As I stated a few posts back, I want to try to do some interviews with authors that I review. I’m grateful, that Vina Arno, author of “In His Corner”, was more than willing to answer the 15 questions I sent to her! I didn’t quite manage to stay away from all the cliché questions, but I did try to mix in a few less common questions. I sincerely appreciate Ms. Arno taking the time to answer them!
Question #1: Are your characters based off of real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: The hero in my book, “In His corner,” is a boxer known as the Juggernaut. He is my homage to Tom Hardy’s cage-fighter character in the movie “Warrior.” I prefer boxing to mixed martial arts and I wanted the prestige of the Olympics, so I made my hero an Olympic gold-medalist boxer. My heroine is named Siena because she was inspired by the Italian city of the same name, which I visited in 2013.
Question #2: As a child, what do you want to do/be when you grew up?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I thought I wanted to be a stage actress! But I realize now that what I always wanted was to create and be immersed in a creative environment.
Question #3: As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? What is your least favorite?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: My favorite part is the actual writing and building a story sentence by sentence. You start with a blank screen and end up with an entire manuscript. Even rewriting, which is difficult, gives me joy because it’s part of creating the story.
My least favorite is everything outside the writing process (querying, marketing, promotions, etc.)!
Question #4: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I didn’t go out to do research for this book. For my boxing hero, I watched documentaries and read books about the sport. For my ER-doctor heroine, my experience as a public relations specialist at a hospital came in handy. I drew inspiration from my interactions with doctors and hospital workers.
Question #5: Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? Conversely, did you make any marketing decisions that had an immediate impact on your sales?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: Every little thing helps in marketing, so even the less successful attempts are still useful.
Question #6: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages each day or do you just set aside writing time and whatever comes out, comes out.
Ms. Arno’s Answer: No, I don’t have a word-count quota. However, I do write every single day, year-round. For me, what’s useful is the actual habit of writing. It’s part of my routine and it’s something I look forward to every day.
Question #7: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I’m a copywriter and editor for a software company by day.
Question #8: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, or longhand? Why?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I write my novels on a computer, but I write random thoughts and notes in a notebook or any piece of paper available.
Question #9: How did you break into the publishing world?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: It was a serendipitous process that began with a trip to Siena, Italy. I wrote about my publishing breakthrough for Forbes. If you’re interested, you can read it here: 3 Career Reinvention Tips from a Reporter Turned Romance Writer.
Question #10: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: General Douglas MacArthur, the iconic World War II military leader. In fact, I recently completed a historical novel about him, which my literary agent in currently shopping to editors.
Question #11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book, whom would it be? What would you do during that day? (PG-13 please)
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I would love to spend time with both my hero and my heroine, but if I must choose just one, then I would shadow my heroine, Siena Carr, at the hospital. She’s an intelligent, big-hearted doctor, who’s beautiful inside and out. I was surprised that some readers misunderstood her, big time.
Question #12: Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: Unfortunately, no. And that’s why I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t discover the joys of reading until I was in high school. I didn’t start writing until I was in graduate school.
Question #13: What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: I’m not a science fiction fan, but I finally read Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, “Fahrenheit 451”, recently. I was blown away by his writing. I loved it so much that I wrote about it on my blog. You can check it out, if you’re interested: Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” Transcends Science Fiction Genre.
Question #14: What books have influenced your life the most?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: In high school, I discovered how powerful fiction can be after reading “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Many years later, reading Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” inspired me to start writing fiction. Nancy Horan’s “Loving Frank” gave me courage to write my historical novel about Douglas MacArthur.
Question #15: What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was the least useful or most destructive?
Ms. Arno’s Answer: Writing is a very humbling process. I learned that I can always improve my writing. “Don’t be precious” – this is what I tell myself when I’m writing. I can’t think of anything truly destructive. So far, even my negative experiences (such as rejections) have brought me positive lessons.
Again, many thanks to Ms. Arno for taking the time to answer these questions for me and for all of us! I hope the rest of you enjoyed the questions/answers as much as I did.
Being my first interview with an author, if anyone has feedback or has ideas for questions that you think would be good, please feel free to either comment here or message me. Thanks!