Author Interview: Zeta Lordes

Author Interview of Zeta Lordes

Here’s an interview of yet another up and coming author. It’s great to see what others like to cover in their work!

Do you have a preferred tense or point of view you write in? And why?

Zeta: I always write in past tense versus present tense. I dislike present tense to both read and write… what it might gain in immediacy it loses in intimacy. For me, past tense is more conducive to storytelling versus story reporting.

I’ll often write short stories in 1st person (POV), but I write longer pieces in 3rd person. 1st person is much more confining (for both reader and writer) in terms of how the story can unfold. In longer pieces I prefer the elements of 3rd person which offer a wider scope to the story telling.

Are there particular themes you try to bring out in your works?

Zeta: Some of my favorites are

  • Ambition — getting what you want and what price you’re willing to pay for it
  • Discovery — stretching your world view beyond what you know to discover new places, new meanings, and new strengths
  • Fear — how it drives us, how we deal with it, and how we conquer it
  • Personal Responsibility — ultimately the choices we make are ours alone, how do we deal with the repercussions, do they make us or break us
  • Power — the search for it, how we deal with it both internally and externally, the loss and gain of it

Do you have a specific reader in mind when you write? What are they like?

Zeta: I suppose I think of a reader very similar to myself. Someone who likes intrigue, a certain level of sophistication, complex characters with complex motivations, and a story that supports those ideals.

What type of obstacles do you most enjoy throwing at characters in your stories?

Zeta: A lot of this ties into my favorite themes. I force my characters to face their fears, the costs of their ambitions, and the cost/responsibility of power. I love giving my characters impossible choices which often leaves them giving up more than they get. Battering their beliefs and preconceived notions of themselves is also a favorite obstacle, tying into personal responsibility and discovery.

How do you feel about endings? Is there a type of ending you strive for?

Zeta: I’ll often play around with different endings for short stories. But in longer works I’m always going for the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. Not sugary sweet, but definitely uplifting and buoyant. I love happy endings!

About Zeta

Zeta Lordes is writer of Speculative Fiction (mostly a blend of Science Fiction and Paranormal) flavored with plenty of suspense and romance. When she’s not writing, she’s often playing with photo projects, like book covers for herself and other author friends.

She lives alone in a rambling house littered everywhere with books, and the company of three cats—who have their own litter.

She’s just started reaching out on social media. You can follow her here:

https://zetalordes.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012450018026

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Self publishing and Insults

Every now and again there’s an article or something published that just screams for a reply.  Here’s one that argues self publishing is an insult to literature

Gatekeepers have existed in many industries and usually gatekeepers add one of two values: (1) marketing (2) access to otherwise expensive infrastructure (production and/or distribution). The e-publisihing trend affects (2). To compare: Recording companies were gatekeepers, especially in the age of LPs and CDs.  Physical shops were gatekeepers for clothing and fashion. Books are following that trend. Essentially Amazon (and Co.) reduce production and distribution costs to near zero.

This leaves (1) and it seems traditional publishers are their own worst enemy here. I hear so many accounts of books being published but not being marketed.

If production and distribution are free (that value has gone) and marketing is not provided  (that value never arrives) then what is the value that traditional publishing brings.

Quality? Really? I’ve read some traditionally published books that have very poor plots and flat characters. Spelling and grammar.  Potentially, yes. Traditional publishers may do a better job of enforcing spelling and grammar.  But if that’s the argument why self publishing is an insult to the written word, it’s a very weak one.

Besides, there’s another way to judge works according to their quality, let the market decide.

Traditional publishing also has a lot to answer for. The limited space for published work versus the high volume of submissions has created a side industry exploiting their clients. It’s so bad that there is a mini industry just to expose these abuses.  For every site listed here (http://pred-ed.com) there is at least one (and probably many more) author who has been ripped off. That’s the sort of issues that a traditional publishing model creates.

Apart from the significantly higher commercial and legal risks you face when publishing traditionally (see you really going to sue yourself for missed earnings?) the main difference between the two is on where the slush pile resides. In the traditionally published world, it exists within the office of the publisher.  With self-publishing, it exists online. Amazon and other retailers provide a look inside, a ranking system and a robust and monitored review process to allow the slush pile to exist alongside the more successful works and some people who have seen it says something amazing work resides in the slush pile.

Ultimately the ease and cost of doing business in the world of written fiction has plummeted. The barriers to entry have significantly reduced. That’s something that almost every government aims for.

What I struggle with is why people are so dead against the democratization of the publishing world. It’s hardly as if the existing structure of traditional publishers have any robust regulation to protect those in the industry  (http://pred-ed.com).

Black People are not Aliens

This is my response to a question by another writer asking about whether to include a black person in their story. Others were tending to say that she might struggle and should write what she knows.

Write what you know does NOT exclude black people. You know them. Even if you have never met one. You know them because they are people first. They do not define themselves by their blackness. The minor character in your story will define herself as a person, as a friend, as a mother, as a lover, as a doer of whatever she does for fun or money. Write a person. Describe black skin. It will will succeed. Guaranteed.

The correct short name for black people isn’t blacks, it’s people.