Friday, April 20, 2012

Author Interview: Tatiana March (The Layton Prophecy)

Like I said on Tuesday, The Layton Prophecy is free starting today! You should definitely go check it out. I would pay full price for this book, no joke. If you want to see the blurb and an excerpt, click here.

If you want to buy it (get it for free on Amazon) right now, click here.

And luckily for me, the author has taken time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions about the book, and about herself.

I give you, Tatiana March.

What's your favorite part of the Layton Prophecy and why?

Easy. It’s the prophecy itself, the rhyme. I love the flow and cadence of it, the glimpse into the past, and the subtle menace in the words. I wrote just the rhyme to start with, intending to write a book to go with it, but another project came along and I put the rhyme aside. A couple of years later, I was tidying up my notes and found it. I thought, got to write this book. So, I did.

What inspired you to write this book?

Apart from the rhyme, I wanted to write a modern version of a gothic novel, where the heroine falls in love and then starts to fear that the hero is plotting to do her harm. I wanted the suspense to be inside the romance, as well as external to it. I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt, and I wanted to write something with a slightly traditional feel to it, but with some heat.

When and why did you first start writing?

I started writing in 2002, when I took a break from my job. I’d read lots all my life, ever since I was a kid. I have long arms, and I think they must have stretched when I carried loads of books home from the library every week. As a teenager, I used to win writing competitions at school, and my teachers expected I’d become a writer. I took a different path, but I used to travel a lot for business, and I made up stories in my head during long haul flights when couldn’t sleep. Eventually, I decided to have a go at writing down one of those stories, and I got hooked.

How do you come up with your ideas?

My stories start from a situation. For example, in the opening scene of my contemporary romance, PROJECT SEDUCTION, an intruder jumps down from the roof to the heroine’s balcony. She’s in new surroundings, having just relocated from the UK to the US. She runs for help, and the man whose door she knocks on is the same one she’s just fled from. That’s the trigger situation –he frightens her, she goes to seek protection, pounds on the door of a neighbor - and finds the same man again.

Describe the writing process as you experience it?

I don’t plot in advance. Even if I do, it will come out different when I write it down. I start with the situation, and the key characters, and some idea of what the story will be about. By the time I have a few chapters down, the story starts to get clear in my head. By about a third of the way through, I usually know what’s going to happen in the rest. I need to write intensively, capture each scene as it unfolds in my head. If I don’t, the ideas start fading. It feels as if the characters get angry and just start standing around, their arms crossed across their chest, saying I already did that yesterday, I’m not doing it again. So, I need to catch the story as it happens in my mind, one scene at a time, without looking too far ahead. However, to balance the lack of planning, I edit a lot. Endlessly. I love the flow of words, the music and lilt of the language. I need to get every sentence exactly right, including its relationship to the next sentence, and the next, and the next. By the time I’m done, I’ve usually revised the story at least fifty times, and can recite big chunks of it by heart.

What are your other hobbies / passions?

Travel, hiking, the gym. I love sleeping – I’m an insomniac and can never get enough – and having long, hot baths, which I like sharing with the man in my life. I ought to patent my method of fitting too normal sized people comfortably into a bathtub. If you ask nicely, I might tell you how to do it.

What is your favorite work of your own?

I’ll have to pick three, one in each length. Full novel: PROJECT SEDUCTION. Category: HOME FOR A SOLDIER (although it’s a tie with RECKLESS ENCOUNTER). Novella: LEARNING TO FORGIVE.

What elements in romances do you feel are overlooked?

There is a lot of pressure to write high heat, high conflict, short works without a plot. I miss reading gentler stories about falling in love.

Visit Tatiana's website to learn more about her and her work.

And don't forget! Go get The Layton Prophecy right now!  You will not regret it. It's the best money you never spent.