Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Great Summer Reading -- A Gothic Tale

I've said before how much I enjoy finding new authors to read, but how about authors that offer something very different and unique and fun? Even better. And Gothic novels? Hooked! That was how I felt the instant I saw the cover for a new book from award-winning author, Sorchia Dubois. She is my guest today in My Writing Corner. She says she lives in the piney forest with seven cats, one dog, and one husband. A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia says she enjoys incorporating all things Celtic into her works. She can often be found at Scottish Festivals watching the kilted men toss large objects -- for no apparent reason. She says she also likes a drop of Scotch now and then. 

Tell us a little about how you became a writer. 

Well, that’s a tangled story. I’ve been writing little bits and pieces since I was a little kid and always planned to be a writer when I grew up. I wanted to go into journalism, and eventually write books. Unfortunately, I grew up in a benighted region  and time where women were supposed to be either nurses or teachers or stay-at-home moms—all honorable and valuable positions, but not really what I wanted. Between the school counselor and the college adviser, I let myself get steered into teaching and spent twenty-five years doing that. Teaching was fine, I liked the kids and enjoyed other teachers, but every now and then, that little voice in my head would tell me how disappointed she was in me. So finally, I listened to her. My first book was published in 2014 and I’ve been working steadily on building a brand and writing new stuff. This year--2018--looks like kind of a break-out year with at least two books to be released and two more to follow shortly. If I could go back and tell that counselor and that adviser a thing or two, I would—but ultimately, it’s my fault for not getting started sooner. My advice to everyone who has the writing bug is to tell all those naysayers to sod off, get busy, and do what you want. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.

Have you always wanted to write fiction?

Strangely, no. I thought I would write nonfiction—the journalism thing, again. I enjoyed writing about obscure places and people and I envisioned travel magazine and newspaper features. But I started writing short stories and stumbled into a romance contract. I wrote a book before that particular deal collapsed and I was hooked. That book—Just Like Gravity—was my first real romance novel and I loved it. I found another publisher and that is when I really jumped into the publishing biz. I still find that truth is stranger than fiction, but I also find that writing fiction is immensely satisfying. I like telling stories, for one thing, and I like planting little Easter eggs and little messages along the way. An author I admire once replied to a question about why she writes fiction by saying something like “I want to give my readers a good time on a bad day.” That about sums it up. I’ve gotten lost in books many times to avoid unpleasant reality or to unstress after a rough day. Providing that kind of experience seems worthwhile to me.

What is your current book?

Right now, I am right in the middle of a Gothic/fantasy romance trilogy. Book 1, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, came out in 2016. I intended to have the series finished by now, but life happens. The second book in the trilogy, Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, is just now available with the last in the trilogy, Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes, with my editor at Wild rose Press.

What made you want to write it?
The whole Zoraida Grey series started because I wanted to write a kind of response to the Gothic novels I grew up with. I always thought the heroines were milksops and the ghosts were either imaginary or benign. I wanted something where the female protagonist might not be experienced, but she was smart and dynamic. She is someone who might indeed trip and fall down as she runs away from a menace, but she’ll hop back up and make that menace wish he’d never been spawned. The ghosts and the magic are very real in her world but she learns how to deal with that, too. And while the romance in the story will change her life, the romantic lead will need to be more than a pretty face and six-pack abs. Zoraida Grey grew from that.

What is your next project (or what are you working on right now?
Finishing the Zoraida Grey trilogy and an anthology called Witchling: An Anthology of Zoraida Grey Short Stories will take a bite out of the summer, but I’m drafting a Christmas paranormal romance and outlining a murder mystery. Working titles are Winter Solstice and Festival of Blood—but that last one is just for laughs and will probably change.

How do you come up with characters?
That is another twisted tale. Of course, I observe and harvest personality traits and physical details from real people, but the main source of character and plot for me is a brightly colored deck of Tarot cards. I have a list of character questions and I pull cards to get the answers. While I often have an idea of who this character is, the cards often surprise me. For instance, I was dealing with a minor character who is going to be a source of irritation to the main character and, to my surprise, the cards told me this minor character’s last child is illegitimate. This news causes a hubbub in Castle Logan where the minor character is married and supposed to be producing witchy children instead of half-mortals which her mother considers useless. It’s a minor detail, but I’ve enjoyed watching the other characters react to it. I believe in character-driven plots so I begin with the characters and let the plot unfold through them.

How are you celebrating the release of Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen?
Oh so many fun things. The complete rundown is on my Witchmageddon Part Deux page.
  • Find links to my posts about birthstones, star signs, and tarot cards in the Zoraida Grey Universe.
  • A Giveaway: Signed Print Books, Jewelry, and e-books
  • Plus, visitors can get a 10% discount coupon on beautiful natural stone items at Stoned Hill Creations Etsy shop.
  • For myself, I plan a long, slow sip of Laphroaig and maybe an evening out the day after launch day to celebrate with the fam.

How about a blurb?

Magic may save Zoraida’s life, but what about her heart?

Zoraida Grey needs help.

With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.

Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.

Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?

A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?

What could go wrong indeed? That sounds like perfect summer reading! How can readers get in touch with you?

Social Media Links

Thank you, Sorchia, for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Sorchia?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a million for being part of Launch Day for Zoraida Grey, Rebecca, and for letting me spout off on your blog.


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