Thursday, April 29, 2010

Author Chat with Maria Zannini

Grab a cappuccino and let’s chat. Unless you have another favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?
I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ll gladly clink an icy glass of Coke Zero with you.

Cheers! Fur or feathers, petwise?
Definitely fur, with eight paws and two wet noses. Have I introduced you to my boys? There’s Tank, brawny and a little intimidating, but a true gentleman. And then there’s Iko. :shakes head: Iko is my penance on Earth. Fortunately, I think he’s outgrown his teenage insecurity. I haven’t lost a piece of furniture in months.

Whew. Glad the eight paws and two wet noses are on separate doggies. And those boys look like workers!
Best life lesson?

A long time ago, when I was just a kid, a beggar came to my grandmother’s door. He was dirty and hungry and I probably would’ve sent him away out of fear and suspicion. But my grandmother didn’t. She made him this humongous sandwich and stuffed a shopping bag full of fruit and bread. In the forty years since, I’ve never seen a man more grateful.
When she caught me watching, she explained that how we treat others says more about us than any glowing words or bald praise. I never forgot that lesson. We can sugarcoat our words all we want, but it’s our actions that define us.

Wise woman. Favorite quote?
There are forty million reasons for failure—but not a single excuse.

What’s your ideal day like?
A productive morning writing, an afternoon napping with my husband, and an evening sitting on the sofa reading while hubby cooks a gourmet meal (and washes the dishes afterward). You did say ideal, right?

That does sound ideal!
If you could live out any fantasy, what would you do?

One of the items on my bucket list is to travel the world, but not the regular touristy locations. I want to eat with Mongol nomads inside a yurt, ride elephants in India, and traipse through the rainforests in the Amazon. And while I’m fantasizing, I’d also like a new knee and fifteen years shaved off my body. :-)
You wouldn’t happen to know anyone who could do that for me, would you?

Wish I did, he'd be a popular guy! And ah yes, I always wanted to accompany Michael Palin on his travels too. He went exactly those places. And he'd be a cool travel companion. :)
Do you have a music playlist for your book?

Only for love scenes and fight scenes, and I only play them before I write, not during. I listen to Toby Keith, Lady Gaga and Nickelback. And I have to thank you for introducing me to Adele. ‘Rolling In The Deep’ makes a great soundtrack when I’m trying to envision angst and revolution.

I finally broke down and bought the Adele CD. She's amazing.
Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?

Greyhawke Tams, the hero in Apocalypse Rising. There’s nothing I like to see more than rippling muscles at the dinner table. LOL. I’d also like to invite Bone, the dog from the same story. He’s a hero in his own right, despite being abandoned and down on his luck. Pooches are always welcome in my home.

Both are welcome in my home as well!
While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?

Social networking really works. In the early days, I shunned Twitter and Facebook as if they were flesh-eating bacteria, but I knew I couldn’t avoid them forever.
But what to do? I was afraid of coming off like a fish monger hawking his wares. Yet, if I remained silent, I’d be all but invisible.
After some serious debate, I decided to use my blog and Facebook to tell my stories about the little things that happen to me on the homestead. On Twitter, I retweet other people’s books and blogs. Slowly, people started showing up and we were having relationships instead of drive-bys.
I discovered I didn’t have to put on airs or constantly pitch my brand. All I had to do was be myself.
It’s a slow way to reach an audience, and it won’t appeal to everyone, but I prefer it to the in-your-face-rabid-monkey dance. I want to keep my readers for a long time, not just for one book, but for a lifetime. If they like my voice and true life stories, chances are good they’ll like my books too.

Well said. Where can readers find out more about you?
Follow me on my blog:
Buy link for Apocalypse Rising
Buy link for Touch Of Fire

Both are on my TBB list! You know I loved True Believers.
Please share a book blurb and/or excerpt.

Here’s a conversation between our heroes, Leda and Grey with two strangers (Tom and Cassandra) who claim to know them.
“If our theory is correct, the portal should send you twelve hundred years in the past, just before the apocalypse.”
“The apocalypse?” Leda leaned toward him. “Is that when the end times appear?”
Tom blew out a breath. “It happened so subtly most people never knew what hit them. But you’ll be well prepared. You know how to live without machines.” He looked over at Grey. “And you know how to fight.” Tom grabbed a short branch and scratched out a crude map on the dirt. “You’ll come out in a forest. And there’ll be a freshwater spring just north of it.”
Grey shook his head. “The portal is inside a rocky crag halfway down a cliff. There is no forest nearby, let alone a spring.”
Tom gathered the soft bundle of green paper and tucked it into an old leather sleeve. “Things change, Grey. The forest was there. So was the spring. Twelve hundred years ago.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, his soft hazel eyes crinkling like dried leaves in winter.
Leda studied the older couple, but without the aid of auras, their secrets remained buried. “Why are you helping us?”
Cassandra smoothed Leda’s hair away from her face. “Because you helped us once, darlin’. Twelve hundred years ago.”

Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.

Apocalypse Rising blurb: The only place to hide was in the past. Leda and Grey have one chance to escape a madman and that’s through a portal to a time before the apocalypse. But nothing has prepared them for 21st century culture, and every misstep draws them closer to the End Times. The world is teetering on extinction, and they may very well be the cause of it.

Apocalypse Rising is the sequel to Touch Of Fire. I hope you’ll try them both.

Very cool. Thanks so much for being my guest Maria! A cyber toast to you on your latest release. Best of luck!


Cate Masters said...

Welcome Maria! Congrats on your latest release. Looking forward to reading it!

Raelyn Barclay said...

Great interview Cate. I'm so looking forward to this book Maria!

Maria Zannini said...

Look at me. Late to my own party. Thanks for hosting me, Cate. But what happened to the appetizers?

Oh, wait. Never mind. I think they're in Iko's mouth. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I am getting so nervous. This is a tad darker than Touch Of Fire. I put Leda through hell--literally.

Angelina Rain said...

Great interview, ladies. I can’t wait to read AR. Cute pictures of the dogs and I’m very glad to hear Iko hasn’t eaten any furniture lately.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: Every day I wonder, is this the day I put that dog up for adoption.

(I'm kidding.)

I still can't believe he's being good.

Raelyn Barclay said...

Which you've mentioned a time or two. Still dying to get my hands on it :)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

The dogs are sooo cute! Congrats, Maria, both on the release and on, um, having cute dogs!

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I thank you and my dogs thank you.

They are such hams.

Dru said...

Great interview. Love the pictures of the boys.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: I am rather proud of my photogenic boys. :)

Cathy in AK said...

Fun interview! Congrats on the release, Maria. Totally enjoyed ToF. AR will make another great addition to my TBR pile : )

Maria Zannini said...

Cathy: I didn't know you read Touch Of Fire. You made my day. :)

Unknown said...

I am so looking forward to Apocalypse Rising, when it hits my Kindle Monday will be doing the happy dance for you all over again!

Maria your grandmother was a very wise woman, and I think from everything I have read of your posts on your blog and others you are pretty wise too!

Congratulations and oh heavens thank goodness release day is on it's way!

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: My grandma was one in a million. She's my hero. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Mike Keyton said...

That was a bloody good life lesson.

We have yurts in wales, too, you know :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Yurts, yes. But Mongol nomads?

Though it begs the question, why are there yurts in the UK? Thanks for seeing me today.

SherryGLoag said...

I can so empathise with your FB and twitter comments. I'm still at the stage where I have to 'grasp the nettle' and get stuck in there, especially with twitter.
Loved the interview ladies,