Sunday, 14 November 2010

Interview with Donna Sirianni

I am totally having a relaxing Sunday. The sun is shining, and although there's a crisp breeze in the air, I find it very cozy. And what better to top off a perfectly cozy day than a cozy author interview. And guess what - I've got one for you! Today we're chatting with YA fantasy writer Donna Sirianni.

Welcome, Donna. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I'm a Taurus, I like long walks on the beach yet fear getting eaten by giant squid. Really, I'm an insurance underwriter by day and a writer by night. I have to utilize my English degree somehow, plus I need to justify all those student loans I've accrued over the years that are really, REALLY painful to look at. I have a psychotic Miniature Pinscher that went through a vindictive peeing phase and when I'm not working, writing or enjoying some semblance of a personal life, I also have a young adult review blog wherein I read a lot of books and put forth my reviews into the world wide internets.

Sounds like you've got your hands full. How long have you been writing?

I started when I was 9 with a lovely piece of Saved by the Bell fanfiction I wrote for class. The rest is history.

Wow, Saved by the Bell. That brings me back, lol. What is the name and genre of the manuscript you're currently pitching?

My current manuscript out on submission is called Earth Shatterer and it's YA fantasy (snarky fantasy, I guess, although that's not a recognized genre).

I'd totally read snarky fantasy. Sounds great. Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

I'll just give you my blurb, otherwise I'll ramble -

Michael and Zana are being held captive in another world by a guy that used to be their dog. Instead of a yellow lab, he’s a jerk with a bid for multi-world domination and fully intends on using the siblings to get it.

With the gateway open, the former dog can release the Fey into Michael’s world and these things aren’t anywhere near sparkling little pixies. Separated, Zana gets poisoned by the used-to-be pet while Michael teams up with the creep’s enemies and the kingdom’s main mage to get the gateway closed. Lucky for Michael, he’s the only one that knows where the mutt’s constantly moving castle is so the task to rescue his sister and get the gateway closed falls squarely on his shoulders. And it feels like an elephant that’s just swallowed an anvil. Despite the fact that he has noodle arms in a fight and would sooner stab himself than his attacker, he has epic ground to cover if he wants to get him and his sister home in one piece. If there’s still a home to get to.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I hate these kinds of questions! I never have really cool answers to them. Really, I was just sitting around one day dazing off into space when the image of a sequoia popped into my head. From there the sequoia cracked and a whole other world was on the other side. The rest of the story and the characters formed around that tree image in my brain.

Sounds cool to me. What else are you working on?

Right now I've just finished re-reading a trunk manuscript for which I loved the idea for but wanted to kill what I'd written dead. So I'm giving that one an enema and writing it over from scratch with hardly any remains from the corpse I'm leaving behind. That one's high fantasy, taking place in a world entirely of my own creation about kids that cry diamonds. That's the most immediate one I'm working on at the moment.

Manuscript enemas. Sounds like a very fitting term, lol. Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

For the most part I self-edit but I dig for beta readers when the situation calls for it.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

BIC. I'm such a horrible procrastinator (well, I guess I'm a really good procrastinator as it were) so I'll make excuses not to write. It takes a lot of me to actually just sit my ass in the chair and write. Editing's a pain in the ass, too.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three non-writerly things about yourself?

I would hope so! I'm afraid of the dark, I love California and I have a terrible fear of natural bodies of water.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: swan, turbo engine, and stapler.

After picking all of the swan feathers out of my hair, I realize that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to jerry rig the turbo engine on the back of a row boat with a stapler.

Hehehe, awesome. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Because my memory sucks terribly and for fear of leaving anyone out, I'm just going to say thank you to everyone that supports me and my writing, past, present and future. You know who you are.

And finally, where can people find you online?

I can be found at my blog, Fantastical Imagination,

Thank you so much for letting us get to know you, Donna. I look forward to seeing your work in the bookstores. Good luck!


A.M. Kuska said...

If it's any comfort, vindictive behavior is normal in min-pins. >_> I just did a nail trim on a six week old puppy who screeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmeeeeeeeeeeed non-stop for it. Not because of the nail trim, but because he'd gotten his shots the day before and wasn't done protesting over it. He peed on me too. >_> The other puppy, who had also gotten his shots the day before, didn't make a peep.

Funny dogs.

KarenG said...

Great interview, and I wish every success for Donna! Enjoy the rest of your relaxing Sunday!

Debra D. said...

Wow, great interview, ladies! That was fun to read...and I'd totally read a book where the Lab turns evil, lol!

Good luck! :)

Stephen L. Brayton said...

Love the writing test. Good one.

GMR said...

Really? A squid? Interesting... *ponders* Oh...SAVED BY THE BELL...I remember that! ^_^ Snarky Fantasy sounds like a fun genre to introduce and definitely fits the book description. LOL on the writing test...very creative. Great interview guys! Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself Donna and thanks Dorothy for the always fun questions/posts.