Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author Interview - Nora Weston - Speculative/Fantasy Author



       Thank you for joining us on location today with speculative author Nora Weston - thank you so much for being here, Nora! She's all about science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You're wondering exactly where we are, I can tell by that look on your face, but we're glad you joined us! We're on the 23rd floor of the Jykreion Tower overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful city of Azimov, located on the planet Kremora. Doesn't it make you want to become a time traveler into the future?

       Before we begin, I want to tell you a bit about our guest. She's on a Virtual Book Tour and I'm so glad I am on of her tour stops. Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her publishing credits include the anthologies Mind Mutations, Cyber Pulp’s Halloween 3.0, and Dark Pleasures. Other venues in print and online include; The Hacker’s Source, The Dream People, Hoboeye, Abandoned Towers, Lost in the Dark, Sputnik 57, Soul Engravings, and Decompositions. Recently, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Worlds Within–Worlds Beyond, Trapeze Magazine, and Four and Twenty published her work. Melange Books has accepted The Twelfth Paladin for a May 2011 release. Nora has had the pleasure of reaching people through the airwaves on radio stations throughout the US, and episodes can be downloaded from Blog Talk Radio’s show Not Picture Perfect.
 
Deanna:  Wow, Nora, you are one busy woman! Tell us a bit about you that our readers might not know.

Nora:  Whether it’s a book, or a movie, I love a happy ending. City of Angels...need I say more?
  • I just discovered Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, a Russian writer who lived from 1860-1904, and I’m dying to read his work.
  • I have a great appreciation for gorgeous book covers and unusual fonts.
  • Learning to speak Italian would be marvelous, because Italy is a dream destination for me, someday.
  • Never, ever will I be able to eat mushrooms.
  • Raising six children made me realize I should’ve had a cow in our backyard. If only I had a penny
  • for every time I said, “We’re out of milk, again?”
  • I could live on glazed donuts.
Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Nora:  My imagination was stirred by anything and everything, especially since my childhood home, in Wheeling, WV, was set against thick woods...that must have had knights in shining armor battling ogres, vampires sucking life from innocence, and werewolves howling until sunlight beamed through my windows. Dark Shadows and The Twilight Zone were my favorite shows, and then as an elementary teacher, writing stories for my students spurred me on as well.    

Deanna: *laughing* I loved Dark Shadows! I used to run home from school so I wouldn't miss the beginning! That may have been when my love of romance started, in movies and books! In Guardian 2632, the protagonist is Zane Grayson, and he’s the executive director of Guardian TMF, a time monitoring facility. Is he laid back, an adrenaline junkie, romantic, and/or a Casanova?


Nora:  Zane Grayson is my favorite character in Guardian 2632. He’s a physically fit soldier/executive director with eyes so dark that, at times, they appear indigo, and he’s been genetically altered to heal faster and live longer than ordinary humans. However, Zane is unaware of this secret about his past, so life goes on at Guardian TMF, a time monitoring facility, with Zane becoming obsessed with time surfing, which means hacking illegal sequences in time. He definitely looks forward to adrenaline rushes, and he’d die to save another life...in particular, the woman of his dreams, so he’s a romantic. Zane would not respect the lifestyle of a Casanova. He’s a one woman type of guy who jumps through time to prevent a tragedy.

Deanna:  Do you read in the same genre that you write in?           

Nora:  I do read in the same genres I write in. I never tire of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.       

Nora:  Days with my clan...husband, six kids, two dogs, and whoever else has spent the night, begins with getting everyone to school, or work. Flat tires, dead batteries, and car doors frozen shut, frequently, interrupt our morning routines, which is hardly ever the same three days in a row. Always ticking away, my mind actively plots, builds characters, and solves mysteries all the while I’m stuck working, driving to appointments, or cooking spaghetti and meatballs.
      Once the sun has set, and the moon is shining like my own personal nightlight...I settle down with my laptop to drift away into the realms of mischief known as speculative fiction. Occasionally, I do catch a few z’s, and when my brain has succumbed to the spells in nightmare land, I gather story ideas. It’s fantastic to speak different languages, to travel around the cosmos like it’s part of everyday life, and to be frightened by many things that have no name.

Deanna:  I see you get your story ideas from your dreams. Have you ever dreamed something too frightening to use in a storyline?

Nora:  Yes! Every once in awhile, I’ll dream about...well, that’s better left unsaid. Some of my dreams are too deranged even for my writing style, so I try to ignore them. I have no idea where the bizarre content of these dreams comes from, but I wish I’d never experienced some of them.

Deanna:  Our readers would love to know about Guardian 2632?

Nora:  I'm excited to share this with everyone!

Guardian 2632:  Zane Grayson, the most accomplished executive director Guardian TMF has ever seen, is breaking the law…his law against time surfing. Zane has the supreme power, in 2632, to decide which paradoxes in time need altered, or deleted, but he’s frustrated. Something, or someone, is missing from his life.
      Time surfing in illegal time zones is the rush Zane can’t live without. As addictive as the Martian dust called kilred, time surfing becomes Zane’s obsession. And knowing full well if caught by the Elite Guardians, he’ll suffer an unwelcome death by Time Mercs, Zane still dives deep into trouble. Soon, he discovers a mission in 2035 left him trapped in a timehole. This timehole places him in Pittsburgh, PA in 1998, instead of home. In Pittsburgh, Zane strolls into a coffee shop to see the bewitching Julia Emerson. From that point on, his life spirals out of control as he fights to protect what he loves most.
      It’s possible Zane’s future is no longer in 2632...but actually in 1998. Slip through time with Zane Grayson as Guardian 2632 reveals what he will sacrifice to save a life.


Deanna: Your characters have some hang-ups, obsessions, and habits like grinding their teeth, forgetting to lock security doors, a love of wickedly strong coffee, time surfing, and a desire to live life on the edge, so are these attributes reflective of real people?       

Nora:  My characters have borrowed attributes from memorable people I’ve encountered throughout my life, but most of the attributes are fictional, except for the fact Julia Emerson can’t have enough pillows while sleeping. That is a must in my opinion! I’ve also met some amazing people, whose personalities are hard to forget, so they have inspired that living on the edge...there’s no tomorrow mindset, but these people exist in my dreams and nightmares.

Deanna: You enjoy time travel stories, so is there another time/place you’d live instead of Michigan, 2011?       

Nora:  I like options, always have. With that in mind, I’d have to go with the future, and I mean way in the future, like 2632. If I could, I’d live in the future so I could have the rush of visiting the past. Can you imagine meeting Alexander the Great, Genghis Kahn, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Cleopatra, and/or Queen Elizabeth? What a way to live!          

Deanna:  Think about all of your characters for a moment, past and present...who are your favorites, and why?

Nora:  I’m attached to many of my characters...not all of them, because some bit the dust in a big way, but it had to be done. Zane Grayson, of Guardian 2632, has that irresistible combo of looks and intelligence, plus he deeply cares about other people, so he’s at the top of my list. I also get a kick out of Jake Cottrell, the protagonist in The Twelfth Paladin...but he takes a little longer to mature into a hero. Jake’s the kind of guy who grows on you, who literally does go to hell and back for the people he loves, so I have to stand by him as well. Riley McClain, a detective in a short story of mine called, The Dead, I Get, is shaping up to be a favorite character of mine too. Riley’s really tough, has a can do attitude that is relentless, and since she prefers to solve crimes by dipping into the minds of dead victims, many feel she’s cursed. Not Riley...she likes the challenge.

Deanna:  That's an impressive list of characters. Will you be writing a sequel to Guardian 2632?  

Nora:  Yes! I am working on a sequel to Guardian 2632. The sequel will revolve around Lindsay Grayson, who is Zane and Julia’s daughter. All I can say at this time is...she’ll be a guardian to reckon with, indeed.

Deanna:  Where can our readers find you online?

Nora:  I have several websites:



Deanna:  Nora, thank you so much for being with us today. Your books sounds like a great read for fantasy readers, I know you'll get lots of interest on this! Readers, don't forget to leave a comment or question for Nora so you can be in the drawing to win the ebook of Guardian 2632!