Friday, 2 September 2011

Author Update: Roz Morris

I love doing author updates. It makes me feel the vitality of the writing community. This time we're catching up with author Roz Morris. I interviewed Roz back in January. Now her new book is out, so let's find out what it's about.

Welcome back, Roz! Tell us about your new release.

It's called My Memories of a Future Life. It's contemporary fiction with a
twist - reincarnation from the other end of the telescope; a sort of Time
Traveller's Wife for the Derren Brown era. It's already been called groundbreaking by one reviewer - the link is here.

Here's what the novel's all about.

If you were somebody's past, what echoes would you leave in their soul? Could they be the answers you need now?

The main character, Carol, is a concert pianist. She's a gifted musician who needs nothing more than her piano and certainly doesn't believe she's lived before. But forced by injury to stop playing, she fears her life may be over. Enter her soulmate Andreq: healer, liar, fraud and loyal friend. Is he her future incarnation or a psychological figment? And can his story help her discover how to live now?

A novel in the vein of The Time Traveller's Wife, Vertigo and The Gargoyle, My Memories of a Future Life is much more than a twist on the traditional reincarnation tale. It is a multi-layered story of souls on conjoined journeys - in real time and across the centuries. It's a provocative study of the shadows we don't know are driving our lives, from our own pasts and from the people with us right now. Like Peter Shaffer's plays The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Equus, it asks questions about what we believe, what we create and how we scare and heal each other.

Above all, it's the story of how one lost soul searches for where she now

Tell us the good and the bad: What was the hardest thing about writing this book and what was the easiest?

The easiest? The research! I thoroughly enjoyed immersing in some fascinating, rich subjects. For instance, the world of classical music, where The language of music on a score is so dictatorial, with instructions for how long you play a note, in fractions of a second, which requires immense dexterity and control. Professional players are like Olympic athletes.

And playing is almost like a form of spiritual possession. There are instructions for expression - for instance, amoroso, which means 'play it lovingly'. That's awesome - they tell you how you feel while playing the music.

I got a strong sense of music as almost being like channelling the spirit of the composer. Of course, it's not always like that, but I wondered what it would be like for a character who felt it was.

A lot of this fed into what music means to my main character Carol - and what she loses when she can't play. Literally, it's her way of feeling alive.

Also I had to research hypnosis and past-life regression. This is a rich subject indeed. The person undergoing it is put into in a highly suggestible state and asked to describe where they are and what they're doing. They come up with incredible stories - sometimes very traumatic. I was interested in what really happens under the surface - who was pulling strings, what it means, but a lot of it defies logic. No matter how you look at what's going on these people are going through profound and changing experiences.

I also became aware of how many unscrupulous people there are in that part of society. While many of them want to help others, there are also a lot of cheats and charlatans. Inevitably they make interesting characters...

The hardest thing was writing the end. I had to decide at what point we could cut and leave the characters to get on with their lives. I wrote several different endings and always had a clenched feeling in my stomach that I'd been hard on a character, or had left something important unsaid. When I finally got the right one, I knew - but it took a lot of soul searching.

You knew this was coming -Quick Writing Test! Use these words in a sentence: masquerade, Tupperware, and liquid nitrogen.

As the hypnotist spoke the Tupperware party disappeared; in its place appeared white clouds like liquid nitrogen, and a mysterious masquerade. 

(Did you design those words specially for me, Dorothy?! I forgot to put that scene in the book!)

Spooky! LOL. Where can our readers find your book?

The Kindle store - US
and UK
A print edition will follow but there's no URL for that yet.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I'm releasing the novel first of all as 4 novellas on the Kindle, of roughly 25k words each, one a week, 0.99c each. This is, of course, an experiment, but it seemed to work pretty well for Mr Dickens. And with the Kindle offering new ways of reading, it's about time someone did it again. My agency Sheil Land are watching keenly to see if this is a model they should use for their own ebook releases. Very exciting times!

Thank you, Dorothy, for having me back - and for all you do with this website. I've discovered some terrific authors on these pages and I'm thrilled to be here too.

I'm so glad. Thank you for telling us about your new book. I'll be keeping my eye out for it.

1 comment:

Nelson said...

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