Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Interview with author Denise Verrico - BK Walker Books virtual book tour

Welcome, Readers, to Reviews and Interviews' interview with another author from BK Walker Books, Authors Promoting Authors virtual book tour. Here is a listing
of the full schedule.

Hello Denise!

Please tell us about your current release.
Cara Mia, Book One of the Immortyl Revolution is an urban fantasy with sci fi elements. The heroine, Mia and her lover, Kurt, are vampires who are locked up in a lab in California. She tells Dr. Joe Ansari, a neuroscientist, the tale of her fifty-year struggle to survive as a modern woman in a culture where she is regarded a mere chattel to her master. In Mia’s world, she isn’t free to come and go as she chooses, much less be with the man she wants. Only when her master casts her out, some years later, does she gain the independence and love she yearns for. When a would-be oppressor crosses Mia’s path, she kills him and finds herself in possession of scientific data that could cost her life.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’m a big fan of Anne Rice, and I’ve read a lot of her books. After reading one of them, I actually had a dream about a female vampire. When I set out to write this novel, fifteen years back, I had no idea of what the story would be about. I also had no idea how popular vampires would become. I had this idea for a character, which became Mia, the heroine. At that time, I’d only seen females in minor roles or portrayed as victims in vampire stories. I wanted to write a story that really dealt with the unique challenges a woman might face as a vampire. How would she deal with not being able to have children? What would her place be in vampire hierarchy? What would her relationships and love affairs with other vampires be like?

Anne Rice influenced me a lot, but I soon realized that I had to be true to my own rather irreverent voice and vision. So, I set out to create an entirely new world. Since I’m a fan of science and sci fi, I decided to give my vampires a biological basis. That being said, I still needed a story. I was reading a lot about biotechnology. A question occurred to me. What would happen if someone could harness a vampire’s immortality? Someone would want to profit from it. Others might want to exploit their super-strength for military means. Rival factions might compete to corner this market. Still others might find this sacrilegious.

Then I hit upon an idea of different social classes within the Immortyl hierarchy. This led to the idea of Mia and Kurt becoming rebels who stole secrets from their masters to prevent them from using this power for evil purposes.

What kind of research do you do to make your novels realistic?
For this one, I read up on science, the Civil War, Vikings, The Holocaust, and the playwright, Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen’s play, The Master Builder is an underlying thematic element.

Did anything in the writing of the current book come as a surprise to you?
It’s my first novel, and I was surprised how much a character can change the story from what I’d originally imagined. That character was Kurt. His story begged to be told. Twilight of the Gods, book two, deals with his rise to lead the revolution, seen through Mia’s eyes. Kurt is so innately decent, and the injustice of Immortyl culture preys upon him. I love the fact that he’s small and slight, not the typical alpha male hero, yet he’s intellectually strong and resourceful. He casts a spell over those who choose to follow him. Book Two will be released this fall.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first play was chosen for production in a play festival in New York.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
During the school year, I work as an instructional aide to a child with special needs, and I do part-time marketing gigs. I’m pretty disciplined. Instead of watching TV in the evening, I write. I tend to do a lot of my creative process in the summer months, because I work a lot of fairs and festivals. It’s kind of slow most of the day. It gives my imagination a lot of time to run wild. On my days off, I’ll write seven or eight hours at a stretch. I tend to do more revising and editing during the winter months.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I ride roller coasters, the bigger, the faster, the more inversions the better. My favorites are Millennium Force, The Raptor, Top Thrill Dragster, The Beast, El Toro, Nitro, The Dominator, Gryphon and The Incredible Hulk. My husband, son, and I travel around the Midwest and East Coast on summer weekends to ride. We haven’t done any west of the Mississippi yet. We currently live in Ohio, and we have a lot of top coasters here.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Everything has to sound right to me. Because of my theatre background, I suppose. I read everything I’ve just written, out loud, including accents.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your newest book?
I like writing from a male POV. Joe Ansari is a third person, POV in parts of Cara Mia. I originally had a lot more of him. In my third novel, I write in the first person POV of another male character.

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and most of my friends are guys. I’m not really a girly-girl. But, there’s some romance in my stories amid the adventure and intrigue. I like a balance of different elements, just like in life.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist, veterinarian, or jockey.

Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
I’m appearing this weekend at Marcon, in Columbus, Ohio. I’ll be doing panels, a reading from Twilight of the Gods, and an autograph session.

My book is available in trade paperback through the Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble Web sites. It’s also in Kindle and multi-format e-book at Fictionwise. You can get signed copies through links to my Web store on my blog and Web site. It’s carried at some bookstores. If your local store doesn’t carry it, they can order it for you.

You can friend me on Facebook at Immortyl Revolution and follow me on Twitter.

Readers - leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win one of several gifts from promoter of this VBT, BK Walker. Gifts include: a $25 Visa Gift Card, book light,a free-of-charge virtual book tour, or one writing package which includes a journal, pen, book light, and book marker.

My next guest for the tour is June 1 - Debbie Patten


BK said...

Good luck this weekend Denise :)

Denise Verrico said...

Thanks, I'm really looking forward to the event!