So you can read my books

Friday, May 25, 2018

ONCE in Meilori's with fae expert Ronel Janse van Vuuren

At Meilori's ...

that haunted jazz club that is never too far from myth, mystery, and ever-lurking faes.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren sat across from me at my rune-etched table.

The fog gathered near.  
The jazz murmured low in the shadows.  
The torches beckoned to all who wander lost in the dark of their soul.

 I must have spoken that thought aloud, for Ronel said low, "How do you know they are so lost?"
I smiled sadly, "On such a night, if they could be home, they'd already be there." 
She returned my smile.  "Just so.  Just so."

I tapped her book.

"Damsels in distress, curses, echoes of faerie tales and tragic love affairs swirl together in sixteen stories found in a dragon’s lair by a curious half-fae.

This is quite a book."

 "Nightmare," I whispered.  "That is most often the stuff of faerie all right."

The ghost of Mark Twain suddenly sat down beside me, giving Ronel a bit of a start.

"Son, you're going about this interview all wrong.  Let me show you how it's done."

He winked at a recovered Ronel.

"Whenever you give an interviewer a fact give him another fact that will contradict it. 

Then he’ll go away with a jumble that he can’t use at all."

"Thanks loads, Mark," I grumbled.

"No bother at all.  In fact, I'll do the whole blamed interview for you 'cause I know your questions will be plumb anemic."

He turned to an openly amused Ronel.

"What is the first book to make you cry, Little Lady?"

 "I think it was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. We’re talking the late 90's here and a teen me."

Mark frowned, as since reading 50 Shades of Grey, he had sworn off modern novels.

"Does writing energize or exhaust you or both?"
"A bit of both. A shiny new story leaves me energized and ready to write the whole thing in a weekend.

(I’ve done that)

Rewrites and edits leave me mentally and
emotionally drained.

(who wants to cut characters and scenes?)"

 Mark nodded sagely and asked, "What is your Kryptonite?"

"Insecurity. But that’s why I joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group – 

we meet once a month (online) and share our highs and lows. 

I do have a new motto:

Warrior Up

I wrote about it for April’s IWSG."

Mark cupped his chin.

"Do you think someone could be a writer if  she does not feel emotions strongly?"

"It depends on your chosen genre and the type of writer you are. 

If you expect readers to feel everything your
characters do, want to make a lasting impression, 

and find interesting plot twists, I think it’s important to feel your character’s emotions deeply."

Mark smiled at that.

"What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?  Me, I went bankrupt trying to invent a new kind of typewriter!"

"Does buying books count? He-he. 

Hiring an editor. I learned so much from her feedback. I believe my writing is better for it."

Mark wrinkled his lips thinking of his next question.

"I dislike Jane Austen so much, I have to fight from digging up her grave and beating her over the skull with her own shin bone!

What writer did you at first dislike but grew into?"

"Suzanne Collins. With a lot of others it is the other way around."
Mark snorted at that.

"I was a cub reporter at sixteen.  When did you learn that words had power?"

"I was maybe four or five when a boy in my class said “voetsek” to one of the maids. 

Her expression… 

The hurt I saw inflicted by one word left a lasting impression. 

I had to ask my parents what it meant. 

What you have to understand is that the word is an offensive one, of rejection in my country – 

though I didn’t know it at the time.

It has roots in our unsavoury political past and
still has sway in racial issues."

Mark sighed as he recalled his own childhood.

"What is the most difficult thing about writing about the other sex?"

"Figuring out how to portray emotions."

Mark chuckled,  

"I always seemed to write on for too long.  I had to get others to prune my works.

What did you edit out of your work?"

"A story that just didn’t work at the time. 
There was something missing. 

I rewrote it and it was accepted for the fourth Clarion Call anthology “FairyTale Riot!” this month."

Mark tapped her book on the table.

"What was the hardest scene to write?"

"Mae’s reaction to her breakup and how she worked
through it to become the Faery Queen I wrote about in other books. It was very emotionally draining."

I couldn't let Mark have all the fun, so I jumped in with a question.

"Do you ever Google yourself?"

"Of course! You need to know what pops up when
someone searches for you or your books.

 If it’s something unsavoury, you have to address the problem immediately – 

before it hurts your author brand."

Ronel smiled wide. "Thanks for having me, Roland."

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