Friday, May 24, 2013

Talking with Vijaya Schartz

Welcome to Love Romances and More reviews Vijaya Schartz.

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
LADY OF LUXEMBOURG, Book 4 in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series, just came out this spring. A few days ago, I turned in my latest BOREALIS novella, AKIRA'S CHOICE, to be published by Desert Breeze on September 1, 2013. It's part of a publisher series, set on a decrepit space station at the fringe of conquered space, in the 2600s. It's a fun theme. I wrote a previous novella for this series, titled BLACK JAGUAR. And I plan to write more in the future. These are fun to write. The universe is already defined. They are sweet romances, no love scenes, but lots of action and adventure. I also include cats in most of my novels, small cats, bit cats, alien monster cats… Like on the covers of my Chronicles of Kassouk series.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A tropical beach, with my laptop and my kindle, listening to the trade winds and the surf, and watching the palm trees sway to the sound of a Ukulele. Hawaii is my favorite place on earth. I lived there once for a few years and now live in Arizona. I love the heat, but I miss the Pacific Ocean, I miss the waves, I miss surfing. A psychic once told me I had sand in my shoes, and I would return to live on the beach someday. I believe it.

Could you tell us a couple of favorite books that inspired you to write?
As a child in France, I devoured the classics from Balzac to Victor Hugo (Les Misérables). Then I read a lot of Epic Fantasy and Women's Fiction, and discovered science fiction. I loved it. I missed the deep emotional connection of falling in love, though. And the ending wasn't always happy. I cannot stand depressing endings. It makes me want to throw the book across the room (I restrain myself with my kindle, though).
Coming to America, I quickly became an avid fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ann McCaffrey, Diana Gabaldon. I like the heroes to get their rewards at the end. That's why I write the books I want to read. If you don't find the perfect book you'd love to read, write it.

Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
They are all difficult to write. It's like giving birth. The process is painful, but the results are so rewarding. Ashes for the Elephant God was the book of my heart, and it came naturally to me. It's a reincarnation love story that stemmed from my extended stay in India… my tribute to coming of age, and to a culture I fell in love with. It was my fourth finished novel, and the first to get published in 2000. But I cannot say it was easy to write. Good writing is never easy.

If your muses were to talk behind your back, what secrets would they tell?
They'd say I do a happy dance around my office every time I get a five-star review or one of my books is nominated or is a finalist, or wins an award. They'd also say I'm a workaholic, I spend too much time in research, especially when writing historical novels. They'd say I fall in love with my characters and don't want to let them go when the book is over. They'd say I'm a perfectionist. I would rewrite all my books all over again if my publishers would let me. Fortunately, they have the good sense to tell me when the book is ready. Otherwise, I would keep rewriting until my fingers fell off, and I wouldn't have over twenty titles published.

Are your characters able to love, or do they need to be taught?

Neither. They usually are not ready when loves crosses their path. No one really is when it comes to the real thing. But deep inside, they have this need for a relationship, even though they may not be aware of it. I make it difficult for them to take the leap of faith, to deserve their happy ever after. Besides a strong plot, I give my characters strong internal conflicts. Damned if they do, and damned if they don't. It makes the rewards so much better in the end.

What can readers expect next from you?

More action, adventure, medieval novels, and science fiction, all including lots of romance, of course. I'm starting on CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, Book 5 in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy romance series. It should be out from Books We Love this winter. Then I have to write another book in the Chronicles of Kassouk sci-fi romance series, tentatively titled SNOW CHEETAH, to be published in November 2014. Yes, I thought this series was over, but guess what? It still wants another story. Then, probably another Borealis novella not titled yet. And in between, more books in the Curse of the Lost Isle series. I love deadlines. They keep me writing when it would be so easy to take the day off. I haven't taken a break from writing since my last trip to France in 2005, to visit my family and do some research in Europe. You didn't really think I would take a true vacation did you?

CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE SERIES - what it's about:
From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret, stirring passions in their wake as they fight the Viking hordes, send the first knights to the Holy Land, give birth to kings and emperors... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and will burn at the stake. 5 stars on Amazon "Edgy Medieval!"
Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
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gail roughton branan said...

Oddly enough, that's almost exactly why I started writing. I'd run out of books I wanted to read. So I wrote one! (Which turned out to be pretty addictive, actually...)

gail roughton branan said...

That's almost exactly why I started writing! I'd run out of books I wanted to read. (Which out to be pretty dang addictive, actually....)

Rita Karnopp said...

Super interview ... great books! You never cease to amaze, Vijaya! Rita

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

Thanks for the great comments, girls. I bet many writers go through the same thing. Wishing you the very best in your own careers.