Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks


I’m registered with a site called Blog Tour which has the slogan: “Authors need to be seen. Blogs need content.”

I met Nova Sparks on the site and we set up an interview for her. Let’s get it going :-)

Nova, where are you from and how old are you?

I’m from the Bronx in NYC. My age is a secret. But, I will say I’m in my twenties. I’m twenty-something.

When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside back then?

The farthest back I can remember starting to write was when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old. My mom bought me a diary because that was the cool thing back then. Instead of writing about the things that happened to me, I made everything up. My mother snuck into my room and found it and read it. She yelled at me for being a liar but realized that I had a knack for story-telling.

Wonderful!

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?

Ever since I can remember, everyone has been calling me a writer but I never believed it myself. I’ve always been writing. Even when I was in high school, I wrote my friend’s papers for school so they could get a good grade. The thing about me is that I hate doing what people expect of me. Everyone wanted me to be a writer and I tried to pretend I wasn’t interested in it. Everyone thought I was going to be a musician and wanted me to go to college for music, I went for Urban Planning. I pissed everyone off all my life, all while secretly writing TV shows and movie treatments hoping to be a screen or TV writer. I read somewhere that people should be willing to do what they love doing for free. I realized I’ve been writing all my life, every chance I got. When I finally let a few family members read my treatments, they thought the story was really great. And they are brutally honest so I had no choice but to believe them. I thought I’d give it a shot. It took a while to realize that I was good at writing and an even longer time to start calling myself a writer. I think when I finally say it out loud, my family will say “We told you so” and I hate when people say that.

:-)

What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

My biggest goal is to see my book series turned into a movie. I started off trying desperately to get my first story the DOME on HBO and that failed. Now that the first book is out and I changed it up a bit, I realize that I would love to see it on the big screen instead of the little screen. That is my BIG dream. My small dream is just to be known. I want my stories to be interesting and innovative and I want people to read my stories and know my stories. I don’t even care if they know my name. As long as they know my stories, I’ll be fine. I wouldn’t mind at all if someone says, “I love the DOME trilogy by that girl.” I would love that!

Sounds like a very healthy attitude to me

Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?

The only thing I can say is that I took one creative writing class in high school. My strong suit is story creation. I’m pretty good at spelling and formulating a clear sentence, but no one is perfect. I make mistakes sometimes. I edited my first novel because I was on a $0 budget and some people have spotted a few grammatical errors. But I’m human and I’m woMAN enough to admit those mistakes. I’m just happy it’s a few and not a TON.

Hey, with my recently published book, even after me and the editor and a number of other authors had gone over the manuscript a number of times, the printed book still came out with a few typos

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

Definitely reading other stories. I try my best not to read a lot of books in my own genre because I strongly believe that, no matter what, you can’t ignore what you’ve read and you may just unknowingly copy a concept from another writer all while really believing you made it up on your own. I’ve read a few urban fantasy romance novels and I’ve learned from them. I try not to write the usual story. I know for a fact that there are a gazillion vampire books out there and it’s really difficult to come up with a new concept for a vampire novel. I’m going to try to stay away from that. I decided my first book should be in the sci-fi genre because that’s my first love. I’m definitely not into Hard sci-fi and my book isn’t Hard sci-fi. I like to watch a lot of movies but I do think I’m a little weird. I love sci-fi but don’t ask me anything about it because I try not to learn other writer’s styles. I love the paranormal and I watch a lot of paranormal films and TV shows but I try not to read a lot of paranormal books because I don’t want the concept to be in my subconscious and write a whole book on a stolen idea.
Believe it or not, I learn the most from romance novels and mystery novels. Even though my books are mostly sci-fi/paranormal urban fantasy, there is always a mystery and romance. I’m a huge sucker for romance.

:-)

Who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?

I can say that my favorite writer is Emily Giffin. I’ve read all of her books and I love how well she can pull you in and make you beg for more. My other favorite author is super new. He has only published the first book in his Leech series. It’s called Caleo and its book 1. It’s gay YA fantasy. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads and I can’t wait for book 2. Really…

Hmmm… Maybe you’ll mention his name in the comments, eh? :-)

Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?

I always think of what I would love to see or read. I try my best not to take any ideas from any other author or screenwriter. I’m a huge advocate for original ideas. It is a little difficult to do because who in their right mind wouldn’t jump on a popular concept? If the whole world was going witch crazy, why not write a book about witches? For me it’s a little different. I look at the popular concept and think of what can I do that is totally different from that, without knocking myself out of the box.

I find that attitude very refreshing, Nova…

What is your normal revision or editing routine?

Lol. Because I edit my books, it’s hard for me to find mistakes I’ve made if I’ve been looking at it for weeks at a time. Because of that, I force myself not to look at my book for about 5-10 days and when I finally look at it, I find a lot of mistakes I’ve missed. I recommend that for a lot of self-publishing writers who have a very small budget. BUT I also recommend getting a professional editor to look at your work as well. Someone affordable but good at what they do. It is impossible to find all the mistakes in your own work. Believe me, when I first published I thought I weeded out all my mistakes. I was wrong. But I will say that I weeded out A LOT of the mistakes.

I traded an English Grad student an acknowledgement in the book for editing; still… those typos showed up…

So, you indicated you’re published……

YES!!! I am published and it’s soooo surreal! I’ve been secretly dreaming of this day all of my life and it’s here. I published my first book the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1) in the beginning of May and it has been getting some really positive reviews so far. I never thought I’d see the day. Book 2 in the DOME trilogy is called the DOME revelation and it is scheduled to be released mid to late July for Kindle and Nook. Paperback will be released soon after.

Please, Nova, tell us about your books…

My first book series the DOME trilogy is my baby. It is the first TV show treatment I wrote and is the one I pushed the most when trying to get it picked up. Here is the synopsis:

What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do? Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth’s demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family, and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam’s mind can’t seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth’s sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding?

Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.

Told from the point of view of both Sam and Emma, I take readers on a journey to discover love, fate, faith, truth, and the mystery of the DOME!

Seems you got that originality rule of yours woven tightly into the book :-)

Can you go into the “purpose” of the series?

I wanted to write stories where humans are taken out of their comfort zone and forced to recreate what it means to be human. Too many times have I’ve read a book or seen a movie or TV show where aliens come to Earth and invade or there is a UFO sighting. I wanted to write a story where humans are taken from Earth and have to live on an alien planet with nothing but their memories to start over with. It really forces humans to figure out what really makes them human; and, is it all worth fighting for? It really makes us look at ourselves through the eyes of another species.

I really hope this trilogy shines light on the human potential and the human purpose. I really believe that we are a ridiculously cocky and arrogant race of people and we are never really shown how small and insignificant we are in the larger spectrum of things. But at the same time, I want this book to show how rare and precious we are as well. I thought of this whole concept while staring up at the night sky outside my window which I do for 2 hrs straight every night before going to sleep. The night sky really reminds us of how small we are and how much world there is out there that we haven’t even touched yet. The morning sky doesn’t have the same effect as the night sky. The night sky is the open window to the universe.

A nightly deep-sky meditation… How cool!

Thank you, so much, Nova, for taking the time for this interview!!
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Folks, here are some links for Nova :-)

Her Blog

The DOME for Kindle

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Now it’s time to leave a few comments for Nova :-)
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And, do check out Nova’s Second Interview here
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
Get A Free Copy of Our Book

9 responses to “Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks

  1. Nova Sparks June 2, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Oh sorry! I didn’t even notice I didn’t add my fav author’s name. His name is james crawford (all lowercase please). And he is AWESOME! Seriously…

    Like

  2. Simone Benedict June 2, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Great interview! There have been quite a few good ones, but I think this one is my favorite so far.

    Nova, I really like how you point out being careful about what content we allow in (through reading). I’ve always worried if I read “bad writing,” it will somehow be reflected in my own writing. I guess that form of “self censorship” also sets some writers apart from other readers.

    I’ll check out your work. It sounds very interesting.

    Like

    • Nova Sparks June 2, 2011 at 2:53 am

      WOW! Thanks a lot for your kind words. I’m truly honored. Seriously I am.

      I like that word “self-censorship” and I’m so happy you like my interview.

      Thanks a lot for considering reading the first book in my trilogy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

      Now I’m nervous. :-)

      Like

  3. Karla Telega June 2, 2011 at 7:14 am

    The concept of humans having to reinvent themselves is fascinating. Also, when people tell you to read a lot of books in your genre, I wonder how much they absorb and “replay”. I decided to take a different tack. I purposely used a lot of cliches from mysteries, and wove them into a rather formulaic plot line. I wanted to poke fun a bit at the textbook mystery novel. Adding humor keeps it light and fun to read.

    Like

    • Nova Sparks June 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Lol. That is really interesting. I never thought of embracing the cliches and turning them into a story. I do completely agree that humor is important in some of the heavy stuff like mysteries, horror, romance, sci-fi and such. What is the name of your book? Are you published? When will you be?

      Like

  4. Pingback: What’s on my reading list week? Visionquest by Laura Tolomei « …At Your Fingertips

  5. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks, Part Two « Notes from An Alien

  6. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks, Part Two | Notes from An Alien

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