This is week four of our festivities, and we still have more to share with many Champagne Book authors and even more GIVE AWAYS.
As on day one, anyone who joins the Champagne Book Blog today will receive a free e-book! If you leave a comment you'll be part of today's drawing for a free e-book. If you let a friend know about our blog and they join the blog, you'll both be entered into the end of the month drawing for two print books, an e-book and a surprise gift.
Now, for our blog, we offer for your reading pleasure a glimpse into our world.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Some questions for the dueling duo:
Have the two of you being writing together long, and how many books do you have with Champagne? Does chemistry play a big part?
Z: Three questions, gotcha: 1) We have been writing for what seems to be a lifetime together, separately. There have been many titles published since 1996. B) KILLER DOLLS will be our first with Champagne, followed by SNAKE DANCE and CHASING YESTERDAY. This will be at least our eighteenth collaboration. Finally) As a chemistry major in college, I figured out early that the most entertaining of all experiments were the ones that were the most reactive. So, some days I'm the catalyst and others Angelica is.
A: Zi answered the first two, and I never did pass chemistry, so my response is, we can be combustible when we write together, just playing off each other until we believe we found the right formula that will tease emotion out of our readers.
Z: Angelica as a once Philly girl has an edge that bites but never cuts clean. Couple that with my analytical proclivity and we've a formula for sparks.
A: Sparks... sometimes outright infernos. If you'd always do what I said things would be smoother.
Z: Yes they would... but far less entertaining.
A: You got a point.
A: You think she was just asking about how we got together?
Z: Naw, and if she was, it's a secret.
Who has inspired you as writers?
A. In truth, Zi has been a great inspiration to me, and a procurer of seeing the truth behind the words, never compromising that truth, even in fantasy worlds there is a logic and theme that has to be recognized and respected. I owe this revelation to him, taming my creative frenzy when it becomes outlandish.
Z: Just read what you wrote... my response is... poppycock... it was not two days ago that you told me I couldn't spell hero if spotted H E R. No one believe her, she is spinning a tale. I work with her. I know her. She's evil in ways you don't understand. Having said that, I feel very fortunate to share writing with her. Thomas Fuller wrote, "When Fortune smiles, embrace her." Thomas must have met Angelica Hart.
A: You're so full of ca-ca.
Z: That's my story and I'm sticking to it. When the corn is ripe, pick it.
Not many authors of the opposite sex could create a world that both could live in for the length of time it takes to write a book. Tell us, how it happened and how do the characters feel about what you came up for them in one of your books?
A: (Blurts) Let's discuss SNAKE DANCE!
Z: Don't I have a say?
A: (Thinks) Mmmm, sure, but let's discuss SNAKE DANCE.
Z: (Does the eye roll, twice) Fine! (Takes a breath and begins) The creative meeting we had brainstorming the fantasy for SNAKE DANCE was an epic adventure in compromising our lack of a willingness to compromise. The world ultimately became a huge extension of Angelica's imagination. The trade-off was that the characters and the conflict reflected mine. Ahhhhh, if it was only that easy. Whereas, the story unfolded naturally and with simplicity, since we both found a remarkable fascination in the iconic tale. But the color, the facade, the tone and texture were occasionally a confounding task. We literally wallpapered our office with page after page after page of ideas and as we constructed the planet Starling we drew from what seemed to be an endless reservoir of cognitive subtext.
A: Did you tell them that we fought... and fought?
A: There is a point of sexism that has been raised. The most beautiful component of this Angelica Hart and Zi collaboration is that we have a profoundly deep honor and respect for both sexes, and their place in the natural coexistence of relating. Yes, we see the differences, and adore them. We see the formidable instinctual tugs, and enhance them. So, I think I'm comfortable in saying that it's not the negative we feel but the awesome positive nature of a man and woman creating, they believing, truly believing that the world and the love in it have endless possibilities.
Z: One of the most important points of view I maintain is that every female protagonist is complex, strong, has heroine qualities, and can be the every woman. Mind you, this is hard in fantasy but the template is always in place. I will never agree to a mindless female. Furthermore, Angelica and I have agreed that the principle characters must, and I shall repeat, must have a reason to feel love before they do the horizontal snake dance.
A: As for the characters feel: Well, when they're lonely, they hate us. When they're being chased by the bad guys, they hate us. When we poke fun at them, they hate us. But when we arrange in the finale for them to requite the honest pursuit of love in that very special way, they put us on their Christmas card list.
Z: The depth and complexity of both the world and the conflict we placed in that world is the greatest gift we give each other as writers, for from that aforementioned depth, the characters can often and quickly reveal themselves more richly.
A: And occasionally more naughty.
Z: Duh! Why else the complexity.
Z: Thank you for reading about us. As one armadillo said to the other while standing on the side of the road, "Be careful, the walk across could get you tired." It is always my pleasure to try to entertain and we hope we entertained you.
A: You actually used an armadillo reference? Have you no shame? We hope you enjoyed our interview. We want to thank anyone who has ever read anything that we wrote. We write for you.
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at firstname.lastname@example.org and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.
Angelica Hart and Zi
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Monday, February 21, 2011