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Monday, September 10, 2012

Author Interview - Debra Soles

Please welcome Debra Soles to the Far Edge of Normal!
Since, coming across her first romance novel at twelve she has been enthralled. By fifteen she knew she had to be a romance writer and help spread the love, but in a new more spectacular way, thinking outside the box. Mainly writing Futuristic Romance, she makes stories of vampires, witches, weres, aliens, a pirate found through time-travel and even a contemporary about Native American Indians, to share her own feelings on the L word. Debra grew up in the Carolinas, but now lives in Massachusetts with her hubby Tim and their wonderful son T.J.

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Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up? 

One thing my readers know about me is that, I have no set genre, other than romance. All my books revolve around the telling of a great love story and I always love adding in whatever feels good to me. Aliens, witches, weres, vampires, winged demon lords, Native American Indians, even pirates. I use scientists, soldiers and even musicians with a mechanic or two thrown in for good measure. As long as there is love, I'm going to try writing it.

My favorite of all my books, would probably have to be Book 1 of my Zogone series, Old Dreams.
I wrote for twelve years, getting rejection after rejection, trying to fit into the mold. Then, finally, I said to heck with it and started writing just for me. I let myself go and wrote the oddest love story about...aliens! That was Old Dreams. It became my first book to be published and the first of a four book series.

Upcoming- I'm working on a number of things right now, including the second book in my Haven Sent series, You Were Wrong! The first book in the series Talkers was released back in March of 2012. It's a story about Alien rock stars, which a nasty stalker problem and the heroes of the two books are twins.

I'm also working on another time-travel, a questionable contemporary and a YA sci-fi book that has my head spinning with ideas of the apocalypse.

What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
I have a million hobbies and most days it seems like I am never completely still. I love movies and I'll be the first to tell you I've always watched way too much TV. There is constantly music going in our house, because none of us could go a day without it. When I am not writing I always have my hands doing something, drawing, knitting (though as a newbie, not very well), blogging, dancing around the house no matter how silly I look at times. walking endlessly around the lake, as long as I am in motion.

One of my major hobbies is learning about other cultures. I'll read a Japanese manga, watch the anime version most of the books are turned into, then turn around and watch the live action versions in Asian Drama form. I'm completely hooked on my dramas, Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean. Sometimes all three countries will remake the same manga book and I love seeing how different each country works the story.

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
To write, I always have to have music going. Music is definitely my muse. My mp3 playlist is constantly changing and I'm always willing to check out new songs. My love of cultures goes to music too. On my mp3 I have songs in English, Spanish, Japanese, a lot of Korean and even a few from time to time in Mandarin Chinese. My music list is so full of variety and interesting songs I couldn't give you a simple list.  But, I love sharing all my great finds, Every Monday I post Music Monday on my blog to share a different song that inspires me to write or just is so great I have to share it.

I'll have to check it out. I'm always on the lookout for more music. "All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
Furry creatures are a must! In the old days I would have said it had to be a cat for sure. But, now... two of the greatest loves of my life are ferrets. The first is a petite albino ferret named Shiva. She acts like a teenage girl, diva princess who is the center of everyone's world. You must always give the princess what she wants when she wants it or everyone knows she isn't pleased. Bossing her brothers is a full time job and her favorite place do that is while having a hoodie baby, meaning riding in the hood of my son’s hoodie. She is happily minding everyone’s business as you can see from her picture. The look on her face says she is the boss lady.

The second ferret is the baby of the family. Scooter, named because he hits the floor and hauls major booty. He thinks he is a human babe. If he doesn't spend half the day curled up on mom's chest listening to my heart beat, he isn't happy. That kid is 100% snuggler and the lovingest creature I've ever seen in my life. He has a collection of teddy bears and bunnies to substitute when I’m busy, because he has to be loving something.

The day we brought him home was the happiest day of Shiva's life. He is her baby. She washes him, snuggles him, plays, pets, completely tends to him. I've never seen two animals love each other so much. It is a sight to see for sure. They are my constant writing buddies, snuggling next to me or playing tag right over top of my laptop, but I couldn't write with out them any more. As a matter of fact Shiva makes an appearance as a character (a naughty villain) in my 4th Zogone book, New Beginnings, as a ten foot long goddess who kidnaps the main character Megumi.

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
Write what you like and write what you know. If you don't enjoy your genre the writing won't go smoothly. Also write about things you know about. If you enjoy baking, add it into one of your books. You might think something so normal is something everyone would already know about. That just isn't true. Some people can't tell the difference between a grilling pan and a muffin tin. Your every day common could be someone else’s extraordinary.

The best place to look for help when becoming a writer is between the pages of someone else's books. Read, read and then read some more. I hit the library almost every weekend. You would be surprised at all the info hidden in the depths of silent halls. Same for the internet. Find a good search engine and info is only a question away.

Good advice. What writers inspired you to become an author?
When I was twelve, I got my hands on my first Harlequin Romance. The picture on the front lured me in, but it was the love story that kept me coming back for more. Every romance I could get my hands on from Harlequin and Silhouette, then I became an avid collector of Danielle Steel novels. I absorbed every story as if it were life and death. By the time I was fifteen I had a collection of close to a thousand titles and knew I had to be a writer.

The one writer that inspires me to keep going, keep writing and pushing even at the hardest moments though, is Nora Roberts. My favorite book is actually her born in Ireland Series. I actually mention one of my characters reading it in my Native American Indian contemporary, His Kiss.

Any special appearances or events that you want to mention?
Romancing the Hop- August 31st-September 3rd, 2012. My blog will be listed along with the other participants in the blog hop on-

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
That is a hard one. I think about all the interesting and horrible events of the past I would have liked to live during, then stop and think about how women were treated during each time. If I were a man there would be endless possibilities, but as a woman... I'm not the type to be left at home, bought, sold or traded. I'm also too mouthy and stubborn to be beaten into submission. If I were a man, you could hand me a sword and God help any villain that got in my way.

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?
From my Zogone series, their is a secondary character, a scientist named Dr. Mandrasport. I would love the chance to sit down with him and pick his brain. He is a scientist that specializes in human chromosomes and cryogenics. I could see myself completely nerding out, sitting with a spoon halfway to my mouth, which of course would be hanging open in fascination as Dr. Mandrasport droned on about cryogenics.

What would  serve?
I really have no idea what I could serve him as a main dish. As for dessert, I can imagine handing him a bowl of banana pudding. A bowl layered with vanilla wafers, then slices of banana covered in vanilla pudding. It would be funny to see such an esteemed scientist poking at his pudding going, "It smells divine, but it looks questionable to me." as the vanilla pudding jiggled at him happily.

Do you add chocolate chips and other fun stuff to your pudding?
If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere, running off for a year wouldn't be enough. I love learning about other cultures and even speak bits and pieces of 7 or 8 languages. I would probably start off in Asia, going from Japan to Taiwan, to South Korea, before getting lost in the mountains of China.

Next, I would have to go to Scotland to see the place where one of my great, great grandfathers came from. and visit the rough wonderful highlands I once wrote about. Then, over to the land of green in Ireland, to head to County Clare, which I fell in love with reading books by Nora Roberts.

By the time I'm done trekking all over, it would be a great time for a nap. The best place for that would be on a bright, beautiful beach in Hawaii where I could happily write surrounded by blue, daydreaming my life away.

You and I have similar dreams. I'd love to see the karst hills in China and walk the moors of Scotland and live in Ireland for a while. What color would you wear if you had only one choice?
That would be a toss up between purple and blue, which are my two favorite colors. As  matter of fact I especially requested that all my covers have blue and purple on them. Almost all of them have one of the two colors on them. :)

I love purple myself. Delicious color. Describe your dream writing spot.
My dream spot would be in an old farm house way out in the country. It would be a few stories tall, with an attic fully equipped as a study and a library. My desk would sit next to a pretty shaped window over looking acres of green, a big round horse corral, maybe a barn and a tree with a tree house and an old tire swing.

That sounds perfect! Reminds me of my grandparents farm. Good memories.
Thanks for stopping by, Debra. Good luck with your projects.