Q&A with Creativia author Miranda Nading

Miranda Nading

Today, I have Miranda Nading on my blog.  She’s another Creativia author.  Welcome.  So, which book shall we talk about today?

The Extinction Series is something I’ve been working on for a while now. I released the intro to the series, Genesis, in the fall of 2015, with the second book, Flash Point, coming out right after it. Judas, the third book in the series, is in the hands of the editor before hitting the publishing pipeline. I’ve promised a short story to an anthology that is published for charity, and then I’ll be jumping into the fourth book, Asylum.

CLICK ON THE COVER TO READ A PREVIEW, OR TO BUY YOUR COPIES TODAY: 

 

What is the series about?

The Extinction Series is a Post-Apocalyptic Suspense tale that includes some science fiction and began life as an Event driven story, the collapse of Earth’s climate and subsequent survival of a young girl named Eve. As soon as I hit the 100k mark, I realized this story was just building up steam and would be too large for one novel.

Not long after the impetus of the story shifted from event to character, or rather characters. There were several characters that were not just talking to me, but yelling, demanding to be seen and heard through more than the eyes of a young girl.

The simple rewrite I had planned turned into something much greater. Eve had to be older, which takes place largely in Genesis, several plot lines were created to tell the broader story. Even the architect of this Armageddon was given a voice, small at first, but growing stronger.

Who is the main character?

The primary characters driving it right now are Eve Edwards, a young woman that is in many ways still a sheltered child with a bent towards being introverted that is physically debilitating. Her mother, Melanie Edwards, was forced to abandon her shortly after she was born. Max Dumerick, a drunk assassin, obsessed with revenge and with little love for humanity.

What inspired this tale?

I’ve always been enthralled by the idea of a complete collapse of civilization, what people would have to resort to in order to not only survive, but to pull themselves from the ashes of ‘what was’ to create a new reality.

I began reading my mother’s novels around age 6. Though I didn’t understand a lot of what I read until later. But the books and movies I’ve always been drawn to—and even reread every couple of years—were the likes of Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, Stephen King’s The Stand (I still reread this book when I’m stuck in bed sick, how twisted is that?) and the Dark Tower Series, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Four Quartets, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Movies like The Day After directed by Nicholas Meyer in 1983 were my bread and butter growing up. I’m also a huge, huge, fan of The Walking Dead.

I still love my emotionally damaged female serial killers of my earlier novels but even Caliban was set in a small community cutoff by a storm and facing total annihilation. The ultimate battle, that is a concept that has been with me from the very beginning.

How did the story come to you?

The concept of the story has been with me from the beginning. I began writing my earliest manuscript in 1992 and it was with me then, but knowing the premise of a story, and seeing its true shape are two different animals. I didn’t begin to get a feel for the details until 2011. At that point, I knew the event that spawned it, the opening scene and the ending, but it was not until 2014 that I actually began seeing the journey in between.

Some of my novels, Canyon Echoes for instance, come on and then fill out rather quickly, from cradle to grave, so to speak. With the Extinction Series, it was like letters from a pen pal that grow more frequent with time until one day you wake up and find them waiting on your doorstep. This wasn’t a project I wanted to rush, but rather romance into being.

Did you have to research for this novel and if so, why?

I think a lot of the basics were already in place for me, but I went back to college in 2011 for an AAS as an Environmental Technician. It was a science heavy degree that nurtured my much neglected inner nerd. Everything I studied open doors to knew sciences and theories that I horded away the way I horde chocolate (Mine all mine! Bwa ah ah!). Everything became fodder and once I actually began the first draft, no science text was spared.

The real challenge, and I’m eternally grateful to my editor in this regard, was making sure that research guided the story, but didn’t overwhelm it or bog down the reader. I’m also a huge fan of Star Trek in all its phases, but mostly because it doesn’t read, or play, like a tech manual. I love sci-fi, but want mine to be character and suspense driven rather than tech/science driven.

If you did research, what do you think surprised you most to learn and why?

I’m a malnourished nerd. Neglected over the years because I entered adulthood way too early in life and thereafter, it was all about survival. I was well into my thirties before I was able to dig in and nurture that side of myself. A great many things both surprised and/or thrilled me. Yet, I do remember my very first environmental class, an indoctrination if you will, by the documentary The 11th Hour with Leonardo Dicaprio. Everyone in the class was stunned, no one joked or shared gossip while it played and no one wanted to drink the water when it was over. It was all stuff we were aware of: the garbage patches in the oceans, the dead zones, the pollution in the surface waters, the chemicals…but we’d never really thought about it or the future repercussions.

Those two years in college were an incredible journey for me especially due to my mentors the Environmental Science and Chemistry/Geology professors. From Chemistry and Physics to Biology and Geology and I’m still learning, still growing. And hope I never stop.

Beyond that, when I actually started writing that first draft, I began digging into the many cases of genocide and tyranny that our species seems very adept at spawning. WWII was an era I was familiar with, from reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for a term paper in school to interviewing a holocaust survivor that asked me to writer her story (unfortunately that wonderful woman passed away before we could accomplish the releases). I think everyone has heard of Red Square as well as many other tragedies, yet I was stunned and appalled to realize just how far back through time this tendency to eradicate and rule goes, and how deep the well of human deprivation can be.

Do you relate to your characters?

Yes, all of them. Some more strongly than others. Everything I am and experience goes into every character, even the bad ones. We all have flaws and personality quarks that make us unique. We all have a story to tell or scars that we work hard to hide, or heal, more than that, we are always evolving, changing. Everything from our perceptions of the world around us to the way we treat others.

Is your protagonist anything like you personally?

If I had to choose one of my characters to label the lead dog running this sled race, it would be Eve. She’s been there from the beginning, the initial whisper in the dark. Looking at her now, I’d say we have a lot in common, from who I used to be, to who I am now. The changes she undergoes through this story are fundamental and are necessary for her to survive. Just as they were for me. There are a lot of similarities between the changes Eve is forced to go through, and the things I experienced, especially when I was younger.

If yes, then how?

In so many ways.

Eve begins her life in the Extinction Series as a sheltered introvert. Her aversions to groups or meeting new people are nearly crippling. Yet when it comes down to it, she does the job she needs to do. She also learns rather early on that the only person she can count on to protect is herself.

Not only do I have a strong introvert-bent, I vividly recall every public speaking engagement, from discussing Edgar Allan Poe’s last days to Water as a Non-Renewable Resource. Each time, I thought I was going to puke on my shoes, yet when the time came to step up and do the job I had been asked to do, it’s like a switch somewhere in my brain gets flipped, I get out of my own way and let what I have to say take over.

Even now, working in a resort environment I have a hard time dealing with new people. I have to shove my hands into my pockets to keep anyone from seeing them shake. I do the job I’m asked to do, but it never gets easier. For Eve, however, being forced to depend on herself, not being to trust anyone else, forces her to do things she abhors and in the doing, she begins to change.

She is also prone to making some monumental mistakes that put her life, and others, at risk because she wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t really have the psychological and emotional tools to make those choices just yet, to see the big picture. A great deal like myself during my own adolescence. And then there’s her killer guilt complex, something that others can easily use to manipulate her with.

What made you write this character; what made them important to you or made you want to tell their story?

Eve was the first to talk to me, whisper really, back in 2011 when the story began to unfold for me. None of the others really became alive for me until 2014, when I began drafting it. I think for me, Eve represents so much of the story; her initial innocence and the loss thereof, her struggle to keep going when everything in her wants to give in, her need to do what’s right and her struggle with the consequences of her own actions. Most of the characters know exactly who they are, what they want and what they will do to accomplish their goals. Eve is…different. The young woman she is destined to be is destroyed in Flash Point and to survive, she has to work hard to rebuild herself. Never an easy task in and of itself, it becomes even more difficult in Judas as she becomes a pawn in several different schemes.

Is there anything specific you want readers to know about this piece of work?

If Flash Point was the catalyst for the story, Judas is the train wreck that follows. So much happens in this one. The collision between Eve and Max being the most pivotal, but a lot of questions readers have been asking are answered in book three. The questions I’ve heard the most revolve around Mel and Max…Whose side are the on? Are they good or bad? Judas answers those questions and sets the stage for so much more.

When will the novel be available for purchase?

Right now, we’re looking at May 2016.

It’s in the hands of the editor as well speak. Once she’s done with it, it’ll go through a soft re-write before going to the proofreaders and publisher. I’ve recently handed over all of my published works over to a publisher who is giving them some TLC before re-releasing each one. The Extinction Series, I’m happy to say, was the first to get the face lift and get back out there.

Okay, let’s learn more about you, as a writer Who is Miranda Nading?

Who am I? I’d say I’m a survivor, first and foremost. An avid reader, a lifelong student, and wife and mother, as well as a bit of an adrenaline junkie who’s learning I don’t heal or bounce as well as I used to. I love Scuba diving, hiking, exploring, all of which finds its way into my work.

What inspired you to start writing?

I began writing small things as early as the third grade. I loved storytelling as much as I love reading them. Very early on it was a way to escape, then it became cathartic for me, a way to exercise my demons. Though there is still some therapy to be had by putting pen to paper, I think most of that is out of my system, especially after Echoes of Harmony.

Somewhere along the way, maybe even at the start though I don’t remember it, it became a physical imperative. I have to write. If I do not, I don’t sleep well and daydreaming takes over. Makes it a bit hard to function. I’m definitely happier, and thus my family is happier, when I’m writing regularly and well.

What is your favorite book you have written and why?

I have to say Canyon Echoes, though not necessarily because of the story. It was the first time I’ve had a group of readers actually ask me to kill them off. Yellowstone National Park was in our back yard and we worked there a couple of seasons as we worked out way into the system. This was on my website as well as my Amazon page and Facebook and Twitter. It was my favorite place in the world.

When this group of readers contacted me, I was very hesitant, but after talking with them about Echoes of Harmony, the book they had read together, and getting to know them, I found myself eager to get started Writing it, talking to them, was incredibly fun for me. I don’t know that I would do it again anytime soon, too many stories in my head and not enough time, but it was a great ride and I love the women I wrote it for.

When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge?

Read. A lot. Smile  I also scuba dive and go exploring, but reading a good book, and especially the peace and quiet that comes with it, does a lot for me. When it comes time to shut the grey cells off so I can get a good night’s sleep, I usually listen to the audio poetry of T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickenson, EAP, Robert Frost and Robert Browning an hour before bed.

Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?

I’d classify myself as an Indie. I’ve just recently turned my work over to an Indie Publisher, but I started out Indie and will no doubt publish more as an Indie. I’ve signed on with an anthology that is Indie published for charity.

Do you read books within the genres you write?

Oh yes. Suspense, science fiction, and horror, as long as it keeps me on the edge of my seat, or takes me into a world separate from this one, is right up my alley. As well as the authors I mentioned earlier, I love Ray Bradbury…the old classics when science fiction was wide open and hindered only by the limits of the imagination. I’ve read some historical romance, but for my writing, I think romance tends to be a seasoning, not the main course.

Besides being an author, do you have a second job?

My day job, so to speak, is an Administrative/Human Resources Manager for a resort. We love working in the National Parks, but we’re from Wyoming and snow country so we have settled down where it’s warm. I have to admit, though, I miss the mountains.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

The act of creation, definitely. I love connecting with my readers, getting feedback and learning and growing in the art, but the actual writing of the first draft and seeing the story unfold…there’s nothing like it. Once it’s out of my hands and being read by readers for the first time, I’m all nerves and doom and gloom until the next story starts to spin.

Other titles by Miranda Nading:

  

How can your readers connect with you?

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MirandaNading

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authormirandanading

Google Plus: www.plus.google.com/113919653468022783054/posts/p/pub

Blog / website: www.authormirandanading.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mirandanading7/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/miranda-nading

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Miranda-Nading

About Sahara Foley

Bio: Until my husband died on Christmas 2012, I never thought about becoming a writer. In fact, the act of writing a story terrified me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading, just never had the knack for writing. The thought of writing dialogue scared the bejeebers out of me. See, Bob was the writer. He wrote stories for years but could never get a traditional publisher interested enough to publish even one. Now I understand why, as they were unpolished outlines. Then, after 30 years together, Bob passed away and my life was turned upside down.

About a month later, I was sitting around my apartment, trying to adjust to the worst event in my life, when a little voice spoke to me. Why not publish Bob’s stories? To be truthful, ever since the advent of self-publishing, I always wanted too, that’s how much I believed in his stories. But I knew I would have to fight him for every little change I made to his outlines. Sorry, honey, but they had to be done.

So, I pulled out the box of stories, dusted them off, and started on a new adventure: The World of Self-Publishing. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. I finally published several short stories early in 2014, then my horror novella, It Lives in the Basement. While I was working on them, I was slowly learning the craft of writing, and getting The Secret of Excalibur ready for publication. Excalibur was my favorite story of them all, and in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted a publisher. One day on Twitter, I ran across a tweet from Creativia Publishing, and that was another game changer for me. I signed up with them in December of 2014, and it was the best decision I’ve made.

One thing I’ve discovered on my new adventure, are all the really awesome and talented Indie Authors. If you find the right community of Indie Authors, all they want to do is help each other. I found that I love promoting them and their books, so that’s how I setup my blog. For readers to meet Indie Authors.

Anyway, enough about me. Here’s all my contact information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbysaharafoley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaharaFoley

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/saharafoley/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SaharaFoley/posts

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sahara-Foley/e/B00J9ST32U/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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2 Responses to Q&A with Creativia author Miranda Nading

  1. EVE ANDERSON says:

    Hi…Miranda

    It’s with great sorrow to unsubscribed from your newsletter or blog & more painful to won’t be able to saw your new writing work

    The health condition of my Mom had worsened. I don’t even had time to brush my hair. She’s now bed ridden & it took me all day & night, take care of her & I’m alone.

    I won’t authorize to place her in a home or out of her house. Generally, this type of patients in that “health homes” where heavy sedated, bind and the hygiene is worse.

    At least here, at her own home, I could feed, meds on time, bathed & keep her clean.

    THANK YOU WONDERFUL AUTHORS, for ALL that MARVELOUS STORIES that make me touch the stars.

    I received from you: Stories, messages, friendship. What a priviledge. So keep writing…

    Cheers,

    EVE

    • Sahara Foley says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your Mother. I went through the same situation with my mom and husband. I hope things turn out well. Thank you for your wonderful comment and for stopping by.

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