When I first read Willing Sacrifice by Gloria Oliver, it astounded me. She brings such a talented contribution to the e-book industry, not to mention she’s a super-energetic bundle of delight. Just reading her newsletters and the answers to my column questions makes me pleased to have come in contact with such a magnanimous author. You can not be in her presence without grinning and having her enthusiasm for life rub off on you. |
Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico—an island nestled in the Caribbean Sea in the tropics—Ms. Oliver spent her childhood playing Cowboys and Indians with several of the neighbor kids. She loved all kinds of pretend play, building houses and other things out of Legos and Lincoln Logs, and making up dramas involving her Barbies and Dawn doll.
One of the funniest moments in her life came after a lame joke when she was in junior high. The joke was, "Hi! My name is Cliff. Why don’t you drop in sometime?" As silly as it was, it still sent her into a gasping, laughing attack. Another one of those moments was when she came up with a mutated Christmas song for the TV series Supernatural.
For fun, Ms. Oliver used to translate Japanese manga (comics) to English, but doesn’t have much time for it now. She specifically worked on City Hunter and Family Compo by Hojo Tsukasa and some Dragonball by Akira Toriyama before he got picked up. She especially loved Tsukasa’s work before the manga craze hit the States hard enough for companies to release them here.
One of the things she’s most passionate about, and brings her closest to "looney land," is the TV series Supernatural. (Can’t blame her there—I’m a bit nutty about the show myself). She’s never come this close to an obsession, and she says it’s been a little scary—even though her husband thought it was about time. She adores the show and its principals, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. She’s also written tons of fan-fiction based on the show and characters.
Some of her favorite things include: Cola Slurpees (she love, love, loves them), cheesecake, all kinds of foods, books, movies, TV, friends, writing, living, ankle boots (though they’re hard to find sometimes), and tons of authors whose work she adores.
On Writing in Gloria Oliver’s Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
The characters themselves inspire me. They have stories they want told and so I try to write them so others can get to know them.
Why did you begin writing?
I had stories that wanted telling and since there was no one to tell them to, writing seemed the best way. That way I could also edit them and make them make more sense.
What author inspires you?
Oh, wow. A toughie. Stephen King—his realism in his books is what truly makes the impossible seem possible. It is an awesome talent. Rachel Caine is the Queen of Evil Cliffhangers (Oh, she knows she is; I’ve told her repeatedly!) And more recently I discovered Terry Pratchett. His Night Watch folks and just the way he can bring up everyday things and turn them on their ear or show us how truly bizarre we all are and the things we put up with is great! I could name a ton of other authors, too—Carol Nelson Douglas, Tanya Huff, Barbara Hambly, Stephen Donaldson, Tad Williams, the list goes on and on. It’s the diversity each shows from the other that makes reading so wonderful.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
The hope that someone else will read what I have written and be moved and entertained. In the end, that is my sole purpose—to share the story I needed to tell and that I have hopefully taken them on a wonderful journey with me.
Have you experienced writer’s block? And if so, how did you cure it?
I’ve been lucky and my writer’s block has never been insurmountable or too horrid. Mostly I get around it by pushing. When I get stuck, I just make myself go on, even if whatever does come out will get rewritten or thrown away. At other times I go work on another project and then come back. Or follow the muse where she wants to go even if I’m supposed to be working on something different. It’s an obstacle everyone finds out how to deal with in their own way. But deal with it you must because it won’t go away on its own. My way is to keep pushing at it.
When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
My next book should be out in 2010 and is called The Price of Mercy. It follows the story of Jarrin, a young man who finds himself accused of treason for something he never did. Rather than be killed for his crimes, he is punished by being forced into becoming one of the Twelve. As he attempts to deal with the changes forced upon him and finds clues as to why he was accused in the first place, he finds himself digging deeper and deeper into a conspiracy that could very well mean the repeat of a disaster which almost destroyed their civilization and planet hundreds of years before.
I hope you enjoyed Gloria Oliver’s interview as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please read my review of Willing Sacrifice and visit this must-read author
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