Joining me today is fantasy, sci-fi, and romance author Larraine Wills. Welcome Larraine, it’s great to have you here! Thank you, Cheryl, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Q: Let’s start by getting to know you better. Who is Larraine Wills? How long have you been writing?
Oh, gee, who am I? A wife, mother, grandmother who appreciates all of the afore mentioned. I’m one of the odd ones, been married to the same man through all of it, and have enjoyed the support of husband, children and grandchildren. Without them pushing me to do so, I may never have submitted anything. I have been writing for years, stacking the manuscripts away in drawers and closets until two years ago when I started submitting. With what little feedback I got with my rejections I learned some changes I needed to make, laid off for about six months while I did some massive editing and began again last April when my first re-vamped submission was accepted by a publisher (Swimming Kangaroo Books - http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/). They accepted that one plus four more. I hide out in the high desert of Arizona with my hubby, Little Bit, who doesn’t know she’s a dog, and two cats.
Q: Can you tell us what your writing process is like? Is there a time of day that you are more productive than others?
When I said my family supported me I should have included tolerate. I’m one of those obsessive writers, first thing in the morning until last thing at night until the first draft at least is done with as few interruptions as I can manage. ‘Just a minute’ is my favorite phrase during those times. I find evening my most productive time, probably because of the least amount of distractions.
Q: How long did it take you to complete Looking Glass Portal?
A couple of months if you aren’t including the edits once it went into the publishing process. I give each edit at least a week of work, doing what the editor suggested, ideas that come out of those suggestions and hunting out typos, wrong words, that type of thing.
Q: In Looking Glass Portal, a modern day cowboy and his horse are abducted by aliens and taken aboard their ship. How did you come up with this fascinating story idea?
I have to chuckle a bit here, because I don’t remember what actually started this story off in my head. It could have been one scene or even just one line I saw or read. It could have been an incident I witnessed that caught my attention or I should say my imagination. Sometimes ideas seem to come from nothing at all, just rambling around in my thoughts until they settle. I can tell you that once that kernel is planted the story takes me forward and back from that beginning point, developing the characters and plot until the story is finished.
Q: How did you create the world in which the yantz, the Pig-man, and the Midradina exist?
They came into existence because they were needed to make the story go where I wanted it to go and the characters do what I wanted them to do. I know that’s a rather stiff answer, but where they come from is imagination and that’s something I can’t really explain. It just is.
Q: When the story begins, Garrett (the main character), has suffered with pain for the past twelve years and is contemplating suicide. Then he is abducted by aliens. How do you create a character who is sympathetic enough for the reader to care about, but who hasn’t had so many hardships that the reader thinks, ‘Alright already. Give the guy a break.’?
I kind of hope the readers are thinking that. That means they like him and are pulling for him, that they understand his outlook on life even why he would consider ending his own, his slightly off center sense of humor, that they recognize his strength and courage in contemplating suicide but not doing it so that they want him to be happy. If they don’t like him they aren’t going to keep reading about him, right?
Q: On your website (http://www.larriane.com/index.htm), there is a link to Café Press where fans can purchase t-shirts and other gifts with cover art from your books The Knowing and Looking Glass Portal. What a great promotional tool! How did you get involved in this aspect of promotion for your novels?
I can’t claim any credit for that, but I think it’s great. That was arranged by my publisher Dindy Robinson at Swimming Kangaroo Books.
Q: What’s up next for you? What other exciting projects do you have in the works for your fans?
I have three more books under contact and in the production process. Two are contemporary romances, one soft and one hot, and one historical soft romance. Thirteen Souls has a lot of ghosts, while the Mark of the Sire is ghost free. Mourning Meadow is the next to be released, (with some ghosts) slated for October. I do write all over the genre board and cross them over. As the next three are more main stream than fantasy or science fiction they’ll be published under my alter ego, Larion Wills. By the time those are released, I hope to have more under contract. Like I said I’ve been putting them in drawers and closets for years. My biggest draw back now is time. They all need to be typed into the computer and edited.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, there is, a big broad thank you. I consider myself extremely fortunate in finding a publisher who took a chance on an unpublished author and takes the time to answer all my ‘dumb’ questions, an editor who tells me what my stories need to make them better but listens if I disagree, strangers on the loops who encourage and assist newbies, and strangers I meet at book signing events. One of the things that held me back from submitting (aside from the dread of receiving rejections) was I knew from things I had read that to make my books successful I had to go out into the public to promote them. That meant I had to shake myself out of my near hermit existence and face talking to people despite my hearing handicap. There has not been one person at any of the events or a book store manager I’ve talked to that was rude or impatient. I tell them I have a hearing problem, they say that’s okay and repeat things, some times over and over, with understanding and consideration until I can catch it all. I know it would be easier if I could hear better. I also know now that what is a handicap does not have to be a barrier that can’t be breached. Mourning Meadow is the only story I’ve written that addresses a hearing handicap. The story is fictional, but after people read it, I hope they have a better understanding of it means to a person who can hear, but can’t understand language clearly to eliminate those few who are rude and thoughtless. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to say these things.
Thanks again for stopping by my blog. It was great to have the chance to speak with you about your novels. Best wishes for the future!