|Posted on October 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM|
This is a repost of the interview from Immortal Storm author Heather Bserani's website at: http://heatherbserani.webs.com/authorinterviews.htm
Just in case any of you all missed it (and yes, I AM amazing and dynamic, thanks for noticing, Heather!)
Kristen Selleck - Best Selling Author of the Birch Harbor Series
I was lucky enough to squeeze into Ms. Selleck's busy schedule. She has been tremendously busy working on a multitude of things and I am honored to say that she found the time to squeeze in a little Q & A right before the release of her second novel in the Birch Harbor Series (Abraham's Men). She has confirmed the release date as 10/28/12 so mark that on your calendars and get ready to head over to amazon! For now, you can tide yourself over with her debut novel, Asylum. You can get that one at this link!
For those of you who haven't read Ms. Selleck's blog (I highly suggest you do!) let me fill you in a bit. She is a modern day evil scientist who is beyond brilliant and hysterical to boot. If you mosey on over to her page, you could easily spend hours there lol-ing...don't believe me, check it out!
Now that you have finished cyber-meeting one of the coolest people I know, sit back and relax while I pick her brain a little for you! Here are some of the cool things she shared with me while we chatted:
1. Why ghost stories? I would have imagined a mad-scientist such as yourself would have chosen sci-fi, so what is it about ghosts that inspires you?
I think it's that ghost stories were such a big part of my childhood. My brothers and I loved hearing them, and my Dad and my uncles could sure tell them. They told us stories about their childhood home in Flint, Michigan which they all claimed was haunted. It seemed like when they'd get together, they'd all try to out-do each other with how much they could scare us kids. They'd tell us stories about how the house was built on an indian graveyard, how there were bones mixed in with the concrete in the basement, ghosts that talked to them and ordered them to pull pranks on their sister, how my grandpa used convict labor to build the place, how one of the prisoners died there-- I mean, the kind of stuff that would probably make other adults laugh but gave us the chills.
I had one uncle in particular that could REALLY tell a story, make you feel like you were living it. He seemed to know the theatrics of story-telling innately. His voice would get quieter when he told you the scariest parts, so that you'd lean in on the edge of your seat. And he appeared so deadly in earnest that you'd never think to doubt him for a minute. One of my favorite stories he ever told was about an old, old abandoned warehouse down near Atlanta that he'd rented to throw a Halloween Party. The place, he told us, had been used during the civil war by the confederate army. As he told this story, he described the costumes of the people who came, and how he had first started to notice strange things as they were setting up for the party. It was so good! So real because of all the small details he 'remembered'. He built it and built it, and by the time the end of the story came, when he was leaving the building and he glanced over his shoulder and saw the face of a young confederate soldier in the window...I physically got chills. I didn't want that to be the end. I wanted a part two, I wanted him to make up a story about how he went back there and saw something else. I'm an adult and he told that story so well, I still think it might have been at least a little bit true, I'll never know for sure. I wanted to make people feel that way someday!
But don't count me out of writing a sci-fi just yet. I have a sci-fi story arc that I someday plan on getting to, probably after I get the Birch Harbor Series done.
2. Are your characters based on real people? Do you find it helps or hinders your writing to base fiction on reality?
Eh. I guess you could kind of say they're based on real people. I take little things I notice from many different people and piece them together in a character. They're very Frankensteined,
Does it help to base fiction on reality? Absolutely it makes the characters a lot realer to you, you have reference points, you know how people with these traits really react in situations. I think it kind of works against you with readers right now though. You start assigning a person flaws and faults, odd habits, etc.-- they might seem more real to you, but the pool of readers that can connect to them grows a little smaller. YA takes a lot of flack for churning out stock cookie cutter characters without too much identity. I'm not bashing the genre, you've still got some great writers in it putting out quality characters, but if you look at what's selling the best, it's not generally about original people inhabiting the stories. I get that. If you take a look at a book like Wuthering Heights, Catherine and Heathcliff weren't people you related to really, were they? They were both a couple of bastards that you wouldn't really want to hang out with. If it was told from one of their viewpoints, how much would it have resonated with readers? Not as much as it did being told from the viewpoint of the housekeeper who one very much likes and feels comfortable with. But I'm pretty new, I'm still learning the craft. I'm getting closer to striking a good balance.
3. How do you manage to write a sequel in under a year? Do you write every day, or do you write in fits and spurts when inspiration hits?
I don't sleep much. I'm a senior medical scientist all day long, and sometimes part of the evenings and weekends as well. When I come home, I've got two little boys to feed, wash, teach, listen to and generally try to build into thoughtful, noble, and productive men. That takes a lot of time and energy. When I write, it's after everyone is asleep. I generally set aside the hours between ten and two for that, and then get up at seven and start again. So I do write just about every night. Sometimes I get a lot done, sometimes I just research, and sometimes I listen to music and spend way too much time surfing the web.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel, Abraham's Men and does it have a release date?
Abraham's Men is a bit different stylistically then Asylum, much more character-driven. I really wanted to spot-light the growth of the relationship between Chloe and Seth, and the growth Chloe undergoes in particular. I think It's important to lay this kind of groundwork in a series so that readers become more invested in the characters, they've got history with them. Most readers can emphasize with Chloe as she's building this new home and discovering how to balance her life goals and build a strong relationship with the guy she loves. Because they have this history with the character, it's a lot easier to stay empathetic when she's being tormented by evil spirits and attacked by members of a secret cult later on.
5. Since we are such adoring fans, can you give us a hint of what's to come in the third installment to the Birch Harbor Series?
Absolutely. You can look forward to the most action-packed opening of a book that I've ever written. You're going to see Chloe's mom a lot more in the third book, and the plot-line will return to the characters investigating the American history of Abraham's Men. In particular, the details of a fictional rendition of Thomas Story Kirkbride. Keep reading! It's going to get even better.
Like I said, one of the coolest people I know. Her books are as amazing and dynamic as she is, so head on over to amazon and download her book Asylum and reserve your copy of Abraham's Men today!