Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunday Interview Week 14 on Riika

Why do you decide to get published?

It just started off with a very simple concept of having a game environment inside a novel, and that is why I decided to publish a semi-graphical novel series that consisted of seven different parts, Tributes of Sonia. Another reason is that I really want to do something that actually belonged to me that I can share with readers out there, something that I would rather spend more time on than just wasting my time away for other things.  In a way, I think everything I had done up to now is meaningful and I gained a lot of experience while working on it.

What kind of book you have there?

 Tributes of Sonia come in the form of a semi-graphical novel series.  A semi-graphical novel is a novel that consisted of both writings and images. These images are created using Photoshop by manipulating them using different pictures and brushes from the program itself. I had also worked on digital paintings for the series.

How long have you been writing?

 I had started off early last year by writing and developing ideas for my novel in April after that, I created Deadly Butterfly Betrayal (Website) to share my poetry and novel writings in June 2011. It was a period short period but I am glad that I am able to achieve that much of being able to self-published two books within more than a year.

Do you have previous publishing experiences?

 Honestly speaking, I have no idea what is publishing in the first place and I decided to search for a relevant and a publishing service that can suits my needs. As I am just writing these semi-graphical novel series in a form of online e-books, I don’t really need to find an agent or company to help me publish but instead, I decided to look more into self-publishing where you can actually do everything by yourself, it is tough in the beginning but when you get the hand of it, it is easier than you think it is.

What is the reason you choose the host of your publishing?

 I had chosen Lulu as the host of my self-publishing as it is the one and only I had managed to find in the Internet.  It is easy and fun to use. As a designer myself, I can use their guidelines and create my own covers for my e-books. I can just publish the book on the day itself I had set by just adding a few more information for the book. The main reason I chose Lulu is because you don’t have to start all over again as Lulu will save to the step that you had stopped, you just have to continue the next time you return.  This is convenient as well as user friendly in my case.

What is the cost of getting everything done?
 I did not spend any money on self-publishing and instead I gained back something special that actually sort of got me into my university that I will be starting this September. It is actually a portfolio that I had created in related to Tributes of Sonia. It included everything I had done like digital paintings and features of Tributes of Sonia. It will only be available in website when the fifth book of Tributes of Sonia gets published as there are many surprises waiting for the readers.

Which part of the book you believe most charming to readers? Please pick out a paragraph to share.

This is the first meeting of the two main characters, Zaki and Seria in the Second Fall of Tributes of Sonia. The setting of this whole part is sort of basically like a drama form and yet has a bit of sense of humor in it.

“You are barging right into someone who is bathing, it is kind of interesting, you know” he continued, the grin on his face did not disappear just yet.

“I will go away once the guards are out of sight, just bear with me for a while!” Seria shouted in a very quiet manner as she looked out to the see if there are signs of the guards.

“I don’t think it will be possible, they will come in anytime from now, hmmm…the bathtub can hold one more person, you are free to hide here if you want,” he teased her.

“What?! Why will I want to be in the same bathtub as you? I can just hide under the bed if I want to” Seria was shocked as she turned around.

“Hmmm, someone just placed a basket full of poisonous snakes under the bed a few hours ago, I would advise you not to do so,” the guy joked.

“Are you serious? Why would someone in the world place a basket full of poisonous snakes under his bed?” asked Seria as she opened her eyes bigger and stared at him.

“I am serious, they are coming soon, I can sense it, and you better hurry and decide, young lady. It is an honor to be in the same bathtub with such a handsome guy, don’t you think so?” the guy smiled. Just before Seria could answer him back, she heard footsteps running towards the room direction. She immediately turned and jumped into the bathtub as it was the nearest hiding place to the column fold. She held her breath in the way and turned around slowly to face her back against him.

Tributes of Sonia – The Second Fall
Chapter 4 - Zaki


Do you have any hints on how to get published?

 I don’t have a hint on real publishing but if you would like to try on self-publishing yourself, it is very simple. Lulu is very easy to use as long as you follow the steps it given you throughout, there are even guidelines for you to how to format and create your very own covers for your book. If you are not an artist or designer yourself, don’t worry, they also can with designs for you to choose for. You will also be able to create the real books, not just e-books. They even give you a free ISBN if you create your book, and you are able to get them on Amazon to sell it too.

Do you have a favorite author?

 It will be Carolyn Keene who had written the Nancy Drew mystery stories. I remembered I used to spend most of the time reading it days and nights. I really love the way how Nancy Drew goes about solving mysteries and never fail to find one even when she is on a vacation. One of my favorite books will be the “The Message In the Hollow Oak”. It is about Nancy Drew winning a piece of land in a contest and she decided to take a trip out of USA for the first time to check out that land. She was traveling to Canada and met a woman who is also on the same trip. An accident happened and sent Nancy Drew off to help the woman with a favor as well as encountering the problem that is coming right ahead of her. The intensive atmosphere and the storyline made me lost about two days of sleep, just trying to get to the end of the book. If you are a fan of mystery, I would highly recommend you to read them even though it is for teenagers.

What are your major inspirations?

 As previously mentioned about the simple concept of having a game environment in a novel, my major inspirations came from games I had played. I also gained inspirations from dramas and movies. There is a wide range within the three and I tried to portray bit and pieces of it when I am working on the novel series to make sure that I balance everything out nicely.

What’s your writing plan for the future?

I will continue to work on the other parts of Tributes of Sonia. The book 3 (The Fall of Music) and book 4 (Wish Upon A Fall) are already completed. The Fall of Music is under editorial review at the moment by my editor and Wish Upon A Fall will be placed aside for now while waiting for its editorial review.  I am currently working on the book 5 (The Five Heavens), and had completed Chapter 5 up to now. I also have plans of writing single novel after completing the series in a few years’ time if it is possible. 


PS: Riika is an outstanding artist/poet/programmer, she has both poetry and fiction published and currently working on her second graphical novel,

please visit her blog here to enjoy her art/poetry:






1 comment:

Bluebell Books said...

love your insights on wriitng and publishing, Riika.

Good Luck!