Interview With The Author
By Nickola Muckajev, www.nmna.io
1. Can you point to a certain moment in your life that made you decide you wanted to be a writer? If so, what/when was it?
There isn’t a specific moment in time that I can point to and say “this is when I decided that I wanted to become a writer.” It was more that overtime I began to realize I wanted to become a writer - it all started from reading good books growing up written by great authors such as #BeverlyCleary, #BarbaraPark, and Mary Pope Osborne to name a few. I would probably say that after reading the #HarryPotter books is when I decided I wanted to write my own story, just like #JKRowling did.
2. What sort of stories do you draw your inspiration from? What genres do you favor most and why?
My main inspiration comes from real life. It could be a story that I heard through my mom or read on the internet and I take that and go crazy with it. I want to tell stories that I’m curious about and I got to do that with STORM. It’s funny that you ask me that because my favorite genre is #Romance. I’m a huge #NicholasSparks fan. I think it’s because I’m a very romantic person and I like the gushy-mushy stuff. Fantasy, like #HarryPotter, I love as well because you get pulled into this whole new world and knowing that it wouldn’t ever happen in real life makes it that much more fun to read.
3. What is your creative process like? Do you have any certain rituals you go through before you write?
(Laughs) It all begins from day dreaming and then taking key ideas that really stick out and jotting them down. Then the process of elimination begins. What’s going to work and what’s not? My stories come from ideas, and not from a prompt or an outline. I hate jotting down ideas because I believe that I have a good memory and I’ll remember everything the next day, although that’s far from the truth! I usually have 3 separate layouts for the book, which seems messy, but it works for me. One layout is breaking down the story from beginning to end. The second layout is like a storyboard where I breakdown each chapter and what’s going to happen. It allows me to see the flow of the story. And the third one is mainly for the characters, their relationships with each other and the hurdles they’re going to face, key places they will visit, street names, food etc.
I’ll usually go on #Pinterest and look at interior designs or food before I write. It somehow gets my creative juices flowing. When I have those days when I don’t want to write or just can’t seem to write, I’ll listen to some #motivational videos on #YouTube to get me pumped. It really helps a lot! I also can’t write without #music.
4.With STORM nearing publication, what are your plans? Do you see yourself writing more books in the same universe, or do you feel that you want to try something new and different?
I would really like to take a vacation for a few days just to celebrate this accomplishment. But I don’t see that happening any time soon. My plan for STORM is to get it on the New York’s Best Seller’s list. That’s always been one of my goals regarding this project from the get-go. I’ll be writing 2 more books as STORM is the first of its series. I’ve started on the second book and brainstorming for the third one. Other than that, I’m currently working on writing a script for the big screen which will also be in a novel format and it’s in a total different genre. So, it’s fun and exciting and definitely different to not write in the same universe as I have in the past.
5. How has your background/upbringing/culture influenced the nature of your work? Do you see yourself in your characters, or do you prefer to write them up as new beings?
I would say practicing #Sikhism has really influenced this book specifically because it takes a look at #reincarnation, which is something we heavily believe in. There is violence in the first book and it’s not something that I’ve encountered in my own life, but I know that there are women who are in marriages that have encountered violence. And it’s something that I wanted to bring to light because every person’s story is different. Every person makes decisions based on the circumstances and the culture which they come from. Women are brought up to keep quiet and not speak up or from previous generations men have been abusive to the mothers which daughters see as maybe acceptable? It’s not what I focus on but I did want to include that into the story because it will resonate with a lot of domestic violence victims.
I do see myself in some of the characters, more of the soft spoken ones I would say. It’s easier to write characters when you can take your own personality traits and give it to them - whereas creating a whole character from scratch, not knowing his likes, his hot buttons, it’s tricky but fun at the same time because it allows me to explore more.
6. Why should readers pick up STORM? What are you offering that no one else is?
STORM will keep you guessing and the plot twists are like of Scandal, the TV show. If you’re a fan of #Scandal, then you’ll be a fan of #STORM. We’re looking at a book that explores two different lifetimes with the same people, who are reincarnations of their past selves. It makes you question your own life and the things that have happened in your past that might be the result of things you don’t remember. I always like to think, when I don’t have an answer for something that went wrong in my life or got the shorter end of the stick, I’m paying for past mistakes that I don’t remember.
7. Do you see yourself sticking to books, or do you plan to write in other mediums as well?
I’m dipping my toes into scriptwriting. It’s how this book started off but it’s a lot harder to not write in detail as scripts entail as little description as possible. I'm currently working on a TV Spec and a script for a movie.