Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Getting Carried Away with (and by) Ray Dean

Ray Dean's newest book, Carried Away, is hot off the presses (well, digitally speaking), and it seemed like a perfect time to interview this wonderful author.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

Inspired by the Suffrajitsu (http://suffrajitsu.com) trilogy, Carried Away features several principal characters from the graphic novels, including Persephone Wright and Flossie Le Mar, as well as introducing a new protagonist, Tressa Boniface. Tressa's journey from timid maid to confident suffragette is marked by sometimes violent class and gender conflicts, new friendships and cases of mistaken identity, weaving in and out of the world of haute couture fashion circa 1913.

I am extremely proud to be a part of our group, adding stories into the this 'world.' We're not only continuing the stories of the characters from the graphic novels, but adding in some of our own as well. There are so many interesting events in the history of suffrage, the possibilities are endless.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

I like to think about what goes 'wrong' and how things change because of those challenges. If one avenue is blocked, what happens to the characters because of it? What choices do they have to make? If something goes wrong, can the character overcome the problem?

Otherwise, I think I cover a little bit of everything across the board. Either I have a muse with multiple personalities, or I have a crazy little group of them in my head. I'm not sure which idea is more appealing... or frightening.

What would be your dream project?

Anything and everything? I love a challenge... I'd like to work with some of my friends on different projects. The collaboration of ideas and good friends would be my idea of a lot of fun.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

Throughout most of my college years I was working on a series of novels in the Fantasy genre. I had paper after paper of handwritten notes. I had some files in my Brother Word Processor (yes, I had one of those things with only two lines visible on the screen). And when I shared a desktop with my husband, I typed all of the notes into a file on that computer. And then he reformatted it while I was at work one day. I hadn't backed it up to anything and I didn't have the paper notes anymore. All that work... gone. So if I could 'do it better' it would mean that I'd actually have those pages back.

What inspires you to write?

To get the voices in my head to shush enough to let me sleep. Not joking. It's a pain sometimes, but what would be worse is silence. So, I'll suffer through it and hope the voice's will take a number and wait their turn.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

Always a tough question. I know so many wonderful authors that influence me in many ways. Some challenge me to be better by questioning excuses I may come up with. Some influence my creativity by helping me to brainstorm. But, if I go back into my memories. I'd say that Laura Ingalls Wilder had aninfluence on me. I felt like the words in her books were like a conversation with a friend. The kind of conversation that friends have curled up on a sofa at a sleep over. I felt 'home' in her stories. Just like Louisa May Alcott. Little Women was the first book I stayed up all night to read. I could not say goodbye to them until the last page was read. While more modern authors have taught me lessons, I believe that those early experiences had the biggest influences on me.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

More art than science for me. Art is subjective. Go into an art museum or see an art installation and asking a group what they 'see' what they 'feel.' You'll get a bunch of different answers. Science is driven by measurable results. You're not going to get that in writing. You can put in the same effort into two stories... cover the same 'topics,' map out the plot the same way... but you cannot guarantee a result or reaction. And I think that's part of the fun! And part of the anxiety and fear of it as well.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

I have several stories coming up in various anthologies.

“The Sound of Her Fury” will appear in a Steampunk Anthology, ‘Gears, Gadgets, and Steam: Tinkered Tales Vol 1′ with Harren Press “Jerry Rigg: In Need of a Fix” will appear in Capes & Clockwork II with Dark Oak Press. “Washed Pure, Washed Clean” will appear in Book One of The City Anthology with MV Media. “By Its Cover” will appear in the Romance Anthology for Witty Bard Publishing.

And, I'm working on my next story for the world of "Suffrajitsu."

Looking for more of Ray Dean on the 'net?