Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview with Tina Boscha

Tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, do you feel where you live influences how or what you write?

I am from Racine, Wisconsin - south of Milwaukee, north of Chicago. I lived in the Midwest until I was 27, when I moved to Oregon. I definitely feel that place influences my writing. Midwesterners are honest, hard-working people who knuckle down and do what is required them, sometimes to their own detriment. For many, a sense of duty guides what they do. I like to explore that tension, to see when duty makes one act in wonderful ways and when it makes a person feel tethered or beholden or shut down. I think living in the West, well, just the act of moving to the West, made me realize that just as much as a person needs to be responsible and work hard, a person also needs to feel free to make choices, sometimes out-of-the box ones.

What sort of expectations did you have when being published was on the horizon?

Oh boy, that is a good question! It depends on what you mean by being published, as my novel is published by me, myself, and I. I have always harbored a dream of being an author. I am serious when I say that I cannot remember a time when I did not want to write, but the curious thing is that I always said I wanted to be an author. I wanted to be published. So I must be honest and admit that being published has always been tied to the idea of lots of people reading my work! What I hope people understand about that is that I don’t want to become a bestseller because I want to buy a yacht and five Mercedes, but because I want to reach readers and write more books. There are few other things I find as fulfilling as doing this.

With self-publishing, once my book was live on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats, I felt I was successful. It was the culmination of a lot of work. But that feeling of satisfaction lasted about two minutes before I fretted about low sales!

What is your biggest pet peeve ?

Another tough one! Not using a turn signal, lol. Actually, I have a hard time when people don’t set goals and act on them. This is one of those hypocritical pet peeves, because while I have always been pretty goal-driven, I talked myself out of writing or pursuing self-publishing too many times to count, or convinced myself to take the easy road out of something, probably to sabotage myself. I feel like I’m really learning to get those tendencies out of the way and now I want everyone to do the same. It’s a pretty big shift to finally allow yourself to believe in your dream and then act on it, rather than imagine it and then brush it aside as just that - a dream.

For readers who don't know River in the Sea is based on your mother.  Have you always been interested in your family's history? 

Yes. I think part of it is that I am naturally drawn to other places, times, worlds, etc. Both my husband and I don’t like to watch a lot of dramatic TV that is current - we want to be in space or another time period or in the case of Firefly, both! Another reason is that I find families fascinating, mine included. You have a group of people who share intimate bonds and a particular point of view, but yet each person is totally unique. There is bound to be drama!

And of course, I grew up listening to stories from my parents’ childhoods during WWII. Along with my aunt and uncle (who are really my cousins, but that’s a story for another day), they lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and over time I filed away anecdotes about throwing bicycles and milk in the canal, rather than give either of them up to the raiding soldiers; hiding out in hollowed out potato heaps; ferrying food to fathers and brothers in hiding. It was fascinating and alien and seriously ripe fodder for my very active imagination.

How many of the things that happened in River in the Sea were real events that happened to people in your family?
Nearly every major plot point happened to someone in my family. Some events were not directly experienced by my mother, but perhaps by her sibling or a cousin. Certainly I embellished and dramatized and attributed events to different people, and created a plot out of events that may have had years in between. But the defiance and hiding and especially the novel’s end very much happened. My favorite chapter is the last one, because it is very close to what truly happened, and I find it so touching and beautiful. I was crying when I wrote it (and also when I revised it!).

Is there a genre you prefer to write? What about to read?
I am most drawn to family dramas, and clearly I love historical. However, I’m more of a “recent history” type of historical writer. But I also love to write young adult and I may or may not have a vampire novella underway that starts out with one of the main characters at Joann’s.

I’m about as eclectic with what I read. I love literary fiction, YA, historical, contemporary, paranormal/urban fantasy, sci-fi, memoir....

Care to give us a peek at what your latest writing project is?

It’s in the first draft stage, so no peeksies! I am very, very self-conscious about my first drafts because quite frankly, they are rough and riddled with notes to myself. Revision is where the magic happens. But, I am writing what I consider to be an alternative to Twilight. It’s paranormal YA that’s light on the paranormal - there’s a hot teen male ghost but no werewolves, vampires, or fairies - but big on examining the choices of a 16 year old girl. She is a mostly good kid who starts to make some pretty poor choices. It’s fun to write those choices, at least at first. It’s going to get dark in a few chapters, I can just feel it.

It's the new year, so in keeping with the spirit of the season, what are some of your New Year's resolutions?

To keep going! To keep writing, keep spreading the word about River in the Sea, to keep taking action to make the changes I want to see in my life. That’s vague, and in the interest of specificity I will admit that I haven’t been inside a gym in six months, and so it’s time to get back on track! I also need to allow myself a little more down time - sometimes I can be all go, go, go, and I can wind myself up pretty good. So maybe it’s about finding the balance between reaching my goals and letting myself lay on the couch for a few hours while watching Buffy reruns. Because sometimes, there is nothing better.

You can also find Tina here:

Her Blog

***Want to win a copy of River In The Sea? Be sure to stop back between January 13th through the 18th to find out how!***

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