Author Spotlight

 

I had the opportunity to chat with talented author.  So, without further delay let’s hear from…

Zoe LaPage

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you have something else in mind?
I've always had a really strong grounding in the arts.  I knew that I had a talent for drawing and painting at five when I used to sit with my little ink set and do Chinese brush painting.  That became my focus, but it went hand in hand with a love for Ballet.  I drove my parents crazy in grammar school and high school, because I was one of those little girls who ate, drank and breathed Ballet.  When that evolved into doing theater dance, I found that being a chorus girl in musicals was the most fun I'd ever had.  However, I always made my living through graphic design, technical writing and training.  Fiction writing came much later than art and dance.  It grew out of my love for literature.

I read you were a dance major, boy, you are talented on so many levels! Do you still dance?
Oh, thanks!  I stopped dancing when I started having a job that required travel.  Working out at the gym and running replaced the dancing.  I do occasionally take hip hop dance classes at the gym.

Tell us what makes Zoe…well, Zoe.
I've always been different.  When I was younger, that translated into not fitting in and being a social outcast, but now I think people appreciate my uniqueness.  I have a home dungeon where I sit by candle-light listening to the splash of water from my lion-head fountain.  On the whole, I think I never do what's expected.  Even though I have a pretty straight corporate job, I still like getting gothed-out and going to a concert.  I like transforming my look once in a while, too.

You write paranormal stories.  What draws your interest to this genre?  Do you see yourself trying something different down the line?
I started out writing horror, but it was always more a psychological kind of horror, and it always had a love story in it.  Someone told me I should write paranormal.  At the time I’d never heard of it, but it does really suit my personality.  I also write young adult novels and I have one published (AltDeath.com) under the name, Sally Bosco.  I'm still working on writing YA, either horror or unusual subject matter.  I have an urge to write an experimental horror novel, too.

Tell us some of your favorites…foods, movies, music, authors, books, colors, and any others you want to share?
My favorite foods are sushi and Indian.  I could eat mali kafta every day.  I’m a vegetarian but not a strict one.  My all time favorite movie has to be Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Favorite books are “Cities of the Interior” by Anais Nin and “Dark Dance,” by Tannith Lee.  A new favorite is “How I Live Now,” by Meg Rosoff.

What is your perfect writing environment?  Do you have a writing schedule you follow?
It’s tough finding the time to write.  Most of us have full-time demanding jobs.  What is really productive for me (and what I really enjoy) is having café writing days.  I like to take my laptop and go café hopping.  I usually start out in a breakfast joint, and move to bistro by the water in downtown St. Petersburg, FL, then perhaps sit in the atrium of the Fine Arts Museum.  I often go to The Globe, a local counter-culture coffee house.  I end up either at Starbuck’s because they’re open late, or in my home dungeon.  I turn on the lion-head fountain and fogger and get lost in my imagination.  During one point when I was writing Shadow Cat, I felt as though I was wandering through Jules’ fantastic topiary gardens.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I LOVE to hear from readers.  Please e-mail be at zoelapage@mac.com, or e-mail me through my web page, ZoeLaPage.com

How do your story ideas develop?  Do they start with a character, a scene, a location, or some entirely different way?
I generally start with a premise (like what if Nefertiti had been a werecat?), and I populate it with interesting characters.  But once I have the characters, I like to let the characters drive the plot.

If you could bring one of your characters or any character to life, who would it be and why?
I’d like to bring Jules (the handsome French werecat from Shadow Cat) to life and marry him!  (He is a lot like my boyfriend, Mark.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  What was the best advice you received when you started out?
My advice is to take classes, join a writers group and resolve yourself to the fact that you have to write a lot of practice novels before you’ll have one that is publishable.  I think a lot of new writers don’t realize that they have to pay their dues. Also, read a lot, and read outside of your genre. (See my web page http://zoelapage.com for my Quickie Plot Outline method of formulating a plot.)

How do you promote your work?
Most of the success I’ve had with writing has come from networking.  I go to writers’ conferences to meet people and promote my work.  We have a Florida Horror Writers’ group that does group book signings, and I often do signings with my friend, Lynne Hansen.  Since Shadow Cat is starting out as an e-book I’ve changed my tact in doing online chats, sending out copies for review and posting on paranormal bulletin boards.

What do you consider your greatest strength to be?  Any weaknesses?
My strength would be that I’m blessed with a wild imagination.  I can think of a million plots for novels.  It’s just getting the time to write them.  My weakness is that I could stand to be more aggressive.  I’m too nice and passive.

How would you spend a perfect day?
I’d like to spend it with Mark, my boyfriend (and cover model for Shadow Cat) doing anything at all.  We don’t see each other that much, because we live far apart.

What do you find to be the most difficult part of being a writer?
The most difficult thing is the rejection.  You put your blood, sweat and tears into a book and somehow it’s not quite right for anyone’s list.  I determined from the outset that I was going to persevere.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?  Any new or upcoming releases?
Right now I’m working on the prequel to Shadow Cat that takes place in 14th century France at Mount Saint Michelle, a castle that becomes completely surrounded by water during high tide.  The story goes back into Jules’ father’s lineage.  During the dark days of the black plague, people were sometimes sold as slaves.  A baron’s daughter sees him (as a young boy) being sold as a slave in the town square, takes pity on him, (not to mention she notices that he is quite the young hunk), and purchases him.  This begins a Wuthering Heights type of love story.  It’s a saga in which the dynamics of their relationship seesaw over the years as one or the other gains power and dominance.  I enjoyed adding the twists and turns their lives took during this tumultuous period.

Thank you!
Love,
Zoe

 

     

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