When I was offered my contract at EXtasy Books I thought it would be a good idea to get in touch with a few of their authors to see what they had to say regarding their experiences with the publishing company. Viola was one of the first that I contacted. She was very open about her experiences (all of which were good!) and was willing to offer me advice about not only publishing but also words of wisdom in regards to starting a writing career.
So let’s get to know Viola!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what made you want to be an author.
Hiya, I am Viola Grace (also Zenina Masters) and I am a Canadian who has tons of hobbies, is currently in renovation heck, and looks forward to a winter of writing. I have been writing since I was a kid, and I enjoy making folks laugh and writing imaginary friends for people. My focus is short stories as they suit my attention span and writing style. 🙂
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your most recent release? And what readers can expect when they open one of your books?
My most recent release (as Viola Grace) was Heart of the Hunted. It is book 2 of a 6 part series in a new universe where humans are being blackmailed into cooperation, and the alien species who has them has more than just their labour in mind. It is a fun universe and for once I didn’t show everyone my hand up front. To learn all the ins and outs you have to cover the whole series.
When readers dive into one of my books, they can expect a roller coaster of a short story that makes them want to take the ride again. I have the dubious distinction of being a frequent re-read for my steady readers and I enjoy that part of it.
3. What genre(s) would you classify your books as, and what drew you to that genre?
I am going to qualify most of my work as science-fantasy. There is sci-fi and a lot of fantasy mixed together. From actual new phenomenon discovered by current probes and telescopes, to dragons serving tea in a bed and breakfast.
Everything is light and fluffy.
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
Anne McCaffery. I was a huge fan and loved the idea of growing up to talk to dragons. I ended up in the inventory department, so all I actually got to do was solve mysteries.
5. Does/has anything in real life influence your writing? (Life experiences, films, books, celebrities, music, places, etc.)
My real life leaks into my books all the time. If I am hungry, my characters eat, if I can’t sleep, my characters have to spend hours upon hours on duty. I pull it all along. When I travelled I created a race that lived on canals (I still have a murder mystery plot for that place that I never wrote), and stuff like that. It all goes in. A well rounded character has hobbies, twitches, and favourite foods…just like people.
6. Of all your stories do you have a chapter, or scene, or character that you enjoyed writing the most?
🙂 Sector Guard book 1. Freak Factor. Mala (Fixer) is explaining that her life was once saved by a sandwich…I mean…haven’t we all been there?
I can be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/viola.grace.10
Twitter is @violagracewrite or @gnomesvg
Excerpt from Spike’s Day Out – Zenina Masters
Spike casually wiped the counter. “What is your aunt?”
“Aunt Dira? She is a dragon. Her sisters were a simurgh and a griffin. Their clippings were worth their weight in plutonium. Mages would literally have killed for those clippings and to have them offered prompted a surge of cooperation that was and has remained unprecedented.”
Spike blinked. “A…wow. You have quite the lineage.”
“We all do, you just have to go back far enough to find the magic in your blood.” Teebie smiled. “I wear it on my skin and feel it in my soul, but you and the other shifters pull it out from deep within.”
“Wow. That is…wow. Do you have any theories on how the shifters came to be in the first place?”
Teebie finished her wine. “I do, but there are other nights and if you are going to stay here I need to keep you wanting the next installment of insight. I have much wisdom to impart.”
Spike took her glass and put it in the rack, pouring some water for Teebie out of reflex and she poured one for herself.
“What did you have to arrange with your people to be here?”
Teebie shrugged. “Nothing. Aunt Dira handled it.”
“She has that kind of pull?”
“She is one of the oldest and best looking shifters in existence. Born of two dragons she is the only one of that kind most folks have ever met and never known it.”
“Indeed. It is something that most folks won’t even imagine. She had hosted dozens and possibly hundreds of couples in her Open Heart bed and breakfast and each of them was greeted and treated like royalty. It is what she wanted to see. Folks falling in love with every advantage she could give them. She reasoned that if you take away the worries of the world for just an instant, folks will find the mate they are looking for. Remove reality and the possibilities are endless.”
“I need that on a t-shirt.”
Teebie extended her hand and rotated her wrist. A black shirt hung from her hand in seconds, woven out of nothing. With a flourish she held the shirt out between her hands and the words Remove reality and the possibilities are endless glowed in the dim light of the bar.
She handed it over with a smile. “There you go. Consider it a welcome present installment. The rest will come when you take your day to rearrange your situation. When you get back your house will be…different.”
“You know you have me beyond curious now.”
Teebie winked. “I am a huge fan of building suspense. I have been working on a novel with Chuck and Ivy giving me critiques. It has been a rough start but I am on the third book and I think this one will be the best yet.”
“Nice. Are you published?”
Teebie laughed. “Oh, hell no. The books are all about a blue woman trying to make it in the wide world, solving crime and making friends. One would call it mystery but it is pure fantasy as you know.”
Spike pulled on the shirt and grinned when it settled into place. “Thank you. I have to ask, is there any way for you to use a glamour like the fey do?”
“Yes and no. I have the power to do it but none of the fey will teach me how. For them it is natural and for me it will be an effort to cover my magic with more magic. It is like slapping paint over more paint. You just have to hope that the colour doesn’t bleed through.”
“And when it does people get excited.”
Teebie made a face. “Putting it mildly.”
Spike sympathised. “So, aside from writing, what do you do for fun around here?”