Interview with Ariane Vai

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It wasn't the first, but it's the first I remember that impacted me so hard. It was called Purpurella. Something about a flower and animals, I couldn't tell you today, but the name is stuck in my head, because I can't forget the feels :) Next was probably Watership Down. It scared me. But in a good way. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time and I can still quote a bunch of those pre-chapter quotes! One of them, from the Auden's poem "The Two", actually inspired an element of my novel.
What do you read for pleasure?
Romance! I prefer the paranormal ones and those full of complicated drama that eventually leads to a happy ending. I'm such a girl sometimes...
When did you first start writing?
I don't remember. I've always been writing. I was probably plotting a story about that strange dark and warm world before I got my first breath of air.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Making up characters, plotting out stories, and biting my desk as I try to figure out the way to connect a bunch of complicated plot threads so that it all makes sense, brings emotions, and says something beyond what's plainly written. I like to play with hidden meanings. When I write, I feel a lot - I get happy, I get sad, I get excited, I get into moods the characters I'm writing about are in. It allows me to experience a wide range of emotions and it's wonderful, especially since whatever bad thing I'll feel, I know that it's not affecting my life outside of the book and I will move on to another feeling soon. I cannot live without a story rolling in my head that I'm invested in, because everything I do, see, or feel in the world, I automatically translate into the story language and take as an inspiration. I love having that second depth to every thought, idea, and experience. Somehow, it makes things less fleeting.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I sure do. It was 'The Adventures of Mouse Wronusia' and I was typing it with one finger, searching for the next letter in growing frustration. But though it was a struggle, I managed to complete several chapters including a poem, a meeting with a mouse-sized dragon and a story of poor pained lion the Mouse helped. It was a very heroic Mouse, indeed! I still have it stored somewhere, recovered from that ancient computer.
What is your writing process?
I'm a planner. I can write without a list, a plan, or even a concrete idea sometimes, but when I want to tell a coherent and complicated story, I need a plan and I love making lists. Also, my memory isn't that great and I'm a complete scatter-mind, so I make mountains of notes. When some scene is giving me a lot of issues, I write it by hand in a notebook. I don't know why, but sometimes turning off the PC and going analog is the best way to handle difficult bits of writing.
How do you approach cover design?
With blood and sweat. I designed and painted my cover myself, I've also done two versions of it, fully-polished ones, because shortly after I was done with the first one, I realized it just wasn't it. Both of these versions were preceded by numerous sketches and ideas. The final design is thought through for all five volumes of my novel, and when you put them all side-by-side, you can see the red ribbons flow and connect the characters creating a complete image. It's not an action-filled scene, but it carries a meaning and, in my eyes anyway, suits this novel.
What are you working on next?
Four more volumes of the New Amazing Nightmare to go. I won't be done anytime soon! I also want to make a few related projects to perhaps help me gain visibility and make this project into a little more than a novel series. Nothing too grand though, I'm afraid, as I have no budget and only so much free time.
Describe your desk
A mess surrounded by a mess under a mess on top of a mess :(
Published 2015-07-06.
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Books by This Author

New Amazing Nightmare: Symmetry of Sins
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 176,830. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
It’s a story about love, but it’s not a love story. It’s a story about destiny, but there’s no Chosen One… or one useful prophecy. It’s a story about good and evil, but those, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. Symmetry of Sins is the first volume of a mix-genre fantasy book, the New Amazing Nightmare – a novel about generally good people in a generally bad world.