Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview with Yvonne Navarro

Yvonne Navarro is the author of novels AfterAge, Mirror Me, DeadTimes, deadrush, That's Not My Name, Final Impact, Red Shadows, Highborn (Dark Redemption Series Book One) and several media tie-in novels. You can find out more about Yvonne at her website.

What drew you to the horror genre?

I really can't say.  I know that's not much of an answer, but for as long as I can remember, I've loved watching scary movies and reading scary stories.  Maybe it's the thrill, that rush of adrenaline in a really good story when
you "feel" for the character.

What scares you?

People.  I'm not kidding.  Do I really think a vampire's going to scratch at my window, or a zombie's going to leap from the shadows at the side of my garage?  No.  Do I lock my car door when I get in it or check to see who's at the door before I answer it?  You bet.  Sadly, the things that people do to people are far, far worse than anything I could ever invent in a story.  That stuff I can read in the papers or listen to on the news every day.

Why do you think there are fewer women writing horror than men?

That's an interesting question, and another one I'm not sure I can answer.  Perhaps it's just a matter of taste, society and culture.  As time passes, we're getting away from the notion that girls should only wear pink bows and ribbons and watch love stories, and more into the realm (at least I hope so) of girls should follow their own tastes.  I was lucky in that my Mom liked pink, boys and love stories, but she also liked blue jeans and Creature Features on Friday nights.  In this day and age, I really believe that women write what they want.  If I've ever had it held against me that I'm a women as to getting my submission read, no one's ever had the ****s to admit it.  Ha ha.

Who are some women horror authors that you admire?

Elizabeth Massie, Sephera Giron, Maria Alexander, Maxine O'Callahan, others I can't think of right now.  Alas, I don't have a statistical brain and I'm just not prone to remember names.

What is your advice to aspiring women horror writers?

Don't write like a woman.  Don't write like a man.  Write like a writer.  Do the best job you can, write a lot.  Let your stuff sit for a week, then read it out loud before you send it somewhere.

What are your favourite horror novels?

They Thirst by Robert McCammon
The Keep by F. Paul Wilson
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Dark Visions by Maxine O'Callahan

There are a bunch of others, but again, that non-statistical brain thwarts

What is your favourite novel you’ve written and your favourite character
you’ve created? Why?

That's a hard one, like choosing one child as your favorite over another.  It's a toss-up between my first novel, AfterAge, and Final Impact.  The reason is the same: I felt like the characters were really alive, not only to me, but to everyone.  Of course, I strive for that in every book I write.  I've never considered that one of my characters was a specific favorite, but the first character that always comes to mind is Simon Chanowitz from Final Impact.  He was a horribly abused child and a mind reader, and he struggled mightily with his gift through two books (Final Impact and Red Shadows). 

Who are your favourite authors? Who influenced you the most?

Well, see the above list for favorite authors and novels.  Robert McCammon influenced me the most, not only by being a role model and an excellent writer, but by being supportive to me when I was in the absolute baby-stages of my career.  He rocks.

You have written novelizations of television shows and films. How are media tie-in novels different to write than regular fiction? Which do you prefer?

In a media tie-in novel, such as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer books, you're writing in someone else's world and you have to follow their rules.  You can create and add things, but only to a point.  The bigger the series, the more you have to consider the rulebook, whether it's unwritten or not, what others have written in their books, and what's going on in the television series or movies.  It can get immensely complicated, such as in the Star Wars books.  In a movie tie-in, you might try to add some backstory or more depth to the characters, but you're still under someone else's rules.  I prefer (and I think most authors agree with me) to write my own novels, where I create everything and can write absolutely what I want.

Can you tell us about your most recent novel, Highborn?

Highborn is the story of a fallen angel, a demon, who wants to reverse her choice and find forgiveness so that she can revert to what she started as-- a true angel.  She escapes from Hell (and her lover, Lucifer, doesn't take that very well and sends Hunters after her) and comes to Earth, trying to find a way to redemption.  On Earth she must learn to live among the humans she tormented for eons and also empathize with them because they are her only way to the forgiveness she seeks.  Highborn is part of the Dark Redemption Series, and book 2, Concrete Savior, comes out in June 2011.

Do you own an e-reader? How do you think e-readers are changing the publishing industry? Do you plan on making your older novels available as e-books?

I don't own an e-reader I already spend 12 to 16 hours a day (I am not kidding) staring at a computer screen, plus I have a pile of nearly 200 books that are waiting to be read.  I have very little time to read, but I can't stop buying them.  I'm old-fashioned in that I like the look, feel and smell of books.  I think that if I had a virtual stack of 200 unread books, I would just forget about them-- out of sight, out of mind-- and never get the chance to read most of them because they'd be overrun by new stuff all the time.  Others like e-readers a lot, and that's great-- good for them. I'm already moving toward that.  AfterAge is already available in a variety of electronic formats from Crossroads Press.

What do you hope readers get out of your work?

The same thing I get out of a really good book (and I'm REALLY picky): a story that literally makes you forget you're reading, so much so that you don't even remember you're turning the page and everything around you just kind of fades out as the story plays itself out in your mind.

What are you currently working on?

I'm kind of jumping around from idea to idea right now.  I have a series idea that I keep changing around (I think I'm in its third version right now) and it's a lot of fun.  I have a number of things "waiting to be written," including a full outline and 60 pages written on a thriller.   So many ideas, so little me!          

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