Today's interview is with fellow bwlpp author Vijaya Schartz
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
Thanks for having me here. I write science-fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary romantic suspense, Shapeshifters, and I like to mix it up. My most recent foray is into romantic science fiction.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I always loved reading science fiction, but for some reason, without at least a hint of a relationship in the story, I felt unsatisfied. Although I didn't start writing romance at all, gradually I incorporated romantic elements in my stories. When a publisher offered me a contract to write sci-fi romance series, I did not hesitate. I love writing the stuff. It makes me happy.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I'm a closet history buff and love medieval times. I've been working on a medieval fantasy series with a romantic slant for years between other projects. It will finally get published, starting next year.
I could probably enjoy writing a mystery. Lots of mystery elements in my plots. But so many authors are doing it so well...
What I could never write, however, is erotic romance or erotica. Although I do have love scenes in my books, writing them doesn't come easy to me. It takes me twice as long to write a love scene as opposed to an action scene.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I love my genre, so I read a lot of romantic science Fiction. My favorite author is Linnea Sinclair. Great lady, great plots, great characters, great romance, great science fiction. Love her.
I also read paranormal, historicals, a few mysteries, and some romantic suspense. But I am partial to satisfying endings and at least a romantic thread in my fiction. And if the author dares end the book tragically, I may never read him or her again. I read to be uplifted, not to get depressed. There is enough sadness in the real world. To me, reading fiction is an escape from the harsh reality.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
I started writing poetry at age six, in France, where I was born and raised. Then I traveled the world, lived in India and Hawaii. It's only when I finally settled down in Arizona that I started writing for publication. My first book, Ashes for the Elephant God, was first published in 2000, and recently reissued in eBook by BWLPP with a new cover.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Tricky question, but somehow, it always seems to be the character I'm writing at the time. I'm in love with all my heroes. And all my heroines are close to my heart, mostly kick-butt girls, many say just like me. After all I am a martial arts black belt.
My current character is a gorgeous Space Marine, butting heads with a lovely ship captain in Noah's Ark. See the pictures that inspired the characters at: http://www.vijayaschartz.com/noahsark.html
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
I love a good villain, and yes, I have a number of notable bad guys in my stories. A reviewer said about the Ancient Enemy series: "the evil Captain Kavak certainly ranks as one of the worst (meaning best) villains ever encountered!" Debbie Ck2Kwips&Kritiques.
What makes my villains interesting is that they are organic to the story, multi-dimensional, and well developed. I often get into their twisted minds, so even when they act outrageously evil, they remain totally believable to the reader.
8. What are you working on now?
The book on my computer now is NOAH'S ARK, the prequel to the Chronicles of Kassouk series, slated for publication in April 2012 from Desert Breeze Publishing. After writing four books in that series, I felt compelled to tell the story of how that world happened to be populated by humans. It's a great plot and a lot of fun to write. And, of course, my current crush is the hero, the Space Marine mentioned above.
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
This latest book follows the pattern of the previous ones in the series. In the medieval world of Kassouk, great cats are kept as pets and used in warfare, and human warriors like to borrow cat names and traits. Advanced aliens keep the human population from evolving, conflicts are many, and I like it when the underdog wins the day.
BLUE LIONESS, Book Four in the Chronicles of Kassouk, just came out on August 1, 2011. Find out all about it at: http://www.vijayaschartz.com/bluelioness.html
In the face of Human slavery, Back Sword Captain Ariela of Kassouk must do the unthinkable. Rebel against the Mutant regime. But she cannot do it alone.
Ariela suspects the king’s death is no accident. And the tyrant who usurped the throne looks guilty as hell. As leader of the Human rebellion against the Mutant rulers, Ariela is desperate for help, and Lord Starro, the handsome Crown Prince of the Star Children, offers the technology the Human faction lacks. But can Ariela trust a spoiled, arrogant foreign prince who never fought a battle, and thinks he is destined to rule the universe? Is she trading one tyrant for another? No matter how kind, handsome, or fascinating, Starro has frightening mental abilities. And this alliance is not safe, especially for Ariela’s heart.
10. Excerpt - the opening paragraphs of Blue Lioness
Ariela’s throat tightened and she choked on unshed tears. Her high boots hammered the cobblestone of the narrow street of the Citadel, and her scabbard clicked against the metal hooks of her black leather uniform as she strode resolutely toward the Palace of Princes. She glanced right and left for signs of trouble among the bewildered mourners flocking to the last viewing. Even on a glorious spring day, anything could happen in such volatile circumstances.
Hellion, who loped silently at her side, bumped a thick, furry head against Ariela’s hip. The lioness always picked up on her mood.
Ariela indulged the feline and caressed the silvery fur. "I can’t believe the King is dead."
Hellion grunted in response, and Ariela wondered how much the smart cat understood. Probably more than anyone suspected.
Force of habit, she scanned the three-story buildings ensconcing the narrow street on both sides. From an open window, a little girl gawked at her black uniform. Quickly, the father behind her grabbed the child and bowed in apology. Ariela nodded back.
She’d recognized the man, a member of the rebellion against the Mutants. He’d attended last night’s secret meeting. But she didn’t let the recognition show on her face. With the Citadel full of Grays for the event, the Human population must appear to be friendly.
Great Engineer, please don’t let anything bad happen today. Crowds could be so unpredictable.
When she neared the cobbled square in front of the Palace of Princes, the street widened and adjacent fares came together into a spacious half circle. The crowd thickened as the population of the Citadel converged toward the palace to pay their last respects.
Many only came for the free food, of course, and the usual pickpockets wouldn’t miss an opportunity to snatch a fat purse. Ariela grabbed Hellion’s collar and let the lioness clear their path.
The great cat sniffed the air and pulled Ariela, following the aroma of roasting meat. Hellion never missed the scent of food.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
Readers can find more at: http://www.vijayaschartz.com