Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Author Interview: Philippa Ballantine

Many of you may already know Philippa Ballantine (i've seen her books around a lot and they are at my TBR as well) so here is your chance to learn more about her. I want to say BIG THANKS for taking the time and answer the questions since was really busy the last days. It's always nice to have an author around and tell us something about themselves.

Btw, we are +1 author who has as an answer for "latest movie at the cinemas", X-Men First Class. We are up to 3 now!! Hahaha!!

-Try to describe your book in one sentence.

A fun romp through Victorian England with explosions, knife fights and plenty of banter.(for Phoenix Rising)

-Your genre in  is Urban Fantasy/Paranormal right?. You did that on purpose, or you just start writing?

I do all kind of speculative fiction. Geist is more traditional fantasy. Chasing the Bard was historical fantasy. Phoenix Rising is steampunk. And my book coming from Pyr Books next year, is dark fantasy. I really do just set out to write, and explore characters and worlds that interest me, and I tend not to think about what subgenre marketing folks might put it into.

-What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

My urge to write came from my love of reading which my father fostered. So most of my influences came from those books; CJ Cherryh, David Gemmell, Elizabeth Moon. I love to watch movies, but I think if I am influenced by anything it is documentaries. I love to see different sides of humanity I might not otherwise encounter and put them into my books.

-Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?

I used to a corporate librarian, so I love research. In fact the hardest part can be knowing when to stop. For Geist and Spectyr I did a lot of reading on the supernatural, as well as various world histories. For the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels we spent a long time reading about Victorian society, and people's daily lives. I try and understand the world my characters will inhabit, because it has a huge effect on their reactions and personality.

-Which scenes were the hardest to write?

Usually I can get through any kind of scene eventually, but I find action scenes the hardest to work on. I usually end up in the editing process reading them aloud and waving my hands about a lot to see if the actions fit.

-How long has it taken you to write a book ?

It can take from three months to a year depending on what else I have going on. In April last year I was able to go full-time writing, so I've been able to get quite a bit more done since then. It's a luxury I really appreciate, as many writers don't get that chance.

-What’s the best part of writing for you?

I love it when I hit a groove. The words flow and it feels like you're connected to something bigger than you. I guess that is where the idea of the Muses came from.

-Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?

Right now I am under deadline for Wrayth, the third book in the Books of the Order series. So writing has occupied my attention. I try not to read anyone else's work so it doesn't bleed into my own.

-Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?

I tend to keep my writing to myself in the first draft all to myself, as it feels new and raw. However when it gets along a bit I let my writing partner Tee Morris read it. He's great for spotting those pesky plot holes.

-Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I have always wanted to be a writer, from a very early age. When I was a teenager that was my dream- I just never guessed it would actually happen, and be such a circuitous route.

-How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews? 

I adore social media, and so I am very much into hearing from my readers and listeners. I reply to messages- even it is just a thank you. I do read reviews, but I do not respond to them. I think that is a little unprofessional. Everyone has their own opinion and they are well within their right to express it. However if someone asks a question in a review, I have replied to that. Not sure if it scares reviewers or not!

-Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?

I wish! No, marketing one book, editing another, and then writing a third pretty much has me tethered to the house right now.

-Something special you want to share with us? 

I am working on Wrayth, the third book in the Books of the Order. Then onto my series for Pyr books, called a Shifted World novel. Both feature kicking heroines, and magic, but the tone of them is quite different. 

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?

I loved Tolkien from an early age. But I love David Gemmell and his book Knights of Dark Renown

-Your favourite band/singer?

I do still love and follow New Zealand band Shihad.

-Twitter or Facebook?

I've come to enjoy Facebook, but I adore Twitter

-Favourite place in the world?

Wellington, New Zealand

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

X-men: First Class (loved it!)

-The last book you’ve read?

The Native Star

-Have you ever googled yourself?

As a writer it behooves you to keep an eye on what people are saying about you. So I in fact have a google alert for myself.

-Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

Hanging out with friends

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

I would probably go back to being a librarian.

-And last one....printed or ebooks?

Since I am a nostalgia buff, printed.




    Just stopping by to have a look around.


  2. Fun Questions! and awesome answers! <3 Great job ladies!


There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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