Today's Darklight On is with Adina West. Welcome, Adina!
How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
What's not to love? I think the attraction for me is the freedom to let your imagination have free reign. I find that empowering - though it can be scary at times having that much control over a world. Unlike the real world we live in, a fictional world can be a place where anything goes. As to what attracted me to the genre...well, if I say the dark brooding heroes am I going to totally give the game away?
Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
I've been writing for many years, and like many, I have a few abandoned projects and never-to-be-published manuscripts hidden away on my hard drive. But my road to publication really started when I started taking myself seriously - and that was when I started writing Dark Child. I made a commitment to myself that I would finish the manuscript, and edit it properly, and then send it on submission to agents. And for the first time, I did that. Writing the manuscript took a year, and then finding an agent another six months. Then it was another year and a half before Dark Child sold. That was a very exciting day for me!
Your debut release will be released with Momentum Books. Can you tell us about ‘Dark Child’?
Dark Child will be released serially over several months. Here's the teaser for the first episode, due out February 2013.
Pathology technician Kat Chanter isn’t looking for trouble. On a good day, the most exciting thing in her life is the iridescent violet nail varnish on her housemate Tiffany’s manicured fingers. But lately, Kat’s been craving raw meat, and her dreams – always weird – are getting so realistic it’s scary. When she visits a psychic, she's told her life is about to change forever. Kat isn't so sure change is a part of her plan, but a blood test at work raises more questions about her unique heritage she has no idea how to answer, so when a fabulous job offer comes her way – one that will give her the chance to research others just like her - she's tempted to say yes and make the move to New York.
Will her dream job bring answers to all her questions…or will it lead her into more trouble than she could ever imagine?
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
Yep, I'm an in-betweener. When I start writing I have a rough outline and an end point in mind, but leave the rest fluid. Too much outlining spoils the magic for me.
Do have a favourite of your characters?
Of course I do. I'm far more fond than I should be of Aleksei, my vampire-shifter from Dark Child. But he's totally unworthy of my high regard for him. What is it about bad boys like Alek?
What are you currently working on?
I have a couple of things happening concurrently at the moment. I'm about to start on final copy edits for Dark Child. I'm working on a pitch for a television series. And the sequel to Dark Child is also rattling around my brain whenever I have a spare minute.
What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
I love those moments when inspiration takes over and my hands just fly across the keyboard as the characters and scene come to life. Of course, that doesn't happen all the time, and never when you want it to!
What can we expect from Adina West in the future?
I do hope to surprise people once in a while - so perhaps you should expect the unexpected? I think most of the projects I have planned for the future, though, will share a common thread. They'll be character driven narratives. And they'll have a strong element of romance. I'm not sure whether I can give away any more than that!
Who are your favourite authors?
I have very eclectic reading tastes, so for romance, one of my first and enduring favourites is Georgette Heyer. I think of her as being the Tolkein of historical romance. For paranormal romance I'm a big fan of Nalini Singh. For something more literary I love Barbara Kingsolver. And among the classics Jane Austen remains a perennial favourite!
What are you currently reading?
Right now I'm halfway through Catching Fire, the second book of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy. I realise I'm a bit behind with my reading as most of the world has already read this series.
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I watch both Vampire Diaries and True Blood - and back in the day I was also a fan of Joss Whedon's shows, Buffy and Angel. They're all very different, though good looking vampire males are a common theme...
Do you have advice for emerging writers?
I think the single most important skill you'll need to develop is the ability to accept constructive criticism. This is what separates the professionals from the rest. Criticism and the ability to respond to it in a useful way is an essential part of the editing process every writer goes through as their book is prepared for publication, so if you find yourself deeply offended every time you get feedback on your work, you might need to work on growing a thicker skin. That said, you also need to trust in your instincts and in your own 'voice'. It's a constant balancing act.
Also check out this great article in the Sydney Morning Herald about her.