Special Guest Interview: Aria Glazki Talks about Mortal Musings!

Aria GlazkiEvery once in a while, I break my Wednesday and Thursday traditions and go crazy by interviewing an author on a completely different day. I know, insanity. AND OH SO FUN!

Today I’m delighted to have Aria Glazki pop in to tell us a bit about herself and her new slightly paranormal romance novel, Mortal Musings.

Aria said to me, “Thanks so much for having me, Margaret! It’s great chatting with a fellow romance author & Flash! Friday enthusiast ;),” to which I have to say, the pleasure is entirely mine. We romance authors have to stick together (especially since the world of flash is often populated with tragedies and not-so-happy endings. At least the flash I’ve read.)!

And … here we go! Enjoy!

Why romance? What draws you to this genre over others? When people criticize you about your reading/writing genre of choice (and if they don’t, I need to hang around with your people), what do you say?

Romance as a genre allows us to genuinely delve into people’s psyches and personalities; we can get to know people from all walks of life, in all sorts of situations, who nevertheless all experience that fundamental human desire of finding love—and then we get to see them do that! We get to see characters through the tough times and to an uplifting point in their story. Happy endings leave readers upbeat, which is that extra little benefit to romance.

People around me absolutely criticize the genre, but I’m actually lucky that many of those closest to me make an effort to read romance novels following my recommendations. Some have still never read a romance novel and consider the genre beneath them, or lacking intellectual value, so I just point out all the benefits of romance; that many classics (like Pride & Prejudice) would be classified as romance if they were published today; and that these people are likely thinking about stereotypes from bad romance novels, since they’ve never actually bothered to read the genre themselves. I sometimes add that the only rules in romance are that it has to be about a central couple finding love and it has to end happily, so the range within the genre is as broad as within all of fiction—which means the only way someone could not like the entire genre is if they’re somehow categorically opposed to a happy ending. Most people recognize how silly that is.

How long did it take you get Mortal Musings from head to page to printed book?

All told, from the very first word written to publication, it’s been almost 10 years! That’s a scary thought. But from the moment I picked up the old, unfinished draft and started over, it’s been just over two years.

Tell us about Mortal Musings’ journey to publication. As a fellow indie author, I want to know all the steps you took, and why you felt indie was the right way for this book.

clotheslinebooksThis journey has been so long and complex… Skipping past discouragement from established authors that led me to shelving the story and forward to when I picked it back up, I went through the pretty normal stages of writing and revising (and revising, and revising). I did query a few agents with this book, but everywhere I turned, agents were saying that paranormal romance wasn’t selling and they weren’t acquiring. So, I moved on to querying some publishers.

Mortal Musings received several offers, and I spent almost 6 months evaluating and negotiating those. But ultimately, those offers didn’t work out, for business reasons and for creative ones. (One editor suggested I add toilet humor! Not really my style.) A common theme I was hearing from the publishers, though, was that they didn’t want any substantive changes. So the manuscript was pretty much ready, there was just the question of the business side.

It was intimidating, but I’ve thought for a while now that the smartest path for modern-day authors was hybrid—indie and traditional. It seemed like this book was being pushed away from the traditional path, and truly what I care about is getting the story in readers’ hands, so I chose to bet on myself. A lot of research and quite a bit of work later, Mortal Musings is finally available to readers!

What’s the hardest thing you find about being an indie author? What’s the most enjoyable?

The most difficult thing is knowing that every decision is entirely in your hands, which means you’re responsible for every success or failure. It can be paralyzing, but I try to remember no one moment is life-or-death and there’s always something to be learned from the results, good or bad.

The best is the same with indie and traditional publishing—seeing readers loving the story!

ffbadgeYou’re a regular on Flash Friday – how do you think writing flash, or poetry, illuminates and aids your novel writing…if it does? 😉

Flash or even short fiction really allows you to focus in on a particular situation or character, and like poetry, it forces you to be concise yet evocative at once. For me, it’s almost like running drills, since we should aim for that same efficiency in whatever we write, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to create something whole in one or two writing sessions, as opposed to the longer term of novels.

What’s up next from you?

I don’t know! Publishing is so unpredictable, I am not yet sure which story will be available next. I will continue to write and hopefully to publish in one way or another. Anyone interested can stay up to date on my next steps through my blog or social media.

The must-know on Mortal Musings:

Mortal Musings CoverMuse Alexandra has had it with the arrogant, ungrateful humans she is obligated to inspire. When the internal ranting of her latest charge pushes her past reason, she disregards the rules and forces her own words through his fingers, and is instantly entrapped in mortal form. With no magic, no identity, and no resources, Allie has no alternative but to navigate the mortal realm, depending entirely on her reluctant host while discerning what exactly caused her transformation — and how to reverse it.

Brett doesn’t have a chance to consider the words that mysteriously showed up on his screen; he’s too distracted by the stunning woman who appeared in his office out of nowhere. Before his brain can catch up, Brett’s uninvited guest becomes enmeshed in his everyday life. Her artless innocence gradually lessens his suspicions. Most importantly, the writer’s block that’s been plaguing him dissolves under the fantasies the naively beguiling Alexandra inspires.

All too soon, the forced proximity sparks a confounding awareness neither writer nor muse are able to resist.

Find Mortal Musings here!:

Autographed paperbacks: http://selz.co/1JRFBES

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0122H197G

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0122H197G

Amazon CAN: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0122H197G

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mortal-musings/id1021523124

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122259923

Smashwords: http://smashwords.com/books/view/557545

A Bit About Aria:

writingAria’s writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked!

Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published here and there. Her novels Mending Heartstrings and Mortal Musings are now available for purchase. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together—if they don’t get in their own way, that is.

Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.

Want to connect with Aria? She’s here!:

Website: www.AriaGlazki.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Aria.Glazki

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AriaGlazki

GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/AriaGlazki

Thanks for visiting with us today, Aria! I’m looking forward to reading Mortal Musings (yes, I already have a copy in my grubby little hands. Well, okay, in my less-grubby little iPad) and wish you the best success with it!

Extra! Special Guest Interview: Elisha N. of European Geeks Publishing

ElishaNWoo hoo! Special guest in the house today … Elisha from European Geeks Publishing! She was so kind to host me on her blog right before A Man of Character debuted. I desperately wanted to ask her a bunch of questions based on the whole geek thing alone (I doth do hearteth the geeks!), and luckily, she obliged. We delved into other topics, as well. Settle in and enjoy!

I love the Tardis on your (old) blog’s header, so clearly you’re a Whovian. What is it about Doctor Who that appeals to you? What other shows have sucked you in? (Please say Merlin… ;)) 

Doctor Who is the anti-super hero. He is a hero in his own right, but without using any violence or weapons. He saves the world, which is not even HIS world, time and time again simply by using his brain. He is very active in the belief that all lives are important and tends to remind his friends to never give up their morals – no matter how bad the situation is. I am a big fan of Orphan Black and Torchwood (of course). I also enjoy some lighthearted romps, such as Two Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. I did follow Merlin for a long time, but, unfortunately, fell behind when we moved into our new house and haven’t caught up yet. 

ML: You’ve just summed up why I also love Doctor Who – although you articulated it twenty times better. 

You call yourself a “self-proclaimed nerd.” I love it. What does that mean to you?

Nerd used to have a negative connotation when I was in high school. Before geek became chic, my friends and I began to call ourselves self-proclaimed nerds. If we took control of the term, those ‘popular’ cheerleaders and football players couldn’t use it as an insult anymore. Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect does the same thing. When asked why she calls herself Fat Amy, she responds: “So twiggy bitches like you can’t do it behind my back.” If you retain control of the term, it loses any derogatory meaning. Nowadays, nerds rule – so the term has become a positive anyway. 

What are you writing? Tell us about your novel.  

I have a few things in the works. My children’s book is currently being illustrated. I’m still penning my baby at the moment. My novel is called RED, and it is a blend of Grimm’s fairy tales, pagan and Celtic rituals and history, and much more. It focuses on Roslyn, a twenty-four-year-old who is plagued by nightmares, visions, and a strange feeling that she is being watched. As her twenty-fifth birthday approaches, her visions become more intense, revealing a startling truth about her family history that has been kept from her for years.

I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of the year.

writingHow does your work as an editor inform your own writing?

It both helps and hurts. Most authors tend to just hammer the words out. They feverishly write the story out and then go back and make their edits, or ship it off to someone else to tidy up. I will rewrite the same sentence thirty times before moving on. I also find that I can’t just sit down and write – every time I sit down, I end up editing the chapter I’m working on.

On the plus side, I’ll find most of the errors, plot snags, and unnecessary phrases before anyone else gets their hands on it.

What’s your take on indie vs traditional publishing?

I used to be all for traditional publishing, but over the last decade I have lost my faith in the system. I see so many amazing authors who can’t get an agent or publisher to look at their work, but yet books like Fifty Shades are pouring onto the shelves. I believe indie publishing is the new medium for truly gifted authors to get their talent acknowledged. It is also much better for the authors, who get to regain more control over their work. 

Do you prefer to read digital or physical books? 

I am a huge fan of holding a real book in my hands. I have adamantly refused to get an eReader. Unfortunately, my toddler cannot stand to see Mummy holding a book, so I have commandeered my husband’s Kindle until further notice. 

How did you end up in the US? 

My father is actually American. He was in the US military, stationed in Germany. My parents met at Octoberfest. They divorced when I was just under two and my mother and I left Germany and went home to the UK. When I was older, I wanted to meet my father… and here I am. 

silverkissWhat are your top three favorite books of all time?

Oh, that’s difficult. I would have to say my number one favorite is called The Silver Kiss, by Annette Curtis Klause. It’s a young adult book, but it was the first dark fantasy book I read as a child and it drew me in immediately. I sometimes pull it out to remind myself of that feeling that I’m looking to portray in my own work. Of course, the iconic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams because, well – you never want to forget your towel. The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike would be my third. As with The Silver Kiss, it is one of my top favorites strictly because of how they made me feel – it drew me in as a child. I was so addicted to the entire series that my middle school friends would get mad at me for not spending any time with me. I always had my nose in a book. 

Which writers influence you most?

Joss Whedon is a huge influence in my life. Although he is a screen writer, he is one of the most genius storytellers. The way that his stories and plot twists could make me feel is something I would love to emulate one day. Otherwise, my cousin – Alastair Swinnerton (http://www.toonspace.co.uk/) is high on the list. His resume blows away most writers and after decades, he is still going without fail. A few others are Alex Marwood (author of Wicked Girls and The Killer Next Door), J Edward Ritchie (Fall From Grace), and Ian Thomas Malone (A Trip Down Reality Lane, Five More College Dialogues). I’m impressed by their drive, talent, and the fact that they are down-to-earth people. 

Tell us about your new company, European Geeks Publishing…

European Geeks Publishing is a new, exciting, small press that believes in the support and promotion of its authors. We partner with our authors, making sure they are involved in the entire process – from cover art to marketing. 

At European Geeks Publishing, we focus on a smaller catalog to ensure that we spend an adequate amount of time with each author from the beginning steps through to the marketing and promotion of each book launch to ensure maximum success for each project.

We specialize in science fiction and fantasy – in picture books, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult genres.

ML: So, authors, head on over to the European Geeks website to find out if you’re a good fit with their vision!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Elisha, especially since I know you’re busy with your new Publishing House. Always nice to find a fellow geek.