Monday, July 5, 2010

Author Interview ~ Yolanda Sfetsos

It’s another lovely day here at the Menagerie. I hope all our American friends both here and abroad enjoyed your Fourth of July celebrations. And the rest of y’all, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Today we have with me and Megan, friend to the Menagerie, and repeat guest, Yolanda Sfetsos. Let’s all give her a warm Whipped cream welcome. I’m sure the Cabana Boys have already started with their warm welcome.

Welcome back to the Menagerie, Yolanda. It’s great to have you back on our couch. Let’s get started: Tell us again, where are you from?

I live in a suburb of Sydney, Australia with my husband, daughter, and cat. I’ve actually been living in the same place for almost twelve years now.

Wow, I’m sorry, I still find it fascinating whenever we interview authors from Australia… I’ll get over my awe in a moment. LOL.

Ooh, you have a cat! I love cats. Since you’ve been here before, tell us your latest news?

The Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy is now available from Damnation Books. All three novellas are out in the wild—FAITHLESS, CARELESS, and BOUNDLESS. They’re all available in eBook formats, Kindle, and print.

I’ve also got an urban fantasy series coming soon with ImaJinn Books. The series name is The Hidden. The first book is called UNNATURAL, and already has a kick-butt cover. (You can see it here, if you like.)

And biggest of all, or at least this minute… my first Eternal Press release, Shade of Grey will be out this week on July 7!

Congratulations! How cool is that. That’s a lot of good news to have for us to share. LOL When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in my early teens. I went to school a few suburbs away, so all of my friends lived too far to hang out. That meant that I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom, and that’s when I started putting pen to paper.

Hey, that alone time wasn’t put to waste and we are the happy recipients of your labors.

LOL, this is true. And you can always come back and hang out with us. :-D How did you come up with the title?

It’s always different. Sometimes the title comes before the story, other times I have to spend hours trying to figure one out after the story’s already written.

Personally, I like titles that capture the story’s essence somehow. And if they’re part of a trilogy or series, I like them to match. A good example is my Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy. All the titles in the trilogy end with the word ‘less’.

Nice touch making them all string together. What books have influenced your life the most?

This is probably going to sound a little strange if you’ve actually read the book, but CABAL by Clive Barker influenced my life when I was a teenager. I’d been writing for a few years before I read it and had started to delve into a darker side of storytelling. After reading CABAL, I knew I was headed in the right direction.

I’ve been treading the dark edge of fiction ever since. ;)

There’s nothing wrong with the dark side. Some of us love hanging out there.

I agree, this might be why you like to hang out here when you can, lol. The darker side has better… Cabana Boys anyway. LOL What are your current projects?

I’ve always got a bunch of different projects planned, or in different stages of revision. At the moment I’m working my way through the third (and final) draft of The Hidden, Book 5. It’s turning out to be a lot of work, but it’s all worth it because the more I do, the better everything clicks.

After I finish this one, I plan to write a few more Sci-Fi tales set in the Recast world, as well as revise a few novels I have waiting, and tackle some other ideas I have…

In my opinion, editing stinks, but, hey, when it clicks, it clicks.

Yup, editing does more than stink, but we won’t go there right now. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The Hidden, Book 5 is contracted to ImaJinn Books and I’m currently working on the final draft. It’s a novel featuring an angelic heroine who has to deal with a tremendous amount of things. This story expands on the paranormal world of the hidden even more and features the Grigori, Nephilim, Demons, and a whole host of other creatures.

Demons...nice touch. Now since you mentioned edits and 3rd drafts, how long does it take you to write a book?

Writing the first draft usually takes me a month, sometimes a little more. I get so caught up in getting the story out of my head that I find myself in a whirlwind of typing. Of course, the revision process takes a lot longer than the initial writing.

That’s a lot in a little bitty piece of time.

No kidding, I think I might have a heart attack if a story got written in one month. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I try to squeeze in some writing every single day while my husband’s at work and my daughter’s at school. I usually take the weekends off, but not always.

When I’m in the thick of things, like I am now with the revision, I find that the story and characters consume my mind every waking moment.

Sometimes, that’s to be expected. But I don’t think I’d trade it. What fun would that be?

I have characters and the boys who consume my time, but I love every moment of it. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love hanging out with my hubby and daughter. We love to go for walks together, play Rock Band, watch movies, and TV shows. I also love to read. I’m addicted to buying books, too.

A book’re a girl after my own heart.

LOL, I will freely admit that I buy more books than I ever read. I have huge TBR piles that are in danger of toppling over and taking out innocent passersby. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

It’s funny, because I either wanted to write stories or make movies. 

You can still make those movies you know. Just a matter of who you want to see them is all.

ROTFL, don’t get us started on “home movies” please, Megan. And now, Yolanda, we’ve come to that part of the interview… the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions part of our day: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

I’d have to go with cats. I live in an apartment block, so having a dog is not a realistic option. At least, not the dogs that I’d like to have. We’ve got an indoor cat called Loki and he’s quite a handful, but also a lovely companion to have around when I spend most of my days writing.

Cats rock, hands down. Kitty shifters are even better. But you all knew my preferences.

Nope, I’m not surprised Megan jumped on your bandwagon, lol. Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

You know, it’s funny you should mention this because my strange handwriting habit would have to be that I dot my “I”s even when I capitalize them.

LOL, that’s a new one. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Lol. For the first time in ages, I was actually sleeping at midnight.

Well, sheesh. I thought everyone stayed up all night long. Have you ever eaten a crayon?

Ew, definitely not!

You need to learn to live on the edge... plus around here they make those crayons out of sugar and chocolate. My faves!

LOL, I don’t know if you could have been more adamant in your denial, Yolanda. What is your favorite animal?

I'm a huge animal lover. I love all types of animals, but if I had to pick my most faves I would have to go with tigers, elephants, and crows.

Hmm, an elephant shifter. Sounds...crushing...could be the new trend. What do you want to know about the future?

I want to know when flying cars will make it on the scene. I've been waiting since I was a kid, and it still hasn't happened.

I think the cars fly up and down my road, but that’s the crazy farmers driving at top freaking speed. So does controlled speeding/flying count? I guess not...What is your heritage?

I was actually born in Madrid, Spain but have lived in Australia since I was seven.

Very cool! You’re a worldly lady, then. :-D What is one thing scientists should invent?

They should definitely invent a cure for cancer.

You and me both, that’s for sure. What stereotype would you label yourself as?

Probably the loner.

Then you wouldn’t be alone, cuz me and the boys like to be lone vamps too. Now down to the nitty gritty. Do you like thunderstorms?

Oooh, I love thunderstorms! In fact, several years back, I was writing a story featuring Thor, and whenever I sat down to actually write it would storm. I didn’t think anything of it, but then during revision, the same thing happened. It was really freaky, but cool.

If you’d like to read that story, it’s actually one of the free reads I offer on my website.

Cool, we’ll have to go take a look. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

I can definitely taste the difference! I prefer Coke Zero, although I’ve been trying to stay away lately. It’s working so far.

LOL, well, sometimes it’s harder to stay away from certain things, even if you know it’s for your own good.

And that is the end of our interview, today. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Yolanda. As always it was a pleasure to have you hanging out with us.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

When asked for an author bio, Yolanda gave us this:

I'm an Aussie who loves to write tales of the otherworldly.

Mostly they fall under the category of paranormal and urban fantasy, but I do write in other genres too. My muse doesn't like restrictions, and is quite happy to toe the dark edge of storytelling.

When I'm not writing, I love to spend time with my family. I also love to go for walks, enjoy reading, cruising the Internet, watching movies, and TV shows - Supernatural, Dexter, Burn Notice, The Big Bang Theory, and True Blood.

You can keep track of her latest releases and such online on her:


Shade of Grey by Yolanda Sfetsos

The night two intruders dressed in black break into Gypsy’s store, a mysterious, sexy man comes to her rescue. Calvin has one objective—to keep both a secret organization and an alien clan from finding and taking Gypsy. But after they meet, his duty is overridden by his desire.

Together, Gypsy and Calvin travel halfway across the country, trying to stay one step ahead of their pursuers and dodging danger at every step. When they give in to their mutual attraction, neither realizes that it’s the one thing guaranteed to reveal their location to their biggest threat.

In the small Outback town of Backwater, human and alien greed will collide. Can their passion for each other be strong enough to survive the ordeal? Or will Gypsy’s destiny lead to an alien plan that could destroy everything?


Paris said...

Loved the interview! Shade of Grey sounds like a wonderful book and I'm adding it to my TBB list!

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Thanks for interviewing me here today, Kealie! It's always lovely to be here. :)

Hi Paris! Thanks so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed my interview. You're awesome!