Today I’m very excited to be interviewing Veronica Purcell Author of Original Music Makes(I’m Kita Duran)
Welcome Veronica, please tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to create I’m Kita Duran?
Before Duran entered my life, I was suffering a creative block for years. I was living a mundane, salary woman’s existence with no other motivation than for work and tending to rug rats after office hours. As my day job involved constant research and writing for technical and business process documentation. I lost the will to write creatively. Cue sad violins playing an Oscar Academy winning song. Waah!
It was toward the beginning of this year when I was introduced to manga by a self-assured punk for a teenager. She promised the stories would lead my mind to a “good time”. So I gave it a go and found myself hooked.
My tastes began with high-end English translations of Shōujo (girly romance) and Shōnen (boy action) books. It was when I had read Seven Days by Venio Tachibana/ Rihito Takarai I felt the spark of heaven’s inspiration poke at my dulled brain. Yaoi, Shōnen Ai; now we’re talking.
I explored more boys’ love works. Despite cringing at a lot of the bedroom antics. I was sold by the rich character development these genres offered. Sure, the stories conformed to a template but so many blew the average romance saga out of the ballpark. It really put Japan on my map of hosting good storytellers. If only I could write a story as good.
My defining moment was when I had finished reading Junjou Romantica.
“Yes! I want to write my own,” I had declared and at the same time cringed. “Oh crap! I don’t speak or know much about being Japanese.”
Suddenly, I was confronted with the dilemma of possibly offending a lot of people should I not get things right. Do I really want to write a story in a setting I knew little about? Could my simple brain handle the challenge?
Finally, my day job skills were going to be useful to me for once in my life. I researched a stack of manga stories; having perused over three hundred volumes across various series. My research delved further into the Japanese culture. Picking at a lot of brains, skimming forums, internet articles and crusty tomes at my local library.
Through the course of my research the story for I’m Kita Duran and the Original Music Makes series was born.
What is your writing routine?
The first few months of the story’s formation was whenever I had a free moment. I worked on the story’s outline first. Believe it or not, the story began as a radio script drafted on Celtx so I could hear the characters’ voices on page. It’s most likely why there is a lot of dialogue in my story. That and the fact I’m a lazy writer at heart.
Once I had the bones of the story laid out from start to end. I began crafting the meat. I completed I’m Kita Duran in about four months; utilizing the Web Serial Writing Month challenge as motivation.
I’ve now dedicated a time on Saturdays to write the chapters as a weekly blog post update. I find posting to Blogger, and continuing the series as a web fiction, keeps me enthused to finish the story. As crazy as this sounds, I also see this method as a good backup option should my hard drive fail. And it does fail.
Did you have a favourite place you like to write, while you were creating your novel?
Generally in my room on my desktop computer. I also drafted a lot on my Smartphone when I was on the move then transferred the story to my desktop PC to complete the edits and upload to the blog site.
Describe what your Muse looks like to you in three words.
A broken record.
What part of writing your novel did you most enjoy? E.g. First draft, research, editing…
Planning and drafting scenarios. I’m a big picture person so I get a kick at seeing how the story flows from start to end. It also gives me a feeling of being an almighty Puppet Master over my Sims. Muwahahaha!
If you could be one of your characters, which one would you be and why?
Of course it will be Duran. Since he resembles a male celebrity I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be him (try to guess who). Kou is another, as his character derives from a colleague I knew from one of my old workplaces. Back then, I had a habit of saying to him, “I don’t know what is in that head of yours.”
Are you a planner or discovery writer?
I think previous answers says it all. I was a discovery writer when I began and found it helped hone my writing style. For something like a series, I find it’s best to plan.
Which character did you like writing about the most? Why?
Himeko. I wanted a girl I could place on the same scale as the boys and see how she copes. She’s fun to write when she goes off at her brother.
What’s your favourite subject to write about? Why?
Young adult and Juvenile fiction. I’m not mature enough to write literature, contemporary or other “adult” type of works. I definitely shun technical documents and guide books. For me, writing a how-to manual is as an enjoyable experience as root canal work.
Who are your favourite Authors?
Louise Cooper. I was privileged to have chatted to her for a brief and shining moment. She provided me with sound advice and motivation that I hold to this very day.
What was the best advice you’ve ever had while writing your novels?
An assistant editor for a genre publisher once asked me, “Who reads?” At the time, I was scratching my head with a thought that she had asked me a trick question. I found myself calculating complicated answers until my brain had short-circuit. Turns out the answer was simple and I was a clueless newbie writer.
The advice? People read so good characters and solid relationships are everything. Especially, if your storyline is simple. You could have the best book concept in the world but if the characters are not real and don’t shine the story will not connect.
What projects are you working on next?
Completing the Original Music Makes series. I have seven volumes in total planned. I’m also considering spin-offs if the series does well. At least, I’ve planned for these.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers who maybe undertaking creating their first novel at this very moment?
Don’t underestimate the power of planning. A bit of time to map the story from end to end eliminates a lot of the guesswork when writing. It allows greater freedom to know your story and characters better. When parts don’t fit well, you have an easy reference to go back to. Story improvements are a lot easier when you can see where parts flow and connect.
Thank-you Veronica for taking time to do this blog interview, it has been a real pleasure to hear about you and your novel. I wish you well with all other writing projects you may undertake in the future.
Find out more about Veronica and her book at the links below.
Amazon book link: http://www.amazon.com/Duran-Original-Music-Makes-Volume/dp/1517352770
Kobo book link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/i-m-kita-duran
Official blog link: http://veronicapurcell.blogspot.com.au/p/original-music-makes_11.html
Here is my review of Original Music Makes(I’m Kita Duran)