Welcome to April’s Featured Blog, something I’ll be posting here on Lit and Scribbles most of the month to introduce all of you to perhaps some new future friends and get to know a little more about your blogging community.
Let’s get to chatting with Gloria Weber, author of GASLIGHT DEMONS and contributor to THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE as well as several other stories (check out the list here). She also writes on the blog Gloria Weber and is a big participant in Row80. Tell us who you are Gloria!
GW: I live in Ohio with my husband, son, and daughter. My family has three dogs, all of which were adopted as adults. I’ve been writing for publication since March 2006. Morbidgames Publishing released my novel GASLIGHT DEMONS in 2009.
J: When did you first start blogging and what is your blog about?
GW: Originally? No clue. I think when I first tried my hand at blogging and covering my writing life it was through MySpace… You know, back in the square wheel days when it was popular. However, while I can’t figure out the original, I know when my current blog found roots: August 2011.
As for what my blog is about, I can’t rightly say there’s a solid concept. About 80% is things I can (after a one hour presentation, three flow charts, use of a laser pointer, and a demonstration involving a toaster oven) vaguely link to writing and the writer life. The other 20% is- OH! SHINY! Me likey. Let me show you the pretty.
J: Which of your posts was the most fun to write and why?
GW: After my publishers release my work, I like to do a post on what inspired the story. These, obviously, don’t happen that often. But, I like letting people peek into my brain. The most recent one was written last year, about my story ETERNAL SERVICE.
GW: My last two published works have been Steampunk. However, that’s not the genre I feel most at home in. I’m definitely a Fantasy kind of gal. As for target audience age, I don’t have a preferred one.
J: Protagonist excluded, which of your characters is your favorite?
GW: Let’s cover this, first: I suck at favorites. I was a junior in high school when I finally picked my favorite color. So, ask me this on any other day and it might change.
Today’s answer? The dog in my flash fiction piece ONE WINTER DAY. The piece is based on the painting THE HUNTERS IN THE SNOW and it was the dogs in that picture that drew my attention first. He was the reason I wrote it, even though he wasn’t the main character.
J: Who are your favorite authors?
GW: There’s that word again… Let’s just say, if I see any of the following author’s names, I always pick up the book and check the blurb: J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Terry Brooks, Amanda Quick (or her other pen name: Jayne Castle), and Ray Bradbury.
J: What are the last three books you read, and would you recommend them?
GW: #1-ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY by Heather Webber. I found the main character too goody-goody and upstanding for my tastes (I like a girl willing to break rules), so I couldn’t connect with her. Do not recommend (due to personal tastes). #2-THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Ray Bradbury. Did you see the previous question? Obviously, I recommend it, because he is an author who always delivers for me. #3-TITHE by Holly Black. From the reviews I read, you either really love this book or hate it. I’m the latter, but for some reason (maybe a sick mad scientist streak) I’d recommend it (because I’d want to see what side of the fence you sit on).
J: Do you listen to music while you write?
GW: Come to my blog on Mondays! I am all about writing music. In other words, the answer is an overwhelming “YES!” I’m a junkie for Japanese rock and pop music and for Korean pop and rock. However, when I am editing, any hint of a human voice messes me up, so I go with instrumental music. For years my editing music has been the SAMURAI CHAMPLOO soundtrack (that’s from an anime).
J: Aside from writing, what are your favorite things to do?
GW: I have a deep love of Japanese and Korean entertainment. You can often find me devouring their many forms (animes, mangas, dramas, music variety shows, and so on). I like to draw, though I’m not pro-artist. I also am a gamer. I like video games like THE SIMS franchise, DANCE CENTRAL 2, and the dating simulation based on Jane Austen’s works MATCHES AND MATRIMONY. But my gamer status doesn’t end there, because I’m also a pen and paper gamer, with SAVAGE WORLDS being the system I’m currently liking the most.
J: If you could be granted one superpower, which would it be?
GW: This is harder than picking a favorite. Can I be like Rogue? Suck life force away, but if I do it to another super I get their powers? That way I just have to “borrow” from others and I’m not limited to just one.
J: Where’s the farthest away from home you’ve traveled?
GW: I’m guessing this would be my trips from New Jersey to Puerto Rico as a kid. I went there a lot for family reasons. (No, I’m not Puerto Rican… I’m first generation Cuban-American.)
J: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known about writing earlier?
GW: That I liked it so much. For years I refused to write, because someone I was unhappy with encouraged me to pursue it. I hurt myself rather than them. Talk about stupid, right?
J: What advice would you give to new writers getting started on their first story?
GW: Finish it. Don’t let anything stop you. Don’t get in an endless cycle of restarting something you never finish. Don’t abandon it. The act of finishing it is a lesson. You learn more from a finished product than a blank page or words that go nowhere. For the love of giant robots, finish it.
I love Gloria’s Music Mondays. Always glad to hear about new artists, and I have a fondness for all things Asian (of which the music usually is). I agree with you, Gloria, about finishing things—especially if the writer is the type to start and abandon many things. It’s good to push through and just get it done. Rewrites and edits are for making the story shine.
All right people! Questions for Gloria? Have you read any of the books she mentioned? Do you agree with her advice? Share any of her same favorite authors? Let Gloria know below.