Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
Her latest book is the science fiction novel, The Moreva of Astoreth.
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- Visit Roxanne Bland’s website.
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- Find out more about Roxanne at Goodreads.
- Visit Roxanne’s blog.
Would you call yourself a born writer?
Yes…yes, I would. I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer, though it took me decades to realize it. I mean, I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. The only difference now is that I’m writing them down, instead of keeping them in my head.
What was your inspiration for The Moreva of Astoreth?
The real impetus for this story dates from my college years. Just for fun, a friend and I collaborated on writing a tale. The details are long forgotten, but the story’s basic outline remained with me. Then, years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s series, The Earth Chronicles. More years went by, and one day, I was thinking about my college friend and the story we’d written, and then I started thinking about Sitchin’s work. Out of that came the idea to apply Sitchin’s theories to the story my friend and I had written. And so I got to work.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
Right now I’m exploring bigotry. I think that sometimes, people we hate is a reflection of what we hate in ourselves. The problem is that our self-hate can destroy us. Once we identify what that is, we can work to change it by practicing self-love. If we can do that, the bigotry fades away, replaced by love.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
Eighteen months, if you include the hiatus due to writer’s block. I went through a period where it seemed everything I wrote was garbage, or I couldn’t think of how to continue. It seems I just shut down. A two-month brain fart. Perhaps I needed the break, because when I started writing again, the words just seemed to flow.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
Before I retired, I’d get up extra early to write, then when it was time, it was off to work. After the day was over, I’d decompress for a while, and then go back to writing until it was time for bed. Now that I’m retired, I’m finding that discipline lacking. I’d envisioned that I could just sit in front of my computer and write to my heart’s content. But even in retirement, I have places to go and people to see. I still get up early and write, but I’m finding on the whole, I don’t write as much as I did before. I suppose you might say I’m still trying to find my groove.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
Really, except for that two-month period, The Moreva of Astoreth wasn’t hard to write at all. I guess what hung me up the most was time. Peris, the planet where the story takes place, has a twenty-eight hour day. It was hard not to think in periods of twenty-four hours. I had to draw a clock to help keep me straight.
What do you love most about being an author?
The creative process. I’m a pantser—I write by the seat of my pants rather than plotting—and there’s little more enjoyable than watching a story unfold as a write it. Sitting back and dreaming, watching the movie in my head, and writing down what I see.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
With my first book, I tried going the traditional route. Of course, I was rejected time after time, not that I didn’t expect it. Then, in the middle of writing my umpteenth query letter, something my father had said came back to me—I ought to go indie, or independent. In other words, self-publish. I started my own publishing house, and all my books are published through it. I’m happy with my decision. In fact, I have plans to expand my enterprise to include other speculative fiction authors.
Where can we find you on the web?
On my blog, Of Werewolves and Other Strangers, http://roxannebland.com
My Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Roxanne-Bland-Author-289392377750996/
On Twitter, https://twitter.com/RoxanneBland2
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Roxanne2