Author Interview: India Wilson
Welcome to the first day of Authorpalooza! Remember, this is five days, five authors. And next week, we'll have Giveawaypalooza, which will feature six giveaways over six days! Please make sure to share your thoughts about each interview in the comments section. I'm sure all our authors will be glad to interact with each and everyone of you. If you have other questions not covered in each interview and I'm sure our authors will be glad to answer them. Let's begin Authorpalooza with a mysterious author. As you have noticed, we don't have an author photo because India Wilson wishes to remain anonymous. Adds to the mystic, don't you think?
1. Please state your name, occupation, and cocktail of choice for our readers.
The name I use is India Wilson, which is a pseudonym. I cannot tell you what my other occupation is besides being a writer because I am remaining anonymous with this book, for the sole reason that the racy nature of a book with a dominatrix as the heroine could interfere with my "respectability" in my other career. My favorite cocktail is a Tequila gimlet - made with gold tequila, Roses's lime juice and a wedge of lime. I find tequila the most mellow of alcoholic beverages - being made from the mescal plant rather than grain alcohol is probabyl a good reason why!
2. When did you decide to start writing?
I think most writers will tell you that it may feel like a decision to start writing – or taking yourself seriously as a writer – when in truth there is some inner engine or motor which drives that impulse or desire. I think of it as similar to horses who jump: you cannot force a horse to jump who does not want to as they have an innate desire and ability that you can tap into. I think there’s a natural proclivity to write in some people, which they either nurture or ignore and sooner or later they tap into it. And, as with performance horses, while you can train a talented horse to jump in better style, or faster, or more consistently, you cannot make a basically untalented horse do any of those things.
3. What's the one book that you keep coming back to time and again? Why?
BIRD BY BIRD by Annie Lamott is a life-saver for writers when you get bogged down, lose confidence, or feel overwhelmed. It's one of those precious books that you get something different from every time you dip into it - but always something that makes you laugh, gives you insight and frees you to do the best writing you can at that point.
4. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
This book seems to span genres and I since it started out as a psychological portrait of a very strange character, a first person interior monologue– or so I thought. Then it turned into a thriller – it morphed on its own, it wanted to have a bigger palette, a larger world, so to speak, and then became a political thriller. So once again, I did not experience it as my decision – but rather the character and material, which led me down a different path. There are some people who mistakenly think this book is salacious, or erotica, when it absolutely is not. The main character happens to be a dominatrix, and her comments and activities about her world are surprising, odd and intriguing, but the book is in no way arousing or erotic as most people think of erotica.
5. If I peeked into your closet (assuming you hadn't hit me with a bat yet) what would I find the most of and why?
You would find a mind-boggling proliferation of pink in every part of the closet - from pink camouflage shelf paper to pink suede boots in three different styles and shades, to every sort of pink shirt, sweater, socks - even a hot pink leather jacket and cowboy boots. I have found myself more and more enchanted by the color pink and feeling so much happier when I am wearing it (even in rare circumstances where there is no pink in my outfit, I'll still have on pink underwear). I feel only partially dressed if I don't have pink prominently in my clothing choice every day.
6. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
PROVOCATIVE – the subject is racy, forbidden, fascinating or repellent, but once a reader allows herself to go with it, the book is provocative on many psychosexual levels in unraveling what inspires either mainstream or deviant sexual desires. Our society is pretty uptight and Puritanical about sex, so I knew it would be a challenge to get those people with knee-jerk negative reactions to give it a try- and find it provocative in ways they had not imagined.
7. If you could be inside the head of any writer other than yourself, who would it be and why?
Andrew O'Hagan just wrote a book about Marilyn Monroe's dog Maf, and it was my introduction to his writing. What a brain! What a depth of general knowledge and wisdom! What inventiveness! What an ear for dialogue and an eye for the re-creation of already famous people into characters you feel you know! What a broad-thinking writer, who sees the bigger picture and ties together Big Themes about being human along with the particulars of the story he has created. I'd love to have a brain that stuffed with knowledge that I could access and put to good use in creating fictional worlds. I cannot wait to read more of hiw work.
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
It has been a short and surprising road: I knew I had to publish with a pseudonym and also remain anonymous, so self-publishing was out of the question because too many people in the process would have to know my true identity. I had the humbling experience of sharing the book with a dear old friend, an author herself – Tracie Hotchner, who husband Edward Jaffe is an investment advisor (and “serial entrepreneur” as he calls himself). Tracie was disenchanted with the traditional publishing model for herself – and they were considering starting their own imprint for her next books. Then I am still amazed- and grateful – to say, they were so excited about THE KNOT ARTIST and what they believed its prospects were for success, that they asked whether they could launch Lightning Strikes Press with my novel and the rest of the planned trilogy.
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
Write because you feel you must – write for the process, not the end result. Don’t worry who will hate it, who might love it, who will accept or reject it. Push all thoughts of success or failure, acceptance or rejection, out of your head on a daily basis (Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is essential for achieving this quieting! And I think should be required reading for all writers, veterans or newcomers) The central issue in writing is to do it for yourself- considering a possible audience, but mostly writing a story you have passion about and feel the creative juices flowing once you quiet those external pressures and concerns. And I would urge people to NOT write memoirs or journals which I think are too narcissistic and don’t demand discipline and taking yourself seriously. Come up with characters, plot, and a story that someone else might care about – or that triggers your imagination – and you can give your personal memories, thoughts, and feelings to some of those fictional characters.
10. At the end of the day, what is the last thing you worry about and why?
Every day I worry that I could have written (on days I do not), or that I could have written more if I did get to work. I try not to be self-critical about being productive - I try to tell myself that the subconscious is always at work and writing is being done on the inside of my skull that will come out before long - but I usually cannot quiet the judgmental voice (BIRD BY BIRD deals with this brilliantly in the chapter "K-Fucked")
Thank you so much for being a part of Authorpalooza, India! It's a pleasure having you visit Reads, Reviews, Recommends. I'm sure everyone is curious about Knot Artist and can't wait to win a copy.
Watch out for that giveaway to be posted next week!