Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Writing Wednesday: On Board With KevaD
Today I have the pleasure and good fortune to host a person whom I'm honoured to call a friend. People with this man's candour and friendliness are really hard to come by, yet he combines these two traits and merges them seamlessly into a wonderfully nice & supportive person who you just want to have on your very own cheerleading team.
Add to this that he is a fabulously talented author who writes across wide genres and who always infuses that "little something else" to all his works - what more can an avid reader ask for?
Please join me today to welcome a fellow Noble Romance author & overall amazing person - KevaD!
So, Keva's been another of the poor unsuspecting victims I lured over here for a chat. But guess what - I've been caught at my own game! Why? Because of the depth of meaning and the words of wisdom this man delivered to my jesting questions.
Read on for a truly heart-warming peek into the soul of a storyteller the kind we all aspire to be...
So, Keva - we know the basics about you (male author; pubbed with a few houses; wide range of stories; former army medic & police chief *wow! Impressive!*) Tell us something we don't know/wouldn't expect about you.
My ring fingers are longer than my index fingers. I was once offered a job by then Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith as part of his personal security. I turned it down.
I keep being impressed (Hmm, maybe I'm in over my head with you today...? No? *grin*)
What’s your favorite moment of the day, and why?
This one. The others are either in the past or the future.
Very well said!
You're a color – which one are you and why?
That color when you melt a box of crayons. I see the world with a different perspective than most. For me, life is an ever changing kaleidoscope I can’t stop viewing and enjoying. People absolutely fascinate me.
Indeed... a spectrum of tones and shades and hues, innit?
Why become a writer?
This question deserves a serious answer.
I’m not a writer – I’m a storyteller. Five hundred years ago I would have been that guy who wandered in to your village and sat by the community well, weaving my tales for anyone willing to listen. It’s as much a part of me as breathing.
That is also the reason I write in so many genres and styles. The story dictates how it should be told, not me.
I'm stumped by that answer... Food for thought for all of us authors...
As "creative minds," we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. How do you sort through these ideas, to stick to the 'viable' ones?
I isolate myself and literally “watch” the story unfold like it’s a movie. This can happen while mowing the yard, blowing snow, or sitting on a bench. The characters become unscripted actors under my direction. They speak their lines, develop personalities, while I interject what’s working and what has to be adjusted for the story to come together in a communicable form. Sometimes the play just doesn’t work, and I scrap it. Others are put aside for later polishing. Some grab my full attention and I have to start putting it on paper immediately.
Hmm, those chores... I seem to find my best ideas when I'm using the vacuum cleaner... I refuse to entertain the connection between the two though J
How do you develop an idea into a book?
It starts with a concept, generally a sentence, maybe something as minor as a gesture I see someone make. The best example I can give is to do it for you.
“How do you develop an idea into a book?”
Zee stared wide-eyed at the fairytale book in her delicate hands - the colors, the magnificent creatures, the forest maiden, and the valiant prince who had risked his life, walked away from his kingdom, to save and marry her.
“No,” she whispered to the worn, plush velvet puppy on her rickety bed. “This wasn’t made up. They lived, maybe still do.”
She slid off the rag filled mattress and dashed to her dresser. How long it would take her to find the magical land, she didn’t know. An extra pair of jeans would be a good idea, clean socks and underwear for three days, and a couple of T-shirts. The velvet friend sat on top of the paper bag stuffed with the necessities.
On her way out the back door, she hesitated. Should she say goodbye? She shook her head. No one would even know she had left until the mistress noticed the empty seat at the dining table, so why waste another moment before she began her search for happiness and the family she’d never known? The prince and maiden didn’t have any children. Now they would….
I focused on ‘turning an idea into a book.’ I let the book be the prompt for the idea, which formed to the plot. Each sentence leads to the next as the actor walks me through her story. She’s taking me on her journey. I’m merely the storyteller. Whenever she finishes her journey, I’ll go back and refine it, establishing the time, location, and the other fine points the reader will need to travel with Zee on her quest.
Amazing! It's a voyage of discovery, in the end, going for the ride right along with the characters... Totally thrilling, innit?
If there's one book you wish you had written, which one is it and why that book in particular?
Not really. I find value in every book and in every author’s words. To me, each story is its own treasure.
Which is easier for you – narrative, or dialogue?
Dialogue. People say so much in their words and inflections. I love transferring that into a story.
POV of predilection? Which POV mixes with you like oil and water?
Jeez. Had to look up predilection. Didn’t know this was a highbrow joint or I’d have tied my robe shut. Second person POV – the “you” story. I loathe stories filled with “you this” and “you that.”
Lol - a bit of brains popped in through all that air cloud in my head! And *shudder* I dislike that one too, with a vengeance...
Preferred genre to write?
I will and have written in any genre. I love the challenges and since stories constantly swirl in my mind, I refuse to limit myself. That said, I tend to infuse either romance or suspense into almost everything I write. Quite often, I combine those two into whatever I’m working on.
How do you get into your characters' heads and shoes?
As I said before, that’s instantaneous with the story. I begin by meeting my characters, learning their quirks and nuances, their goals and needs. I’ve gone so far as to host an imaginary meeting over coffee in my living room in order to watch them as they converse. This one rocks an ankle each time she sips her drink. Another grazes his cheek before he makes a point. And so on….
Riveting! I'm sure I'd cause mayhem with a lot of guns involved in my living room if I invited my characters over, especially when I fail to get them to behave, which doesn't seem to be an issue for lucky you J
Drafts, edits, polishing – love or loathe? Can you please explain?
It’s all part of the publishing process, so I take it in stride, but I’d rather be working on my next story.
What unique factor do you think you bring to the book/story market?
My voice, which equates to my outlook and how I tell my tale. I incorporate twists designed to keep the reader reading, never quite sure what’s about to happen.
My romantic suspense novel Sunday Awakening is a great example of that. Everyone knows since it’s a romance the man and woman would end up together – that’s a requirement for romance novels.
However, the majority of emails and letters I’ve received about that book say how the readers didn’t know until the last few lines if the hero and heroine would end up together or not. First, I adore hearing from readers. Second, the fact I kept them guessing right up until the final paragraphs tells me I did my job.
*just snuck Sunday Awakening to my TBR...*
Best advice you've received, and that you'd want others to know?
Tell my story – tell your story. Stories are meant to be shared, so… share them, even if it’s only with your children and family. You never know – there may well be a lot of people who want to sit and listen to what you have to say.
Sometimes that takes a lot of courage. We all possess courage. Find it within you and let it out.
Okay, so Keva, you're promoting a book right now, if I'm not mistaken.
Tell us about it.
“The Zombie with Flowers in Her Hair” is a comedy drama set in 1969. Don’t be fooled – underneath the slapstick and zombie shudders is quite a story.
The hardest part of being alone is realizing you are.
1969 was a busy year for the young woman nicknamed Isis. She graduated high school, engaged in a lesbian relationship, died, and rose from the dead as a pot-smoking, flesh-eating zombie in need of a good orgasm. Yet, in death she ended up as alone as she had in life. But when a beautiful zombie with flowers in her hair forgets her sweet butt on a toilet seat, Isis's undead life will never be the same. Nor will it be one she could ever have envisioned, even on the wildest acid trip. Because for Isis, her true reason for life lies in her death.
Sounds intriguing! This book is part of the Lesbians v/s Zombies series over at Noble, if I'm not mistaken...
In 5 words:
Your book : Far freaking out there, man.
Your heroine: Lost, alone, unsure, living dead.
Your other heroine: Zombie sporting flowers and secrets.
You as an author: Passionate about telling my stories.
Let's say your book is a movie – which one does it most closely resemble?
None. This comedic drama isn’t like anything you’ve read.
Making me more interested to check this one out! J
What real-life actors would be playing the roles?
Not avoiding the question. As long as the actors understood and portrayed the true underlying story within the comedy, I’d be happy as hell with whoever played the roles.
Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book?
Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain.” That song proved to be a catalyst in telling this tale.
Your characters end up in a world where everyone's a fashionista – how do they dress and what are they wearing?
Isis? Ha! She wears bellbottoms and flannel shirts no matter where she’s at. She’s a free spirit.
Where can we find you and your books?
Pfft. My computer. =)
Thanks for for coming over, Keva! I'm totally stoked to have you visiting - it's been a totally amazing moment. XOXO
Thank you, Zee. I’m very grateful you allowed me to visit.
I really do enjoy hearing from readers, so I hope folks won’t be shy about contacting me.
Lol - you know you're welcome back anytime, innit? (if I haven't scarred you for good with my questions...)
Peeps, go take a look at KevaD's books - I promise you a really good time reading his very original stories.
From Mauritius with love,