Monday, November 10, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Vijaya Schartz

Today on Make-Believe Monday my guest is Vijaya Schartz. Vijaya and I met last year when we roomed together at RT and I couldn't have asked for a nicer roommate. So I am very pleased to be able to introduce her here today, which also happens to be the release day for A Desperado For Christmas.

Vijaya, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Vijaya: The art of writing is about re-writing, and I'm currently polishing the first book of a series titled THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE. It's a medieval fantasy, and the first book, PAGAN QUEEN, is set in Scotland during the early Viking invasions. My heroine is related to Morgane the Fae, wants to rally the many tribes of Alba against the invader, while fending off the persecutions of Charlemagne's bishop, who consider her anathema. On top of all that, she is plagued by a faery curse. The phenomenal amount of research was fun. But now I'm just refining the characters and the story. Since I wrote this a while back, as I rewrite I find myself fascinated by the degree of evil I can generate in my villains. I've been told that before, but it's scary sometimes.

Debra: Medieval times are one of my favorite time periods and Scotland tops the list for top ten favorite places I have been. I am really looking forward to reading this one.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Vijaya: Boy, have I ever! I keep pen and paper on my night stand just for that purpose. Whatever comes to me in dreams is usually brilliant, whether it's a title, a high concept, a story line, or the start of a scene. But I go one step further. Whenever I experience a block in my story, I go to bed with a question or pray for a solution in my mind, and Lo. In the morning, I know the answer. Sometimes it comes through vivid dreams, sometimes I wake up hearing the words, and sometimes I just know what to do, or how the story should go. But each time that happens, it's an enlightening experience. Then I wonder, Why didn't I think of that earlier?

Debra: The best things do seem to come to us in dreams. Without that pen and paper they drift away though. I've learned to do that too, and hurry to scribble it down.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Vijaya: In my writing career, I have always mixed categories, and even radically opposed genres. When my first book came out, Ashes for the Elephant God, no one knew where to place it on the shelves. Adventure? India? Reincarnation? Paranormal? New Age? Romance? It was a bit of everything. Since I wasn't aware of the rules, I wrote the story of my heart, and it sold, and it won awards.

Debra: It is wonderful when that happens. I think sometimes the book of the heart is a thing meant to be and the creative energy within that writing must be immense. The nice thing about sharing this is, it can give encouragement to others who are writing that book of the heart. I'm so glad you shared that.

Vijaya: Then I learned that there were rules, but I looked for publishers willing to push the envelope and break these rules to create mixed categories. I published a number of Science-Fiction romances with kick-butt heroines, evil aliens, paranormal powers, in a suspenseful romantic story. Agents tell me my stories are a tough sell, but I stick to my guns, because my readers are fiercely loyal, and in the end, they are the ones I want to please.

I enjoyed this Make-Believe Monday. You can find out more about me at and you can look for my new release from Sapphire Blue Publishing, A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS. The story is about a rookie Border Patrol Agent, Kaitlin Harrington. She hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her, and she lost her unborn child on Christmas Eve. This year, she guards the Mexican border in southern Arizona, but little does she know that her life is about to change forever. No amount of training prepared Kaitlin to arrest the gorgeous desperado who challenges her. His name is Miguel, and on this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, on the most magical of nights, anything can and will happen...

Thank you, Debra, for the opportunity to share this blog.

Debra: It has been my pleasure, Vijaya, and happy release day!
Debra's News/Debra is watching:

Now that my galleys are finished, I'll be back to work on the new western this week.

Tuesday update!!
I have an interview and I am blogging over on Diane Craver's blog today. Come on over and say hello!

1 comment:

Vijaya Schartz said...

Thank you so much, Debra, for posting my interview just on the release day of my book.
Wishing you a fantastic holiday season.

Vijaya Schartz
Girls with Guns, Romance with a Kick