INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR INDIA WILSON
Q: What is the most productive
time of the day for you to write?
INDIA: Although I’m an early riser
and full of energy at that time of the day, I actually find myself gravitating
towards writing at night. Something about the darkness, the end of the
incessant flow of emails from my other profession and the dissipation of some
of my physical energy from doing things all day makes the nighttime a
productive time for me to concentrate and make progress. However, it often strikes me as
counter-productive because I also tend to crash and burn at a certain point so
can find myself nodding off at the desk – hardly a good state in which to be
Q: Do you start your projects
writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
INDIA: I can write absolutely
nothing anymore by hand – my fingers ramp up in a matter of sentences and my
handwriting is also atrociously illegible. But I’d say the main reason that I
can only use the computer to write and rewrite is because it allows my fingers
to try and keep up with my brain, which usually is going at lightning
speed. There have been times when
I’ve thought it would be valuable to slooow down that natural speed, but when
my fingers lag that far behind my brain, the creative process is impeded and I
it makes me cranky.
Q: What do you draw inspiration
INDIA: I think the germs of my
ideas in terms of plot and settings often comes from the newspaper, which I
read carefully although often several days after the fact as the New York Times
often piles up while I try to keep up with my professional obligations. I will find a story thread, or the
quirks of a character, from small or large pieces in the paper and then when I
give my imagination permission to have at it, the rest is pure invention from
projecting myself into those characters.
Q: Do you set goals for yourself
when you sit down to write such as word count?
INDIA: Oh God no, that sort of
counting and performance management would be the death of me! I have days when I don’t get to the
desk to write at all, other days when I seem to fiddle there for hours without
coming up with much in the way of measurable pages, and then other times when I
can write many pages over multiple writing sessions throughout the day or night.
I think one huge mistake we make as a society and certainly within the artistic
community is to judge success or accomplishment in terms of measurable
productivity. Much of what happens artistically happens in the dark recesses of
the mind, which is always working on a work-in-progress – the unconscious and
subconscious mind move at their own pace and one of the beautiful things about
being a bit older is the accumulated wisdom to have respect and patience for
the creative process and keep the faith that the fire is always lit, even when
you cannot see the flames.
Q: Are you a published or a
self-published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
INDIA: I am published by a new small press called Lightning Strikes
Press, which is owned by a couple, Edward Jaffe and Tracie Hotchner (an
oft-published author herself), who are friends of mine. Because India Wilson is
a pseudonym and I also have chosen to remain anonymous, I had asked Tracie’s
assistance to get THE KNOT ARTIST self-published without revealing my identity
– and I am honored to say that she and husband (who is a financial advisor by
day, and now publisher by night!) started their company believing my book had
great commercial potential.
As for the cover art, they have a cover artist they work with who is
based in Brussels and the questionnaire she had me fill out – with descriptions
of the book’s setting, theme and also what sort of covers I personally liked or
disliked – resulted in a home run with her first attempt. Traditional publishing
never includes the author in the creative process of the cover art or back
cover copy – so it was thrilling to be an integral part of the cover design
process. Many people have remarked on what a powerful cover it is – so I am
grateful to be proud of a cover instead of resigned to it.
Q: What drove you to choose the
career of being a writer?
INDIA: I am pretty sure I am like
most other authors someone for whom writing came easily from an early age – who
had always loved story telling verbally and on the page – and for whom there is
often a “voice” compelling me to sit down and write what I hear. This book was very much that way: the
character of Dominique kept talking to me, telling me about herself, demanding
that her story be written. I am
not sure we choose the career of writer as much as submit to it.
Q: Do you own an ebook reading
INDIA: I most certainly do not! I
am a dyed-in the-wool techno-phobe and never embrace any technology when it is
new. I was the last person I know to get a cell phone – the absolutely last
person I know to use email and only joined Twitter and FB very recently with
much grumbling. I love the feel of a book, the annoyance even of having to rack
the spine open a bit to get it to stay open. I appreciate why people are embracing Kindles, Nooks Ipads
and the like, and as a writer I am very glad this new technology means more
readers able to access more books.
Q: Who are some of your favorite
authors and what are you reading now?
INDIA: I love Toni Morrison and think
BELOVED is a life-changing book. I love all the novels of Paul Watkins, from
his first masterpiece NIGHT OVER DAY OVER NIGHT which he wrote in his 20’s,
creating characters so realistic and descriptions so vivid and immediate that
you could swear he must have been a German soldier in the trenches himself.
Updike for his use of language, although the themes and characters are pretty
repetitive. Kurt Vonnegut and John
Irving for their outlandish imaginations and socio-political themes. Right now
I am reading the new Scott Spencer novel MAN IN THE WOODS, a work as brilliant
as his very first novel ENDLESS LOVE which remains a personal favorite.
Q: What do you think of book
trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
INDIA: I think anything that helps
draw attention to a book – captures someone for even that extra millisecond –
is great. Having said that, I have not asked the publisher to consider doing
one for me even though there are companies doing decent versions for as little
as $100. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still believe that books are about the
power of the word and the reader’s imagination – literature is not a visual art
form, other than requiring the use of the reader’s eyes (although I listen to
some terrific Books on Tape – Kiryan Desai’s THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS comes to
mind - so eyes aren’t always required!)
Q: How did you come up with the
title of your latest book?
INDIA: The first title was THE
ARTIST, and the book originally was essentially a character study of a
dominatrix so good at what she did - so renowned as to receive vast sums of
money for her skills - that she was truly an artist in her own realm. Adding
“knot” came later, after the book became more of a thriller and had a political
Q: What are you working on now
that you can talk about?
INDIA: I am working on the second
book in the trilogy, this one called THE WHIPPING GIRL. It picks up precisely where THE KNOT
ARTIST left off, with Dominique and the hero of the book Reynolds on the brink
of embarking on an affair and dealing with complex money issues around the
millions left in limbo at the end of THE KNOT ARTIST. It is very fun to be able
to continue with a character and watch her change, grow and take action and go
along for the ride. It really feels as though it is up to Dominique what will
happen next – she is my muse and I am her scribe – so it’s as exciting and
surprising for me as it will be for the reader (I hope!).
“This is a fascinating timely erotic political thriller that goes deep into the S&M fetish world in which men of power pay large amounts of money to be a Sub to a discreet Dom. The key to this entertaining tale that twists from the dungeon to political intrigue is that India Wilson avoids moral condemnation of the BDSM crowd. The fast-paced story line is at its best when entering the dungeon and Dominique’s panic over what to do. Her past with her sister enhances the erotic elements as the audience learns how Dominique got to where she is. Although the spin into a taut international political intrigue subplot adds plenty of well-written suspense, this also takes the audience away from the thrilling visits to the dungeon.” From the rave 4 star review on The Mystery Gazette
By Harriet Klausner, top Amazon reviewer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
India Wilson is the pseudonym for the author, who has also chosen to remain anonymous despite the fact that this is a work of fiction. Who she is – and why she needs to remain anonymous – have caused considerable curiosity. Although she regrets that her anonymity prevents her from having a public presence, India Wilson is cultivating a following in the social media and at www.TheKnotArtist.com
, where she can be contacted for written interviews.