Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World of Writing, Interview

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“…It is really about what works for the writer first, what really gets you going and producing content. A lot of people do it backwards – they worry about who the audience is and what they want to read and it often ends up as some of the driest reading ever. …There is this misconception out there that in order to be a professional writer you have to have a certain type of degree; and that is not necessarily true. I know lots of people who have degrees who are not necessarily talented …but I know lots of writers who don’t have professional training but are very creative. …If you want to be a successful writer you have to open yourself up to technology, you need to take control of your author’s platform and need to understand how to put work out there that is not ‘spamy’, that speaks to people in a real way and taps into their creativity.”

~ Emily Breder

Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode titled: Writing,Volunteering, Networking

 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)


Happy United Nations Day everyone :)


 -- World Of Writing --

It is time for another World of Writing interview - today we are featuring New Jersey based (US) author Vicki Solá - her long-running radio program Que Viva La Música provides the New York metro community with Salsa and Latin Jazz music.

Vicki has served as an advisor to the Smithsonian Institution, and her articles have appeared in internationally circulated periodicals. Her new, laugh-loaded SciFi Fantasy, The Getaway That Got Away (Full Court Press), was written for young adults aged 12 and up.  When away from the office, she can be found spending time with her son Frank, and rescued canine Cookie (a shepherd-hound)  Find Vicki @:

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Brain surgery never did appeal to me—too messy. But I did aspire to be an astronaut, President of the United States, and a disc jockey. I suppose I’ve fallen short of a couple of those goals.

Q: What makes a good story? 

A: I’ve heard it said, a good story is always about trouble. Conflict and tension. Also crucial:  characters that the reader cares about, individuals, flawed to some degree, who grow as they deal with internal and/or external struggle. It’s important to know how to pace and break tension—in my case, the latter, with comic relief—and when and where to end scenes and chapters.   
A story must have a good balance of description (that engages the five senses), plus dialogue and action. Establishing setting is critical—it can really stop a reader when he or she is wondering: "Gee, are these murder-planning characters still hiding in the boss’s bedroom or are they in that underground parking lot underneath his ex-wife’s office?"   
Too much description or action, or use of any one element at the expense of the others, has the same effect—it frustrates the reader. Sparse use of adverbs and adjectives, and reliance on active verbs are also important, as is using the least amount of words possible.
Q: What makes you write in certain genres?

A: Throughout the years, I’ve published mainly non-fiction—covering mostly Latin music and culture for various periodicals—but have always loved writing humorous short stories. When I began crafting The Getaway That Got Away, it was not my intention to write a SciFi Fantasy novel. I thought I’d start an informal newsletter—to entertain my friends and family—detailing the zany, other-worldly adventures of my feisty Chihuahua-terrier, Dr. B. Gneeecey. When I sat down at the typewriter (yes, it was that long ago), it all came pouring out of me—one hundred pages of a story that wrote itself, complete with characters that seemed to develop themselves and write their own dialogue. As those first six chapters grew to a total of forty-four (92,000 words), I merely went with the flow (before the editing process, ha, ha), and ended up creating the bizarre world that is Perswayssick County—a dimension somewhere between New Jersey and outer space, inhabited by a mix of canine-humanoids, humanoids, waxy-faced Jersey gangster-style aliens, overgrown mice and limo driving ducks.

Q: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing?

A: The Getaway That Got Away is most definitely my autobiography, set to SciFi Fantasy. The story is told in first person, through the eyes of protagonist Nicki Rodriguez, an aged-down version of myself. She is all me, from attitude to wardrobe! The twenty-something workaholic—an underpaid, overworked Latin music radio deejay—experiences a dramatic change in outlook when fate transports her to an even lousier place—Perswayssick County, where she must reside with and work for a greedy, tail-wagging leader - Dr B. Gneeecey. Gneeecey is a mix of people I’ve dealt with—especially some of my past employers! My story is targeted at the Young Adult market, but I think young adults ages twelve to two-hundred will enjoy it. Anyone who has slaved away for pennies should relate to it.   
Q: What are your favorite publicity activities?

A: Even when I don’t sell many books, library readings are my favorite activity. They keep my presentations sharp. I find interacting with audiences and answering questions about my story and the writing process itself energizing.

Q: Who are your favorite authors/poets?

A: I like Douglas Adams, whose classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is comparable to my novel, Lewis Carroll, Laurence Sterne, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver are all favorites.  Lately I tend to read non-fiction—especially historical, philosophical and metaphysical works. It’s my contention that whatever we read and experience goes into that subconscious “mix,” only to come out in some convoluted form when we sit down to write. I’ve always loved the following definition of art (can’t remember who said it): "Taking apart reality and piecing it back together in a different way."

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  1. I've read "The Getaway That Got Away" from cover to cover. Intriguing! The kind of read, for me, that I COULD put down because I like peace and quiet and order and fluffy white clouds and rose petals. No such thing in this book! But I had to know the outcome so once put down, it was back with me in my comfy chair amazing me with the author's out of this world personalities and staging. Gneeecey? I'll never forget him (perhaps how to spell his name, but not that character). Thanks for the interview.

    1. Marva, Gneeecey and I thank you. I'm pleased to inform you that the sequel's first chapter has been revised (and revised and revised) along with the novel's very last page (which leaves the door wide open for the next sequel). There'll be no peace, quiet, order, fluffy white clouds or rose petals in these stories either. And watch out, Gneeecey may try to make himself comfy in your comfy chair! (He sure makes himself comfy in Nicki's apartment in this next book, as you'll see!) Best wishes always, Vicki


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