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Saturday, October 9, 2010
Author Interview: Silver James
The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Silver James, whose latest book Faerie Fire was released last month by The Wild Rose Press. It's the second book in the Tír Nan Óg Trilogy which are interconnected novels of time travel. She's currently working on the third book in the series, Faerie Fool.
Silver actually had the title to the second book before she went back to write the first book in the series, Faeirie Fate. The title to that book popped into her head toward the end of the writing process. The title to Faerie Fool developed while she was plotting it.
In addition to working on the third, and last, FAERIE book, Silver is starting a new series of paranormal romances. The first book, Seasons of the Witch, introduces her main character, a human FBI agent with an X-files mentality. The pawn in a turf war between a master vampire and the faerie king of the Seelie Court as she was growing up, she's all too aware that things do go bump in the night and they can be quite scary.
"How long have you been writing?" I asked her.
"I usually laugh and say all my life, but in reality, I wrote my first 'novel' at the age of 13. Full of fangirl 'squee,', the thing was truly abysmal. Before then, I told lots of stories in my head. My dad always encouraged my imagination and my voracious reading habits. To me, writing and reading go hand in hand."
Usually the characters come first for Silver. One or more of them will pop into her head and then hang around talking to her.
"When I'm driving alone, I often carry on conversations with them, learning about them and eventually, their story comes out so I can build a plot around it," she said. "Yes, people do watch me at stoplights. I'm sure they feel sorry for the crazy lady."
Working is Silver's full-time job. "It's one I adore," she admitted, "especially since I wear my jammies to work. I get up, grab coffee, and settle at the computer. After dealing with email, blogs, and other 'social' activities, I concentrate, writing either new words on the current WIP or work on revisions and edits if I have an assignment from my editor."
When she's not writing, she loves to read across the genre spectrum. She also watches baseball—a lot.
"Like Bill Veeck said," she told me, "= there are only two seasons: Winter and baseball!"
She also included fastpitch softball in that since her Silver's daughter was a gold-level tournament and college player. Unfortunately, an eye injury ended her career. Despite all the gritching Silver admits she did about tournament travel, she really misses watching her daughter play.
When Silver herself was growing up she wanted to be an actress, then a cop, and then a writer.
"I've been all three," she said, "plus a firefighter, and a few other interesting things along the way. When you're older than dirt, you get to do all sorts of things when you grow up."
"What inspired you to write your first book?" I wondered.
"My best friend in the 8th grade, a major crush on Peter Noone (Herman of Herman's Hermits), and an English assignment. Have I really dated myself here? I did mention that I'm older than dirt, right? While that abysmal attempt was technically my first foray into writing novels, later works were more grown up and professional. My first 'real' novel, as yet unsold, came about after the in-the-line-of-duty deaths of three firefighters in my hometown. I still have hopes SUPREME SACRIFICE will find a publishing home somewhere, but taking the advice of every writing professional I ever met, I kept writing and eventually, other works sold."
At the moment, the room Silver calls her office is an ad hoc Florida room that was once a covered patio enclosed on three sides by the garage, kitchen, and master bedroom.
"The previous owner threw up a wall of windows across the open side, added a door, and called it a room," she explained. "I share the space with the door to the storm cellar, way too many files, books, and junk. It's cold in the winter, hot in the summer, but it's mine. Once new phone and cable lines are installed, I'll be moving to a larger space that was once our 'formal' dining room. The walls are now lined with bookshelves to create library space for the family. I'll have a new desk and filing system in there and I'm hoping to keep it a bit more organized than where I am currently."
She admits that the hardest part of writing her book is always POV and deciding whose point of view she should be showing.
"My first draft is always all over the place. I want to know what every character is seeing, feeling, saying, thinking, etc. When I go back after the first draft for edits, I have to decide whose POV is the most important in that scene and revise accordingly. It's hard. Really and truly hard!"
On a personal note, she can't unwrap a Starburst with her tongue, but she can tie a knot in the stem of a cherry with only her tongue. She used to win many a bar bet that way.
She can also tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi and the diet versions.
"Personally, I prefer Diet Coke," she told me. "My main drinking 'vice' is coffee, though. I would imbibe my caffeine through an IV drip, if I could." She laughed. " I'll go through a pot a day all by myself, saving my Diet Coke addiction for dinner and bedtime."
"What's your heritage?" I wondered.
"I once believed I was Irish, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh, based upon my parents' heritage. Even though I was adopted, I looked enough like them to assume as much. I've since discovered I am Chickasaw and Cherokee (Native American), Bohemian, and French. Wow. Talk about opening up a Pandora's box!"
She told me that she hates how she looks in pictures, but added, "Which is truly weird as I used to model and do TV commercials (LONG ago and far away.) I do my very best to hide behind everyone else whenever a camera appears."
She does like her author photo, but told me she probably shouldn't review the fact that her daughter took over 200 frames to get that one picture.
"Being old sucks," she said. "I don't care how much airbrushing is involved!"
You can keep up with Silver on her website