It's Thursday, and that means it's time for another interview, this time with Amalia Dillin, author of the recently released Forged by Fate. Read on to find out more about her and the sort of animals she'd like to have in her backyard some day.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently in the middle of a couple of projects, including revisions for the second book in the Fate of the Gods series, a paranormal romance novella with Ullr, the Norse god of archery and skiing, and a novel about Pirithous, son of Zeus, and his escape from Hades into the modern world. I’m really not sure what I would do with myself if it weren’t for mythology!
What's your pre-writing ritual?
Um. I guess I check my email, then twitter, then facebook, then dive in. Of course, I try really hard *not* to do this, too. I find that my most productive days are the days when I look at my word document first thing. It sets the tone for the rest of my writing day, and while I might break for research, it helps me to tune out the rest of the internet and all its amazing and wonderful distractions.
What is one of the most surprising/interesting things you've discovered while doing research for a story?
I recently learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about fleas – I hadn’t realized there were specific fleas for specific animals, or how varied they were in size. I calculated how many fleas it would take to fill a wine bottle for that novella, but thankfully, I’ve blocked the most sordid of those details out of my mind since. If I ever have to look up fleas again it will be far, far too soon!
Tell me about your favorite story that you've published. What inspired it, and what does it mean to you?
Ha! Well, so far, my favorite is definitely Forged by Fate, because it really is my book of ThorLove, and I’m so, so glad I’m getting to share it with the world. BUT, I also wrote a serial for my blog with my friend Mia Hayson, about Thor in Zombie Land which was truly a labor of love, and so, so much fun. It was kind of a story we wrote together just for the joy of writing ridiculous things, so I guess that project kind of gives Forged by Fate a run for its money in my heart. So often, it’s easy to forget about that kind of writing, but it’s the pure joy of it which started me on the path to authorhood, and it’d be a shame to lose touch with that.
You can have lunch with any writer, living or dead. Who would it be, and why?
Robert A. Heinlein. No question. His vision was just… incredible. And he had so many amazing insights. We see that clearly in his work. Wait. I lied. I want to change my answer to Homer. I want to know what he actually knew about the epic stories he wrote down!
What's one of the best novels and/or short stories you've read recently?
Runemarks, by Joanne Harris. It was really an amazing and creative take on the idea of Ragnarok and what comes after. I really, really enjoyed exploring the world and the mythology she created!
Writing is a sedentary endeavor. What do you do to stay healthy and active?
Not enough, honestly. But I enjoy yoga, and more than that, I love romping around in the woods. I’m looking forward to getting a dog soon, and getting just a little bit lost out in our (awesomely large) backyard. The size of my yard may or may not be part of the reason I’d like to get goats – riding mowers are so much less fun than livestock!
Amalia Dillin began as a Biology major before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn't stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dream of the day when they will own goats--to pull her chariot through the sky, of course! Links to all her work can be found on her website, www.amaliadillin.com – including the aforementioned Thor in Zombie Land, and more information about The Fate of the Gods trilogy!