Meet R.L.Sloan the blissful author of Embellish, a delightly fantasy novel about a young girl with a gloomy past and a future full of vampires, voodoo, and passion.
I was lucky enough to catch R.L. for a moment to get a quick interview with her, and here's what came of it -
Heather: To start off, tell us a little bit about your background:
R.L.: Hello, I'm R. L. Sloan, author of the paranormal vampire romance novel Embellish. I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor, Anger Resolution therapist, a wife, a mom, and Oatmeal and Raisin cookie monster.
Heather: How long have you been writing?
R.L.: I've been off and on over the years writing skits. Within the last year, I recently sat down and committed myself to finishing Embellish.
Heather: what started you writing for publication?
R.L.: As humans, we are usually motivated after there is some life altering event in our lives. That life altering event for me was the passing of my father. So I decided to find something that would keep me busy and focused. I was able to complete my novel, and I feel that it would have been something my dad would have been proud of.
Heather: Do you have a set time when you write, or just whenever you get the urge?
R.L.:Whenever the urge hits me, I will sit down and write. If that urge hits me when I'm away from my computer, I have a handy little purse-sized notebook to jot down thoughts as I go through the day.
Heather: Who is your favorite author?
R.L.: One of my favorite authors is P. C. Cast. I like the way she keeps all of her characters real. It makes you think you actually know someone like them.
Heather: Have you ever had writer's block, and if so how do you get rid of it?
R.L.: I have experienced writers block, but luckily it has never lasted over a week. When this happens, I try to give myself some kind of adventure or experience that would shake me up, like riding a roller coaster, meditating, or exercising, or watching a program in a foreign language and imagining what the characters are saying.
Heather: What do you recommend to aspiring authors?
R.L.: I would recommend to aspiring authors to live their life to the fullest and write about any and everything that they can, good or bad.
Heather: How do you invent your characters?
R.L.: I invent characters that are the opposite of what people expect for them to be. In other words, if a character is good then he or she will be good in everything they do or say. If the character is bad, he or she will be bad or evil to the extreme without remorse. For good characters, I try to give them characteristics that would make them worthy of Heaven. For bad characters I give them traits or actions that would send them straight to Hell.
Heather: I know a few authors who keep records (almost like police records) of height, weight, background, etc. of their characters, do you keep tabs on your cahracters, and if so, what do you usually make note of?
R.L.: I keep mental tabs on my characters yes. The things I usually make note of are their physical and mental health. If they are criminals they usually stick to their criminal elements of their personalities.
Heather: Some authors say that they feel as though his or her characters are real, do you feel this way, and what do you think about this?
R.L.: Indeed I do feel my characters are real. In fact, before I sit down to write I will tell my husband, "Well honey, it's time to go and visit with Solis and Nacio (Heroine and Vampire in Embellish) or with the Treemounts (villains). Once I have a "mental visit" with them, then I'm able to continue writing the story.
Heather: Do you have anything in the works?
R.L: I'm currently working on Embellish II: Justice Served. This story picks up right where readers left off. People that have read Embellish keep prompting me to hurry up and finish. They want to read the galley copy when it's ready.
A portion of Embellish was done as a stage production and it was awesome. Several actors enjoyed portraying the characters on stage.
Heather: What would you say is the neatest thing you know?
R.L.: The neatest thing I know is that when you fall down, the only way you can go is up. When you know this, it helps you stay focused and keep your eye on what's important.
Heather: What was your favorite part about writing your book?
R.L: The favorite part of writing Embellish was giving the readers twists and turns in a plot that they totally did not expect. I also enjoyed creating characters that were diverse, had accents, and each had some special aspect to bring to the text.
Heather: Has music ever inspired your writing?
R.L.: Yes indeed! Music has inspired my writing! I am a HUGE Smooth Jazz fan. I love Boney James (Jazz Saxophonist). During book signings my theme music is his song "The Total Experience". If I ever get a chance to meet him, I want him to play it for me at a book signing, so if you know him tell him I said whenever he can get to San Antonio, Texas I'll be the first in line with that request.
Heather: Do you like to write in complete silence or does it have to be noisy?
R.L.: I can write anywhere as long as no one is asking me questions, "Where are my socks? Have you seen my glasses? What are we eating? Can I go skating? What's wrong with your hair? Can you come and pick me up?" That sort of thing.
Heather: What made you put your characters in the setting that you did?
R.L.: I put my characters in San Antonio, Texas because it is truly a romantic city. Anyone can fall in love or have an intimate moment along the San Antonio Riverwalk. The city truly holds a lot of our country's history, and for those that have come here, they know exactly what I mean.
Heather: Keyboard or pen?
R.L.: I absolutely have to have a keyboard. There is no way I could write a book with my "Chicken Scrawl" and then expect for someone to decipher it. No way.
Heather: What do you think is the hardest part about being an author?
R.L.: The hardest thing about being an author is not knowing whether or not your fans will like everything you write. It's a chance you have to take as an author.
Heather: What do you usually do while writing?
R.L.: If I'm listening to music when I write and my favorite song is playing I usually break out in a dance during the chorus of the song.
Heather: What were the circumstances surrounding your decisions to become an author?
R.L.: I mentioned earlier, my father passed away, but also I really wanted to see if I could actually write a book. After I accomplished this goal, I looked back and thought "Okay, I realize not everyone can make the commitment to do this." Publishing a novel gives me a whole new respect for authors.
Heather: Some people say that you need to live life before you write a book, do you think that it’s experience that writes a book or imagination?
R.L.: I truly believe experience is the foundation for your imagination to build up on for you to write a book. I know it works like that for me.
I like the colors of: Diamonds
The sky is most beautiful when it’s: Dark
My favorite feature of a computer is: Shift
I think inventors should invent a/an: Robot
Thing I love most in the world is: Freedom
Things I hate most in the world is: Racism
My favorite type of electronic device is: MP3
My favorite thing that has been available before the year 1900: Soap
My favorite thing that has been available since the year 1960: Plumbing
The oddest thing you have ever written on (hand, wall, etc.) is: Leg
If you would like to read more about R.L.Sloan or check out Embellish you can head on over to Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Embellish-R-L-Sloan/dp/1432740334 - R.L. is also on Facebook and Myspace!