Happy Friday readers.
Hope you had a great week. Let's get the weekend started off right. Author Sorchia Dubois has stop by to answer a few questions and talk about her new release, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, available for pre-order now!
Tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
a. Anti-Stress—I meditate, do yoga, and take long walks in the woods to keep myself grounded and to keep the heebie-jeebies at bay. It’s not that I am so antsy I might ought to be sedated, I am just easily distracted by other people’s problems and have to remember from time to time the only one I am responsible for is myself.
b. Batshit (or Batcrap) crazy––I was weird when I was a kid and I’m still weird. I was the kid who always dressed in black and wore too much dark eyeshadow and read Poe, quoted Shakespeare, and actually enjoyed poetry. For a long time, I tried to be normal and that didn’t work out. As I get older, I find no one is truly normal. It’s the eccentricities and differences in people that make them worthwhile. So, more and more, I am embracing my own idiosyncrasies and going with the weird little flow that is my own. But other people may not understand, so I do tone it down when I’m out and about in the Midwest.
c. Celtic (Scottish, that is)––I’ve always been an Anglophile—England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall—but I kind of avoided Scotland for reasons I did not understand. Several years ago, my daughter insisted I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander—she bullied me until I did it, actually. “You’ll love it, Mom. It’s right up your alley. Read it, I say.” Resistance was futile so with a sigh I opened the tome which is Outlander and BANG! The story—not to mention Jamie Frazer—was magnificent, but Gabaldon’s descriptions woke up some memory I couldn’t quite wrap my fingers around. I actually went to a hypnotherapist and did a past life regression, in part to see where this strange fascination came from. It turns out, if you buy into past life regressions and reincarnation, that my life in Scotland was idyllic. Somehow I managed to eke out a couple of lifetimes between wars and, apparently, I avoided thinking about it because it was so perfect. It was a heart-wrenching homesickness—the kind you avoid thinking about or you’ll go nuts. But the time had come and I jumped into all things Scottish with abandon, writing about the people and the places, attending Scottish celebrations wherever and whenever I could, and developing a strong attraction for single malt Scotch. That last one wasn’t hard at all. While the homesickness still makes me cry at odd times, I have found the whole thing liberating and exhilarating.
What are your three favorite things?
Purple, Scotch, Spring—not necessarily in that order. Purple just because. I like to think I am a displaced princess, stolen by gypsies and dropped on my parents’ doorstep wrapped in royal robes of deep purple. Scotch—especially Laphroaig—tastes like Scotland and makes a bad day so much better. A little goes a long way and it is meant to be sipped instead of guzzled. Just knowing I have a little hidden away puts a smile on my face. Spring because I love the whole regeneration and rebirth. Even though I tend to agree with T.S. Eliot’s observation that “April is the cruelest month”, Spring is the most hopeful time while also being the most barbaric time of the year. All that energy and potential, all that flux and flow, all those boiling possibilities send me outside with a garden trowel and packets of seeds and off into the woods with a camera and a flask.
Are you self- published or with a publishing company (if so, which one?)?
Though self-publishing is tempting, right now I am working with The Wild Rose Press. I am basically a lazy person who will put off until next week what I should have done yesterday. Self-publishing sounds like so much work and as long as the people at Wild Rose or any other publisher will take me on, I will let them do the heavy lifting. I admire my friends who go the self-pub way and have the utmost respect for their endeavors because I know they sweat blood to get a book published.
Music is a big influence on my writing. I have certain songs that inspire each chapter, or the whole book. What helps to inspire you?
I write witchy, spooky stuff and so I need witchy, spooky music. A guy named Peter Gundry—an Aussie, I believe—was recommended by a friend who writes similar material and wow was she right. I highly recommend his music to anyone who writes, meditates, or just likes mood music. I also write about Scotland and I believe the setting must be treated like a character. I’ve found several great groups at Scottish festivals I’ve attended and always buy cds and incorporate my favorites into a playlist for a particular book. Right now, I listen to Runrig, The Red Hot Chili Pipers (Yes, that’s pipers. They are a bagpipe group), Pictus, and Cleghorn—the last two being excellent groups who play festivals. Pictus is a primitive drum and pipe group who have to be experienced to be believed! The cd is good, but a live performance is awesome! Cleghorn was billed as a Celtic group from Texas and I nearly despaired but with the first song, they stole my heart. They are a father and son with a couple of other guys and there is nothing like their song “9 minutes of Woo.”
I make a playlist for each book and let it run as I write. I’m flexible and will add to the playlist as I go. Always looking for spooky mood music or Celtic groups to try out.
What is the ultimate goal you have for your career?
To be rich and reclusive. I have no desire to be famous and appear on late night tv shows—though sometimes I have imaginary conversations with Stephen Colbert in which I am witty and charming and urbane. This would not happen in real life and it would be best to avoid anything like that. I just want enough money to travel a bit and so I don’t have to have a part time job to pay the bills. Is that so much to ask? I want to write enjoyable books that give readers, as M.C. Beaton says, a good time on a bad day. I’d also like to be remembered for providing accurate illustrations of alternate lifestyles and religions—showing the similarities as well as the wonderful differences. I enjoy working in ancient culture and legends and showing how modern people relate to those things. Though thousands of years separate us from some of these stories, human nature hasn’t changed that much.
Tell us about your favorite writer, book?
P.G. Wodehouse or Douglas Adams if I need a laugh. Agatha Christie, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Kingsolver—among many others, but those are a few people represented on my bookshelves several times. I edit fiction and have little time for reading for pleasure these days—something I may have to address in the near future.
Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books?
My first book, Just Like Gravity, is about karma and past lives. Three books in one, the story traces the main character through three lifetimes. The same tragic circumstances threaten to overpower her current life and the main plot line shows whether she will be able to learn from past mistakes or is doomed to relive the horrible things that happened twice before. Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, to be released October 28, is about a small town fortune teller sent on a quest to save her dear, old grannies life. It turns out Granny has secrets she doesn’t tell Zoraida. There will be two more in this series, tentatively titled Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen and Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes, as well as an anthology of short Zoraida Grey stories tentatively titled Witchling. These are proving to be a great deal of fun to write because I’m working in as many different cultures as I can possibly do in three books—Scottish, Pictish, Voodoo, Chinese, Aztec, Mayan, Creole, Norse, Russian—you name it, I’m doing it. It’s a romance, of course, and has quite a few action scenes as well. This series is really stretching my writing and giving me practice for whatever comes next.
Here’s the blurb for Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones:
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
The foyer of Castle Logan would swallow my entire shop and ask for seconds. Twin flights of marble steps lined with life-sized portraits of Logan matriarchs and patriarchs wind upward on opposite sides of the room. Pausing with a landing at each of three levels of the building, the staircases converge on a hallway overlooking the foyer. Doorways open on each level, leading deeper into the upper stories of the wing. Directly below the open hallway, cleverly designed pocket doors stand partly open to reveal the drawing room and the rest of the Logans within. Curious black eyes turn our way. I feel as out of place as a pig at the prom.
The scrutiny doesn’t stop with curious glances. Questions hang in the air thick as gnats along the river and twice as biting. I still feel like a pig, only this time in the deli section near the hot dogs. Michael, the bastard, can barely contain his humor.
“They really don’t bite.” His lips close to my ear send a tingle down my spine. “At least, not all of them and certainly not at first.”
Amazon Pre-order link:
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