This week Vijaya Schartz visits the blog. I first met Vijaya at Arizona Dreamin' in 2011 when I was just starting out in this business. Vijaya writes paranormal and science fiction romance, and romantic suspense. Her brand is Swords, Blasters, Romance with a Kick. Today I asked her one question on how her environment affects her writing.
BBTF: You currently live in the Sonoran Desert. Have you found your environment to influence your writing, and in what way?
Vijaya: All authors are influenced by their environment. We write about what we know, and the places we know. The feel, the breeze, the smells, the flowers, the weather, the sounds, the vistas, the local folklore are familiar to us and easier to convey on the page. My entire Ancient Enemy sci-fi romance series is based on the disappearance of the Anasazi 800 years ago. According to legend, they were taken to the stars by the Star People. Some scenes in RELICS, Book 2 in the series are set in the Anasazi ruins and other scenes in the series are set in the Superstition Mountains.
I also have two contemporary novellas set in the Arizona desert: A Desperado for Christmas is set on the Arizona/Mexico border, with a border patrol agent heroine and an undercover FBI agent. Coyote Gorgeous involves a Native American sculptor, an Arizona Ranger heroine, and a Native American legend involving shape shifters. A third novella to be released this year is tentatively titled: Asleep in Scottsdale.
Sometimes living in the desert makes you yearn for snow, and I deliberately set the Chronicles of Kassouk on a frozen planet. Nothing like writing about the cold when it's 115 degrees outside. Besides, since I don't particularly like to be in the cold, it's safer to write about it from memory, while sipping umbrella drinks around the swimming pool.
But I didn't always live in the desert. I once lived in India, and ASHES FOR THE ELEPHANT GOD, although a work of fiction, is a testimony to my time spent there. I was raised in France and traveled throughout Europe, where my CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE medieval fantasy series is set. Although I lived in Hawaii for almost a decade, I haven't yet written about it, but I probably will, when the time is right and I have the perfect story for it. Maybe an excuse to take a tax deductible vacation there, you know, for research...
You can find out more about Vijaya Schartz's books on her website. Be sure to buy a book and tell a friend. Happy reading!