Saturday 12th October 2013
Bookish Banter is proud to present today’s Featured Author.
Diana Rozevskis and her abiding love of mythology, fantasy and reading children’s books to her two daughter’s inspired her to begin writing ‘The Crystal Waters Series’ six years ago.
Her multifaceted career includes graphic design, child minding and working in top salons in London; Selfridges and Harvey Nichols as a Beauty Therapist. She also studied the ancient art of Crystal Healing and her passion and fascination for Crystals soon developed.
Canadian born, she lived in Toronto until she was five years old, along with her older brother Mark, until her British parents, yearning to be closer to their family, made the decision to move back to their hometown; Middlesbrough in the north east of England. This is where she lives today with her husband David and two daughters Emma and Grace.
. . . Oh and her favourite colour is indeed purple.
Laura says: Yippee! Purple Power!!! So Lovely to have you here on the Bookish Banter Diana So without further ado we will proceed with our interview:-
Where do you hail from?
Ooo, how exciting! It feels like I’m being interviewed by a medieval Queen or something. My answer to your question, fair maiden, lies over the pond, in a land far, far away in the ancient city of Toronto, Canada. There I was born into this world, and at the ripe ol’ age of five I ventured to the shores we now know as Britain.
🙂 What an adventure! How exciting to have had the vast spaces of the amazing Canada fuelling your baby imagination and then to be brought to the shores of Britannia. It is fascinating to have learnt this about you, having read ‘Crystal Waters’ and absolutely loving it, it gives a whole new dimension to the book and you as its Mother.
Do you write full time or do you have to fit it in with working to pay the bills?
I must admit, I’m lucky enough to work only part-time, which leaves me plenty of time to work on my books. My children will vouch that I always have my nose stuck in my laptop, either doing research, for my books, or actually writing them.
😉 He-he I can relate to that Diana – I think my children will too!
Why on Earth have you chosen to be a writer – in this digitally obsessed age?
It is totally madness, I say!! But, with that said, I think it helps to be slightly mad and quirky in this kind of business. It brings the creativity out to its utmost best.
😉 Agreed and the world is crazy already so we might as well add to it and make it even more interesting wouldn’t you say? 😉
What’s in the pipeline? Give me the low-down – I need plot, characters and dare I ask – is there a twist in your tale?
At present I’m working on book three in the Crystal Waters Series (Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica).
Without giving too much away; the story is basically about one of the main children’s characters, Robert. His father, who lives in ancient Antarctica and originally comes from Venus, is rather evil and is trying to kidnap his son to freeze him into the ice caves, deep in the underwater city of Atlantis. This domed land, under the ice of Antarctica, is a beautiful place but is slowly dying… So stay tuned folks to find out more.
🙂 Ooo!!! Sounds intriguing – can’t wait! I need to get on and read book 2 first!
Where did the idea spring from for your latest masterpiece?
My starting point, like the two books I have already written in this series, is ancient myths and legends of that particular continent. I then draw on the countries’ traditions, history and surroundings to create a story. Of course, a writer can never really know where ideas come from. The inner depths of the creative mind, I expect. But come they do. Sometimes at awkward moments too. My friends know me well enough that if I ever get that glazed expression on my face, there’s usually a million plot-lines running around in my head.
😀 Haha – Oh the crazed expressions of writers deep in thought!!!
Which genre do you prefer to scribble in?
I love to write children’s fantasy fiction books. It has so much scope to be free and spread out your wings, so-to-speak. Anything could happen in these magical worlds, and that’s what I truly love about it.
😉 And dare I add that as a Child-minder (as I have been) you’re probably just a big kid at heart!!??
Do you spend months buried in books, article cuttings and pages and pages of interesting internet stuff on your chosen subject to research – or does just a quick google search suffice? (Sometimes google does the job my friends – don’t judge!)
I definitely get totally buried in all my research, whether it be Google books or news clippings or drawings, it’s all in the process of story creating and making the writing more rounded and more real. To me, this is an essential part of writing. If I can visualise, in my mind’s eye, how the story should be told, and with clever description, along with creative dialogue, the reader will be able to picture the scene too. Voilà! Exactly what I intended to achieve.
❤ Ah! An artist at work! ❤
How do you think you are getting better at this writing lark?
I’ve always said my grammar and spelling must definitely improve if I want to be taken seriously as a writer. I remember my writing teacher telling me that she can easily teach me grammar, but to have the talent of a creative mind, as she said I have, is something that cannot be taught. Let’s just say I am working hard on my weakness and finding out, as I go, what works and what doesn’t. Reading my stories to my two girls, of course, is a great way to find this out.
❤ ❤ I agree totally Diana – you certainly are a very creative person and sharing your imagination with your children has got to be one of the best ways to get it right! Spellings and grammar can always be edited – the world inside your head cannot! ❤ ❤
Any stumbling blocks in your writing process for your latest book?
No not at the moment, (touch wood). I seem to have the whole story either written down in various notebooks or running around in the vast void I call my mind. Echo…ooo…oo!!
Was that a mermaid I just saw flying out of your ear? 😉
Come on tell me – why do you love this craft so much?
It is the best feeling in the world when someone approaches you to tell you how much they enjoyed your book and they have been inspired enough to start writing themselves. I think getting lost in the creative writings of a book, whether reading or writing it, really is such a wondrous feeling. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.
Challenge set! You listening out there wannabee writers…don’t think – just pick up a pen and do! Where’s my notebook gone?
Are you a plotter / planner or do you just jump in head first with nothing but a torch and a lot of coffee to keep you going?
I must say all three! I usually do a lot of planning before writing, but sometimes an idea takes over and I put pen to paper and plunge in there; scribbling away all my ideas that have just sprung to mind. A lot of the time these spur-of-the-moment writings pan out to be great story-lines and sometimes they are screwed up in a ball and thrown in the bin. I remember a wise person telling me that is best to write every single day if you can. Whether it is rubbish or not, these writing spats blow out cobwebs you never knew you had, and I must admit I’ve had some of my best ideas brought on in this way. Of course, thirdly, lashing of coffee is always a must with me too.
😉 Might I add – some quality munchies also do the trick! 😉
not that I’m hinting or anything! Eh! My tummy’s rumbling now – ANYWAY back to the interview…
Do your fans help you out with ideas?
I would definitely say yes. I am a real people watcher. I observe people’s mannerisms, how they behave and treat others around them and if they have any little quirks, all the better. This enhances my character development within my stories, which in turn gets my creative mind going off on a frenzied tangent. So yes, even if a person/fan is unaware of giving me ideas, in the scheme of things, it all adds to my story in the end.
😀 I’m sure your fans will love the idea that they could inadvertently turn up in one of your books!
Indie or old school publishing?
I think both have their pros and cons in all honesty. With old school publishing it has to be said that most agents know the writing business better than anyone. They are more likely to get your books promoted to the right people and you tend to climb the ladder a lot quicker than most indie writers. Having said that, the freedom of Indie writers is great, and they really are taken a lot more seriously these days. There are some great writers who have self-published their own books. Being an indie writer however is time-consuming, especially seeing as you have to do all the promotion yourself. But, I must say it’s a great feeling to tell people that you did it all yourself and you only have got to where you are today by pure hard work and research into your craft.
🙂 Yes I agree hard work and determination seem to be the main traits of the self-published 🙂
Is this book just one in an amazing series?
As I mentioned earlier I’m working on book three in the Crystal Waters Series. There will be seven books in total, as each book/adventure covers a new continent of the world.
Awesome – I can’t wait to read them all and pass them on to the kids!
Can you give us an overview of your series? (if you have one that is – if not – move along now kiddies, nothing to see here…)
I most certainly have the bare-bones of the entire series in my head and scrawled down on scatty bits of paper in my office. I have even written the very last chapter of the very last book in this series, so I know how it all ends.
In a nutshell; the main characters are children (Emma, Grace and Robert) and along with their strange-coloured lilac dog, and a few adults, they travel back to ancient times using Gran’s secret doorway (in her cellar), magic crystals and the waterways of the world. Each book, as I said earlier, travel to a different continent and a new quest begins for them. Just as a guide where the series will lead us, here is the list of the books I have written/intend to write:
Crystal Waters It Began in Europe (book One),
Crystal Waters And on to North America (Book Two),
Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica (Book Three),
Crystal Waters And Onward Bound to Africa (Book Four),
Crystal Waters Then off to Australia/Oceania (Book Five),
Crystal Waters Not Forgetting Asia (Book Six),
Crystal Waters And Finally Ending in South America (Book Seven).
I should point out to our readers at this point also that Diana designs her wonderful covers herself also and I can’t wait to see how they all look together on the shelf 😉
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? If you do can you clue me in – cos ~I’m lost!
As every writer knows, getting a good review for a book they have written is a fabulous thing in this industry. Before buying a book, I always look at the reviews (good and bad), and then I make up my own mind whether to buy the book or not.
Reviews, however helpful, are a quick insight to a book and must be taken quite lightly in my humble opinion. I have read books that haven’t had great reviews and they have been a wonderful read, whereas some books get brilliant reviews, and when I’ve read them I’ve thought to myself, what is all the fuss about? And so, the moral of all this is; because the readers can be so different in tastes (likes and dislikes), expectations and genre favourites, I have come to the conclusion that it is inevitable, with all books, that some will love your books while others will loathe them. It is the beauty of people’s choice I suppose.
Having said that, I would love more reviews, but trying to collar people in giving up their spare time to write one is proving quite difficult.
I hear that! – Please people – when you read a book – pop over to Amazon or Goodreads and post a review, you never know – it might be the one review that brightens that author’s day and encourages someone else to buy the book! Got to be worth 5 minutes of your time – surely!
Would you do it all over again or become a fireman or something?
I have such a passion for writing and storytelling I wouldn’t give it up for the world. My only regret is I didn’t recognise it sooner in life. But as they say: ‘It’s never too late’.
Absolutely – my Mum took to it like a duck to water in her 60s
Which iconic author got you fired up for reading – and/or writing?
A have quite a list. JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Phillip Pullman, Christopher Paolini and George RR Martin to name just a few. All these authors have inspired me greatly.
Looks like my reading list… 😉 Think we need to add a few links here for our readers…
Book trailers – to do or not to do?
I must admit I am still quite a novice in this area. However I did give it a go and put my book promotion (for book one) on YouTube Of course, people can make up their own mind whether they like the short or long version. Here’s the links to have a look:
Do you relax between caffeine fuelled and feverish writing episodes? Please tell me how you do it – please, please?
Relax?? I have never heard of this word before 🙂
When you have, as you know yourself, jobs to do, kids to look after and cherish, and books to write there simply is no time. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Phew! I’m not the only one then! 😉
Do you have a friendly bunch of peers in a writers’ circle to motivate you?
Yes, I have some lovely writer friends on Facebook and the writer groups I have joined on there. They have, not only, been so helpful along my writing journey, with me picking their brains madly along the way, but the thought of not being alone in the whole writing experience is a real comforting thought and must be said has kept my sanity intact in a lot of cases. Having said that, I am a slight hermit and don’t get involved as much as I should. Whether it be not enough time or not having the confidence to air my opinion, I couldn’t tell you which is the stronger of the two.
Thank goodness for the internet and social networking I say – although – it can be a tad distracting! (rolls eyes) 😉
Editor? No! I don’t mean your significant other – unless they really are an editor of course…
I have a friend (who I pay) to proof-read my work. She was my creative writing teacher, so she is very experienced in her field and knows my writing very well. So much so that when I have gone off on my writing tangents (like I do many times) she will calmly point out to me the right direction to go and tell me what works and what doesn’t. I really could not be without her.
🙂 Cherish her! 🙂
Tips / secrets / covert plans? – wait! I’ve turned into a spy! Tell me everything and I’ll give you the antidote for the poison I just put in your tea! Ahhh I gave you the wrong cup!
Tee-hee, I know, I swapped it back when you weren’t looking! A precaution that must be done, however, for your own safety, for if I let you into all my secrets, I would have to kill you off like a character in my books, mmwahahaha (laughs evilly).
All I can say is; planning and research is essential in all my writings 🙂
Give us all your links – everyone in your carefully constructed chain…
My Webpage – http://dianarozevskis.webs.com/
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/324584
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/diana.rozevskis
❤ Fantastic! Well all that’s left to say is Thank you so much Diana for joining us here on the Bookish Banter – I’m sure we will be hearing more from you in the future and I can’t wait to read more of your work and pass it on to my kiddies ❤
❤ Xx ❤ If you are an Author and you would like to be considered to join us here on the Bookish Banter, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Author Interview’ in the title and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can ❤ Xx ❤