Interviews and Articles

Book Release Interview

You may recognize Gina from her insightful guest post a few months back.  Rivershore Books is thrilled to have been given an opportunity to publish her beautifully written novel, I Thirst.  Today, we have an interview with the author.

Gina, can you give us a condensed summary of your book?

When Rebecca receives a mysterious note from an unknown source, she has no idea how it will change her life.

Twenty-year-old Rebecca Veritas is used to being different, but has never felt extraordinary.  She is a Dreamer, living in a world of poetry intermixed with the antics of her unique family and eccentric best friend Adriana.  When she meets Peter, a young student from Canada who seems somehow to understand her from the start, her perception changes.  With "Intermission", the single word in that mysterious note, as inspiration, the two writers embark on an incredible journey to a new world in the form of a story that will ultimately parallel their own lives.  Yet, as the story progresses, events remain ever more shrouded in mystery.  When unexpected circumstances in the real world throw their lives in disarray, it will be up to Rebecca to find the true meaning of "Intermission" before the curtain closes on the final act.

Did you have a main inspiration?

It really all started with a snapshot of a scene that came to mind my freshman year of college.  I envisioned the beginning of Chapter 18 (which will mean absolutely nothing to anyone right now), and it took off.  The meaning of the scene--even the tone--and the purpose of the story were very different then.  But the picture in my mind remained.

When I finally began to write the novel a year later, things changed.  For a while, I discarded the idea that had originally inspired me.  I suppose I was all too worried about it sounding cliché.  Yet, once again, The Idea tapped persistently on my shoulder . . . and I finally gave in, telling myself that it was just an "experimental chapter".  When an early reader declared that it was her favorite chapter, I realized that I needed to re-think my previous conceptions and actually pay attention to one of the themes in my own book . . . that something cannot be labeled as "cliché" if it has true meaning.  It is my hope that now, about five and a half years after that first vision, it will come across that way to readers.

I Thirst was largely inspired by my understanding of relationships.  I think that every writer cannot help but be a psychologist and sociologist in disguise.  In order to write a believable character, a writer must get inside that character's head, figure out why he thinks the way he does, and study his interactions with others.  Luckily for me, I have always been fascinated by introspection--the workings of the mind and analysis thereof--and human interactions.  I tend to joke that I get a bit too analytical at times.

Yet, the most important influence on the relationships of I Thirst was not a psychological study, but my own personal experiences.  I am the kind of person who feels things deeply (if, at times, quietly). In that regard, I could really relate to the main character in my novel, Rebecca.  A Jane Austen quote may serve to describe her quite well: “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.”  Rebecca goes through most of her life with the belief that everyone--aside from, you know, the average, cold-hearted psychopath--cares as much as she does.  She has a very loyal heart.  I knew that, for the development of her character, she would have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone was like that after all.  For a person like Rebecca, that is a shocking realization.  Yet, it is equally important that she will find that she is not alone, that there are other "kindred spirits" of a like mind and heart.

The idea for "Intermission", the story within the main story, was sparked by . . . you guessed it, an intermission.  I was sitting during the intermission in a play and the thought crossed my mind that that would make an interesting name of a story.  The rest is history!

It seems every author has quirks when they write...what are yours?

Oh, goodness . . . I'm not sure if there is a pattern to my madness.  I'm a pretty quirky individual--and consistently so--but, when it comes to writing, it seems like my quirks fluctuate based on the scene I'm working on and the current state of my mind.  At times, I may write at the computer; in other circumstances, I feel more drawn to the pen.  I might write right after an emotional experience or I may reflect days later on a beautiful moment in time.  I usually like to write when no one else is around and it's quiet, but I have also had delightful writing sessions to instrumental music or while sitting next to a fellow writer, who is working on her own story.  I like writing at odd hours...or, at least, accept it.  I love the words "yet", "thus", and "indeed", yet, thus, and indeed, yet, thus, and indeed.  I always have too many story ideas at once and can have difficulty deciding upon an object of focus, although it eventually waves frantically in my face, refusing to let me pay attention to its comrades.  Then again, sometimes there's a compromise . . . and two of my stories become one.

I write in notebooks--of various sizes and colors--but random scraps of paper are, at times, grabbed more easily in moments of urgency.  (Yes, we writers do take inspiration seriously.)  While I may be inspired by the extraordinary, I am also inspired by the most random things in the most ordinary of settings . . . like the optometry department.  (Yes, that is a real example.)  Sometimes I "daydream" scenes for my stories before writing them down, but not always.  When I do daydream, I often walk around the house in circles, causing my family to believe that I have gone completely insane.  My listening skills also go down the drain when I am distracted by an idea.  (Sorry, Mom.)  I like writing with pens that are pretty, as superficial as that may sound, but sometimes I feel like I shouldn't waste them (as silly as that may sound) and tend to use your standard ball-point pen.  I like cross-outs and slashes...and lots of them.  Try reading a rough draft of mine; it's a maze . . . but, hey, there are arrows, which will likewise confuse you.  (I suppose, however, that this is a good way to ward off the all-too-curious reader who wants to read a story before it's finished.  Because, you know, writing is very secretive . . . even though most writers probably want to get published.)  And I still don't know the answer to the age-long question . . . whether I love adverbs or adjectives more.

I have consistently found, though, that writing does not come as easily when beckoned.  It may be wise to brain-storm, but the worst action that an individual may take is to force himself to write.  Trying, thinking, too hard is not always ideal...especially with creative writing. I once advised a fellow writer, “You can’t force it to do anything...or it’s gonna laugh in your face,” that, “by thinking too hard, maybe the inspiration slips out of your brain”.  As odd as that may sound, I find it to be true...from personal experience.  In those moments where the right word doesn’t seem to materialize or a full-blown “writer’s block” occurs, I feel that it is best to take a step back.  This step does not necessarily involve leaving the writing process entirely, but entering another dimension of it.  The imagination can often be stirred by something that may closely resemble meditation . . . a time to think without thinking.  Sometimes this may be accomplished by listening to music before writing...or gazing quietly at the sky above, as odd as that may sound.  Perhaps that works best for me because it is compatible with my more poetic nature.  I would say that I am a poet first, and a novelist second . . . but I won't because, you know, I'm trying to promote my novel.  (Also, the poetry part was a hint.)

Do you have a favorite part of writing?

Ooh, that's a tough one.  I love having an idea so persistent that I have to write it down, even if it's 2 a.m.  I love that moment in which you keep writing and writing because you're on a roll and somehow the words just come (even if you have to edit some of them out later).  I love getting to know my characters so well that I can't bear to say goodbye to them and, thus, determine to turn one book into a series.  I love expressing myself through the written word . . . because it really is the way my heart and mind are translated.  I love telling a story, both to myself and a small circle of family and friends . . . and, now, the world.  Sorry for not answering your question . . . I can't pick just one!

What would you most like your readers to know about I Thirst?


(No, seriously.)
Thank you, Gina!

                                                             OTHER INTERVIEWS:
Getting to Know Author Gina Marinello-Sweeney:  An NRT Exclusive Interview
The Way My Heart and Mind Are Translated:  An Interview with Novelist Gina Marinello-Sweeney
Interview with Gina Marinello-Sweeney, Author of I THIRST (Uvi Poznansky) 

                                                            AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT
I Thirst: An Author's Literary Journey

Writing: The Inconvenience of a Passion 
My Kindred Spirit: A Tribute to Lucy Maud Montgomery

                                                           SERIES REFERENCES
Top Famous Quotes
Reflection on Maturity
Among Pink Roses
Thank You For The Roses
Everything's Coming Up Roses