Thursday, September 9, 2010

Interview with Gloria Oliver

I've met and smoozed with Gloria at EPICons several times. She's a fascinating person and writes some very interesting fantasies. I've read and enjoyed a few of them. We've also competed in several constest.

YA Group Questions – Gloria Oliver

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I’m what is called a Speculative Fiction Author. Meaning that I write fantasy/science fiction/horror/paranormal. So far, however, all my books have been catering to the Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy genres.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

Probably both. I’ve always loved all things Fantasy and Science Fiction so it honestly never occurred to me to write anything else. Regardless of all the other genres I may dabble in as time goes on, those two are my loves.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I’m open to anything. Mostly it’s the story screaming to be told that will determine what genre I use. Though all my books have been fantasy, I’ve written short stories in a lot of others. I’ve a short story I’m shopping around that’s part procedural and part fantasy. Being able to do a good Thriller might be fun.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

The genres I read are all over the place. Though I mainly stick to Fantasy and SF, there are several mystery authors I love, some awesome historical authors and I’ve even thoroughly enjoyed some non-fiction. Just for fun I will go dig out a classic here and there and delve in the fiction that was entertainment back in the day.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,

I’m an accountant/author. One pays the bills, the other my imagination. I was infected by the writing bug in my teens. Back then I would make up stories in my head as I waited to fall asleep and finally created one I liked so much I had to write it down. Then in high school I worked with some friends on our very own Soap Opera. That led me to grow an idea I’d had when looking up at a crescent moon and writing my first ever manuscript. So I guess that means I’ve been trying to iron out my skills in the craft for twenty plus years. Eek!

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Normally whichever one I am working with at the moment to be honest. I love them all as they each have a story to tell, but when I am done with it, I’m heading off to the next. Plus my memory is crap. I swear I’ve read over a chapter or passage while editing or doing a reading and thinking “I wrote that?”. Doh! (Okay, I give. Probably Miko, the undead geisha in “In the Service of Samurai”. She was just so much fun! Heh)

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

All stories must have conflict, so normally there are villains. Though not all of them might be what we consider “Evil”. Sometimes the villain, or a secondary villain, has been the hero’s own self. Just like the main characters, any villains get built once I figure out their ins and outs. I make sure they have motivations and things that drive them just like the heroes do. The more rounded all the characters are, the more alive the story becomes, in my opinion. And villains can go a long way to making that happen.

8. What are you working on now?

Currently I am working on an urban fantasy titled “Inner Demons”. It’s about a young woman who finds herself inexplicably in the middle of a Houston street at night having no recollection of how she got there. Worse, she comes to find out she has three months of missing time and seemingly wasn’t idle during that lapse either. Her life has been turned upside down and she has no clue as to how it got that way. It’s almost as if someone else was living her life and going out of their way to destroy it. Heh heh. Now she has to figure out what the hey has been going on and why.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

My soon to be latest release is titled “Price of Mercy”. (Crossing fingers it will be out in early 2011. Was delayed from a 2010 release. *cry*) The idea for it came from a short story I’d written where I’d explored what kind of fate might be worse than death. It ended up being too much to be properly covered in five thousand words so I decided to expand on it. Was actually a lot of fun as for this book I decided not to follow the usual Medieval feel to the Fantasy but skewed it more to a 1500’s French look for the culture and clothes.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

“Willing Sacrifice” is a Fantasy/Young Adult Fantasy. It is an exploration of ‘truth’ and how it can be shaped by different people to be different things. It is also a weird look at stubbornness as well as the beginnings of a blooming romance amidst chaos. It was that whole question of ‘truth’ and what it means depending on how you look at what you know that set me on this path. It’s not really as brainy as it sounds. Just a nice old adventure romp. 

The large undulating cloud spread across the fields, its hunger almost palpable. Food was near, food and entertainment. Thousands of them, all gathered directly in its path. Lightning flashed through the cloud from its eager anticipation.
Long tentacle-like appendages touched the tall city walls, as if caressing a lover, as the cloud glided upwards along its surface. The scent of prey was near.
A resounding gong filled the night as a lone foodling spotted it and called to others in alarm. Yes, make it ring. Call your brethren to the feast.

More foodlings appeared, some in their protective shells of metal and others not. It went over the wall, satisfied and reached out to begin the fun.
Screams echoed in the night as its acid touch ate through their shells to sear the flesh beneath. Ah, the smell of it. The eons it and its fellows had dreamt of this. Their time was finally here.

The foodlings’ attempts to foil its progress sent ripples of amusement through it. Their puny metal weapons bounced off its tentacles without effect. Those foolish enough to enter it screeched in agony and then were abruptly silenced—tasty snacks before the main meal.

The cloud did not slow, but flowed down the other side of the wall, expanding as it went. Like a wave, lights flickered on across the city as it engulfed the nearest homes, the horrified cries of those within waking those without who were still asleep. It could feel the panic rolling before it, frightened foodlings leaving their homes in a vain attempt to avoid its advance.
A lamp fell and shattered inside a shop and flames attacked the wood within reach.

The cloud was not bothered by heat or cold and enjoyed the extra fear the fire inspired in its fleeing meal.

The blaze and the hunger closed in about the city until soon there was nothing left but the taste of death.


La’tiera sat up, her eyes wide with horror. The green luminous aura surrounding her dimmed, shrinking back unnoticed to outline the birthmark of a closed eye on her chest. Her damp golden hair falling about her like a veil, she leaned forward, shaking, trying to catch her breath.

She’d had another horrid vision—this one more vivid, more terrible than the last. Feeling cold at the memory, she quickly reminded herself it wouldn’t be long now—it wouldn’t be long before she would never have one of these troubling dreams again.


Shoshanna Evers said...

Great interview, really interesting!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

An interesting interview, Janet.

I enjoyed meeting you, Gloria, and learning about you and your writing. Best of luck to you.

Gloria Oliver said...

Thanks for reading guys! Really enjoyed doing it. Janet is a gem!

Jennifer Probst said...

HI Janet,
Great interview, and what a wonderful way to get a taste of new authors - I loved it!