Here is my interview with Nyasia A. Maire

My thanks to Fiona Mcvie!

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Fiona: Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Nyasia: My name is Nyasia A. Maire and I will celebrate my 60th birthday this November!

Fiona: Where are you from?

Nyasia: I was born early one Monday morning in Encino, California and have made Studio City, California my home for 31 years.

Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e.: your education, family life, etc.)

Nyasia: I began writing at an early age and have never stopped. Reading is one of my great passions, an extension of my love of words. My favorite genres are science fiction, horror and fantasy (books or movies.) And, as strange as it may seem to some, a love of all things computer.

I graduated high school in 1975 and attended college for two semesters…

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My Annual Plea to NOT drink and drive!

“O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in’t!” 

Miranda’s Speech from “The Tempest,” Act V, Scene I by William Shakespeare

~~~

I believe in the basic goodness of people. Truly, I do. I believe that within each one of us lies the drive to do the right thing, to place the needs of others before our own; to step in and lend a helping hand to those in need. Sometimes this force lies dormant for the span of an entire life, never finding a situation that calls it into the fore, but when circumstances arise, this compulsion to do right cause the most milquetoast of us to stand tall and do the most amazing things.

My mother taught me this and she lived this philosophy.

With that said, I feel the need to share the following with the hope that it can save one life and many people the accompanying and unending sorrow.

On June 1, 1984, a drunk driver hit a car containing three members of my family: my maternal grandfather, my mother and my daughter.

The paramedics reported that my mother, grandfather and the drunk driver were DOA. My daughter survived. They transported the unconscious six-year old to the hospital in critical condition. She regained consciousness only once. She was in pain and frightened by the intubation tube that prevented her from speaking, but when our gaze met, I saw awareness in her beautiful sapphire eyes. My baby looked back at me and she knew me. Then her eyelids slid closed, never to open again. Just as quietly as she lived, my baby silently slipped into a coma and there was nothing I could do to help her.

On April 24, 1978 at 1:52 a.m., she came into this world and on June 8, 1984 at 10:24 a.m., she left it.

There is no closure. This is a pain that never ends. A sadness that becomes more intense with the passing of years. It just gets easier to hide from the living that walk around me. But, it is there, hiding not so deeply inside me. Every day, the pain consumes a little bit more of me and after 33 years, I cannot help but wonder how much of my heart remains.

PLEASE, DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE!

~~~

 Memorial Photo

~~~

Book Reviews – From the Other Side

phantom

On December 27, 2007, I left a review for a writer on FanFiction.net. The title of the story was (and is) “Leitmotif.” The author’s pseudonym is “iamphantomgirl.” From the nom de plume, you’ve probably guessed that the fan fiction was about Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I’ve read (and written) fan fiction. I feel there’s nothing wrong with reading other people’s takes on character you know and love.

With that being said, I remembered writing a review of one of the chapters for the aforementioned story. Not quite sure why, but I thought it might make a nice blog topic. On FanFiction.net, a person writes their stories chapter by chapter and the readers have the ability to leave reviews chapter by chapter.

In the chapter that I am reviewing, the author killed off a main character. I am not a fan of killing off characters. I feel, well, read the review. It speaks for itself:

♦♦♦

So, I take it that Meg’s death is the tragedy you mentioned in your story description. “The Siege of Paris forces the ghost to become a man and to take responsibility for those he loves. After a tragedy sends him to America, he finds a new life and a new love…” While I understand the need for a tragedy of truly epic proportion to drive the plot of your story, I would caution you not to rely on killing characters on a regular basis. It is a seductive trap because it is all too easy to solve a plot complication (or create a plot complication) by killing a character.

Strangely enough, Stephen King’s book, “Bag of Bones” delves into this topic and even though I read the book almost ten years ago, the idea remains fresh in my mind. The following is a synopsis of “Bag of Bones” from Books and Writers by Bamber Gascoigne:

“Bag of Bones (1998) deals with the grief process in an uncompromising way. In Bag of Bones, King returns to the theme of the loss of a family member, then adds the classic haunted house and familiar elements from his previous works: a small town where people know more than they tell, a secret collective of the guilty and a hero who can’t avoid his confrontation with evil. Hidden deep within the village of Sarah Laughs are old crimes, sins and secrets. All are gradually revealed to the reader through an analysis of the conscious and unconscious mind of the writer’s main character, as if he were spread out on Freud’s couch.

Playing with fire, King plunges into the mind of Mike Noonan, an author who suffers from writer’s block. Noonan’s wife, Jo, died unexpectedly from a brain aneurism, which causes him to suffer panic attacks every time he turns on his computer. Needing to escape the painful memories of the city, Mike retreats to his cabin in the village of Sara Laughs, where he and Jo spent happy summers together. There, Mike meets a young, widowed mother, Mattie, and her daughter, Kyra, whom he helps in a custody battle with the child’s grandfather.

Mattie is one of the liveliest characters in King’s story. Her sudden death, while a logical twist of the plot, comes like an electric shock to the reader. And, King meant for Mattie’s murder to shock the reader. In the last pages of the novel, King speaks through Mike and returns to the issue of Mattie’s death. Mike says, as an explanation why he no longer writes, that ‘to think I might have written such a hellishly convenient death in a book, ever, sickens me.’

Bag of Bones continues the series of books by King that explore the writing process and the inner workings of an author’s mind. The Shining, Misery, The Dark Half and now, Bag of Bones are among his most revealing and personal works.

King is not among those writers who claim that they don’t have time to read. Bag of Bones offers a delightful analysis of Herman Melville’s story Bartleby, and comments about various books and a number of “real life” authors. Among those included in the story is author and poet, Thomas Hardy. Hardy stopped writing novels at the peak of his career and turned solely to writing poetry. A quote, attributed to Hardy, states that the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones.”

Sorry about the long-winded review, but as a mother who lost her six year old daughter to a drunk driver, I can tell you that there are no words that can sufficiently express the devastation a parent experiences when a child dies. And, to lose a child to an act of violence…again, words fail.

On the positive side, your story evoked a strong response from me…strong…not negative, so, I end this by saying, well done, my friend! Well done…

♦♦♦

Even after 10 years I remember the story and the review. A good story moves us. A great story stays with us – always.

♦♦♦

Check out my latest novel, “The Heretic’s Child,” available at Amazon.com.

You can also check out my fan fiction at FanFiction.net. If you run a search for my name, you’ll find my Author’s Page and it has a listing of my silly little ditties. The stories are free. The only one I really recommend is “The Perfect Solution.” The others, well, I’ll give myself a break and say that I was new to the genre when I wrote, “Christine dans Deux” and leave it at that. The other, “The Crystal Rainbow” was ruined by a hard drive crash. I have a strange habit of writing the first chapter and soon after, the ending of the story comes into my mind and I have to write it. I had already written the ending of the story (and had no back-up – shame on me!) when the crash sent it to story nirvana. For the life of me, I can’t remember what I wrote, so that story is good up to the end and the end just kind of fizzles. Someday, maybe, I’ll re-write the ending.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Best wishes to all!

~ny

‘Trump is going to snap’: a rejoinder

Infinite Coincidence

The post I wrote two days ago in the first hour after waking up has proven to be hugely popularand so is generating a lot of responses. Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and commented so far.I’m endeavouring to reply to all the comments on the site but it’s beginning to geta bit out of hand. I want to be sure in myself that I haven’t misled anyone with what I wrote. In particular I’dhate to be responsible for any sense of complacency. Here are some nagging reservations I have about what I wrote, plus some stuff I missed out.

  1. A lot of people are saying that Pence is worse: more rational, more stable, but with an equally psychotic agenda. Some of the things he stands for and has implemented in relation to women’s rights would make the Taliban nudge each other and raise an eyebrow. He would…

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Author Teams

campfire

So, what’s an author team?

That’s easy it’s a group of Indie Authors that team up to help each other generate interest in their books. I decided to join a team sponsored by Books Go Social. We’re one of the first teams, so we’re still ironing out the wrinkles, but I believe this is a wonderful idea and am hoping it will help all of us sell more books. *Fingers crossed!*

One of my fellow authors, Chris Walters, made a Christmas Recommendation blog and I’d like to share it with you, so here it is:

Author Chris Walters Blog

Of course, my book is featured as well as several other authors on my team.

We’re Indie Authors and we’re proud!

Please check us out!

Clear and Present Danger

checkerboard-squares-black-whiteI would like to preface this blog by saying that I refuse to apologize for getting on my bully pulpit and talking politics. I refuse to remain mute at this important juncture in history. If I remain quiet, I am just as much to blame as those creating the problem. Hence, this blog.


White is an achromatic color, a color without hue.

The color black is the absence of color.

Think about that for a moment.

Doesn’t it seem to you to be the same definition only using slightly different words?

The absence of hue causes the color white and the absence of color causes the color black.

Now, look at the background of this document.

What color is it?

That’s right; it’s white.

What color are the words that I’m writing?

That’s right; they’re black.

Now, hold up your hand and place it on the screen.

Do you match either color?

Are you white; or are you black?

What was that you said?

Oh, of course, I can’t hear you because I’m not really in the room with you. You’re just reading my thoughts, but I bet that none of you match either color.

And, that’s okay.

You shouldn’t match them.

I’m not sure our human chemistry could produce either absence. Even people that are born with albinism (Albinism is a genetic condition where people are born without the usual pigment (color) in their bodies. Their bodies aren’t able to make a normal amount of melanin, the chemical that is responsible for eye, skin, and hair color…) are a color and are not a true white; nor, is the darkest skinned person on earth a true black.

What is the purpose of my stating this?

I’m just trying to draw attention to the fact that once again, we humans in all our fallibility have created a standard of segregation that is determined by inaccurate definitions.

No one is white.

No one is black.

We are all one.

We are all humans.

We all descended from the same people. The color of our skin became determined by where on earth our ancestors lived and the color evolved through the millennia to what it is today. The darker the skin, the more protection from the harsh rays of the sun. This was necessary in hotter, sunnier climes that were closer to the equator hence causing prolonged periods of sunlight. People living in northern regions lost the higher levels of melanin due to lack of stimulation; their skin didn’t require protection from the sun so their bodies didn’t produce it.

I have two eyes.

So do you.

I have two hands.

So do you.

I have two legs.

So do you.

In a perfect world all of us would be born that way. Of course, it’s not a perfect world, but that’s no excuse for not trying to make it so.

And now, back to today’s world. At this important moment in time, we need to remember, now more than ever, George Santayana. In 1905, he published, The Life of Reason, in it he said,

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Winston Churchill said,

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

—House of Commons, 2 May 1935, after the Stresa Conference, in which Britain, France and Italy agreed—futilely—to maintain the independence of Austria.

After this horrific election cycle in which we had the evil we knew running against the danger we did not, it seems that the majority chose the evil we knew. Unfortunately, they didn’t live in states where their votes would matter, so now, we are left with the danger we do not. If this man decides to throw away this important moment in time, so he and his cronies can make more money, the entire world will suffer.

According to Google: Clear and present danger was a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, or assembly.

Our world is in a clear and present danger; danger from deforestation, climate change and nuclear proliferation caused by multinational corporate greed.

We stand on a knife’s edge.

Let’s hope we don’t slip in the blood and fall.

All the Words a Genre

So, what’s frustrated_student_sm-2in a name?

Everything.

One of the first things people ask me is: what genre is your book? The other is: what’s it about?

I don’t know about other authors, but I find both of these questions extremely difficult to answer. The genre under which my novel was published is “Fantasy,” but that’s really not descriptive enough. As in life, my novel contains romance, suspense, mystery, home improvement, history, friendship, love, death and the whole damn thing. (To borrow a phrase.)

Yes, books need to be classified as fiction or nonfiction and then broken down into sub-genre, but that’s just to make the life of a person working at a bookstore easier when they’re filing your book on a shelf.

Thomas Hardy said, “Compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there, the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is nothing but a bag of bones.” What I take this to mean is that writers can only create characters with broad strokes of their pens. We can’t write every single detail, it would make for a very boring read.

For example: one of my characters has a birthmark on her left leg and her daughter has one on her right. She’s left-handed and her daughter is right-handed. As the creator of this piece of fiction, I know this fact, but I haven’t passed it on to my readers because it really isn’t relevant to the story. It’s small facts like these that make people and differentiate characters from people, but I’m diverting from my main topic.

I’m talking about genres.

Genres have four main types: poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction.

Since I write fiction, I’ll restrict my comments to that area. There are at least 20 sub-genres of fiction that I borrowed and edited from Wikipedia. So, here goes . . .

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Crime
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror
  • Magical Realms
  • Mystery
  • Romance
  • Saga
  • Satire
  • Science Fiction
  • Speculative
  • Surreal
  • Thriller
  • Urban
  • Western
  • Whimsical

I’m quite certain that you, my dear reader, will be able to think of more, but 20 is a pretty good number with which to begin.

Of course, there are specializations to each of these and combinations thereof. For example: Zane Gray wrote Western-Romance-Thrillers; Lewis Carroll combined Poetry and Fantasy in his Alice novels; and J.R.R. Tolkien combined Fantasy, Magical Realms and Saga in his Middle Earth-related books. For a non-author-specific example: Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction. Those are just a few examples.

In my opinion, a good book needs to combine many different genres in order to make the story feel real. A romance novel needs to have more than steamy love scenes in it if the author wants the book to be something more than two-dimensional.

The mail goal of an author is to tell a story. In order to do the telling properly, an author needs to make the story relatable. The best way to do this is to give the story pieces of everyday life.

Now, I could be wrong and I welcome comments. However, I know stories that I’ve read that gift the characters with everyday quirks seem more interesting and are able to draw me into them more than stories without.

Tell me, what do you think?

~ny

P.S. Update on the companion novel to my current release, “The Heretic’s Child.” I’ve changed the title once more (hence, the reason we call them working titles.) The latest is “To Tell a Lie”.

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Please check out my website for information on upcoming appearances and for links to venues where my novel is available for purchase.

Thanks!