Friday, November 12, 2010
I often write my hero/heroine to have qualities I wish I had, but don’t. There is usually more of me than I care to admit in my villains, which is probably why they’re very often female. I have never killed someone, but I can see how selfishness and ambition could so easily lead to that.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once gave an impromptu, totally unrehearsed, a capella performance of “Just You Wait” from “My Fair Lady” to a very long line of people stuck in a Blockbuster, waiting for checkout. I worked there for a while and while I am sure they would rather I just got behind the counter to help the line go faster, Blockbuster forced us to have someone out on the floor. We were required to ask certain questions, and when I got such lackluster enthusiasm from people waiting in line, I threatened them if they didn’t talk to me, that I would sing. They called my bluff. I sang. Guess what, they talked after that!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I started posting interactive stories online, about 1997. It was for a freeform roleplaying forum where there was no dice or rules, but you had complete control over your own character. That’s actually harder than writing a story where you can control all the characters, because in the interactive forum, you never knew what anyone else was going to do, so you couldn’t plan much.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I prefer science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thrillers.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
The sequel, Nor Iron Bars a Cage, is coming out from Splashdown Books on November 1st (will be featured next month). I have also written two full-length fanfiction novels for the old TV series SeaQuest DSV. They are posted on fanfiction.net and UnderseaAdventure.net under my sci-fi pen name C.F. Vici. They are free to read at either site.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
For one thing, I don’t buy into it as much as some others. I actually say ‘no’. Some of that is financial necessity (my kids do not have private music lessons, little league, or ballet) and some is just choice. I choose to focus on a few things rather than spread myself too thin. Not sure this has preserved my sanity, but then I was always a little insane to begin with.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
In fantasy, it’s a little harder because you can’t just grab the baby names book, unless it’s to make sure that the name is NOT in there. I have used a name-generator program before, but most of the time, I just put letters together until something sounds good.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising godly children. I have a married daughter who’s carrying my first grandchild. My second daughter is a senior in high school, and one of only four girls in the running for her school’s Homecoming Queen. My boys still have a way yet to go before I can say they’re “raised”, but that’s okay. All in good time.
A fish. It would be great to be able to swim deep and never have to come up for air. I often find myself singing Don Knott’s little ditty from “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” where he wishes he was a fish.
What is your favorite food?
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Marketing. Trying to “sell” my work to both publishers and readers. I hate that. I don’t think I’ve overcome it and you never get away from it.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Treat it like a job when you’re talking about honing your skills, but treat it like a hobby otherwise. You probably will not make money and even if you do, the per-hour amount is so depressing that you will drive yourself crazy if you calculate it.
Actually, some authors make a living wage. I am getting closer to that every year. Tell us about the featured book.
All the young outcast wanted was security in a world that destroyed her family and left her despised and rejected. Can the simple farmgirl find a new family through voluntary enslavement to the duke's household? Not if the prejudiced and conniving duchess has her way!
Crafted in a highly precise writing style so smooth it slips right from the page into your imagination, the fantastical story world of The Duke's Handmaid examines timeless social issues that inform global justice today.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Twin moons hung in slivered crescents, peeking through the scattered clouds. Fog flowed from the coast in wispy pseudopodia toward the inland woods. Leafless branches cast oddly twisted shadows in the wan moons’ light. Early evenfall should have lent Keedrina more security. It didn’t.
The shadows plagued her and she was sure she heard voices in the forest. Her heartbeat quickened at the prospect of discovery. If Mother found out, she’d beat her harder than a muddy rug and lock her indoors for several years. Keedrina pressed on through the thickets, resisting the urge to run. Running would draw more attention if she was right about being watched and not merely being paranoid.
Six months of clever artifice, though rewarding, came with a price. The strain of constant deception wore on Keedrina’s nerves; she’d never meant it to go on this long. She’d only wanted to meet the Elva farmhands that worked the field by her house, to talk to them a little. The reading lessons weren’t even her idea. Botlop had offered when she admitted she couldn’t read the note he brought her.
She should tell him. Keedrina bit her lip, considering just how to bring it up. She wasn’t who he thought. She wasn’t even what he thought.
She crouched at the edge of the wood to allow the pounding in her chest to subside. Warily, she glanced over her shoulder. No one had followed; nothing seemed awry. She inhaled deeply, stood, gazed one last time at the forest, then turned and stepped into the clearing. Keedrina sat on a weathered bench in an abandoned gazebo and lit three votive candles, sheltering them from the wind in clay cups. This meeting spot was far enough from home that Mother had never caught her and Botlop likely assumed the nearby farm was her family’s. Keedrina never disabused him of that notion.
She looked up and scanned the darkening horizon. Botlop always came as soon as he finished work. Throughout the summer and harvest it had been light at this hour, but the days grew shorter as winter impended.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My fantasy website is Latoph.com and there’s an email link on just about every page. My Facebook profile is at http://www.facebook.com/capricehokstad . My nautical obsession website is at UnderseaAdventure.net
Thank you, Caprice, for spending this time with us.
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