Broken Pieces

Author Interview – Nadine Ducca

Friday, September 13, 2013

What motivates you to write? First and foremost, I write because it’s an activity I enjoy. If fiction writing were torture, I definitely wouldn’t be doing it!

My main motivation is the challenge, the pressure, the surprises my characters have in store for me. Creating something as elaborate as a novel comes with sacrifice, but it is an extremely fulfilling experience. Motivation for my novel also stems from all the support I receive from my wondrous critique buddies on Critique Circle. They’re all such a helpful bunch! I don’t know what I’d do without them and their comments, suggestions and support.

What writing are you most proud of? That would be my debut novel Serving Time, of course! Sometimes I’m watching TV or cooking or listening to the radio, and I stop and think “I’m a published author.” I actually did it! After so many years of doing what I was supposed to do (study, get a “real job,” pay the rent…), I had finally found the time for what I wanted to do: write.

I’m sure there are countless aspiring authors out there whose heads buzz with fantastic ideas for short stories or novels, but who don’t dare take that first step. They might write a few pages, then shake their heads and stuff the papers in a drawer. Their insecurity is getting in the way of their creativity. In my case, I spent many years going through that phase, until I finally broke free and got down to business. And now I have a published novel, and a second one on the way!

I went all the way, and I’m proud.

You can do it, too. Just keep calm and write. Don’t stop and one day you’ll reach the end.

What books did you love growing up? As a kid, I loved The Berenstein Bears! Whenever my mom and I used to go to Target, we’d always check if there was a new Berenstein book! I still have my entire collection. If I ever have children, I’ll read them The Berenstein Bears, although, knowing how possessive and protective I am of my childhood books, I’ll probably tell the kids “you can look but don’t touch!”

Who is your favorite author? I don’t really have a favorite author, just like I don’t have a favorite film director or music band. I enjoy books. I might love a book from a certain author, but hate the next one. This happened with Ursula Q Le Guin. I really enjoyed her Earthsea novels, but was disappointed and annoyed by The Left Hand of Darkness.

Nonetheless, some of my favorite authors are: Stephen King (although I admit there are some books I haven’t been able to finish, see: The Tommyknockers), Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials is a captivating trilogy), Richard Matheson (I Am Legend is the only novel by him that I’ve read, but it’s one of my all-time favorites), and Robert Sheckley (the master of satirical sci-fi).

What book genre do you adore? I’m an unconditional fan of science fiction, and some fantasy books (I’m not so big on the elves and dwarves…). I also enjoy some historical fiction, such as the classic The Pillars of the Earth.

What book should everybody read at least once?

Well, this is simply my opinion as a sci-fi lover, but I believe everyone should read 2001: A Space Odyssey. I admit the first few chapters on the moon might be yawn-inducing, but the scenes with Dave and HAL are absolutely chilling. I remember reading this novel as a teen before going to bed, and it felt like I was reading a horror story.

Are there any books you really don’t enjoy? I absolutely, positively, definitely can’t stomach romance, which is a shame since it seems to be so popular nowadays.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? Man, I’m living proof that life experiences influence writing! Just look at the mess my characters are in. The two heroes are the Cross brothers: Tristan and Eneld. At the beginning of the novel, their relationship is strained, basically because they haven’t seen each other in many years and Eneld (the younger brother) has abandonment issues regarding Tristan. The characters don’t have a known family apart from each other and their deceased mother.

How has my own life experience influenced these characters? When I was 11, my parents got divorced. At the age of 12, my mother took me with her to live in Spain. We left behind our entire family in California, and we didn’t have absolutely anybody waiting for us in Spain. Sometimes I still wonder what the heck got into her to make that kind of decision. My father remarried and I have a step-sister and a half-brother. However, the long-distance relationship is difficult to manage.

Do you see the similarities between my life and my characters’ lives? We’re all estranged from our families—and I only realized this after writing Tristan and Eneld’s backstory!

However, it’s not all drama for our heroes; they’ve also been influenced by the beautiful place where I now live. Tristan and Eneld grew up in Barcelona, Catalonia, and you can catch some dashes of Catalan culture in their adventure throughout Serving Time.

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.

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Genre – Science Fiction/Fantasy

Rating – Adult

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