Rhiannon Paille is the author of The Ferryman and the Flame series and the Last City on Earth series. Her newest book, Surrender, released on December 4th, 2012. You can find out more about Rhiannon Paille on her website.
Chocolate or Vanilla? It depends on what it is . . . cake, chocolate, pudding, vanilla.The Mortal Instruments or Twilight? The Mortal Instruments!Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks? Neither . . .Can you tell us about your newest book, Surrender?
SURRENDER is a story about star crossed lovers Kaliel and Krishani, who don’t realize that being a weapon of mass destruction and a ferryman destined to follow death, doesn’t make for a very happy relationship. And that being hunted by bad guys who want awesome weapons is also not a good thing.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous. How much say did you get in the final product?
It was a coincidence. I requested a sketch, just a pencils and ink sketch of the main character and the artist, Marc Wolfe, who works for Lucasfilms a lot and does licensed Star Wars art, got all inspired and did this. I never intended it to be the cover, but what Marc did matched a cover concept I had in 2010, long before the book was published. So it worked out very well.
How did you come up with Surrender?
The whole story or just the title? The story . . . I suppose the story has lived in my head since I was thirteen and I eventually had to figure out how to put it on paper. The title . . .came from a Billy Talent song that contains the lyrics “I think I found a flower in a field of weeds.” The song and my book share the title now because of how accurate those lyrics were, coincidentally of course.
Did you experience any Writer’s Block?
Yes and no. I don’t write some months of the year because I have four other jobs I have to do, but when I’m not writing I’m always doing something else, and then when I am writing I have no problem. I suppose if I were asked to write during the same month I was say organizing a convention, I’d have some serious issues. So far, because I’m self pubbed, I’ve never had a problem meeting a deadline AND trying to run a convention. (although that might change in the future, new challenges!)
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
That’s a tough one! I think I would have had less ambition actually. Originally I thought I’d write a book everyone would hate, and it would just sit on the shelves forever, but I still thought a publisher would take a chance on it. Then when a publisher didn’t, I was like, “but, but, this is the best book ever.” and then I just stopped whining and decided to sell it myself, or rather, attempt to prove it is the best book ever. So far, not everyone agrees with me . . .
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Honestly? The fairweathered reviews are always the ones that hurt me the most. I think it’s because of the way people weigh things. They’re like, “this was good, that was good, but overall it was just ‘okay'” Or the dreaded, “I liked the writing, the setting, but I didn’t connect with the characters.” (they’re not human . . .)
The best compliments I’ve ever gotten though? People comparing me to Tolkien or calling my book a “Classic” or the people who flat out have cried from reading my book or show up to my book signings excited for the next book. That’s the best feeling in the world, to know you wrote a book that did touch someone, somewhere.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write something you don’t care too much about first. And then write more stuff you don’t care about, and try not to ever write stuff you care about because the moment you do is the moment you’ll find your heart crushed. I had to learn this the hard way, so in other words, don’t be me?
What are you working on next?
I really want to finish The Ferryman + The Flame Series before I work on any other projects. I have them outlined or in my head, and I like them there, but I won’t feel ready to go for it until Kaliel and Krishani’s story is over. I have two more books to go, and a novella, and maybe a couple other novellas before it’s done.
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
Anna Karenina, but I might see the movie version first.