Monday, August 26, 2013

Trial by Fire by Margarita Gakis‏

Margarita loves the art, creativity and romanticism of storytelling. Sometimes, however, the act of putting pen to paper proves challenging, elusive. She develops genuine, relatable characters which grow in the hearts of her readers. From that foundation, the stories flourish into a warm friend.

She enjoys pursuits which blur the lines between the analytical and creative sides of her brain. This includes her day job in electronic data management, where she uses her creativity to solve logical problems, and also her lessons learning to play the cello, where she finds beauty in the structure of music and the instrument. She believes there is a place for both logic and imagination to work together. When they do, the results are magical.

Margarita has a special spot in her heart for dogs and lives with three of them. It can be a little overwhelming but the quality snuggle time makes up for it.

Margarita lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.
Twitter: @margaritagakis

Jade leads a structured life:

Routine job.

Caffeine addiction.

No serious relationships.

And now, she can spontaneously set things on fire with her mind.

Well... perhaps “normal” was never in the cards for her. As she questions her own sanity and spirals out of control, a man appears on her doorstep and tells her that, like him, she’s a witch.

Pulled in all directions, her unbridled magic draws dangerous attention and Jade wonders if she’s made the worst mistake of her life by joining a coven, or if she’ll even live long enough to regret it.

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
R) Hmmm. That’s a tough one! I’d been playing around with some characters for a while and I knew that the lead character, Jade, had a novel in her but I wasn’t sure what her story was. I knew I wanted to write an Urban Fantasy book, as that’s my favorite genre and I also knew I wanted to have a strong female lead, but I didn’t want her to be overly sexualized. I know when I read sometimes, I feel left out when the lead character is super sexy and I can’t identify with her. I may wish to be her, but I can’t ever really see it. I also had a strong sense of a back story for Jade and really wanted to show how a person who comes from a damaged past can be strong and self-sufficient, but also how that past can take a toll. I think Jade does pretty well considering her upbringing, but she’s definitely somewhat emotionally stunted because of it. I really liked the idea of growing her as a character and especially having it set in a paranormal world.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
R) The actual writing of the final draft of the book wasn’t too long. I got it pushed out in about 4 weeks, but I’d been ‘tinkering’ with this story for years. I had a lot of working drafts but none of them felt right, nor were finished. I decided I had to let it all go and just… start with a blank page. Start fresh. And let go of whether or not I would use the words I’d already written or write new ones. I was also trying to meet a deadline for a contest over at Harper Collins, so that was a big push. I pretty much knew I had to write about 3000 words a day to meet that deadline. I wanted to cry about 6 days in and pretty much every day until I finished. I had this dazed sort of confused look when I wasn’t at work. Everything in my life apart from my job became about writing and figuring out the next piece. It was a very intense experience.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
R) I like the creativity of it. I like feeling like I’m in control and that I’m telling a story I like. I try to make myself happy first and so no matter what ends up happening with the rest of the world [love it, hate it, never see it because I keep it offline], I feel like I told a story that I wanted to read. I love that moment when it feels like all your ideas come together in this perfect sort of synergy. It’s almost like… putting in the last piece of a puzzle and seeing it all join together seamlessly. I live for that moment!

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
R) When I start a story, I’m in love with the ‘newness’ of it. I always joke that all my new stories are ‘Shiny New Idea’ and they are so much more tempting and easy to work on than ‘busted up old idea.’ But every ‘Shiny New Idea’ turns into ‘busted up old idea’ eventually, usually around the 20000 word mark for me. I have to work hard to stay focused and keep at it and not let myself get distracted by the new ideas! It can be a lonely kind of feeling, chugging away on a story not knowing if people will like it and only knowing that if you want to finish it, there’s no substitute for hard work.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
R) Wow! That’s really tough! Hmm. Colonel Chris Hadfield [Canadian Astronaut] would be really interesting. He was tweeting and tumbling his pics from the International Space Station and now I think he’s doing some speaking and some follow up tests and engagements from his time up in space. I don’t know if I’d want to be him or meet him or both! It certainly seems like he’s got a lot going on! I might not be able to keep up. Oh and Cesar Millan! The Dog Whisperer? He just seems so calm and dogs seem to really respond to him! I’ve got a barky Sheltie that I just can’t get to stop. Even after 10 years, he’s as barky as ever. So, being Cesar for a day might help with that!

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
R) It’s not too bad! We just did a clean out a while ago. I think the oldest thing in there right now is a carton of almond milk. Can almond milk go bad? I guess I’ll find out. I’m pretty sure I opened it up a couple weeks ago. Nothing’s smelling horrendous yet, so fingers crossed!

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
R) Book 2! I’m working away on the second book in the Covencraft series. I’m plotting out 5 total for the series right now. After that, I know I wanted to write for at least one more character in the same world but whether that’s a novel or a short story, I’m not sure. I have to live with the character for a bit longer to find out. I’d really like to do a story/series on the Fae or on Greek Mythology. I’ve got some ideas percolating and I keep my little notebook handy to capture things as they strike me!

Thank you for having me!

No comments: