ZA-Mostly it was because those stories are from such different genres/ I wouldn’t necessarily have found one place for everything. Plus/ I do like the idea of playing to different types of audiences. My work for Wicked East Press has been geared more towards horror and anthology lovers/ my story with Rebel Ink Press is about an astral/telepathic erotic encounter/ and my stories with No Boundaries Press are contemporary pieces that don’t quite fit into a certain mold. I like having variety in my writing and I think it’s a good thing that different sorts of people can discover me in different ways.
MP-You say you like to work through emotions in books. Do your characters stay focused on one problem or do they try to tackle multiple problems?
ZA-It depends/ honestly. I think a lot of my stories so far have one or two major themes or problems within each work/ but the emotions involved are at various levels and nuances – at least I hope that’s the case. In The Inheritance the character of Kaylee isn’t just watching her father die; she has to work through her mixed feelings on how he treated her as a child/ plus she really wants to prove herself to him and get one up on him but it’s all tangled together with guilt and love at the same time. In my story Monster the protagonist Vivien is dealing with growing older and remembering how Halloween used to be/ which feeds into the general theme of how kids have become more desensitized the more modern and politically correct the world tries to get. Power Chord is more straight forward; Drake acts mainly out of boredom and his daydreams suddenly give him a run for his money and turn into something that he doesn’t expect. There’s hints of other things going on: he’s gone through a process of maturing/ he’s burnt out/ and his interests and turn-ons might be a gateway for someone else to enter into his world/ but it’s much more plot-driven as opposed to a release I have in July that deals with coming of age/ small town repression/ religious views/ romantic awakening…there’s a lot going on in that one in a small amount of time. I find that a lot of my characters are trying to get comfortable with themselves but to do that they have to accept or go through a certain amount of discomfort/ first.
I do believe that emotions aren’t one level. There are a lot of little things that make up real love: for all the romantic or kind moments there’s irritation and frustration there/ too. Growing older brings confidence as well as fear. A lot of times a character or person’s views on the world around them actually give a big hint as to how they feel about themselves/ and those are the things I like to play with/ especially if it takes the plot in an unexpected direction or brings to light things that may not always be directly talked about.
MP-How important is music in storytelling?
ZA-I think it’s very important. Stories have their own rhythms/ crescendos/ and decrescendos just like music and really good songs tell their own abbreviated stories. The only difference is that songs work with moments and are usually more specific in a faster amount of time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song like Pour Some Sugar on Me or something more narrative like Free Falling; there are stories going on in both/ both are telling their own sort of tale. Everyone relates to some sort of music and I personally love it when songs are mentioned or even alluded to in stories. In The Haunting of Hill House the character of Eleanor is obsessed with this old song that borrows from Shakespeare – a love song – but it’s used to show her growing madness and obsession and it makes the whole story so much creepier. In film a really good soundtrack helps propel the script along and fill in the blanks/ especially during montages. For me/ music and storytelling go hand in hand.
MP-How have you found marketing?
ZA-I’m still getting used to it. I knew I was going to have to be very forward-momentum about it/ and I am/ but it’s definitely something that gets easier the more you do it. I always feel like I’m falling behind or not doing enough but then I realize that I haven’t been at it that long and need to just keep taking things one step at a time. One thing I really love about marketing/ though/ is the chance to talk to other authors/ bloggers/ readers and the like. Getting to meet so many people and get their opinions on things is fabulous. I’m headstrong about my opinions/ but I’m always open to being proven wrong if it’s going to help me grow. I don’t know what I was expecting but I was surprised that there are a lot of people who are willing to help promote me or give me ideas and the like/ and in turn that gives me opportunities to help them or pass their names on to others. Plus/ it’s just great to be able to talk and knock around ideas or see how others interpret what I’m doing; I love that.
MP-What’s your favorite genre?
ZA-Oh/ man – I love so many different genres; it’s so hard to choose! I do have a weakness for the paranormal so I tend to really like horror and dark fantasy/ as well as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. And I love a good historic romance/ especially if it’s western.
Drake has gotten used to having things his way – he makes the decisions whether it be recording his music, on the road while touring, or in bed. He may be somewhat older than when he first started, but he can still pack venues and still has fans at his mercy. But while professional success brings about one type of satisfaction, there’s a certain type that he just can’t seem to reach one dull night after a show. He doesn’t party hard anymore – he knows better – but that doesn’t mean he can’t indulge in a dirty fantasy all his own. What would it be like to have ultimate power, to be able to shed the confines of his body and sneak up on the unsuspecting by way of astral travel? What would it be like to seduce a woman when she can’t see him, can only feel him when he wants her to? And what happens when he’s not the only one who appreciates good music and is turned on by the power of control?
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