Author Interview: Yza-Dora

Yza-Dora Author Interview:

author image 3My mom and I are a mother and daughter writing team and chose the pen name Yza-Dora, utilizing both our names incorporated together. We currently live in Nevada and this is our first attempt at writing a book. My mom is an established artist and I have taken writing as a full time career.

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Yza: I think writing full-time is a real job. It takes just as much effort to sit and think about what you’re next sentence is going to be or your next idea. And it can take a toll physically sometimes as well as emotionally. But no, I’ve never had a job working for someone else and I believe if you can, always try to find a career where you can be your own boss.

Dora: I’ve worked in several positions in my life and over the past 20 years, worked in different departments at various Las Vegas hotels but had to retire due to arthritic conditions so now, I work with my daughter as co-author and it really is just another form of utilizing a talent.

What compelled you to write your first book?

Yza: I’m an avid reader of Scifi and Fantasy novels and 2 years ago, the inspiration for our book came, believe it or not and I know it sounds typical, from a dream. It was so realistic and vivid that I thought it would make a great story.

Dora: I agreed, so, we immediately began writing the thoughts and notes, then pieced them together until they became our story.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yza: Honestly, never gave it a thought. Jobs are very hard to grab right now, especially when you have no work experience so one day I just gave up trying, and began writing and found that the words began to fall into place.

Dora: I write poetry and practice the Wiccan tradition and write alot of my own spells, so I incorporate that into our writing. I also do alot of research and reading and came up with alot of the magical aspects of our story.

What compels you to be a writer?

Yza: Expression of words. You can put your feelings and experiences on paper and make readers feel the emotions of the characters. I think it’s wonderful and actually kind of fun, to create a fictional world.

Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay book 1 and 2 coversparticular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

Yza: Oh, wow. Long question. Well, for starters, the titles are SECRETS OF RAVENSTONE and ON THE EVIL SCALE, and are part of our KEEPER OF LA TECLA (The Key) series, with book three coming out in 2015, titled BATTLE OF BLOODLINES. I think, even though it’s in the process, I’d have to say book three because alot goes down in the final series between the vampires and lycans.

Dora: My favorite is of course book two because my daughter’s character, which is literally herself, finally falls in love with the main vampire, Erik. Book one is initially about how it all began with my daughter and I traveling to a hidden castle that really isn’t hidden at all, and eventually once we’re settled in, things become clear as to why we’re really there. I won’t get into lengthy details for it’ll spoil the plot of the story for readers. All I’ll say, is that there’s alot of action, mystery, secrets and much more. Book two continues the story.

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

Yza: Book three as I said above, will be coming out in 2015.

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Yza: It was amazing. We had book one published through Createspace and they did a beautiful job in printing it out. The quality of the paper and cover was high quality. The only thing I had a slight problem with, was that the pages weren’t numbered but otherwise, I was very excited.

Dora: I too, was excited to see it and to physically hold it in our hands was an incredible experience.

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Yza: None really. I try to sometimes, but my mom says that it’s too distracting for her, so we make do with absolute silence. If only I had an I-pod, lol.

Dora: I prefer absolute silence for I’m used to it when I’m writing my spells or doing a ritual. It’s the best thing to listen to absolutely….nothing.

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Yza: For being the kind of person that I am and who my mom raised me to be.

Dora: And for me, giving birth to my daughter and raising her to be the young woman that she is.: What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Yza: I’m only in my early 20’s so I’ve never been married and I don’t have kids, lol. But my mom, is very supportive of my choice in becoming a writer and helps me more than you could ever know.

Dora: I’m a widow, twice, and I support my daughter’s decision to become a writer. I’ve seen her frustration in searching for employment, mostly through online applications which I’m sure they never read. Things have changed since I was younger when all you had to do, was walk into a place of business, fill out an app, and get hired.

Yza: No kidding.

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Yza: Wow, another good question. Well, as I said above, the main character is literally myself  that I decided would be an interesting twist to our writing, instead of creating a fictional main character. Everything that I say is how I would say it and the events that take place, is how I would handle them. And if you read the story, you can tell I’m bit of a smartass, but in a good way, I think. I’m not afraid to speak my mind, especially when spoken down to. No one should tolerate that. Now, the other characters I’ve created are realistic in the way they act, speak and feel. Each character is different from one another in so many ways and come from different backgrounds. But Erik, I’d have to say is definitely my dream guy. Except not a vampire.

Dora: My favorite character is of course Marxus because I helped to create him. He’s elegant, magical and down right gorgeous!

Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

Yza: There are so many fantastic and wonderful authors that its’ hard to choose from. But I’d have to say J.K. Rowling, of course. And my favorite genres are Scifi-Fantasy, of course, lol!

Dora: I’m more into books that are about magic and spells, being a Wiccan and all, but my favorite author is Scott Cunningham.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?

Yza: Well….I was born in the states and in Nevada of all places. And we still live there. Las Vegas to be precise.

Dora: I was born and raised in New York City and traveled alot as a child to Europe, because my mother was an Opera singer. I moved out to Las Vegas in 1976 and has lived here ever since.

Yza: We love open landscaping but if I were to live anywhere in the world, it would definitely be in the UK somewhere. All the images I’ve seen just takes my breath away. It’s a longing that I have to go there someday and see the beauty this world has to offer.

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them.

Dora: Wow. This is our most favorite question. Boy, do we ever. We have, are you ready….7 cats and 4 pet pigeons. Yes, pigeons. We used to have 9 cats but 2 passed away last year which breaks our hearts because they were the 2 original cats we found. All of our babies were strays and were taken in off the streets. Including the pigeons who were injured, in one form or another.

Yza: They bring us such joy and love and get fatter and lazier everyday. We each have our favorite cat or should I say, they have their favorite human.

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?

Dora: Well, when you enter our home….it’s very cozy and welcoming. We have black leather furniture with red pillows and throw blankets with a touch of an Asian theme going on with red curtains that elegantly drape above our patio doors.

Yza: I guess you can say, that it looks very…..VAMPIRE. And when we write, well we kind of do that everywhere. At the dining table. On the couch. At the computer desk. Whenever we get an idea.

Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

Yza: Of course we watch t.v. Who doesn’t? We don’t go for reality shows because they’re mostly crap, but we stick to epic shows like Game of Thrones, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and etc. You get the idea.

Dora: And every now and then, we hear a phrase or sentence that sets of bells in our heads so we write them down and tweak them to our own words. Any shows that are supernatural, paranormal and ancient themed.

What about movies? Same as above.

Dora: Oh….Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit series, Harry Potter. And again….you get the idea. And same….any that are supernatural or paranormal in nature.

Yza: Same here.

Focusing on your most recent (or first) book, tell our readers what genre your book is and what popular author you think your writing style in this book is most like.

Yza: First off, our genre is Scifi-Urban Fantasy-Young Adult. It has a bit of everything thrown in it but with our own twist and flare. It’s a bit similar to the books HEX HALL and VAMPIRE ACADEMY. It’s most definitely not like the TWILIGHT books where vampire sparkle and have no fangs. Our vampires have fangs, do bite and are sexy as hell. What more can I say about vampires.

Dora: Hell yes.

How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)?

Dora: From the start, it was relatively quick to write the story and put it all together but then we realized that we had to revise the entire thing which took us at least 2 years to get it right. It was the most frustrating experience.

Yza: Especially for my mom who, a few times, gave me that temperamental Taurus artistic attitude, but after resolving them, we went back to business. What more can I say without getting into trouble. Oops, love you Mommy. Yeah, she’s sitting here giving me that UH-HUH look.

 Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

Yza: My mom. A few of my friends, some of which aren’t anymore, thought I was just spinning my wheels and thought I was crazy to take up writing so I dropped them because they were only bringing me down.

Dora: I agreed with her decision. It seems that when people see that you’re trying to make something of yourself in a good and positive way, it’s then they show their true colors. And it’s totally green from jealousy and envy. Crazy world.

Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you’d go back and do differently now that you have been published?

Dora: Absolutely. If we could go back in time, we would slap ourselves from Kingdom-come for wasting so much time looking for a literary agent! The constant waiting, sending out emails, sometimes downloading attachment after attachment, only to receive a rejection letter. They’re so ironically picky it’s ridiculous and my daughter was so upset that she almost gave up.

Yza: Me too. It can be very discouraging to an inspiring writer. Or anyone for that matter, trying to break into something.

Many authors have said that naming their characters is a difficult process, almost like choosing a name for their own child. How did you select the names of some of your lead characters in your book/s?

Yza: Oh boy. Through trial and error. We visualized our characters explicitly down to their eye color and just wrote down names that would suit them. Many of their names are common, I know, but maybe we switched a letter or two to make their names unique. Like Leonus…..Marxus…..Azir and my name too, Yzavela which is how I spell it.

Have you ever had a character take over a story and move it in a different direction than you had originally intended? How did you handle it?

Dora: Two of them. Nathan and Leonus. Originally Nathan was supposed to be the good guy my daughter fell for, and Leonus was also a good character that was supposed to be supportive and helpful, but we thought we would add more drama to their characters which would add conflict by making them both the villains.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Yza: Yes. Don’t give up, no matter what people tell you. Always persevere.

Dora: I’m a survivor and have struggled trying to make ends meet, so I agree to never give up hope.

It’s said that the editing process of publishing a novel with a publisher is can be grueling and often more difficult than actually writing the story. Do you think this is true for you? How did you feel about editing your masterpiece?

Yza: I think editing is definitely the hardest part of writing, because when you think you have everything written down and is perfect, it’s then you find everything wrong. But being our own self-publisher and editors, we can choose what we want to keep or what to delete unlike professional editors who delete the most important aspects. No offense to the professionals because they do help authors.

Now that you are a published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?

Dora: Being self-published doesn’t always bring in the fast money but seeing all you’ve accomplished is the best feeling int he world. Seeing your book with its cover and content and the way it’s displayed on the site, is an amazing feeling knowing that the world can see your work and read your words. Whether they like it, well….it’s for the reader to decide.

Yza: Agreed. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

Now, anything ekse you want your readers to know? Let us know where to find your books, any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and writing:

Yza: Well, pretty much we explained ourselves in brief through some of the questions asked. I’m going to continue my writing with the help of my mom who is by the way, my co-author in many aspects. Our future books may not be a series per say, but they’ll definitely be in the same genre. Our books can currently be found on Amazon.com as eBook formats through the links below:

Book one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0075SQA6

Book two: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LHDU8WO

You can contact us through any of these links listed below for they’ll have info on future releases:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Yzavela_

Website: https://yzavelanarvaez.wix.com/yza-dora

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yzavela.narvaez

Instagram: https://instagram.com/yza.dora (where you can see our family pics)

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