Interview with Larriane Wills conducted by Lucille P Robinson
Will you give us a brief sentence or two describing Looking Glass Portal and how you came to write the story?
LW: Garrett is a modern day cowboy, a loner by choice, not planning to be among the living much longer. After being attacked, mortally wounded and taken aboard a space ship, he tries really hard to keep that detachment. The characters and creatures there have other ideas. As to how I came to write the story, I have to admit I don’t remember what started it off. I started writing years (and years) ago, not doing anything with my stories other than packing them away. When I ‘came out of the closet’ Portal, a fav, was one of the first I began working on to prepare for submission. Once re-writing began, it expanded with more ideas.
LR: Still talking about Looking Glass Portal, how did you come to build such a world? All the details made it live!
LW: The details came into existence, some as I needed them to make the story work, others to create an image for the reader to visualize. Just be happy I don’t add everything I visualize. You wouldn’t be able to lift the book off the table if I did.
LR: How did you keep from confusing the reader with the details of Glemm and the yayantz? The Glemm look like what we used to call daddy longlegs, a spider. But the Glemm had two sets of six legs. Daddy Longlegs had only eight legs like any spider. The yayantz resembled Glemm. So many legs! How did you keep these two apart?
LW: By giving each a very distinct appearance different from the other (beyond each were black and had six legs) and personalities and actions. Glemm didn’t have wings and never flew, unless you count the time Vo shocked him. I didn’t have any difficulty keeping them apart, anymore than I would have Garrett and Midi-whatever. But then those characters are all very alive to me.
LR: Let’s talk a little about The Knowing. Please give us a brief description of The Knowing and tell us how you came to write it.
LW: The Knowing centers around the life of one man, marked at birth to be used as a religious and political sacrifice. From the time he’s an infant he learns The Knowing, taught to him by his mother in defiance of the prophecy that calls for his death. The story begins with him as a man, fighting his forbidden attraction to one woman, and shutting another out while the religious and political fervor still threatens him. I found it interesting that what started the story off in my head, was not something about the main character, but the woman. I observed a middle-eastern couple in a grocery parking lot, her swabbed in clothes from the top of her head to her ankles, him in a short sleeved shirt, open at the neck. She did all the work unloading the groceries while he stood by, and she had to ride in the back when they left. I started wondering how she felt about the position of servitude she was living, surrounded by women dressed in shorts, driving their own cars, etc, envious, resentful, complacent? What would she have done if offer an alternative. The princess came into being in my mind, her dress and circumstances exaggerated. The question then was who could offer her an alternative. Would she take it? The story, once it evolved, moved the focus away from her, but that was still the little germ that started it.
LR: The Knowing is labeled as a Fantasy/Historical Romance. What makes it a fantasy? What makes it a Historical Romance?
LW: The lands of Amor and Ives exist only in my mind and on paper, therefore it’s called a fantasy. It’s historical because the time setting is an equivalent to our Regency Period, not modern day. They ride horses and in wagons, not cars or space ships. Romance? One woman’s love for Garran, his resistance to letting anyone into his life, knowing the threats against him and whether or not there will be a happy every after ending.
LR: Did you create Atat Comm? What is its meaning?
LW: Oh yes, Atat Comm is all mine, though I will admit not too far amiss from some current political and religious beliefs in a coming savior. It’s a promise of a speaker, shield and sword coming from the darkness of war and oppression to save them.
LR: For The Knowing, how did you learn to write the dialog or is there actually a people who talk like that?
LW: I doubt you’re going to find anyone who talks like that now. You may have found something similar a hundred years or so ago in Cockney English. I used a few words, coined a few phrases and used a placement of the words to draw the reader into a different time and place.
LR: Let’s talk a little about your writing habits, Ms. Wills. Do you follow a firm schedule or do you write any time you can find a minute?
LW: Schedule? Sorry, I’m laughing here. No, no schedule. I’m an obsessive writer, when the story is going, don’t bother me. I go to bed with it still running in my head and wake up taking up where I left off, going straight back to the paper and pen. My family has learned to tolerate and only complain occasionally. I have to be reminded to eat or fix dinner, only breaking away when nature calls painfully, and like I said, don’t bother me.
LR: Do you write a first draft before editing or do you edit as you write?
LW: My first drafts are always in long hand. The only real editing I do then is making the time line and such accurate. I don’t get down to commas, undefined this or that, etc until after I type it into the computer.
LR: What authors or writings have influenced your own writing?
LW: Dozens, I was an avid reader long before I began putting my own stories down. I think everything I’ve ever read has influence me in one way or another, from I wish I could write like that to that sucks. Good examples and bad help you develop your own style. When I’m not writing, I’m reading still.
LR: What other types of writing have you done?
LW: Primarily romance in many genres. I have two contemporary romances coming out in Oct and Nov, Morning Meadow and Thirteen Souls. In Dec the first of a series of western romances will be released. I may throw in a witch or two—Evil Reflections just accepted—then again it may be ghosts, or maybe not. I pretty well mix things up. The sex may be hot and sensual or soft and sweet, just depends on the story and time setting. As for time settings, anything from centuries ago to centuries in the future, from our world to worlds never seen. I’ve just given myself a tag line, “The gateway to imagination.” If I think it and the story jells, it goes on paper.
LR: Where might the readers locate The Knowing and Looking Glass Portal and your other writings?
LW: Both, and all to follow, are available in ebook and printed forms. My publisher, Swimming Kangaroo.com carries the ebook forms as well as fictionwise and mobi-pocket. Printed can be ordered from Amazon.com. Information on those and upcoming can be found on my site, http://www.larriane.com. Oh, one little note, the romances will be under my alter-ego name of Larion Wills in an effort to give my readers a signal as to what to expect. Larriane is for fantasy and science fiction.
LR: If you could only give the beginning writer one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
LW: I gave advice to a would be writer just last night. She gave me two samples of her writing, telling me they weren’t that good. In the form they are, they really aren’t, but they could be. My advice to her was “finish them”. Don’t let your idea of ‘they aren’t that good’ stop you. Work them until they are.
LR: Finally, Ms. Wills, can you offer at least two writing prompts?
LW: Ummm, okay
1. The noise itself wasn’t that disturbing. Where the thud came from was.
2. “You did what!” Helen shrieked balancing two year old Kevin on one hip and dragging four year old Christy by the hand.
LR: Those prompts are good. Thank you, Ms. Larriane Wills, for your time and we wish you all possible luck in your future writing endeavors. Be sure to inform us when your next book is published.
LW: Thank you, Lucille. You’ve made me tax my brain a bit since I seldom analysis my writing with the why and where buried in my sub-conscious. Made me work a bit, but it was fun. I will most certainly let you know when the next come out.
Lucille P Robinson
Previously published on the AR site 2008