Interview with NC Weil

What motivated you to become an indie author?
The publishing business is now just a few companies, and they are on the lookout for mainstream work. My POV is my own - quirky, wry, open. Through study, extensive reading, and shared critiques, I have honed my writing skills to a level well beyond what "passes" in genre fiction.
Has Karmafornia been reviewed by respected sources?
Publishers Weekly's quarterly section on self-published work, PW Select, had this to say:
"In 1978, two young lovers leave Boulder, Colo., and head to Berkeley, Calif., where they struggle with life's messy problems and intrusions in this capable, well-developed look back at an edgy, bygone time. Arriving at the University of California, Berkeley, Laura – with free-spirited boyfriend Walt in tow – begins graduate studies in biology. It isn't long before she meets fellow student Cob, an irresistible fruitarian from Nebraska with whom Laura eventually has a passionate affair replete with unbelievable orgasms. But the relationship with Cob – and the sex – lacks love, and Walt is summoned to the rescue. This love triangle plays out against the background of the political and social upheaval of the time, with Weil referencing everything from the controversial Proposition 13 – which rolled back property taxes – to the mass suicide by cult members of Jim Jones's People's Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Weil ably captures the period, while convincingly delineating her characters."
Publishers Weekly, Oct 17, 2011, p. 41 in the PW Select section.
How about other reviews?
This one appears in IndieReader's catalogue:
Karmafornia
By N.C. Weil
(Four Stars out of Five awarded)
IR Verdict: KARMAFORNIA is a merciless but loving look back at 1970s political and social culture; a deep and thoughtful look at human efforts to achieve real emotional freedom, and escape the bonds of karma that shape, but also imprison us.
Book Reviews, eBooks, Fiction, Inspirational, IR Approved • Nov 07, 2013

KARMAFORNIA is the story of a love triangle, set in Berkeley in the late 1970s, with the beautiful graduate student Laura Reiner at its apex. The two men vying for her attentions are the loving, faithful, and attentive Walt and the mysterious, egotistical but introspective Cob. This being Berkeley in the 1970s, the characters spend a reasonable amount of time stoned, and during an acid vision early in the story, Laura and Walt remember past lives that do not bode well for their current relationship, past lives in which Cob also figures.
The story is an exploration of freedom and commitment, love and jealousy, openness and secrets. Walt, Cob and Laura are complex characters, each with their own appeal, each deeper than they might appear at first glance (particularly Walt). The writing is lyrical, almost poetic in places, and the author uses symbolism deftly to add color and depth. The book is not a pleasant one, particularly – none of the characters spend much time happy, and there are a number of seriously disturbing incidents (including suicides) – but it is a thought-provoking story, with a wry and darkly humorous view of human nature and relationships.

The story is an exploration of freedom and commitment, love and jealousy, openness
and secrets. Walt, Cob and Laura are complex characters, each with their own appeal,
each deeper than they might appear at first glance (particularly Walt). The writing is
lyrical, almost poetic in places, and the author uses symbolism deftly to add color and
depth. The book is not a pleasant one, particularly – none of the characters spend
much time happy, and there are a number of seriously disturbing incidents (including
suicides) – but it is a thought-provoking story, with a wry and darkly humorous view
of human nature and relationships. Historical events, like the murder of Harvey Milk,
are woven into the story seamlessly, giving substantial context for the book’s
emotional tone. It is appropriate that the initial vision that sets the tone for the rest of
the book takes place in ancient Greece, as the book itself is a Greek tragedy, in which
the characters’ own fatal flaws – and the fatal flaws of their time, place and culture –
trip them up in the end.
At times, the reader may be frustrated by apparently inexplicable emotional behavior on the part of the three protagonists – it seems as though every moment of happiness must be followed by everyone rethinking everything in order to maintain the proper level of stress and tension. The characters are prone to navel-gazing, and the story can feel a bit self-obsessed at times as a result. This is quite likely an intended effect rather than a flaw, as self-obsession is a major theme of the story.
KARMAFORNIA is a merciless but loving look back at 1970s political and social culture; a deep and thoughtful look at human efforts to achieve real emotional freedom, and escape the bonds of karma that shape, but also imprison us.

Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader.
- See more at: http://indiereader.com/2013/11/karmafornia/ - sthash.EU8U2VdI.dpuf
What are you working on next?
A sequel to Karmafornia is in the pipeline: how do the characters pick up the pieces of shattered lives and go on?
Who are your favorite authors?
My top dozen are:
John Crowley (especially his novel Little, Big)
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Peter S. Beagle (Giant Bones, The Innkeeper's Song, The Folk of the Air, etc)
Italo Calvino (The Baron in the Trees0
Douglas Adams (taken from us too soon!)
Thomas Pynchon (Mason and Dixon is a standout)
Ken Kesey (Sometimes a Great Notion is the Great American Novel)
Penelope Lively (The Photograph)
Machado de Assis (Epitaph of a Small Winner)
Connie Willis (especially Blackout and All Clear)
Ward Just (Echo House)
P.G. Wodehouse
What book "woke you up"?
When I read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, I felt that words could create a complete sensory experience. I had to unlock that mystery.
How do you approach cover design?
In collaboration with a designer - I give him the outlines of the story, and we talk about what helps to evoke its mood. Then we play with it. For Karmafornia, the Indian-print bedspread represents the era - it's a background to much of went on in the seventies. And letting the letters of the title ride a wave suggests ups-and-downs, as well as a non-linear approach.
It was important to me to find a designer who didn't work from a template, but who could create something as individual as the book it's for.
Published 2014-05-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Superball
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,750. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
This sequel to Karmafornia finds Walt in Boulder, Colo., ready to put down roots. He meets Anna and they form a "coalition of the spineless" when they learn Walt's former lover Laura is coming back to reconnect with him. He hopes the humor and light-heartedness he's found with Anna will protect him from Laura's singleminded desire, but has he underestimated love's capacity to transform, again?
Karmafornia
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 87,130. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Set against the turmoil of late 70's California, KARMAFORNIA spins the latest incarnation of a love triangle. When ambitious Laura, new to grad school and Berkeley, and her go-with-the-flow boyfriend Walt, meet bright arrogant fruitarian Cob at a party, she strikes sparks with him while Walt sees trouble coming. Hitch a ride with these characters and come away glad you've met.