Twilight Times Special Feature
Interview with Ariana Overton
Ariana: "Oh yes! I find that I'm constantly drawn toward many creative things. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on one or two things. I think most, if not all, writers experience this.
Probably my most creative times are those when I play with my grandsons. Children have a sweet way of bringing out creativity in adults."
2. Lida: "Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?"
Ariana: "Most definitely! Even as a small child I was always doing something to express it. I did painting, macrame, ceramics, crochet, poetry and, of course, writing."
3. Lida: "Could you share with us the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing life lead up to your first novel?"
Ariana: "I had always loved writing but, like so many other authors, had to place that love on a backburner for many years. Working a job, raising my daughter and just living took precedence.
Then, at age forty-eight, I found myself out of a job after thirty years of working. I had a choice to make; either get another job or grab the opportunity to find my dream. I at least wanted to find out if I had what it took to be a writer, so I grabbed with both hands.
I had a small apartment, my daughter was grown and married and I could live comfortably on the stipend you get for unemployment. So, I sat down and started writing Trapdoor. Within three months, I had it finished. It's not my best, by far, but it was my first and therefore special to me.
The truly ironic part is that I was on the computer so much I began to network with other people, for chats, research and just for fun. That networking brought my husband to me and me to Australia! Now, I write full-time and do website design when someone needs it. It would seem that losing a job isn't always a bad thing.
4. Lida: "How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel? How much research was necessary?"
Ariana: "That first book was a miracle. It was born without any help, but what I had read, experienced and had accummulated over the years by way of research. Although, I have to admit, Trapdoor has a lot of truth in it, too. Just ask my mother! When she read it, she called in a panic, utterly convinced that what I wrote was really happening to me and she demanded that I give up computers!
It was a liberating experience, to say the least. But... and I stress this, since then, I devote a great deal of time to hard research. My books now contain a lot of 'true' aspects that make them much more enjoyable, and believable, for the reader. In Tapestry, a lot of current experimentation information was used and the machine I describe in the story really does exist, as well as the big medical push to investigate deeper into the human mind.
In Glass House, I spent months researching the mysteries of Australia, and there are many! Fortunately, my husband, Max, has been an avid reader about the mysteries for years and he's been a goldmine of information. I also lucked out in that he is a friend with two of the leading (and published!) experts in the field, Paul Cropper and Rex Gilroy. I think many people will be very surprised at how much of that book is true! Read the pages my husband wrote in the back and, I guarantee you, you'll be sporting goosebumps and huddling under a blankie with the light on for the rest of the night!"
5. Lida: "What kind of reactions do people have to your writing?"
Ariana: "Reactions have always been mixed, as I'm sure they are for most authors. Most people view writing as a valid, and sometimes glamorous, profession and they react with awe, respect and enthusiasm when you tell them what you do. But, there are always those who view it as a way to earn money without really working. I just wish they could see how many hours a day I invest in this 'not working' profession!"
6. Lida: "Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?"
Ariana: "The only difficult part, for me, is the editing process. I have no problems editing other writer's work but I have a serious blind spot with my own. To my great good fortune I have three people who have the talent and the patience to go over my books with me and help in the process; Max, my husband, Ardy Newman, my best friend and cover artist, and Fran Foster, one of the best editors I've ever worked with. They make it possible for me to really see my work and make it as good as it can be."
7. Lida: "Do you currently have any writing projects?"
Ariana: "Do I ever! I am currently working on the second novel of the Glass House trilogy, titled A Glass Darkly. I also have a good start on the third, and final novel, Looking Glass. And, I started a murder mystery, The Devil is in the Details, last year, got four chapters into it and then was grabbed by Glass House.
I want to finish that mystery after I complete the Glass House trilogy. I'm also, as a break from my novels, working on a series of children's picture books. The first, A Gift For Roo, is finished and I hope to develop many more along this line. And, finally, there are many more books inside my head that constantly push to be born... I know I'll be writing new books for many years to come."
8. Lida: "Is there anything else you would like to add?"
Ariana: "I want all those people out there struggling with everyday life to know that dreams can come true but only if you're willing to work very hard for them and then appreciate them when you succeed. I know, I got my dream, both in my books and my husband, but I know how hard it is to keep that dream alive when other things drag you down. Just don't give up!"
Web sites of interest:
Ardy Newman's Fantasy Works
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Ariana became the family gypsy, traveling the United States; meeting new people and finding new places. After years of looking for the right man, she met Max Overton. He has many years of experience in Biology, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology.
Max also writes Historical novels and soon will impress the readers of the world with his own writing talents. They met, fell in love and were married in July of 1999. Ariana now lives with him in Australia; fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling and writing.
Ariana is a member of the Australian Society of Authors, Australian Writers Association, EPIC, a former Senior Editor and Director of Services for Romance Writers of America/Australian Chapter, and a Contributing Editor to Suite 101, with articles she writes about other authors. Her articles have been published in Inscriptions Magazine, Suite 101, Disceptatio, an e-magazine, and the Romance Writers of American/Australia Newsletter. She is currently an editor for Sharpwriter and does a monthly column for BambooBooks, both on the Internet.
Visit Ariana Overton's web site
Trapdoor and Tapestry are available from Dark Star Publications.