Redeye Design Haus) is available now as the clean and pristine second edition release. This is the version that will go with me to signings (I have one scheduled the 22nd of April in Petaluma, CA) and be entered into at least four contests this year. I’ve sent press releases out to local and far-away newspapers, been using social marketing tools, submitting for editorial reviews, creating websites and author pages, joining writing groups, etc. I’m doing a lot here to market myself, but learning as I go, and all the help I can find/get is so appreciated. =)

I hope this helps me spread the word about my story! If you’d like to read it, it is available from various channels at:  http://www.giannaperada.com – please leave a review after you read it too.  xxoo