Q&A with Viola Ryan
Describe The Mark of Abel in three words.
Lucifer - Redemption - Heart
2. Lucifer has a starring role in The Mark of Abel. What made you choose him?
He chose me. National Novel Writing Month 2007 started with a scene I wrote in 2003. A vampire bites the woman he loves in order to turn her, giving her the greatest gift he knows. She doesn’t understand, is abhorred, and rejects him. The original title was Rejection: A Vampire’s Tale. As things progressed, Lucifer decided he wanted to be the hero. The biggest rejection in all stories is Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven. As I thought about it, it made sense. Fallen angels are seen as demons and vampires are demons. According to math, if A=B and C=B than A=C. Making Lucifer a vampire made sense. I was surprised no one had done it before.
3. Why did you decide to give Janie the gift of painting?
I love art, but I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. I initially made her a painter to differentiate her from me. That’s also why she is part oriental. To write her scenes, I took a painting class to understand the terminology. I ended up being pretty good at it. My paintings are at my site: http://www.violaryan.com
4. How did music help influence you while writing?
I use music to set a tone, for example Duran Duran for sexier scenes and Def Leppard for fight scenes. When I get in the zone, I need the music off.
5. What was the most interesting historical fact you came across while writing The Mark of Abel?
That’s tough. There were so many because of Janie’s past lives. I’d say the fact that inspired Janie’s initial death, the Second Dacian War in 107 CE. The Roman’s basically exterminated the Dacians (present day Romania) because Emperor Trajan wanted their gold. This victory is depicted on Trajan’s Column.
6. You're a huge fan of Urban Fantasy. Which author has influenced you the most?
Neil Gaiman hands down. When people tell me I write like him, I smile. There is a lot of American God’s in The Mark of Abel, but instead of Norse Gods, I use Judeo-Christian stories.
7. The Mark of Abel was born from NaNo. What was it like to participate in NaNo?
I love National Novel Writing Month. I just wish it was at another time. November is too hectic. It really gets you writing and then writing becomes a habit. It’s hard to keep that up during December with the holidays. NaNo turned me into a writer. For Thanksgiving we went to my in-laws. I got the flu and had a 102 degree fever. I still drove myself to the library day after Thanksgiving to get some work done.
8. Who is your favorite supporting character in Buffy and Angel?
At first I thought, “That’s too hard,” but then I realized it’s not. There is a lot of Willow in me, but also Fred. Can I pick 2? I tend to go with smart, crazy characters.
9. Whom would you rather have dinner with: Mark Twain, Shakespeare, or Dr. Suess? Why?
Dinner with Mark Twain would be amazing. I’d love to hear him go on about the state of the world. Heck, I’d love to hear his take on The Mark of Abel. His Letters from Earth have greatly influenced The Mark of Abel.
A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.
Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.
On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.
Her oldest daughter (16) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.
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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/violaryan
Current Release: The Mark of Abel, Book 1 of The Mark of Abel series
Release day: Ebook - December 21, 2012 Paperback - September 2013