Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a corporate slave by day, but when I'm not working I let my imagination run wild. I started out writing young adult horror then switched to adult horror and since I was always writing a love interest into the story, someone suggested that I write paranormal, which I hadn't heard of at that time. When I started writing paranormal, I found that it really suited me. A few years ago I decided to get really serious about my writing so I attended Seton Hill University and received a Master's Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. I learned an incredible amount from that experience. I also met some wonderful people and learned about the power of networking when it comes to furthering your writing career. On a personal level, I'm a chameleon and like to change my look often. I have a boyfriend (my cover model for Shadow Cat) and have a beloved and spoiled cat, MiniKitty. Both were inspiration for Shadow Cat.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I read widely in all genres. I think that's necessary to broaden my scope as a writer. Right now I'm really enjoying reading a lot of the excellent young adult fiction that is being published right now (such as "How I Live Now" by Meg Rosoff and "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.) I'm also reading some excellent woman horror authors ("The Heart of A Witch" by Judith Hawkes and "Waking the Moon" by Elizabeth Hand).
\What do you do on a typical writing day?
It's tough finding the time to write. Like most people, I a have full-time demanding job. What is really productive for me (and what I really enjoy) is to have caf‚ writing days. I like to take my laptop and go caf‚ hopping. I usually start out in a breakfast joint, and move to a bistro by the water in downtown St. Petersburg, FL, then perhaps sit in the atrium of the Fine Arts Museum. I often go to The Globe, a local counter-culture coffee house. Usually, I end up in my home dungeon. I turn on the lion-head fountain and fogger and get lost in my imagination. During one point when I was writing Shadow Cat, I felt as though I was wandering through Jules' fantastic topiary gardens.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Right now I'm working on the prequel to Shadow Cat that takes place in 14th century France at Mount Saint Michelle, a castle that becomes completely surrounded by water during high tide. The story goes back into Jules' father's lineage. During the dark days of the black plague, people were sometimes sold as slaves. A baron's daughter sees him (as a young boy) being sold as a slave in the town square, takes pity on him, (not to mention she notices that he is quite the young hunk), and purchases him. This begins a Wuthering Heights type of love story. It's a saga in which the dynamics of their relationship seesaw over the years as one or the other gains power and dominance. I enjoyed adding the twists and turns their lives took during this tumultuous period.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
I'd love to write an experimental horror book like "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Deadlines definitely help. I originally wrote Shadow Cat as my master's thesis. We had some very tight deadlines and I really learned to produce. I used to write everything long hand but I soon learned that that took too much time. If I don't have actual deadlines, I give myself my own deadlines.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I used to just start writing, but my experience in writing Shadow Cat changed that for me. I wrote Shadow Cat in its entirety in one swoop then had to go back and fix the structure. I saw from that experience how much easier it is to get the outline correct first then start writing the novel. I used to think it interfered with a writer's spontaneity, but now I realize that it lets you see the bare bones structure of your novel so you can tell right up front if the plot works. (See my web page http://zoelapage.com for my Quickie Plot Outline method of formulating a plot.)
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Over the years I've belonged to several writing critique groups and I think that experience is essential for a beginning author. Right now I critique with my friend, young adult author, Lynne Hansen. We especially help each other out when we're in our outlining stage. Then we often read each other's work and offer suggestions.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published book was AltDeath.com, a Young Adult Paranormal Romance about an Internet vampire. It was published in 2003. The hero of the book is a handsome and popular handicapped teen. I wanted to write about a paraplegic boy who is cool and a leader amongst his friends. The character is based on a dear friend of mine. I wrote that book as my YA name, Sally Bosco. (co-written with Lynne Hansen.)
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Thanks! Love, Zoe
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King