Interview with-Vashti Quiroz-Vega Author of The Basement

THE BASEMENT

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Basement Cover (05-14-13) 9781625105554large

 Robbie is a meek boy in New York City who struggles with the desire to prove himself to his friends, his enemies, and himself. Robbie’s father is a stubborn man determined to teach his son through tough love. When he witnesses Robbie being bullied, he forces his son to face his fears. Robbie is sentenced to a frightening challenge––staying in the basement alone for a night. But what lies in the dark recesses of the basement? Will Robbie make it out alive and well? Will the urban legend about the terrifying creatures that hide in the dark basement prove to be true? And most importantly, will Robbie prove to his friends and his father that he is brave enough to take on the challenge? The Basement is a tale of angst, teamwork and solutions, treasure hunts and adventure, and facing fears. It focuses on the small world of one group of preteens and the very real and wondrous challenges they face.

When I first approached Vashti, who I met through her blog, about an interview I wanted to learn more about the author behind The Basement. There is a contrast between the woman of who I know a little about and this amazing book’s story. I still want to learn more so we can all know her better, but in truth, I want to know about this book and how it came to be and what else this author has planned for us. I’m going to get out of the way of this interview, simply ask the questions and let you meet . . .

 

 

VASHTI QUIROZ-VEGA

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Ron Cover ShotRW: Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Love the name. Tell us a little about your ancestry. I am very into history. And your name spins all sorts of imagery through the echoes of my mind.  And is there a meaning behind your name?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: My first name, Vashti, is Persian in origin and has very little to do with my ancestry, I’m afraid. Vashti is the name of a queen in the old testament of the bible in the book of Esther.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Your book, The Basement available on Amazon,where did the idea come from?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: The Basement began as a short story I wrote in high school. I won an award for it and put it away in a box, along with a bunch of other stories. Years later, I came across it. After reading it again and with the encouragement of others, I decided to expand the short story into a novel.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: The book is about an 11-year-old boy and his troubles, how did you connect with the character?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I have a brother and two sisters. I’m close to all my siblings, but I grew up especially close to my brother (maybe determined by the fact that I was a tomboy). The Basement is loosely based on memories I have from childhood. The main character, Robbie, was inspired by my brother and my nephew, Joshua.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: And the abuse parts?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: There has been no abuse in my household, but I did know a child growing up who was verbally and physically abused by a parent. The parent did not try to hide this from anyone. I saw and heard this child being abused on many occasions. This experience and the memory of this child have stayed with me till this day, which is why I tolerate no kind of bullying or abuse of any kind.

An ex-boyfriend once told me that I was a perfect mix of femininity and masculinity because I am feminine and very much a woman, but I am also assertive, straightforward and I love basketball, action movies, UFC and camping.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What did it feel like writing the character of Robbie, the 11 year old boy in the book, as you had to basically become him for periods of time?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: When I wrote The Basement, I essentially became an 11-year-old boy. I felt vulnerable––like my life was not in my control. I guess I felt like a child in a scary world.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: For those reading who may not be familiar with you can you give an example of an author and perhaps a book that would give them an idea of what this book is like as far as feel and style?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: That’s a tough one. Some people have compared my storytelling to that of several other writers, including Stephen King and Anne Rice, who are two of my favorite writers and whose books I have been reading for years. So I don’t doubt that there is some of their influence in my writing, but I believe that I’m developing my own style. Not that I wouldn’t love to write as well as Stephen King and Anne Rice, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Are you a character in The Basement?MC_99732309_4

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Let’s just say that several of the characters in The Basement have some of my personality traits.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Tell us about your writing process. You took a short story and turned it into a full-length novel. How did you go about that?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: As I re-read the story, I added, changed and rearranged sentences, and I replaced and deleted words. I had read so many books and learned so much since writing that story in high school that expanding it was not that difficult. Even now, I feel that I have learned so much since publishing The Basement. I guess that’s how it is with writers. We are constantly reading, learning and improving. I feel that my second book, Lilith, will be much better written than my first, and my third book, Dracul, will probably be better written than my second, and so on. That doesn’t mean any of my books are badly written. It just means that as I learn and gain experience, my work will reflect that. I have noticed this when I compare Stephen King’s earlier books with the books he’s written in the last couple of years. But I have always enjoyed all of his books.

 

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Can you walk us through how you went from complete and satisfied manuscript to now available for purchase? Many will be reading this who haven’t gone through it yet, and since you have on a number of occasions, I know I would personally like to hear it from a pro like you.

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASTHI: Wow! You flatter me, Ron. 😉 I’ve actually gone through the entire process only once with my book The Basement. The best advice I can offer anyone who has finished writing a story is to give the finished manuscript to several trusted people and ask for their honest opinions. Then after revisions (if any), hire a professional editor.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Ah, I get the impression you have published several because of how professional everything seems. What other works do you have available and what are you working on presently?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I have written a variety of short stories, from horror and dark fantasy to sci-fi and romance. You can check them out on my blog.

I’m in the final stages of editing my book Lilith. This is a dark fantasy about angels aimed at a young adult/ adult audience. I’m hoping to have it available in early 2015.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Is there a lot of romance in your work or sensuality?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: There’s always a little romance because I believe that’s part of life and reality. There’s also some sensuality in my work-in-progress because that’s part of who I am, and that part of my personality comes through in the story.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: How understanding are your friends and family when the writing mania takes hold of you?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Some are very understanding, especially other writers because they’ve been there. Others––not so much.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What would be your ideal agent be like to sign with?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: I would love an agent who truly enjoys my story. The editor that’s working with me on my second book ‘Lilith’ truly loves the book. It is obvious by her enthusiasm, the comments she’s made and the questions that she’s asked me. It makes a difference when the agent loves the genre and story. Also, an agent that is hardworking and self motivated is great. One that will stop at nothing to get you the best deal possible for your book. I would love to get into one of the big publishing houses.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: Now for a few fun and trivial questions. What’s your go to beverage while writing?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Water. I know you’re thinking, “boring,” but I prefer to be sharp and focused when I write. Being well-hydrated does that for me. I don’t drink much coffee, beer makes me bloat like a blowfish, wine puts me to sleep, margaritas and rum are fun, but put me in the wrong frame of mind, and I get distracted easily. So while I’m writing, it’s water for me.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: What is your escape from writing when you need that break before burnout happens?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Reading, cooking, baking, hiking, kayaking, getting together with family and friends, watching one of my favorite shows on TV (Criminal Minds, Law and Order, Castle, Modern Family . . .) or going to the cinema, playing with my dog, and other things I shouldn’t mention––not necessarily in that order.

 

Ron Cover ShotRW: And finally, as a writer, what is your favorite word and why?

 

Vashti's Web PhotoVASHTI: Wow! There are several words I love, but the first word that comes to mind is “Dulcet.” Why? Because it’s a beautiful word, I enjoy pronouncing it and writing it down. Meaning: 1: sweet to the taste 2: pleasing to the ear 3: generally pleasing or agreeable.

Thank you, Ronovan, for inviting me as a guest author to your awesome blog. I appreciate you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to thank Vashti for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. And I hope she comes back when her next book is due out.

Her various contact information appeared in some links throughout the interview but I am putting them all here together so you can follow her everywhere. Also here are some some fan art of her and one of her characters from The Basement, Natasha. Don’t worry, she won’t mind, I already do and if she will let me follower her she’ll let you too. And we are all about supporting each other here, right?

 

ScaredGirlFinal FanArt
Fan Art of ‘Natasha’ from The Basement.
Vashti5
Fan Art of Vashti

Website

Author Site

The Basement Fan Site

Goodreads

Twitter

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

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Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

Book Description

“It is the end of fall in the kingdom of Alymphia. Princess Aria and Prince Hob are readying themselves for yet another Fall Passing Festival. But unbeknownst to them, change is coming to the kingdom. Change brought on by dark forces and events that occurred generations prior. And those changes will unfold over their lives like a flood that nothing can stop.

In another place and another time, a mysterious prince walks the world, trusted steel at his belt and a mystical stone imbued with magic at his neck. He is looking for a word that has never been said; a word that would save his love from the grip of an ancient beast.

The WorldMight is a fantasy imbued with romance and mysticism. It is a classic tale of love truer than time, a spiritual journey in a world heavy with secrets and magic. Despite spanning generations and more, it is also a very personal story of devotion, jealousy, and redemption.”

Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

 

One of the very talented people I have come to know since starting up this site is Cyril Bussiere a Poet, Musician, Intellectual, and Author of The WorldMight, all of which I am jealous of. Renaissance man perhaps? We’ll go with that. Oh, and did I happen to mention Photographer as one of his gifts as well?

 

Yes, I hate on him sometimes, because he’s just so good at everything. It doesn’t help that he is also French and so does that cool French accent thing. If I didn’t like the guy so much I might just throw myself under a bus, but then I would miss out on what next creation he came up with.

 

I asked Cyril if he would be willing to do an interview and he kindly and generously said yes. I won’t waste much more of your time now. I’m just glad this isn’t in sound so I don’t have to hear the cool accent compared with my slow Southern accent, y’all.

 

Meet Cyril Bussiere

cyril.bussiere
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

 

RW: Okay, Cyril, first thing first, where do we get a copy of your book, The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: At this moment it’s available at Amazon for Kindle.

 

RW: Now that everyone has left the interview to buy your book I will ask a few questions. You were born and raised in France (yes he speaks French-for real, I was not just saying that earlier) and then came to the United States to continue your University studies, why? Why Utah and then Texas?  Those are three very different environments I would think.

 

 

CYRIL: This is a good question and worthy of a long answer. Right after high school I joined the University of Medicine in my home town.

The WorldMight Cover
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

During Christmas that year I read On the Heights of Despair by Emile Cioran and it sent me into a rather deep spiritual and existential crisis in the light of which life, let alone school, became irrelevant.

 

RW: I think we all get like that sometimes. But you came out of it, obviously.

 

 

CYRIL: After a few difficult months, I gathered the tools to fend off the dark doubts and uncertainties that plagued me. My mother nonetheless decided a change of scenery was in order for me. One of my best friends from high school was already studying in upstate NY and so at the end of that year I joined him and enrolled in the small community college there.

 

RW: That is seriously a loving Mom there. But that is New York, where does the Utah stop come in?

 

CYRIL: What was supposed to be a one year stay turned into more. I transferred to Alabama where I attended the University of South Alabama in Mobile, a proper university but still not too expensive -my family was already making great financial sacrifices for me to be in the US, (it’s crazy expensive here compared to France where it’s almost free -Med school was $300 a year.)

A year later, it was decided that if I was to graduate, it might as well be from as good a school as possible. That’s when I moved to Salk Lake City, Utah, where I finished my B.S. in Biology at the University of Utah. After that I worked for a year at UC Davis as a lab tech (my old lab from U of U had moved there right before I graduated).

In the meantime, I applied to grad school, mostly randomly, to places that had good funding for research. At the end of my year in California, I took a 4 months break and traveled South East Asia solo. I was in Bangkok when I got the news that I was accepted at UT Austin. I spent the next seven years there, getting my Ph.D. in microbiology.

So to sum it up, it was mostly through chance that got me where I am. I knew almost nothing about all the places I moved to throughout the years and it’s all been great.

 

RW: I’ll have to talk to you about South East Asia another time. That must have been amazing. But for not in regards to your writing, coming from more of a biological/medical background to now writing novels, are there medical aspects in your work, your literary creations?

 

CYRIL: Not at all. My research was not medical, it was more basic science, how-does-this-work type of stuff. Although I’ve done a lot of scientific writing in my time, science has not influenced my creative writing. I do have a few ideas for potential novels that involve scientific aspects, but that’s in the ‘if and maybe’ realm.

 

RW: Your parents were obviously great encouragers and supporters in your education, did they encourage your writing as well or perhaps a teacher saw something? Where does the writing influence come from?

 

CYRIL: I’m not sure where it comes from. As far as I can remember I always wrote, though mostly short form and poetry. My parents always read a lot and I guess they passed it on to me, and that in turn inspired me to write. I think it comes down to a need for creative expression.

 

Cyril Bussiere

RW: How would you describe your style of writing? You write poetry and have most of your writing life, now you write a novel, how different and challenging did you find it?

 

CYRIL: My writing can change drastically from day to day, and that makes it difficult to assign it a style. For example my first novel, The WorldMight is a very poetic work, while the book I’m currently working on has a very crude and raw style.

Going from poetry to novel was a daunting prospect I had shied away from all my life. The WorldMight was not planned as a novel. Initially, it just wrote the prologue one morning, it came to be on its own, and could have been just a longish fiction blog post. It came from a ‘free his love’ idea that I had almost two years prior and mostly everything else in these paragraphs was improvised. Somehow I kept on writing after it, and everything I created past that point, the world, its magical rules and the overarching plot flowed from these first words and ideas.

RW: With the ‘daunting prospect’ and the ‘plot flowed’ comments being a bit at odds, how long did it take you to finish The WorldMight? I know the idea was probably daunting but apparently you flowed well once starting.

 

CYRIL: It took about 14 months to write the first draft. A couple of months after I finished it, my wife and I took a nine months break to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail and do volunteer work in Nepal, so I didn’t touch it during that time. When we got back home at the end of last year, I got started on the editing process and that took another four months.

 

blur-logo
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

RW: That is great to know. A lot of the ‘experts’ say you need to walk away from your manuscript for a period of time to then come back to it fresh.

You mentioned a new project that is very different form The WorldMight. What is it that you are working on now and when can we expect it in our hands?

 

CYRIL: Right now, I am working on a novel, BLUR. The story takes place in Austin, TX, and follows Barrett, a scientist and wannabe writer, and, Pete, the protagonist of Barrett’s first novel. In it I explore love, lust, and the effect childhood experiences have on intimate relationships. It’s a raw, sometimes graphic work, that’s very different from my first novel. I’m six chapters short of being done, so I hope to have it out by beginning 2015.

 

RW: Very different idea from The WorldMight. But I’ve read some on your site, especially the short story series you have going called Vamp, which I have to say is very unique take on the Vampire idea, so I know there is a different side of your writing and that you like to break out and expose your different ideas.

Now, Cyril, You wrote a novel for 14 months, what did you learn about yourself while writing The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: First thing would be that I can write a novel. That was not something I was sure of until the epilogue was finished.

Second, that I don’t have much control over the writing process. It happens more than I make it happen. It’s both engrossing when it flows and utterly frustrating when it doesn’t.

Third, that I pour a lot of who I am in my characters. They might be very different from me, but there’s always a crucial aspect about them that is a reflection of an aspect of my own persona. Sometimes, I don’t see it right away and it’s only on the umpteenth reread that it jumps at me, but it’s always there.

 

 

RW: I share the same opinion. No matter how much you want to go in one direction it just goes where it wants to. Now, what did you learn about the writing  while working on The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: That it’s hard. It’s like the blank page is my foe and we’re doing some kind of dance of seduction of the to-the-death kind and half the time I win and she bends to my will, and the rest of the time, I try and try but end up deleting hours of bad writing.

But in the end, you just have to keep on going at it, keep the floodgates open, until something decent comes out. I find that often the good stuff is inspired by the crap that came before it.

 

 

Cyril Bussiere playing guitar
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

RW: Ah, when the floodgates don’t open what is your escape from writing when you are waiting for them to open again?

 

CYRIL: Something mindless. Right now I’m getting back into classical guitar after a five year hiatus, so I do a lot of that. I’m also involved with Big Brother Big Sister and my little lent me Grand Theft Auto V so I’m playing that too.

 

RW: Obviously the floodgates opened, you revised,  what was the most challenging part of getting your book to the public?

 

CYRIL: The editing process was tough, especially cutting down 10% of it. It took me a while to come to term with the fact that I just had to, that great phrases that bog down the flow of a paragraph have to be axed without remorse, however beautiful they might be.

 

RW: What advice would you give a first time novelist venturing into publishing a book?

 

CYRIL: If in the writing stages, just do it. The confidence you’ll get from having written a book, whatever the quality, is utterly satisfying.

If you have written the book, do your research and figure out who your public is, how to reach it and what your options are.

 

RW: For me when I write I find lighting in my room influences how I write. You write songs, do you listen to certain kinds of music to help you write various scenes?

 

CYRIL: I don’t usually listen to music while I write. I find it distracts more than anything else. However, I do listen in my head to the sounds and music, if there is some playing, of the scene. It helps me soak up the atmosphere of the moment and write the character’s reactions more naturally in the given context.

Cyril Review

RW: Writing does take time away from other aspects of life. What did your wife think of the time you had to spend writing The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: I’m a morning person and my wife is not. I wrote in the mornings, 5-7am, while she was still asleep, so it didn’t really impact her.

 

RW: That works out great. Finally, what is your go to beverage while writing?

 

CYRIL: A light beer like a Shiner or a Blue Moon. But they don’t last long.

 

RW: I know you are currently unsigned by a literary agency, if you could hand pick one what qualities in an agent would you want?

 

CYRIL: Since I enjoy writing in various styles and in different genres, flexibility would be important in an agent.  Also, given my attachment to well written sentences, one who is ruthless when it comes to editing would be a definite plus. And of course someone who would know how to get my work in the right hands both publisher-wise and to reader-wise.

 

I thank Cyril for agreeing to this interview. I must say he really agreed to help me out by doing so. My Friends here at RonovanWrites deserve to see the inside workings of getting to a goal and that real people write their dreams into reality.

 

If you are a fan of Cyril’s poetry then you MUST get this book. Just read the reviews at Amazon and the excerpts as well and you will see mention of his poetic style.

 

I ask everyone to make sure to visit Cyril at his site, cyrilbussiere.wordpress.com . You can also reach him by email at cyril.buissiere@gmail.com and of course as the whole of the world has a Twitter account, you can find Cyril there as well at @cyrilbussiere. Of course he and I are Twitter friends, and I also Follow his blog, so I’m not asking you to do anything that I don’t.

 

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

Alysha Kaye Author of The Waiting Room Interview.

Alysha Kaye Blog Tour

Book Description

“Jude and Nina are the epitome of that whole raw, unflinching love thing that most people are jealous of. That is, until Jude dies and wakes up in The Waiting Room, surrounded by other souls who are all waiting to pass over into their next life. But unlike those souls, Jude’s name is never called by the mysterious “receptionist”. He waits, watching Nina out of giant windows. He’s waiting for her. What is this place? How long will he wait? And what will happen when and if Nina does join him? The Waiting Room is a story of not just love, but of faith, predestination, and philosophy, friendship and self-actualization, of waiting.”

 

Alysha Kaye Author of The Waiting Room Interview

 

Today I’m spotlighting newly published author Alysha Kaye. Her debut novel The Waiting Room was just released at the end of June and we are fortunate to be a part of her tour.

Alysha Kaye Author The Waiting Room

I immediately wanted to be involved with this tour when I saw not only the premise of Alysha’s novel but also the fact that she’s a teacher. This old man holds a fondness for the noble profession.

Alysha received her BA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and was accepted into Teach America ending up in of all places, Oahu, HI. I am still recovering from that piece of information.

But even Hawaii, where she received her Masters in Education from the University of Hawaii couldn’t keep her from the her home state where she now teaches 7th Grade in Austin.

 

 

Now for the interview!

Having read the summary of The Waiting Room, I just had to start off by asking;

RW: Where did the idea for the book come from? Was it some event or what that sparked the idea?

 

ALYSHA: I had a dream about waiting for my boyfriend after death. I was in a strange room that looked a lot like an airport terminal. I wound up writing him a (very cheesy) poem about it and somehow, that became an entire Cover of THE WAITING ROOM by Alysha Kayenovel! I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

 

RW: Alysha, I know from having been in the classroom that free time is rare, even at home. Many people don’t realize the time you have to put into teaching, unless you have a very good system in place. How do you balance teaching and writing, managing the other aspects of your life?

 

ALYSHA: It’s extremely hard! Teaching is exhausting, especially my lovely middle schoolers haha but I adore them. I try to get all of my lesson planning and grading done at school so that when I come home, my night is free for writing/blogging, and everything else in between.

 

RW:  I know from reading what I’ve written things surprise me in what I learn. What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

Continue reading

Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

Book Description

“It is the end of fall in the kingdom of Alymphia. Princess Aria and Prince Hob are readying themselves for yet another Fall Passing Festival. But unbeknownst to them, change is coming to the kingdom. Change brought on by dark forces and events that occurred generations prior. And those changes will unfold over their lives like a flood that nothing can stop.

In another place and another time, a mysterious prince walks the world, trusted steel at his belt and a mystical stone imbued with magic at his neck. He is looking for a word that has never been said; a word that would save his love from the grip of an ancient beast.

The WorldMight is a fantasy imbued with romance and mysticism. It is a classic tale of love truer than time, a spiritual journey in a world heavy with secrets and magic. Despite spanning generations and more, it is also a very personal story of devotion, jealousy, and redemption.”

Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

 

One of the very talented people I have come to know since starting up this site is Cyril Bussiere a Poet, Musician, Intellectual, and Author of The WorldMight, all of which I am jealous of. Renaissance man perhaps? We’ll go with that. Oh, and did I happen to mention Photographer as one of his gifts as well?

 

Yes, I hate on him sometimes, because he’s just so good at everything. It doesn’t help that he is also French and so does that cool French accent thing. If I didn’t like the guy so much I might just throw myself under a bus, but then I would miss out on what next creation he came up with.

 

I asked Cyril if he would be willing to do an interview and he kindly and generously said yes. I won’t waste much more of your time now. I’m just glad this isn’t in sound so I don’t have to hear the cool accent compared with my slow Southern accent, y’all.

 

Meet Cyril Bussiere

cyril.bussiere
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

 

RW: Okay, Cyril, first thing first, where do we get a copy of your book, The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: At this moment it’s available at Amazon for Kindle.

 

RW: Now that everyone has left the interview to buy your book I will ask a few questions. You were born and raised in France (yes he speaks French-for real, I was not just saying that earlier) and then came to the United States to continue your University studies, why? Why Utah and then Texas?  Those are three very different environments I would think.

 

 

CYRIL: This is a good question and worthy of a long answer. Right after high school I joined the University of Medicine in my home town.

The WorldMight Cover
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

During Christmas that year I read On the Heights of Despair by Emile Cioran and it sent me into a rather deep spiritual and existential crisis in the light of which life, let alone school, became irrelevant.

 

RW: I think we all get like that sometimes. But you came out of it, obviously.

 

 

CYRIL: After a few difficult months, I gathered the tools to fend off the dark doubts and uncertainties that plagued me. My mother nonetheless decided a change of scenery was in order for me. One of my best friends from high school was already studying in upstate NY and so at the end of that year I joined him and enrolled in the small community college there.

 

RW: That is seriously a loving Mom there. But that is New York, where does the Utah stop come in?

 

CYRIL: What was supposed to be a one year stay turned into more. I transferred to Alabama where I attended the University of South Alabama in Mobile, a proper university but still not too expensive -my family was already making great financial sacrifices for me to be in the US, (it’s crazy expensive here compared to France where it’s almost free -Med school was $300 a year.)

A year later, it was decided that if I was to graduate, it might as well be from as good a school as possible. That’s when I moved to Salk Lake City, Utah, where I finished my B.S. in Biology at the University of Utah. After that I worked for a year at UC Davis as a lab tech (my old lab from U of U had moved there right before I graduated).

In the meantime, I applied to grad school, mostly randomly, to places that had good funding for research. At the end of my year in California, I took a 4 months break and traveled South East Asia solo. I was in Bangkok when I got the news that I was accepted at UT Austin. I spent the next seven years there, getting my Ph.D. in microbiology.

So to sum it up, it was mostly through chance that got me where I am. I knew almost nothing about all the places I moved to throughout the years and it’s all been great.

 

RW: I’ll have to talk to you about South East Asia another time. That must have been amazing. But for not in regards to your writing, coming from more of a biological/medical background to now writing novels, are there medical aspects in your work, your literary creations?

 

CYRIL: Not at all. My research was not medical, it was more basic science, how-does-this-work type of stuff. Although I’ve done a lot of scientific writing in my time, science has not influenced my creative writing. I do have a few ideas for potential novels that involve scientific aspects, but that’s in the ‘if and maybe’ realm.

 

RW: Your parents were obviously great encouragers and supporters in your education, did they encourage your writing as well or perhaps a teacher saw something? Where does the writing influence come from?

 

CYRIL: I’m not sure where it comes from. As far as I can remember I always wrote, though mostly short form and poetry. My parents always read a lot and I guess they passed it on to me, and that in turn inspired me to write. I think it comes down to a need for creative expression.

 

Cyril Bussiere

RW: How would you describe your style of writing? You write poetry and have most of your writing life, now you write a novel, how different and challenging did you find it?

 

CYRIL: My writing can change drastically from day to day, and that makes it difficult to assign it a style. For example my first novel, The WorldMight is a very poetic work, while the book I’m currently working on has a very crude and raw style.

Going from poetry to novel was a daunting prospect I had shied away from all my life. The WorldMight was not planned as a novel. Initially, it just wrote the prologue one morning, it came to be on its own, and could have been just a longish fiction blog post. It came from a ‘free his love’ idea that I had almost two years prior and mostly everything else in these paragraphs was improvised. Somehow I kept on writing after it, and everything I created past that point, the world, its magical rules and the overarching plot flowed from these first words and ideas.

RW: With the ‘daunting prospect’ and the ‘plot flowed’ comments being a bit at odds, how long did it take you to finish The WorldMight? I know the idea was probably daunting but apparently you flowed well once starting.

 

CYRIL: It took about 14 months to write the first draft. A couple of months after I finished it, my wife and I took a nine months break to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail and do volunteer work in Nepal, so I didn’t touch it during that time. When we got back home at the end of last year, I got started on the editing process and that took another four months.

 

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© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

RW: That is great to know. A lot of the ‘experts’ say you need to walk away from your manuscript for a period of time to then come back to it fresh.

You mentioned a new project that is very different form The WorldMight. What is it that you are working on now and when can we expect it in our hands?

 

CYRIL: Right now, I am working on a novel, BLUR. The story takes place in Austin, TX, and follows Barrett, a scientist and wannabe writer, and, Pete, the protagonist of Barrett’s first novel. In it I explore love, lust, and the effect childhood experiences have on intimate relationships. It’s a raw, sometimes graphic work, that’s very different from my first novel. I’m six chapters short of being done, so I hope to have it out by beginning 2015.

 

RW: Very different idea from The WorldMight. But I’ve read some on your site, especially the short story series you have going called Vamp, which I have to say is very unique take on the Vampire idea, so I know there is a different side of your writing and that you like to break out and expose your different ideas.

Now, Cyril, You wrote a novel for 14 months, what did you learn about yourself while writing The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: First thing would be that I can write a novel. That was not something I was sure of until the epilogue was finished.

Second, that I don’t have much control over the writing process. It happens more than I make it happen. It’s both engrossing when it flows and utterly frustrating when it doesn’t.

Third, that I pour a lot of who I am in my characters. They might be very different from me, but there’s always a crucial aspect about them that is a reflection of an aspect of my own persona. Sometimes, I don’t see it right away and it’s only on the umpteenth reread that it jumps at me, but it’s always there.

 

 

RW: I share the same opinion. No matter how much you want to go in one direction it just goes where it wants to. Now, what did you learn about the writing  while working on The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: That it’s hard. It’s like the blank page is my foe and we’re doing some kind of dance of seduction of the to-the-death kind and half the time I win and she bends to my will, and the rest of the time, I try and try but end up deleting hours of bad writing.

But in the end, you just have to keep on going at it, keep the floodgates open, until something decent comes out. I find that often the good stuff is inspired by the crap that came before it.

 

 

Cyril Bussiere playing guitar
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

RW: Ah, when the floodgates don’t open what is your escape from writing when you are waiting for them to open again?

 

CYRIL: Something mindless. Right now I’m getting back into classical guitar after a five year hiatus, so I do a lot of that. I’m also involved with Big Brother Big Sister and my little lent me Grand Theft Auto V so I’m playing that too.

 

RW: Obviously the floodgates opened, you revised,  what was the most challenging part of getting your book to the public?

 

CYRIL: The editing process was tough, especially cutting down 10% of it. It took me a while to come to term with the fact that I just had to, that great phrases that bog down the flow of a paragraph have to be axed without remorse, however beautiful they might be.

 

RW: What advice would you give a first time novelist venturing into publishing a book?

 

CYRIL: If in the writing stages, just do it. The confidence you’ll get from having written a book, whatever the quality, is utterly satisfying.

If you have written the book, do your research and figure out who your public is, how to reach it and what your options are.

 

RW: For me when I write I find lighting in my room influences how I write. You write songs, do you listen to certain kinds of music to help you write various scenes?

 

CYRIL: I don’t usually listen to music while I write. I find it distracts more than anything else. However, I do listen in my head to the sounds and music, if there is some playing, of the scene. It helps me soak up the atmosphere of the moment and write the character’s reactions more naturally in the given context.

Cyril Review

RW: Writing does take time away from other aspects of life. What did your wife think of the time you had to spend writing The WorldMight?

 

CYRIL: I’m a morning person and my wife is not. I wrote in the mornings, 5-7am, while she was still asleep, so it didn’t really impact her.

 

RW: That works out great. Finally, what is your go to beverage while writing?

 

CYRIL: A light beer like a Shiner or a Blue Moon. But they don’t last long.

 

RW: I know you are currently unsigned by a literary agency, if you could hand pick one what qualities in an agent would you want?

 

CYRIL: Since I enjoy writing in various styles and in different genres, flexibility would be important in an agent.  Also, given my attachment to well written sentences, one who is ruthless when it comes to editing would be a definite plus. And of course someone who would know how to get my work in the right hands both publisher-wise and to reader-wise.

 

I thank Cyril for agreeing to this interview. I must say he really agreed to help me out by doing so. My Friends here at RonovanWrites deserve to see the inside workings of getting to a goal and that real people write their dreams into reality.

 

If you are a fan of Cyril’s poetry then you MUST get this book. Just read the reviews at Amazon and the excerpts as well and you will see mention of his poetic style.

 

I ask everyone to make sure to visit Cyril at his site, cyrilbussiere.wordpress.com . You can also reach him by email at cyril.buissiere@gmail.com and of course as the whole of the world has a Twitter account, you can find Cyril there as well at @cyrilbussiere. Of course he and I are Twitter friends, and I also Follow his blog, so I’m not asking you to do anything that I don’t.

 

 

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Monday! Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

“A real adventure, epic and fantasy melt with some romance …
you wish Alymphia and all its characters to exist, the prince and his quest of love and truth
the writer does play with philosophical themes beautifully
I really recommend the book !”-Review at Amazon

When: Monday July 14, 2014

 

Where: RonovanWrites

 

What: Interview with Cyril Bussiere Author of The WorldMight

 

cyril.bussiere
© Copyright-All rights reserved-Cyril Bussiere

Why: Not because it’s Bastille Day although he’s French

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com.