For today’s Indie Summer Feature, please welcome Abria Mattina to Parajunkee’s View.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I look like a normal little bookworm, but inside I am deeply weird. I love to write and to blog. I can’t cook, but I’m a killer baker. I also have synaesthesia, so I can read in color and see music. My everyday life looks like an acid trip, but without the time skips.
In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?
Love Among Pigeons is a companion novella to my novel, Wake. It takes place about six months after the epilogue of Wake, and focuses primarily on Willa’s family. They didn’t get as much page space in Wake as did the Harper family, and because they’re so geographically spread out I didn’t get to focus on their issues as much as I would have liked. Love Among Pigeons gave me the chance to do just that.
I also got to bring back some of the things I loved about writing Wake, including amazing recipes. A full list of recipes is available on my website, if something in Willa’s kitchen catches your eye.
Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?
My favourite character is the one no one else seems to champion — Frank Kirk. I think it’s the name that turns people off, because it’s not a name you hear very often these days. You hear it and you automatically picture an old man, yelling at kids to get off his lawn.
I like Frank because he’s the character that’s closest to who I am as a person. Frank is deeply private, very stubborn, and can be emotionally intense when he has the opportunity. He’s hard to read, but fiercely loyal.
Frank’s parents play a bigger role in this story than they did in Wake, and I infused them with a lot of my own parents’ traits. His little sister Willa is who I wish I could be if I were half as quick-witted and ballsy. I don’t think I could get away with saying half the stuff she says in real life. Willa’s boyfriend Jem, the other protagonist from Wake, is unfortunately inspired by my personality flaws. But people seem to like him best — call it a quirk. He can’t cook, and neither can I.
What makes your book different from other books out there in the same genre?
The feedback I hear most from readers is about how “real” the characters are, so I suppose that’s what sets Wake apart from the pack. The romance between Jem and Willa develops slowly, and these are not normal teenagers with pedestrian problems. Their issues are big, real, and ugly, yet they persevere. The book has also been known to make people hungry.
What led to you going “indie”?
I studied publishing at NYU and I’m a bit of a control freak, so I just went for it. I learned a lot in the process and have made some fabulous friends that I might not have met had I handed my manuscript over to someone else and let them do the dirty work.
Is Writing your full time profession?
It was for a while, when I was otherwise unemployed. Now I work as a marketing professional and freelance publicist, and write on the side. It’s better that way, because a varied workday can be inspiring.
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
I tend to switch mediums a lot. I might start out with pen and paper and switch to Pages, and then to Word, and then to Scrivener, and then back to pen and paper. I rarely outline, and I almost never write a story in order. I prefer to write the pieces as they occur to me, and sew it all together later.
I also can’t write unless my back is to the wall. I think it’s a Sicilian thing.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I greatly admire Diana Gabaldon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Scott Lynch — none of whom write in my genre, funnily enough. I’m in awe of their ability to master these huge, sprawling stories with such great detail. Their research processes must be staggering.
What are you reading now?
I’ve always got five or ten books on the go. I read a lot more since becoming I’m a book blogger. At the moment I’m reading The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.
What advice can you give to struggling writers?
There is a big difference between being a writer and being an author. Writers are solitary creatures, much like bridge trolls. Authors are performers on the public stage. Think very carefully about whether you truly want to be an author. If you do, make sure you start while you’re still “just a writer.”
Amazon Goodreads Author Web Twitter
Abria Mattina works in marketing, writes to stay sane (or maintain a particular level of insanity, depending on your perspective), and blogs about books for fun. When she isn’t doing any of those things, she’s probably baking.
Visit her at www.abriamattina.com