Friday, February 11, 2011
Interview With Larion Wills
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Larion Wills, author of It's Still Tomorrow. Let's get down to the good stuff:
Clara: You added a subtlety, a realism to the witchery in this book. It wasn't as blatant as most witch books. What made you think of approaching it in this way?
Larion: Good grief, Clara, I don't know. That's just the way it came to me. If I had to analysis, I would have to say I think all of us have a little 'witch' in us, though personally I'd term it more esp. How many times have you thought of the name of a person as you answered a phone and it was them? Or had a dream about something that later happened? You hear about those coincidences all the time, but are they? If we trained ourselves, worked at it, could we develop those type of things until we could control them? Are some people more prone to them? I believe yes to both and played with it, creating Sara Beth.
Clara: Did you draw on folklore for witchcraft in it or did you create the world from scratch?
Larion: I drew on folklore, TV, movies and books, shifting through what I liked and didn't, fitting it to the characters in It's Still Tomorrow. In other books, I've given a different take. In Evil Reflections, for example, the main character didn't know she had any special abilities and rejected even the possibility based on a lifetime teaching that anything paranormal was evil.
Clara: How long did it take to do the research/world building for It's Still Tomorrow?
Larion: If being fascinated with the possibilities counts, then I've researched it for a lifetime, starting with herbal remedies, the basis for 'potions.' I did do additional for It's Still Tomorrow though. Dug out my herb books to be sure I had the right plants for the purification rite and my books on witchcraft for the alter.
Clara: This novel is a paranormal book. Why did you choose to write in this genre?
Larion: I've been asked that before and the only answer I can really give is the genre chooses me. I might very well go from something paranormal to a historical western. Actually, my next release is going to be a historical western, through Museitup Publishing. See what I mean? Whatever catches and holds my attention next is what determines what genre I write in.
Clara: You have stories falling into many subgenres, among them paranormal. Which do you find most challenging to write? Do you have a favorite?
Larion: I really don't think any one is more challenging than another. The basics are the same no matter what the genre. I don't have a favorite, either, other than the one I'm working on at the moment. In talking about one or the other of my books, people will hear me say, that's one of my favorites, but they all seemed to be in one way or another.
Clara: Has anyone ever told you to "brand" yourself and stick with one subgenre? If so, how do you respond to that notion?
Larion: No one has ever said that to me, and it wouldn't do any good if they did. I do try to make it easier for my readers to know what to expect by using two pen names, one for science fiction and fantasy and another for those in the different genres of romance.
Clara: You have many published stories. What did it feel like to get your first acceptance?
Larion: I had some trouble believing it. I kept waiting for the catch that was going to turn the whole thing into a disappointment. I read that first contract over three or four times and asked a lot of questions. I couldn't find a catch, but I was nervous even after I signed it, waiting to find out I was getting conned in some way. Of course that was in between the times I grinned a lot and kind of danced and skipped when I walked.
Clara: What is the best (and worst) part of the writing process?
Larion: The best is sitting with a notebook and pen with the words flowing onto the paper. The worst is typing it into the computer so others can read it.
Clara: How long does it typically take you to finish a story?
Larion: I never really finish one. I could sit down with any already published and do re-writing on them even if it's only a couple of words.
Clara: Do you have any favorites out of the characters you've written?
Larion: Actually, Sara Beth is one of my favorites. She has spirit and strength, a huge capacity for love, and a wonderful sense of humor.
Clara: Which writers inspired/influenced your work?
Larion: Any writer I've ever read has influenced me in some way, whether it's been positive or negative. I won't mention any names of those I thought were boring and didn't care to emulate in anyway. Those I've enjoyed are just too many to list and range through as many genres as I write in.
Clara: Was there ever a point in your career where you said, "Yeah, I can do this!"?
Larion: Sure, but I will admit I may have said 'I don't know how to do that' first.
Clara: Was there ever a point in your career where you almost gave up writing?
Larion: I've never been to a point where I would have given up on writing. Publishing, not that's a different story. I had to convince myself I was brave enough to submit, face rejections, and stick with it. During the first go round, I received back a rejection that an agent had been kind enough to have taken the time to edit a few pages. My first reaction was to toss them aside and declare that I couldn't learn all of that. To begin, I had no idea what all those symbols meant. To end, with barely a sentence that didn't have some kind of mark on it, I thought I was hopeless as a writer. A couple of days later, I picked them up again. The first thing I noticed once I really looked at it was that most of those marks were repeats. I sat down, took them one at a time and studied them. One at a time, they didn't look so bad. Nor were they too difficult to correct, one at a time. I rewrote, resubmitted and was accepted because one person took the time to give a little of themselves to someone else. She didn't represent the genre that book was written in, but she did receive a thank you from me.
Clara: How do you come up with your stories?
Larion: Like the genres, the stories seem to choose me, not me them. Some little thing will start me off, maybe no more than a couple of words that pop into my head. Once they take hold, they don't let me go until the story is down unless something major comes along to take me away from it.
Clara: What do you do to overcome writer's block?
Larion: I don't think I've ever had a case of genuine writer's block, one of those things like you've seen or read about where the writer stares at the paper and nothing comes out. I've had times when the story stopped flowing and I've had to struggle to make it all seem to go together. When that happens I got back to the beginning, read what I've already written and find where I've gotten off.
Clara: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Larion: After what I wrote above, one at a time seems appropriate here. Don't let uncertainty and lack of knowledge overwhelm you. Take it one thing at a time, learn it and apply what you've learned. This applies to the submitting and publishing aspect of it. If you're a writer, nothing is going to stop you anyway.
Clara: Thank you for joining me today, Larion! Visit Larion Wills (or Larriane Wills, under her pen name) at www.larriane.com.
Next week, I'll be sitting down with gay romance writer D. C. Juris and his book Omarati. See you then!