Monday, 10 May 2010

Interview with Milva

Hello, everybody. I hope all the mothers out there had a fantastic Mother's Day.

Today we have a special interview from across the pond. Well, across the pond from most of you—I live in Germany so it's more like right next door to me. We're talking with Holland-based Milva.

Welcome, Milva. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Milva (Chin Tjauw Yin). My husband's name is Dave van der Vinden and we have two children, ages 11 and 14. In real life I work in a store which sells diverse items from mugs to furniture. I started in the administrative field, but since my youngest arrived, I needed a part time job and I ended up in the store.

Let's talk about your writing. What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

The name of my book is Verloren Liefde, which translated in English is Lost Love. The genre is historical fiction, but I like to call it a historical chicklit.

Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

The story is about two people: The female character Maria Lynn lives in Amsterdam as a medical secretary. As long as she can remember, she has had vivid dreams about a past life. On the other side of the world is a doctor in India, Ray Agrawal, who also has the exact same dreams. They meet at a medical convention and when events move further they find out they have a connection, the connection of their previous lives together.

At the same time the story goes back in the time. In 18th Century India, Englishman Lawrence and the lovely princess Amala meet in unusual circumstances. Their love is forbidden, because she belongs to another man. It’s a story where love overcomes time. From past to the present. Can they retrieve their love in the here and now, the love that was taken away from them?

So it's a reincarnation story. Very interesting. How did the idea of the story come to you?

The time the story came to me, I watched a lot of Bollywood movies. With the setting of India, the idea of reincarnation began to grow on me and at one point the story began to come alive for me.

I understand you are published. Can you tell us about how that came about?

I entered a writing contest and the prize was you could win a contract with a publisher. I didn’t make it to the short list, but a few months later the publisher called me and said they wanted to publish my story.

It’s a print-on-demand publisher. That means if an order for the book is placed, they will print it. They have no stocking place. The only catch is you have to promote yourself. A lot. That’s a bit of a problem for me, because I’m actually too shy.

Do you have any plans to have your book translated into English and have it sold in English-speaking countries? Is so, what are your plans to accomplish this?

It’s a dream of course to get my book translated into English. Dutch is not a language everybody speaks around the world. I still have no idea how to accomplish this. I guess if I can get enough readers, it will get to the point where I can take that step. My ultimate dream is to get it adapted into a movie. I secretly already have a cast…hahaha.

That would be amazing. So do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

At this point I do have some critique beta readers. Some are for spelling, others are simply reading the story. Is it exciting enough, that kind of stuff. When I wrote Verloren Liefde, I had just one beta reader and one corrector. I think I’ve grown since then.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Writer's block. Sometimes I’m in a flow and I can’t stop writing. There are also months I just can’t write, and several storylines are battling in my head, so I don’t know where to begin.
As for now, the research is getting in the way of writing. It’s important to get the research right, so readers will believe the story.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

The thing I’ve learned about writing is that you have to re-write, and that the story should be written in the past or the present tense. I just wrote and I had no idea about all the rules. It’s important you know that, it will save you a lot of trouble.

Who are your inspirations?

My favourite author is Stephen King, but I also read other genres like Fantasy. Lord of the Rings is also my absolute favourite read. Chicklits are also a great read and the queen of chicklit, in my opinion, is Sophie Kinsella. I get my inspiration from history. I just love history, from ancient Egypt to French royalty before the revolution.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know?

Three things that people don’t know about me? That’s a hard question to answer.

I guess that I’m a complete nerd (proud of it). I’d like to stay at home with a good book and get totally lost in it.

Second one is, I hate to admit it, but I’m addicted to little black dresses, shoes and bags.
Especially little black dresses, I have a total of 5. Shocking! I won’t even mention the shoes and bags.

Third, I love Fantasy and Sci-fi movies. But my favourite movie is the Sound of Music.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

I'd like to thank by beta readers, but especially Jolanda who was there at the beginning of it all, and my corrector and online friend since 10 years Brenda.

And finally, where can people find you online?

People can find me on Facebook
If the link doesn’t work, just look for Milva Chin.
On Twitter
I’m working on a website, but I’m a complete doofus..oops can I say that?

You can say it, but I bet it's not true. *wink* Thank you so much for chatting with us, Milva. I'm sure if we have any Dutch readers they'll be looking out for your book, and please let us know once it's translated into English.


Mith said...

Congratulations, Els! Yes, PLEASE let us know if you find a way to publish an English translation!

Adrienne said...

Great interview, Milva! We're passing our copy around Jim's family, some of whom still read some Dutch. I'm hoping for a translation, one day.

Maria said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to find this but congratulations Mil! And yes, yes, yes to the translation!