Thursday, March 3, 2011


I'll write a little something about my earthquake experience soon.

In the meantime , here's my very first interview, with Avery DeBow. Her book Resonance is a dark urban fantasy with plenty of action, cool magic and a totally kick-ass punk sensiblity. It belongs on the shelf right next to my favorites in the genre: Charles Lindt's The Blue Girl and the work of Jim Butcher. Without further ado, heeeeeeeere's Avery!

  1. One thing that really struck me about RESONANCE was the magic. You've go

    t this really well-developed worldview. Tell me, did you sit down with heaps of notebooks and map out all the 'rules' of your world, or did you make it up on the fly and smooth out the rough edges in editing?

I have lots of books on magic(k), demons, witchcraft, and any other supernatural/occult topic you can imagine. I spent a good deal of time reading through them, picking up bits of inspiration. The rules sort of solidified from the bits I liked best. I write everything on index cards, so I had a file box nearby for reference as I worked to keep me on track. Sometimes, though, an idea had to be scrapped or reworked because I’d get to a point where two of my rules contradicted one another. Thank all of the gods in the books I just mentioned for Search and Replace.

2. Resonance is one hell of an angry young woman. How much of her is in Avery, and vice versa?

Avery was once an unmanageably angry person. Then came the exorcism named Resonance. Now Avery is mostly a manageably angry person who is allowed to interact with others on a supervised basis. The addition of roller derby to her schedule of activities has helped greatly.

3. Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

First, I set a La-Z-Boy recliner on fire. Then, there’s the hula skirt, two forks, and poster of Johnny Depp...

Really, it’s just research books, index cards and playing the “What if” game with my husband until he’s ready to strangle me. Example: (As we’re making dinner) “What if Resonance has to join some freaky circus and walk the tightrope? And what if the tightrope is really some portal to another reality and she slips through? And what if the clowns over there carry these tiny dogs that bark in a key that makes you lose control of your body? And what if…?” This goes on until his shoulders slump and his eyes glaze and his soul shrivels into a tiny, hard raisin. I then lapse into chastised silence until it’s quarter past midnight and we’re lying in bed and I just can’t hold it in any longer and blurt out, “And what if…?”

4. So, Kindle... how did you find your publishing experience? Heartbreaks? Headaches? A pure joy?

A ridiculously long, poke-me-in-the-eye-with-a-hot-fork process (hmm, seems I’m really stuck on the forks this morning. Sorry. I haven’t had breakfast, yet). It was like running a marathon—horrible while I was doing it, and yet I’m somehow fondly looking back on it.

Despite the fact I knew next to nothing about coding, I wanted to code the book myself, so it would be as professional in appearance as possible. I bought an eBook on the subject, proceeded to understand not a word of it and then hit up my friend and author/coder Natasha Fondren for help. She was very supportive and kind the whole way through, and was able to force computery knowledge through the thick, technology-resistant coating on my brain, but I suspect she’s now bald and wearing a fancy white jacket with wraparound sleeves.

There were two moments in the whole process I cherish. The first was when we were talking about inserting images and I just couldn’t understand how one could “code” an image. Natasha had walked me through some related coding and told me to save my images inside the file’s folder. When I opened the document on Explorer to preview a chapter I had been working on, there the pictures were, right where they needed to be. In a heartbeat I went from Zoolander monkeying with the computer to actually understanding how those images were linked to the lines we’d written. Sad, I know, but a high point for me, nonetheless. The second was the moment I had the final PRC file. I opened it on my Kindle app. and it looked gorgeous. In an instant, my weeks of seemingly hopeless bumbling became proud gratification.

5. That first morning I saw someone bought my book, I cracked open a bottle of champagne. How did you feel when you saw those first sales? How did you celebrate?

Not too excited at first; I knew it was my dad. That’s not to say I wasn’t grateful, but his support wasn’t exactly a surprise. Then, I found a mystery sale, one I couldn’t track since I hadn’t announced the publication. That one made me pretty happy.

I haven’t celebrated, yet. I have a sales goal in mind. Once I reach that number, I will mark the occasion with the thing I’ve promised myself for these six or so years since I started writing Resonance—a very large tattoo.

You know, I think I might know some writer guy who does ink. I’ll have to check on that.

6. What's next for DeBow?

More. Hopefully, lots of the more. Harmony, the sequel to Resonance is underway. I’m looking at early next year as a release. There’s also the novelization of Junket City, which was my play-along, Mad-Lib style story I wrote in weekly segments on my blog for half of last year. After that, there are a couple of started manuscripts waiting in the wings I’d like to revisit and put out there. I’m really hoping for a DeBow blitzkrieg--my books flapping inescapably all over the Internet. I don’t know quite why they’d be flapping, but it sounds good.

  1. And finally, do you have any advice for other writers following in your footsteps?

I’m in driving-through-a-blizzard-at-night-mode. I’m creeping along until someone has the nerve to pass me and then I’ll just follow their tail lights to safety.

Go buy Resonance, right now. You can find it here! :)


Charles Gramlich said...

Great interview. I'd also like to find out how long it took Avery to write it considering it's got quite a lot of words in it.

AvDB said...

Charles -- Writing the first draft took me just under two years. It was my first novel and dealing with all of those POV characters sometimes became a challenge. Editing, well, I'd still be editing if I hadn't had a brief flash of common sense and decided enough was enough and declared it "done." ; ) In all, I started it in 2004 and began shopping it in 2007.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's cool. If you'd told me you'd written it in 4 months I was prepared to hate you. :)

AvDB said...

You never have to worry about that phenomenon with me!

Kate Sterling said...

Pure awesomeness on every level.