Erica contacted me not long ago for the promotion of her last release Poison Kissed and I had to say yes right away! This Australian author started not so long ago with a rather original series called Shadowfae Chronicles where you can find a mystical world full of passion and treason. My review of her first book, Shadowfea is available here. Erica happily played the When I’m not writing game with me, and I was really surprised by what I learnt!
Most of the time, I'm writing. Or thinking about writing. Or thinking about what I should be writing. Or doing other stuff that goes with being a published writer. I could list that stuff, but it'd bore you to death :)
I read a lot, for research and for fun. But my second love is music. I've always been a band geek. When I was a kid, I learned the cello at school. Mostly because my big sister learned the violin, and I wanted to be like her but bettah. But the instrument that stuck with me was the oboe. I started learning when I was about nine. It's a hard instrument for a little kid. You make a really bad noise for a very long time before you get any good, and I bless my parents for putting up with my horrid squawking!
I didn't play for a long while after high school. But once I gave up on the foolish idea of Getting A Real Job (in my mid-twenties, I know, a slow learner) I went back to uni to study music. I practiced a couple hours a day, and I got pretty good. I have the most beautiful French oboe that cost me a fortune, and I even learned to make my own reeds, sort of. It's fun – you get to cut up little bits of cane and tie them to the little tube with string, and then scrape each side with a special knife until it makes the sound you want.
These days, I play the saxophone as well, and I love to play for music theatre shows. I don't do it so much since I got published, because I don't have the time to practice. But I still know a few people in the local scene, and sometimes I play for theatre shows and operas and a bit of music hall stuff. There's a local group that produce Mozart operas in English, and that's loads of fun.
Here's a pic of me in an orchestra pit rehearsal. It's trimmed to protect the innocent :) but as you can see, it's chaos. There's no room – most times you really are in a dark and tiny pit below the stage – and I'm sitting right in front of the drummer, so I can't hear a thing. Sometimes you just have to watch the conductor, play the notes on the page and hope everything's okay.
My favourite music theatre show to play is Les Miserables. Now that's a BIG show. It was the first one I ever played for, when I was still in first year at the conservatorium, and I turned up to rehearsal without knowing anyone, with no clue what I was doing or even where to sit. What no one had explained to me was that a) the orchestra was amplified, so everyone would hear every single sound I made; and b) in Les Miserables, the oboe has the biggest, most prominent solo part in the entire orchestra. Ha ha! Nothing like learning on the job. But I had an awesome time, and I've been addicted to music theatre ever since.
Like I said, these days I don't have much time for my oboe. It's a shame. I miss it. Playing is a lot like writing – it's difficult, frustrating, elusive and deeply rewarding when you get it right. But it's also far scarier than writing. Music is a performance art – there's no editing or re-writing. So it helps put my writing troubles in perspective! Also, it's social, and writing is solitary. I spend a lot of time alone in my office. So for me, orchestra time fills in the social void. It's a bunch of people like me, and we make things together.
Thank so so much Erica for sharing this aspect of your life with us!
Do you guys play any instruments?
Here’s a bit more about her books:
You can read the prequel HELLCURSED here for free!
Beyond the veil of magic, a fairy otherworld pulses with glamour and dark beauty... It's a place where passions run deep and dark — and death is just one kiss away...
Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She's beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother's death...
When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother's murder, fury threatens to spill out of her, note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she's not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him — or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns in her blood...
Erica generously offered 2 readers a book of their choice from her Shadowfae Chronicles series!
Open to US & Canada
All you have to do is FILL THE FORM
Feel free to leave a comment for Erica!
Ends Nov 8th, 2010.