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Author Interview – Nadine Ducca

Where do you get your inspiration from? Sometimes, ideas just pop up inside my head without even knocking. Other times, I might be watching a documentary on a new scientific breakthrough, or planets that have just been discovered, and I have to get up and rush to get a notebook to jot down a great idea for a short story or flash fiction. My critique buddies are also a fabulous source of inspiration. Their advice and suggestions have helped me add much more depth to my novels.

Music also inspires—although it can’t have lyrics or I get too distracted. When I write my characters up against the wall and I’m having trouble finding inspiration, I usually either listen to some music or grab pen and paper and start writing out the situation I need to solve. Sometimes I doodle or write gibberish, just anything that pops into my head, and usually I find a thread I can follow until I reach that real nugget.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? Writing Serving Time was a pleasure. Editing it…not so much. Since it was my first novel, I had to hone my craft before being able to declare I had a completed draft. My critique partners were very helpful with that, as well as the three or four books on writing that I read.

I can’t really give an opinion about getting published, since I opted for the selfpublishing route. I can, however, give a very concise opinion about formatting: torture! I formatted both the print and ebook versions all by myself, and it took way too many hours! The worst version to format was the print, since I had to insert the scene breaks, the headers, and the footers. It took me ages to get the front matter right, and all because the header was acting stubborn and it wouldn’t disappear! I remember one particular Saturday I spent in front of the computer trying to get the headers and page numbers right. I don’t know what happened. I was following every single step. It should’ve worked. But it didn’t. I almost went crazy, so I stopped and let it sit until the following day. On Sunday, I opened the file, followed the steps again, and everything was squeaky clean on my first try. I wanted to shoot Microsoft Word.

Formatting might have been difficult, but at least I had a guide I could follow. In my recent experience, the hardest activity by far is marketing. After spending years learning the craft of writing, after sweating and toiling over chapter after chapter, after finally putting my book in front of the entire world, I realize I’m still not good enough. I’m still missing something: marketing skills. Time to work on that!

Do you find it hard to share your work? At first, I was a bit superstitious, as if talking about my project and sharing it with others would put a curse on it. What I didn’t realize back then was that I was already cursing myself with that attitude. Luckily, I signed up for an online writing course, and one of the lessons was to share my work with a writers’ group. I followed the advice, and it has been the most helpful thing ever. Sometimes critiques hurt, sometimes comments and viewpoints can make you feel frustrated, but most of the time the suggestions you receive are priceless.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? Some do, and some don’t. In these last few months, I’ve received a lot of support from many family members and friends, but wild-west-tumbleweed silence from many others. I guess I could say that publishing has been an informative experience! I’m very glad to be a member of Critique Circle writing group. We’re all on the same boat there, and we cheer each other on, give advice and support, and motivate each other with our progress reporting.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…

I supervise a language school in my city, and I’m a part-time English teacher at the Open University of Catalonia. Apart from that, I also collaborate with the Cambridge English Exams. I’m a Speaking Examiner and I coordinate exam day in my city. The good thing about my job is that I get to speak English every day even though I live in Spain. On slow school days, I have lots of free time in front of a computer, so I can get some writing done every now and then.

What other jobs have you had in your life? When I was a teenager, I set myself a personal challenge: to work in the three typical teen jobs. I chose fast food waitress, shop assistant, and bartender at a night club. And yes, I managed to land a job for each of these three things. I’ve also worked at a gas station (the most boring eight hour shifts of my life), and the worst ever: going door to door trying to sell Citibank credit cards. Luckily, just one month into that nightmare job, I got rear-ended, hurt my neck and back, and had to spend several months resting, so I had a great excuse to leave.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Once, I was with a friend walking toward campus. I was studying Translation and Interpreting then, so foreign languages and translation technology were my day-to-day. That particular day, we were crossing the street when a van stopped next to us and rolled down the window. I distinctly remember that the back windows of the van had tacky little flowery curtains, and they were all drawn. The woman driving asked us for directions to the faculty of medicine. “I’m here to donate a corpse,” she said. Yikes! We sent her on her way as quickly as we could.

And still… If I could go back to university now, I would—hands down—study anatomy and physiology. (I studied a Master’s in Medical Translation, and these introductory subjects were my favorites.) I want to put on a lab coat and wander into the labs at the university. I want to hold a scalpel and cut some flesh! (With all due respect for the donors, of course.)

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I like where I live now: Granollers. It’s a small city about half an hour away from Barcelona. The great thing about Granollers is that you have everything you need: shops, restaurants, services, bars, clubs… and it’s all in walking distance! My job is also in Granollers, and it’s just a twenty-minute walk from my home (I’m a very slow walker).

If I had to choose somewhere else to live, I would probably return to my home town: Simi Valley, California, or I might go to my aunt’s picturesque town by the bay: Benicia, near San Francisco.

Serving Time

Life and death have been industrialized. The Forge, the birthplace of every soul, is a rumbling factory owned by the goddess Time, managed by Lucifer, and powered by the labor of demons and imps. In this dystopian world, a renegade interplanetary pilot running from his past doesn’t stand a chance.

Handling Neptunian meth and dodging security cannons are all in a day’s work for Tristan Cross—not that he’s one to complain. Working for the smuggling company StarCorp is an improvement over what he used to do for a living.

However, when StarCorp gives Tristan a one-way ticket into the brainwashed—and disturbingly suicidal—Loyal League, he decides to run from the company and start a new life in the only safe haven he knows: Earth. With the help of his brother, Tristan embarks on the most hazardous journey of his life, one that will place him at Time’s mercy. Little does he know the demons running the universe are craving a feast, and his own soul is the next item on the menu.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Science Fiction/Fantasy

Rating – Adult

More details about the author

Connect with Nadine Ducca on Facebook

Website http://nadineonwriting.blogspot.com/

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