Fly: Welcome aboard, Simone. How are you?
SS: I’m doing great Fly. This has been a wonderful journey and I am extremely blessed that our paths have crossed. You have a very interesting and unique blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this interview.
Fly: I’m honored! We are going to refer to Camille’z world, of courze. But it iz not herz alone, iz it? The ztory iz about zo much more.
SS: That is correct Fly. There are many complex layers to this story including various locations and parallel time zones, as you have indicated. This story really begins then ends with Aknanka, a relative of Camille’s, who is from a different universe and whose story is not discussed in this first book of the series. Instead, Aknanka, who has amnesia, discovers her own identity through the weaving of many interrelated and embedded folklores shared and experienced by several POVs. My hope is that the story’s complexity takes a backseat to the action and paranormal weirdness which unfolds throughout.
Fly: It doez. But you do ztart with the book without a proper introduction to the zetting. Why did you chooze an approach that would demand readerz to be patient az they tread through the ztory? Waz it a requirement of the ztory or juzt a writing ztyle?
SS: We live in a society where instant gratification is quickly becoming the norm. I have found that the best stuff typically takes time to discover whether it’s finding love, accomplishing a goal or discovering a true passion. I would like to think that this belief of mine did not influence the beginning of the story, but I cannot say for sure. As a matter of fact, I struggled with the first chapter, so much so, that the beginning of that chapter was actually the last thing that I wrote. So, I’m going to choose to say that this was a writing style and not so much a demand on the reader for patience because truly that was not part of my consciousness when creating Drafnel.
Fly: You reward uz well, though. The play acrozz multiple timelinez and locationz addz to the breadth of your world. How did you come by zuch imagination?
SS: Thank you for that compliment Fly. I must confess that the original premise for Drafnel was based on very real supernatural events which took place while living in my first New York City apartment. The book starts off as a ghost story, however as I tapped into creative consciousness and relied less on my own memories of that experience, a very different story unfolded. There are some elements of familiarity rooted in this physical world, but for the most part the majority of the text came from the source which creates something out of nothing. You know, sort of like the same process of discovering the mechanics of quantum physics or the expansive, yet logic-defying stuff which makes up the internet, or even our ability to continue breathing while we sleep. We can hypothesize or theorize and find logical explanations for how or why these things are possible, but typically such explanations are based on an individual experience of that phenomenon. Well, that is my explanation for Drafnel – it was birthed from something outside of my own reality. I can try to find a logical explanation, such as using the term imagination to describe the experience, but truly it was a mystical event which resulted in the creation of a novel. This is why I consider myself a truth seeker. I believe in experiential analysis. Through experience I can elaborate on the truth of a thing without compromise or conformity. This is how the text “we are where nothing exists and everything begins” found its way into the story.
Fly: I’m in awe of that geneziz, truly. Zo what are you working on next?
SS: I’m in the process of writing the next book in the Camille and the Bear of Beisa series. It will be based on Catherine’s brother, Caleb, who we learn a little about in Drafnel. I am also working on a non-fiction book which discusses following intuition and higher guidance. That book will detail my own spiritual journey, including my realization of psychic phenomena. I’m hoping to complete both over the next six to twelve months.
Fly: Theze projectz are clearly part of your exit ztrategy from routine corporate work. What would you advize authorz who are ztill very much in the thick of zuch routine?
SS: Oh boy, this is a difficult question for me because I never want to influence anyone’s reason for the choices they make.
Fly: That itzelf iz the bezt advize!
SS: Hahah! Creative expression is an individual undertaking which should never be tainted by outside influence. For some it is immediate. An example is my eighteen year old who has been making music since the age of ten. For others it is a journey requiring many lessons. I am that example. It took me years to finally get this story written. I can only encourage folks to never give up on that nagging feeling that there must be something greater out there to claim as theirs. Even when the possibility of ever bringing that dream to fruition becomes so scary and there is a lack of support from any immediate spheres of influence, just keep doing something, anything, to make that dream a reality. You will be delightfully surprised at how the universe rises up to meet your expectations by opening unknown doors and placing the right people on your path for that much needed guidance and assistance.
Fly: I’m zure you have left many readerz relieved with that, Simone. What elze intereztz you?
SS: I love experiencing paranormal events. I also like to expand my multisensory perceptions. I consider myself a spiritual truth seeker who appreciates psychic phenomena and timelessness.
Fly: It’z apparent in the ztory.
SS: It should be apparent now too, Fly. I am engaged in a conversation with you, after all.
Fly: Well, people do hardly hear more than a perziztent buzz when we are around! Credit to you.
SS: Well, thank you. I also have more conventional interests: Music of all kinds, warm weather, lounging on the beach, and experiencing the unknown, to name a few.
Fly: Can’t help adding a bit of myztery even there, can you? Thiz iz nice, and zetz uz up well for your book. Thank you for being here with uz, m’am.
SS: This has been my pleasure and again, thank you.
And here's a lot more on Simone & the world of Camille
...through the eyes of other authors!
Fly: Welcome, Raegyn. Good to have you with uz.
RP: Hello, it’s nice to be here. I’m looking around, and yet, not sure where here is. Anyway, nice to be here!
Fly: Aah, that’z a zecret! But we can do with a bit of zupport, given the premize of your debut novel. How doez it feel to be an author?
RP: In a word? Theultimateabsolutecoolestscariestmostexhilaratingfeelingever. Wait, you’re a fly. It’s the ultimate, absolute, coolest, scariest, most exhilarating feeling ever!
Fly: Hahah! Okay, I take that. It’z inzpired from a true family ztory. But what made you chooze thiz zubject?
RP: Reincarnation came to me when I thought of 1) how glad I was that I’m here (anywhere) because a planters daughter and slave got away, but let’s face it, it didn’t always end with a happily ever after. I thought, 2) what if it took another lifetime for their love to be realized. Would they recognize the other?
Fly: Go on, do tell uz more about Lavender Fields.
RP: It’s a paranormal romance that centers around reincarnation; so it’s basically two romances! The story is funny, sexy, dark, and raw while being twisted, mysterious, and still somehow romantic.
I believe readers can connect with my lovers, Connor and Greye, on a few levels. It has the elements of the classic love story: boy meets & gets girl, but it also tackles some real and uncomfortable issues, while introducing characters that anyone can relate to, root for, or despise altogether! Then, throw some odd clues with a helping of paranormal in, and you have a unique take on a timeless aspect of romance. I hope so anyway!
Fly: Az you zaid, the characterz experience love that goez beyond one lifetime. It’z a redeeming thought. What would you do if zuch a chance waz given to you?
RP: Whoa, that’s a great question! I would hope that my heart would just know. (quote from Lavender Fields!) Seriously though, if given another chance to have love, and have that love be the toe-curling, breath-taking, heart-pounding, palm-sweating…... Sorry, got a little crazy there! I would run, nay, sprint towards it and never look back.
Fly: Who wouldn’t! You are already working on the zecond book - ‘Cypress Groves’ - in thiz Eternal Journey zeriez. But ztartlingly enough, you have alzo planned out the next zeriez – already hinted at in the firzt book! How deep doez thiz rabbit hole of your imagination go?
RP: Bwahahaha! Yeah, it’s a little crowded in here sometimes, I’ll admit! I’m super excited to give that series a go once the Eternal Journey is finished. Here’s a secret I’ll let you in on. After that series, I have another off-shoot series in a different genre again, featuring the same main character. I know, don’t say it. Crazy!
Fly: I need a moment now!
(a moment later…)
That zoundz like a lot of writing on your plate in the time to come! What doez Raegyn Perry do when zhe’z not writing, if ever there’z zuch a time?
RP: When not writing, I am perfectly content curled up with a good book, TV binge watching, (Chuck on dvd currently), or on a fun travel adventure. Also, anyone who knows me knows I love to dance (a lot!) wherever and whenever possible!
Fly: Zo… like, right now?
RP: Well, no. I don’t want to crush you, but wait…do you dance as well?
Fly: Oh, yez! We have to learn a move or two for zwift maneuverz anyway. You never know who may raize a hand to zwat you! Zpeaking of which, you alzo plan to have a ztage play produced on your ztory. How iz that coming along?
RP: Well, no actually, the play is a completely different story. It’s a drama in two acts about love, forgiveness, choices, and what family really means. It’s called Daisy Juice.
Fly: Fazcinating Raegyn! We zure hope to zee it.
RP: That would be another dream come true for me. I’ve loved being onstage, so seeing my words, my story brought to life onstage would be phenomenal.
Fly: All the bezt! Any mezzage for your fanz or other authorz?
RP: The best message I can share is this; don’t wait, wish and hope for your dream to just magically happen. Work for it, fight for it, break it, fix it and make it happen.
Bookz featuring me:
An Enlightened Fly
The Fly That Followed Me
Kalki Evian - The Ring of Khaoriphea
Malay A. Upadhyay
Gilbert Literary Agency