Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Asta Idonea – Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages..
Thanks so much, Asta, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
Asta Idonea: I have been known to talk aloud to my characters, as if they are in the room with me.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AI: I loved books as a child. My sister would play with her dolls, and I would read. I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, but it was something I kept putting off, thinking I wasn’t good enough. In my late teens, I started publishing some fan fiction, and received encouraging comments, but it was only after I moved to Australia that I finally found the drive to pursue my dreams. I had my first original work published in 2011, and positive responses to that release gave me the confidence I needed to continue.
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
AI: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I’d love to chat with her about the research process for her historical vampire novels.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AI: I have two pen names—one for my MF works and one for my LGBT stories. In both, I write across many genres. I don’t like confining myself to a single category, even though that might be better in terms of personal branding and promotion, because I prefer to write whatever stories and characters come to mind.
JSC: What action would your name be if it were a verb?
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AI: My first published work was a paranormal/horror short story with a vampire theme. Recently, I reworked the piece, and it’s now available as a free read on my Tablo page, for anyone wishing to see how I started out. (https://tablo.io/nicki-j-markus-asta-idonea)
JSC: What kind of character or topic have you been dying to try to write, but you’ve never worked up the courage?
AI: I’d love to do something full-on erotic, perhaps with a taboo element thrown in. Think Marquis de Sade. I haven’t done it so far as I am concerned about it having a negative impact on my other works. Plus, many small presses have strict rules against many taboo subjects. So I’ll stick to sexy but safe but now.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AI: I always begin with character notes (full profiles if it’s a novella or novel). I also note some key plot points, but that’s the only planning I do—I prefer to see where the characters take me. I write first drafts by hand in my library, then type them up. Once that’s done, I print the work and return to the comfy chair in my library/music room for editing. I read through the complete story, making notes and corrections as I go; then it’s back to the study for the next draft. Short stories go through two or three drafts, and then a final proofread. Novellas and novels get four drafts before the proofread.
JSC: If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?
AI: 2007. Many good things happened in that year, such as coming to Australia and meeting my future husband. However, there are some things earlier in the year that I’d do differently if I could relive it.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AI: Well, my next release, which I am here to promote today, is Souls for Sale—a paranormal MM short novel. This is a previously released work, but I have made substantial changes to the opening in preparation for its second incarnation. I also have two works releasing in the third quarter. In July, a re-release (from NineStar Press) of Beastly Businessmen and Guitar Gods—a collection of six short stories that are all retellings of fairytales and myths. Then, in August, Dreamspinner Press will publish my MM superhero novel Super For You, Bad For Me.
As I complete this interview, I have two new projects on the go—a fantasy MM novella and a paranormal MM novel—both of which I hope to submit to publishers a little later this year.
And now for Asta’s new book: Souls for Sale:
When demon Saul persuades comic book artist Tom to sign over his soul in exchange for a night of passion, little does he know what lies in store. Demons can’t fall in love—or so he’s been told—but he finds himself smitten and attempts to destroy the contract, desperate to save Tom from an eternity of torture.
With Saul and Tom forced to run, a showdown between Heaven and Hell ensues as the angels and demons argue over who owns Tom’s soul. But does either party have a stronger claim than Saul?
SoundCloud Audio Excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/souls-for-sale-by-asta-idonea-audio-excerpt
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO