Topic: Author Interview
Lara Zielinsky the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Ah, pulling out the old character sheet here - well, let's see... I see myself as something of a Perfectionist, though not always successfully achieving that. I am definitely a Workaholic, throwing myself into everything 150%. And I try to be conscientious and kind.
2. How do you think others would describe you?
Most people see me as emotional, tense, and good at reading people, with lots of empathy.
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
My family, my intimate friends, and being "present" with them as much as possible.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
Hershey, who is 5, is a Basset Hound mix, and ASPCA rescue. He's absolutely adorable, unconditionally loving, and very actively playful. Loves playing fetch and wrestling and leaping for his rope bone.
5. What is your most precious memory?
I have a lot of precious memories, but I don't think I can, or should, name a most precious one. I like to think life is a series of precious memories and each is just as important as the last, and the next. I'm not trying to avoid the question. It really is a philosophy with me. If you make one thing your most precious memory, that could diminish others later or before or falsely imply to outsiders that you have a certain point of view, or a new memory has the power to displace another "at the top". Nah. Not for me. It's all good, even great.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
On the other hand, embarrassing memories ARE for ranking, so you never, ever do them again. I fell asleep in Chem class in high school, absolutely nose down, sound asleep in the middle of the lecture. The teacher came through the classroom, stopped right next to my desk, continuing to lecture, and simply raised his voice right next to me. I startled so badly I fell out of my desk onto the floor. NO ONE made a sound. That was not the most embarrassing fact. This was: the teacher? MY OWN FATHER. Everyone was waiting to see what he would do to me. I was written up. My one and only discipline referral in high school. (I'd gotten one previously in junior high, but that's another story.)
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I'd have to find some way to write, but if I really couldn't be a writer in any way, I'd probably be a counselor, or a teacher.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
Lara Zielinsky died yesterday in the fullness of old age, having spent her life growing in experiences, lovers, and friends until the very last. She penned more than two dozen novels, and more than forty short stories, adding to the world with unforgettable characters of amazing grace. According to her close friends, dozens of whom showed up to see her ashes put in the cargo hold of the latest Mars mission launch, this was very much a reflection of who she was personally.
Lara Zielinsky the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
The first time someone told me my writing was publishable. I was 16, in Boston, taking a workshop with the fiction editor of the Boston Globe.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I've been following the sales of my first novel, finishing the sequel, and planning the first two novels in a series I'll tackle next.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
In the short term, I'd like to finish the sequel and see it through to publication. Long term - I'd like to arrange my life for a little more writing time, to be able to invest professional-level priority in it.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I write in the early mornings, before the rest of my family is awake. Also, on lunch breaks at work if I get them.
13. Why do you write?
To share time with the wonderful characters in my head, to help their lives unfold on paper, and for the thrill of sharing them with readers.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
To be honest, I am inspired by everything I read, and read a lot, though not as much as I would like. Sometimes it's "I wish I could write like that", and sometimes it's "I hope I never sound like that". The non-fiction or news gives me something to chew on about the human condition or a story idea kernel.
15. How do you define your writing?
Vivid, emotional journeys which are part drama, part adventure, part romance, a reflection of life.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
I'd like people to say my stories introduced them to some really memorable characters, wonderful every day people, and made the readers feel along with their adventures and journeys.
Lara Zielinsky the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
My website: http://www.lzfiction.net/
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
My email group on Yahoo, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lzfiction2/
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
The novel: "Turning Point", published April 2007 by P.D. Publishing. Link on Amazon.com, http://tinyurl.com/38oowp
I also have a short story "Study Buddies" available in the premier issue of "Read These Lips", an online free zine, http://www.readtheselips.com/
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
I hope readers find escape and enjoyment in my stories of love between women, with full lives, trials and triumphs, and Happily Ever After. Readers will find third person intimate point of view; I don't write in first person. After finishing, they should expect to feel as if they've walked in a fictional someone else's shoes. And according to many past readers, they should be expecting to stay up all night to finish the longer stories.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
There's a romantic style to my language. I'm not into hip "happenin'" slang, or endless comedies of errors. I write adventure and life of the every day sort, so don't expect super spies or rogue cops. I have a little fascination with the duality of life that actors can get into, but acting/Hollywood is a setting, not the main thrust of the stories. I generally don't have partners who are similar ages, or even similar stages in life. I don't live in a Mecca of Gayness, like San Francisco, or even South Florida (to pick someplace closer to home) so don't expect stories in which everyone's queer, or the characters hang out in single-sex only places constantly. And definitely my characters come from all the stages of life.
I always want my writing to reflect the world as I see it and that's pretty balanced. People have beautiful lives, and I really like that. Probably my journalism background coming out. I used to write Feature stories, and finding the littlest things about people fascinating in order to conduct an interview was a required skill.
I also want to write in a way that paints a picture, though not a rigid, paint-by-numbers type of image, rather a familiar scene where the reader fills in the minute details according to their experiences, and the rest is an emotional painting. You can see the tension, feel the source of the fear, see the hesitation and the love as vividly as if you were seeing it on your own partner's face, and know its source intuitively. If I make a heart beat faster, not because I wrote "her heart beat faster" but because the situation resonates and you can tell that her stumbling language and the faint trace of sweat tickling down the nape of her neck shows you her heart is pounding faster, then I've done what I want to do with my writing.
And finally, I want readers to know I do not "crank out stories". Eventually I'll get to everything, but it is the perfectionist in me that slows me down. I hope the reader finds the time worth it, with every story I write. With every story I write, I want to learn something more as well. So no rehashing tired themes with me from work to work. The same sex scene will not appear in four stories, with only the names and faces changed.
So I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I love writing. Have a great day, and I'll see you between the covers (wink) soon!