Sunday, April 21, 2013

Today I welcome D.A. Serra on the blog

In the Limelight with...

D.A. Serra    

Welcome and thanks for being part of this blog. 
I thought it a good idea to catch up with you and see what you are up to since the last time I reviewed a book for you. I reviewed Deborah Serra's Book Primal in January of this year. 
HERE is the link.
I simply loved this book, raved about it to every one that gave me a moment to say something. From beginning to end this book was gripping, thought provoking and an exceptional read.
So when Deborah agreed to be part of this celebration I was livid with excitement. To me Primal is in the same category as Heinz Konsalik's books. Great story teller.

That is enough about me though.
Here is her answers to my questions.
Hope you enjoy as I did when preparing this post. 

      1.      Are you famous is the general question I get when family and friends introduces me to their friends. It always left me with a pause as quick comebacks filters through my mind but ending up saying something like ….”Oh gee thanks” and give a shy smile. Silly I know. I mean if I was you would not have asked it. 
           (a) Does this happen to you and 
           (b) What do you say?

Actually I don’t think I’ve been asked if I’m “famous”.  Although I have been asked once or twice for an autograph, which I find bizarre and embarrassing.  The two most often asked questions I get once I’ve been introduced as a writer are:  do I know anything you’ve written; and where do you get your ideas?  For the first question, I have to keep frustration out of my voice, as I’ve heard it so many times and it is such an absurdly phrased question because I have no idea what someone else has seen or read – so I smile and do the best I can.  For the second, I explain that many of my creative thoughts start with just a phrase or a particular character that enters my mind from, I suppose, my unconscious. 

2. In general do you like to talk about your writing and published books or are you very close-lip about it? If not, why?

I really hate talking about my writing and I have a tendency to stumble around mentally when I’m forced to.  I’ve spent so much time and effort working for the perfect illustrative phrase, and the perfect emotive moment, that I want it to be read – for the work to be experienced in the way intended.  Some books and stories don’t lend themselves well to the thirty seconds most people are willing to give you at a cocktail party.  My thriller, Primal, has always been slightly easier to talk about and I think that is because thriller readers are so in-tune with their genre that they are along for the ride as soon as you start talking.
        3.  What book/s are you currently writing and what is it about?

As mentioned, I hate summarizing, but I know I must get better at it, so, for this particular book I’ll speak conceptually:  I’ve just completed a novel (literary fiction – The Blurry Line) about the line between conscious and unconscious decision-making and how our new knowledge of brain function damages our beloved concept of Free Will.  I am very proud of this work.  It is currently being considered by editors at three different publishing houses and I’m hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, I am half-way through a humorous travelogue I’m writing with my sister.  It is about a trip we took together after our youngest left for college and we felt disoriented and sad so we took off for Ireland.  It was a funny and poignant trip and the book is called 2 Broads Abroad: Sisters Fly An Empty Nest – Out After Curfew and the Kids Don’t Know.

     4.   Why this particular genre?

I have always moved between genres.  First, I put Primal out into the marketplace.  Primal is a thriller with a mother and child at the core, then I finished The Blurry Line, and now I’m doing a humorous memoir – moving genres allows me to stretch into different worlds and voices.  For the twenty years that I wrote for TV & Film, I constantly shifted from one format and genre to another.

      5.      What inspire or motivate you to write?

I cannot remember a time when I was not writing so motivation has never been an issue.   If I get to a spot where I don’t feel particularly inspired I just go read some Charles Dickens.  Sometimes his genius spurs me onward, and sometimes it just makes me feel crappy about myself, but either way it always leads me back to the words.

6. What is the writing process like for you?

I start very early in the morning before the requirements of the day overwhelm me and I write for about five or six hours.

     7.   What is the best and/ or worst part of being a writer?

The worst part of being a writer is waiting for others to read.  The best part is that one sentence that has the perfect metaphor – that one flawless phrase.

      8.      Any advice for struggling writers?

Try to work on two projects at a time:  one that is the love of your life, and one just for the money.  Understand that it is a business as well as an art and approach it that way.  There is no crime in writing commercial material as long as you’re working on what matters most as well.  I always encourage writing students to have two projects going all the time.

      9.   What is your favorite genre to read or write?

I read so many different genres but I do love literary fiction where both the story and the language matter.

      10.   Favorite author?

I appreciate so many writers for different reasons: if I’m reading history I love Thomas Cahill and I’ve read his hinges of history series several times; for essays, to my mind, there is not a living or dead writer who can match David Foster Wallace in psychological insight, humor, vocabulary, or erudition; for fiction, I will always read Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver.  All that said, if I were forced to choose one writer, just one, I would have to be Charles Dickens. Dickens is in a world of his own.  His fiction writing literally changed society, influenced child labor laws, helped to abolish debtor prisons, and gave a human face (however ugly) to both sides the French Revolution and Reign of Terror.  He makes me laugh and cry while composing some of the most beautiful and often recited passages in English literature.  Can anything more be expected of a writer?

      11.   Do you have a favorite spot to read and write?

I’m a cuddle up on the soft sofa girl.

      12.  What do you like to do when not writing? 

I have taken ballet my whole life, so I continue to take 3 classes a week.  I am also quite an intrepid traveler having been in 7 countries in the past two years.  Also, I have a very close and overly involved family – and yes, I love that.

      13.  Do you have a bucket list and would you share at least two things on it?

I would love to take a boat from the ancient site of Troy (located on the coast of northern Turkey) and follow the path of the Odyssey with a Homeric scholar onboard.  I know National Geographic did a trip like this once and I wish I could have gone but it was really expensive.  Still, I haven’t forgotten it.

      14.  What have you done so far on this list?

As a traveler I have:  trekked into the Congo and been touched by a wild baby Mountain gorilla in the Virungas; I have been helicopter skiing in New Zealand, dog-sledding along the Canadian border, seen the Kermode Spirit Bear in situ in British Columbia, traveled by myself to central China where I saw the terra cotta warriors, sat in the Church of the Split Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia, and I lived for a month in a 16th century Scottish castle.  This is the traveler who is always restless inside of me.

      15.  Most daring thing or experience you have done you would like to share?

I would count getting off the plane in Xi’an, China, with no language skills whatsoever, all alone, and just getting a cab to the hotel as my most daring moment.

      16.  This or that questions:
             ·         Coffee or Tea - coffee
             ·         Sweet or sour – sweet
             ·         Home make meal or takeouts – home made
             ·         Winter or summer –  winter
             ·         Night-owl or Early-Bird –  early
             ·         Telephone or visits – visits
             ·         Which social network do you prefer? none
             ·         Blogger or website? Website
             ·         What does your family say about your career? Supportive or Clueless - Supportive

And Finally

Contact details:

Buy links of the newest books you would like the readers to know.
If you like thrillers please buy Primal

Our time is up and once again I want to thank D.A. Serra for being part of this blog. 

This was a good Interview and I loved the answers. Thanks Deborah for joining us today. You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Hope that the book will do well and that your other ventures will be fruitful.

Remember as always support the authors.

Next time on In The Limelight with....
April 24, 2013
Sylvia McDaniel

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