1) When did you first discover your love for writing?
Writing was a hidden passion for me. I’ve written stories since I was a child, but I didn’t take it seriously, even after I won a writing contest when I was about ten. I wanted to be a musician. Well, that didn’t work out, but though I still wrote little things to pass the time. Then I fell ill, and was basically bedridden for about a month. I started writing—to pass the time—and discovered I loved it. I haven’t looked back.
2) Do you have a favourite place to write?
I write in my office. I have trouble using laptops—the keyboards just seem so small—and besides, my office has a lot fewer distractions. I really don’t understand how people can write in coffee shops, outdoors—too many distractions for me.
3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
Not really. I just plunk myself down in front of the computer and write.
4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
I would love to be able to write as fluidly as Edgar Allan Poe.
5) What inspired you to write The Moreva of Astoreth?
In a way, you could say this book was over thirty years in the making. While in college, a friend and I collaborated on a story, the details of which I will not bore you. Years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, in which he posits that ancient astronauts came to Earth, created humans, and founded the Sumerian civilization. Years later, I got the idea to meld the two stories in some way, and the result was The Moreva of Astoreth.
6) Can you tell us a little about your book?
In imperialistic Kherah, gods and science are indelibly intertwined. Moreva Tehi, priestess, scientist, healer and the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess, is banished to a volatile far corner of Peris for neglecting her sacred duties, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
The hero, Laerd Teger. He can be cold and harsh, but under that exterior is a warm and loving person, whose desire is to protect those he loves. My ideal man, really, which only makes sense since I created him!
8) Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?
About bigotry—it’s a soul crushing affliction. I think that sometimes our bigotries is but a reflection of what we hate within ourselves. If we look at those bigotries, examine them, and face them, perhaps we can practice self-love, and through that self-love, allow real love into our lives.
9) Would you be interested in sharing an excerpt?
“I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi,” Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple.
Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine. “Yes, Most Holy One.”
“You blaspheme by not celebrating Ohra, My holiest of rites. And this one was important—the worthiest of the hakoi, handpicked by Me, celebrated with us. ”
“I can only offer my most abject apologies, Most Holy One.”
“Your apologies are not accepted.”
“Yes, Most Holy One.”
“Where were you?”
“I was in the laboratory, working on a cure for red fever. Many hakoi died last winter—”
“Yes, Most Holy One. I heard them. I was about to lay aside my work when I noticed an anomaly in one of my pareon solutions. It was odd, so I decided to investigate. What I found…I just lost track of time.”
“You lost track of time?” Astoreth repeated, sounding incredulous. “Do you expect Me to believe that?”
“Yes, Most Holy One. It is the truth.”
A moment later, my head and hearts started to throb. I knew why. My grandmother was probing me for signs I had lied. But She wouldn’t find any. There was no point in lying to Astoreth, and it was dangerous, too. Swaying under the onslaught from Her power, I endured the pain without making a sound. After what seemed like forever the throbbing subsided, leaving me feeling sick and dizzy.
10) What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing The Moreva of Astoreth?
For me, the hardest thing was dealing with time. The planet where the story takes place has a twenty-eight hour day. I’m so used to thinking in twenty-four hour segments, I had to draw a clock to keep me straight. As always, the achievement lies in finishing the book. I’ve learned it’s very easy to put a work aside and work on something else, and the next thing I know, months have gone by and I haven’t done a thing with the work I’ve put aside.
11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing The Moreva of Astoreth?
That there are some things you write that just won’t work in the story, and you have to be a tough enough editor to pull them out. Save it for another story.
12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Write. Write as often as you can, every day, if possible. Don’t worry if it’s garbage; that’s called a first draft. Like any other skill, from music to calculus, you must practice if you’re going to make it into something. Read. Read everything that interests you. Take what you like and weave it into your own writing style. That’s how you develop your unique voice.
13) Anything else you would like to say?
Believe in yourself, follow your passion, and one day, you might find yourself living your dreams.
14) And finally, do you have any future works planned?
Right now, I’m working on rewriting my first book, The Underground, to release as a second edition. Then I will continue working on its sequel. And then…
Website: www.roxannebland.rocks (under construction)