Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview with Zoraida Córdova, author of THE VICIOUS DEEP!

I'm freaking excited VERY PLEASED today to welcome debut author (and Apocalypsie) Zoraida Córdova to my blog today. Her novel, The Vicious Deep, will be available early next year from Sourcebooks Fire--and it's about mermaids. Or a merman to be more precise. Anyways! Zoraida very kindly allowed me to interview her despite the fact that she was doing a million other things, including getting ready to take a trip to Rome. xD But I'm letting myself get away from the subject of this post----so now I'll shut up & show you the interview :)

Bio: Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and raised in Hollis, Queens, which means she should've been a hip-hop celebrity instead of a writer. She likes shiny things like Christmas, merdudes, and the skyline at night. She lives in New York City

Clickables: {blog} {twitter} {the apocalypsies} {the nightstand}

When did you realize that writing was a way of life rather than a hobby?

When I was 13 I first read IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I was SO impressed that she was only 14 when it was published. Seeing someone so young published made me even more determined to be a writer for life.

Maybe if I knew then what I know now I would've pursued being a lawyer or something! (jk).

How do you find time (and the discipline) to write while living in New York City? (Or what I like to call The City of Ultimate Distractions!)

Actually the city is my inspiration. I work nights and write in the day/afternoon. I think I've developed self control. Plus, once I want to write and I really get going, there are few things that'll get me out of my writing space.

Describe your journey to publication in five words or less.

Don't try this at home.

How did you and your family react once you got the news about the book deal? :)

My reaction was very somber. My agent called me around 10 or 11 AM. I was sleeping so it's almost a miracle I woke up! So when she said we had offers, I gave a sleepy "wow. cool."

It didn't hit me until later. My family is glad for me. I think they'll get it more when it's actually published. In Ecuador there is no "publishing" world. What you get in novels is coming from Mexico or Spain. So, being a writer is an extremely American choice for someone with an immigrant family. Mostly because there's no security. I might as well have said "I want to be an actor" or "I want to win the lotto."

After a long absence from blogging, I was really happy to see you pop back into the blogosphere! Were you writing The Vicious Deep all that time?

Yes ma'am! I'm also sucky at keeping my blog updated, but it's even worse when I'm writing. (writing>blogging, totally. I missed you though!)

Was there anything—or anyone—that triggered the inspiration for writing The Vicious Deep?  

I wanted to write an inverted THE LITTLE MERMAID. It's always about a girl and her choice between two hunky boys. What about the guys?! They have problems too! Tristan's becoming a merman coincides with his becoming a man and dealing with his body changes and desires.

That, and there was this beautiful lifeguard at Coney Island I saw one summer. He just stared out at the water and it helped me shape Tristan. I wanted to write this guy. It sounds hoaky to say "I dreamed it." Only I did. I could see him and the world just sort of fell into the right places.

The Vicious Deep—that is such an excellent title. Was this the working title from the beginning or did it change at any point to become TVD?

Originally it was MERMAIDS?!?!

Seriously, I had no idea what to call it. STAR OF THE SEA and MERMAIDS OF CONEY ISLAND were some of my first ideas. When I was editing, there's a reference to different names for mermaids over the centuries. One of those names (which I think I made up because I can't find it anywhere else) is "dwellers of the vicious deep." TA-DA! (Even if that's made up, it's perfect. O_O)

Did you research any mermaid folklore before you started writing the story or did you just let the story unfold on its own?

I've always sought out mermaids stories. But this world is totally me. Other than some mythology texts, mermaids picture books, and The Little Mermaid, I haven't read other mermaid novels. I wanted to stay away from them while writing this. Though I love that mermaids are bringing sexy back.

I'm excited to see what the reception will be.

What is it about mermaids that have you completely enamored with them?

Their mystery is endless. I've always felt a kind of connection to all things beach and water. I can't swim very well, but when I'm at the beach I feel peaceful. I like the idea of creatures close to nature that are also half human. Shifters, half breeds, and were-anythings are particular cool to me because it can serve as a metaphor to so many contemporary things. Multiculturalism, sexual orientation confusions, mixed desires.

Plus, mermaids are shiny. And I like things that sparkle. (Me too! xD)

The main character your novel is Tristan, a teenage guy. Was it challenging for you to write from a male’s perspective?

Yes and no. It was liberating but at the same time it's also very me. Tristan is a young guy from Brooklyn so staying true to THAT voice was more important to me than worrying if I sounded like a boy or not.

I know that some readers are wary of reading a guy’s point of view when the author is female, and vice versa. What would you say to those readers?

I think that it's a silly thing to worry about. Men write in the female perspective more often than the other way around, and there isn't a fuss over it. (This is quite true.) If I used Z.A. Cordova, then you wouldn't think about it, right?

If you don't pick up this book (and you really should) let it be because urban fantasies aren't "your thing." Not because I'm not a guy writing about a guy.

It's like being an actor. You just have to be convincing in the role. Say I wrote it with a girl main character. That doesn't mean it's going to be automatically good. Women can screw up female POVs just as badly as anyone. I'm a debut writer so it's going to be a chance. I get that. TAKE THE CHANCE :) Tristan is the kind of boy you hate to love. :)

What’s your writing process like? Do you use outlines or just see where the story takes you?

I handwrite as far as I can get. Then I make an outline to see where I have left to go. Then I transfer it my laptop :)

Some writers have to be in a certain place or have a certain object with them at all times as they’re working. Do you have any writing quirks?

Coffe. Or wine. Maybe a burger and whiskey. Lets just say food and drink!

How would you describe your writing style?

Casual. Laugh-in-the-face-of-danger-aloof.

Writers sometimes feel self-doubt, fear and other ugly emotions whenever they’re having a bad writing day. What do you do to cope with those negative feelings?

Take a break. Right now I have a deadline for the second round of edits. Part of me is going "omg, someone is actually taking a chance on me?!" The other part is confident. Another were-emotion. LOL. (LOL, I'm sure you'll do excellent. ♥)

What’s it like being an official member of The Apocalypsies? :D

I LOVE IT. It is the coolest group of writers I've ever been a part of. So supportive. So chill.

Are you working on any other projects currently?

Brainstorming. LOTS of it! (Good luck! :D)

Thank you, Zoraida, for answering my questions. I hope my readers enjoyed the interview! And that they put another book down for their wishlist ;) Also: the giveaway for the Coney Island surprise prize pack (coming from the author herself) will be ending today at some point so if you haven't entered already, please do! The winner will be announced tomorrow AND the cover for The Vicious Deep will be revealed. Entirely. (Expect something deadly, hehe.)

No comments:

Post a Comment