Guys, a couple of days ago I had the pleasure to be interviewed by this great magazine, NFreads. It’s a great magazine with one drawback: there are so many interesting articles once you start reading around, you’ll get stuck in it! So be careful!
Here’s how the interview went (for those of you who don’t know much about me, it’s a pretty good sum-up), but take a look at it, it’s seriously interesting.
Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Viviana MacKade, hailing from South Florida by way of England and, before it, Italy. I write Romantic Contemporary, Suspense and Fantasy.
How do you deal with creative block?
I’ve always been great at pushing through. If a scene gave me trouble, if words ran slow, I’d simply jump over all that and start writing from after that scene. Then I started this book, a fantasy story. I wrote all if it, left bits and pieces to fill in… and I can’t pull myself to go there and finish it! It got so bad that I started another book, the one I’m currently writing, just to get over it…
So, to answer the question, I’d say I’m not so great when a real, big, bad block comes my way.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not being true to the characters. They ask for their story, not your version of it. If you don’t listen it’ll show, somehow there will be this lingering feeling of fakeness throughout the book that might be subtle, but ruins everything.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Depending on how bad the review/feedback was, I’d say it has a huge impact. You have to learn how to shake it off, a talent that, sadly, only comes from time. People don’t realize how hurtful words are, no matter if they don’t tell you on your face (and they would not use the same language if they were talking to you face to face but apparently, when it’s online, everything and any level of rudeness and cruelty is acceptable).
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I serve my readers by giving them, or trying to give them, a story they can enjoy. Meaning, a well-crafted story with a solid plot and real characters. But as far as what that plot is, or who the characters are, then that’s not on me – or on the reader. It’s the story and its characters. I can tell it, write it in the best way I can, but it doesn’t serve me. And while I hope people will embrace and enjoy those stories, I don’t write for them. I’d probably be richer if I did, actually.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
A big role. It’s hard, at least for me, to write when I’m upset or in the heat of some change (in work, home, or health). I do it anyway, but I have to pay a lot of attention on what goes on paper, make sure it’s still their story and their emotions and mine didn’t trickle in.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
M&Ms. Solve and help a lot.
What are your plans for future books?
I’m writing a fantasy, and I hope to be done by summer. Then I’ll look for a pub house for it all the while trying to see what was wrong with the other fantasy, the one stalling.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I guess being from a different country (Italy) always makes me a bit different. I’m not talking only about how I refuse to consider chicken alfredo a real thing, but also in my writing. The way I build sentences, or even the choice of words, might be slightly different. Depending on who you talk with, it makes my writing unexpected and different or not good.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Ah, I have so many…
I dislike phone calls because they always barge into whatever I’m doing and I can’t ignore them. I just can’t.
Unmade beds–what are we, animals that sleep in a dog basket? The bed needs to be redone daily, and very well. In fact, I’m the only one who can make an acceptable bed for me to sleep in.
AC set any lower than 77. It makes my nose drip and my eyes water. If I wanted to be cold, I’d go live in the artic.
Crowds. Just no.
Salads. I hate when all those different vegetables, all so tasty that deserves their own space, mix together.
I really could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop here because I already come off as grumpy. Which I totally am.