HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope everyone was able to spend the holiday season with loved ones (with occasional Kindle breaks in between!).
As we say goodbye to another season, we fall back into the regularity of every day life and I’d like to do that by welcoming this weeks guest, Loukia Borrell, author of ‘Raping Aphrodite’.
IDI – Loukia, when was your Eureka moment. When did you know that you were born to be a writer?
LB – I wouldn’t call it a Eureka moment, where I felt destined to write, but it certainly was a day when I felt good about writing and knew I wanted to pursue journalism. That time was about 30 years ago. I was a freshman in college and a staff writer for the college newspaper. I had my first story published with a byline and I remember feeling proud; that I had direction and an interest that energized me.
IDI – Something every writer is asked to the point of exhaustion – where do you get your ideas?
LB – I get my ideas from various places – personal experiences, people I have known, stories I hear, and my own imagination.
LB – My parents were both born in Cyprus. They came to America in 1952. In 1974, the island was divided by Turkish forces and remains split in two to this day. I was 11 when the invasion happened. My maternal grandparents went missing and most of my relatives there were refugees. I heard a lot of stories over the years about what happened to this person or that person. A couple of years ago, my oldest daughter came home with an English assignment. She had to place fictional characters into a real historical event. She chose the invasion of Cyprus and that inspired me to give it a try, too. After a year, I had about 70,000 words.
IDI – I believe that ‘people who write’ become the ‘people they write’, at least for a time. I think we have to feel what they feel, think what they think and know what they know. Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?
LB – Agree, to a point. When I was writing the book, I was with my characters, thinking along with them. When I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about what they would do next. Having said that, it was very subtle, in my mind, not in my actions. I could also turn off my characters and freeze them, until I had time to get back to writing. I suppose it is a bit like acting. You are at work, you become the character and think about preparing that character, but then you have to figure out what to make for dinner.
IDI – There are writers who have been known to be eccentric, from keeping rotting apples in a desk drawer to only being able to write while standing up. Do you have any quirks or superstitions that have become as integral to good writing as plot and character?
LB – When writing, I am most comfortable when I am alone with the door closed. I did most of my writing for ‘Raping Aphrodite’ in my bedroom, sitting on a dark green sofa with the blinds drawn. I ignore the phone. Although I like to be alone, I don’t like total silence, so I wrote with a favorite movie in the DVD player. I like movies and have a large collection of films. I feel relaxed watching certain film characters I can relate to, or scenes, or even just listening to the soundtrack. All of that helped me with the writing process. For example, the haunting score from ‘Days of Heaven’ put me in a certain mood and gave me the emotion I needed for writing parts of the book.
IDI – Everyone has their own dream when it comes to what they would like to see happen with their writing. What’s yours?
LB – I hope to continue writing, but my biggest accomplishments are my children and marriage. I have a big love and not everyone can say that. Our relationship – even on days when we are out of sync – is the best story I have.
IDI – I’ve heard arguments for each side, but when writing, do you outline or sketch the entire book before you feel comfortable enough to begin your draft or are you a pantser?
LB – I fly by the seat of my Victoria’s Secret panties. If I waited to have all these characters figured out in advance, I would never have written the book.
IDI – Online cafe’s or writers groups (aside from social networking). Do you belong to any and if so, help or harm?
LB – I am on Goodreads and Book Blogs, two social networks, but I don’t belong to any writers’ groups where I show up in person. I’m personable, I think, but I don’t hang out with folks.
IDI – In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions new authors have about the publishing industry?
LB – I don’t know what other writers think, but after I wrote ‘Raping Aphrodite’, I queried about 90 literary agents with no takers. I just couldn’t accept that and thought, “Am I going to let these people stop me, or am I going to carry on, even if I am doing it alone?” Yes, there are some writers who get the big contracts and have their books turned into successful films, but you can’t go into writing a book thinking that is what you are going to get. Just write the book and if you are lucky, you will end up like Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling. If not, then you still wrote a book and no one can take that away from you.
IDI – What are the advantages of self-publishing? Disadvantages?
LB – You take control with self-publishing but you have to do a lot of work once it is finished. I had to edit, edit, edit even after my book was already on sale with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I changed the cover and had to fix typos left and right, stuff I didn’t see on the Word document. Do I look at those errors and say, “No. I can’t do this, I quit?” Or do I go back and fix the file? You fix it and move on, trying not to look at the smaller issues but rather the final accumulation of your work.
IDI – What do you do when you’re not writing?
LB – I take care of my three children, ages 9 to 14, and my mother. I spend time with my husband, watch movies and read books.
IDI – Define a great book.
LB – A great book is one you keep after you’ve finished reading it.
IDI – Loukia, thank you for sharing a little about yourself on Ink Drop Interviews. I want to wish you the very best of luck with all of your current and future writing endeavors.
Here are links to Loukia and her work:
Readers can follow her on Book Blogs, Goodreads and on Twitter @LoukiaBorrell
Follow on Twitter – @kathyreinhart
‘Like’ on facebook – www.facebook.com/KathyReinhart.Novelist
Look for your copy of ‘Lily White Lies’ in ebook or paperback at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and other online retailers.
If you are a self-published or Indie author and would be interested in participating in an interview, contact me at ladybuggerly at hotmail. I’d love to have you!