The Devil’s Breath by A. Nybo
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with A. Nybo
Hello. Thanks to the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words crew for hosting me and The Devil’s Breath today!
Birch and Henri are characters close to my heart. If readers connect with them even in a fraction of the way I do, I’m sure they’ll enjoy The Devil’s Breath.
Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?
Main characters just kind of present themselves to me. When I have tried to invent one, they usually turn out completely different—sometimes everything right down to the colour of their eyes has changed by time they’ve fully emerged. But that keeps them from being ‘text-book’. I have stories that aren’t going anywhere because the characters aren’t the right ones to highlight a particular storyline.
Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?
I’m always researching something—although not necessarily a useful something. For me, it is a fabulous procrastination tool because it steals me away for hours. I go off to determine what drug is used for a particular disease and find myself reading about the type of adze Vikings used in boatbuilding. I know I’m not alone in this.
I do like to mix and match between real and imaginary worlds and cultures, and I will on occasion, cross that line when it’s not meant to be crossed. But that’s all part of the fun.
Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?
I have never put a story aside because I was hurting with the characters. That is part of the beauty of writing, just as it is with reading. We want to experience that emotion right along with the characters. If I can elicit emotion in me, then it might work for others as well—at least I hope I can write it well enough so others can experience it too.
I wrote a scene once where tears came to my eyes the first few times I read it. After that, it was just tingles through my body.
Have I put a story aside because I didn’t know how to proceed? Yes, yes, and yes. It’s always a good indicator that something has gone awry earlier in the story.
Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I’m not a HEA kind of person and unless a book states otherwise, I always assume it is a HFN ending. Anything else is just stretching credibility. I really don’t know why some people think I’m cynical. 😉
How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
I LOVE ebooks. I grew up with paperbacks and while I found the transition hard, I couldn’t imagine going back to paperbacks (except with reference books where physical copies are still the preferred).
I always keep a paperback around in case of power outages, unexpected flat batteries etc. But the thing I love most about ebooks is you can take an entire library with you…even overseas! And you don’t have to pay extra luggage, don’t have space shortage, don’t have to lug the weight around.
On the plane and want to read something else? Not a problem. You don’t have to disturb those sitting next to you so you can get to your hand luggage. Just click to the menu and you’re done. No complete rearranging of passengers required.
What’s next for you as an author?
I have another book due to be released mid 2019 through DSP, entitled the Shaman of Kupa Piti. Although classified as paranormal, it’s more magical realism. There is a strong blending of crime and culture(s)—not to mention the budding relationship between two men whose core beliefs clash. It is very different to anything I’ve read in the romance genre.
Writing it was interesting, educational, and entertaining. I hope others have a similar experience when reading it.
If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?
Absolutely! If something is too real then it loses its shine. There’s an art to transmitting enough information to elicit empathy, but not so much that it’s going to wear the reader down. This is why writing enduring situations or characteristics have to be treated very carefully (e.g. mental illness, addictions, etc). There is nothing sexy or romantic in those topics, yet a good writer can utilise certain aspects while downplaying the reality, and create something entertaining from it. People want to experience these situations, not suffer them—which is the reality.
It is even harder when you know everyone’s line is drawn in a different place. One reader can endure a lot, where the mere mention will send another reader scuttling for cover (i.e delete the book, or throw it across the room).
Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story? Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?
I can’t say I have consciously worked through an issue by writing it out in a story, but I’ve felt I have. For example, I’ll be consumed by a story, but I’ll reach a point where I don’t need it anymore. To me that indicates I’ve moved on from there and whatever was ‘owning’ me has been dislodged.
Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it? Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.
Hmm, I have written in that accursed state that lingers between drunkness and hangover. And no, it didn’t make it through the next day never mind to the next draft. The non-sense, the repetition…it was terrible.
If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
Right now I’m imagining a sunlit room with floor to ceiling windows that are open out onto a beach. The water is turquoise, the sand white. A warm breeze wafts in carrying the scent of frangipani. A waiter is just now mounting the two long, shallow stairs to deliver the tropical juice I ordered. He wipes his feet and lays a gentle knock on the window frame to draw my attention.
Why? Because it is much preferred to the overcast and windy day right outside now.
Henri’s stalker has left him with a paradoxical legacy: his mind rebels at the thought of being touched—the very thing his body craves.
For three years Henri has fought to overcome the horrors of the past. Now on the other side of the world—after leaving Australia for Canada—Henri’s nemesis is hunting him with maniacal focus. Trying to escape, he meets Birch, a kind horse trainer, who’s confounded by Henri’s idiosyncrasies even as he is drawn to him. But when Birch discovers the truth, he encourages Henri not to just survive, but to live.
Maybe even to love.
House Line Perchance to Dream
Words: 65,021 (200pp)
About the Author :
A. Nybo has tried conventional methods (a psych degree and a GC in Forensic Mental Health) but far prefers the less conventional, such as the occasional barbecue in the rain, four-hundred-kilometer drives at 1:00 a.m. for chocolate, and multiple emergency naps in any given twenty-four-hour period.
Western Australian born, she has been spotted on the other side of the planet several times—usually by mosquitoes. She’s also discovered Amazonian mosquitoes love her just as much as they do in her home state.