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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome Author Nicola Furlong...

Where do you hail from?
A friggin’ lucky Canadian, I was born during a freezing Alberta winter, raised under endless Saskatchewan skies, summered in Prince Edward Island, kicking red sand and scarfing back church suppers, and survived my Capital punishment working in Ontario/Quebec skyscrapers. Luckiest of all, I now write genre fiction, create a podcast for writers called The Novel Experience as well as promotional book videos, grow ornamental poppies and have a blast biking the sea-kissed rural roads of southern Vancouver Island.

What do you do for fun?
My life on my lovely BC island is mostly fun; however, I survive the travails of publishing by cycling, playing ice hockey, growing perennials, and eating chocolate fudge. A chunk of fudge, a plot point, a chunk of fudge...well, you get the picture.
 Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I've recently taken a few of my published mysteries and republished them as e-books but the coolest endeavour involved staging a fake rock concert! My partners and I recently transformed my controversial sci-fi horror novel (Unnatural States) into a fun, innovative online multimedia experience called a Quillr®. It's not a book; instead the text is punctuated throughout with video clips and photographs and the reading is enhanced by music and sound effects. We had an absolute gas doing it. Armed only with an iMac, a digital camera and some portable lights, we hired 12 actors, shot and edited over 50 scenes from the original novel, created a musical/sound effects score, built a new website and staged the fake rock concert. Sadly, I didn't get to be a backup singer on stage!

The result is an experimental multisensory Quillr® story (available for free at www.unnaturalstates.com) in which three strangers are desperate to know the astounding secret, resurrected from a controversial relic, which is being shrouded by a stigmatic, pop-evangelist, called John the Apostle. Their combined inquiries trigger revelation, ruin and murder. Prepare to be intrigued, challenged and shaken up.

We'd love to receive comments and reactions on our experimental storytelling platform.

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
The germ of a kernel of the idea for Unnatural States crystallized after I saw two documentaries: one on the stigmatic healer Padre Pio and another on new scientific techniques in DNA. My little brain buzzed them together with a bunch of old "what if" scenarios during a bunch of bike rides and something unnatural arose.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Yeah, putting my butt in the chair in front of my laptop and spending weeks creating stories when I'm not certain anyone is going to want to read them, much less buy them.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Get involved in writers' groups and seek help from others. If you're a genre writer, create a strong series. Readers love identifying with memorable characters and want to follow them beyond book one. That's a mistake I made when I finished my second mystery, A Hemorrhaging of Souls. It was planned as a series of dark psychological thrillers but I got side-tracked with writing Unnatural States. Also, listen to author interviews on radio and podcasts, etc. I've recently started producing The Novel Experience, a podcast where I interview book-related folks to discover tips and techniques for the craft and art of fiction writing. You may listen to it at http://nicolafurlong.com/blog/nicolas-work/novel-experience-podcast-2/. Lots of great take-away!

How did you deal with rejection letters?
I eat a lot of chocolate fudge and rail about it to the skies and earth while biking. Then I move on but I don't forget.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
There are a trio of personality characteristics I believe are essential. I call them the three Ps: Prying, Patience and Perseverance. Also, you've got to be a shameless self-promoter and have F.L.A.R.E; that is be Fresh (original), Loud (in voice and appearance), Articulate (for panels and interviews), Respectful (to audiences, agents, publishers, booksellers, reviewers) and have the Endurance to survive!

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
Sure, I research intensively for my novels. As an example, I took signing lessons to understand voice therapy for my second mystery, A Hemorrhaging of Souls. Unfortunately, as my Grandmother would say, "I can't carry a tune in a bucket."

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?
I'm really pleased with our Unnatural States Quillr® (www.unnaturalstates.com) because both the story and the multimedia format are controversial, exciting and original. 

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
I volunteered at a professional women's golf event and caddied in a couple of LPGA pro-ams while researching my swinging whodunit, Teed Off! Slip sliding up and down 6200 yards of wet grass while carrying a golf bag in the rain and making sure your player is happy and healthy is a lot tougher than creating plots and characters!

Where can we find out more about your books?
You may find out more about moi and my work at www.nicolafurlong.com and at www.epubbing.com. Thank you for your kind interest!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to checking out Quillr.