Friday, October 9, 2015

Interview with Luchia Dertien, author of Gnomon

Title: Gnomon
Author: Luchia Dertien
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: DSP Publications
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Ebook/Paperback

 Emile Delaurier is a beautiful militant revolutionary, a living beacon of righteous justice for the world. For Renaire, an artist in a constant battle against the demons in the bottle, it was obsession at first sight. His devotion led to two years of homicidal partnership as Renaire followed Delaurier in his ruthless quest for equality through the death of the corrupt, like a murderous Robin Hood.

Then Delaurier breaks his pattern, leading Renaire into Russia to kill a reporter with no immoral background, and gives no explanation for his actions.

When Interpol contacts Renaire, he already has enough problems―keeping Delaurier alive, dealing with the shift in their relationship, and surviving the broken past that still haunts him. But when he learns what Interpol wants from him, Renaire must face the truth about Delaurier: that a noble man isn’t always a good one. He’s left with a choice no man should ever have to make―to follow his heart or his morals.
Gnomon is available for order at  



 What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
                Recovering from agoraphobia is and probably always will be the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life. Agoraphobia is a panic disorder, not a true phobia. At my worst, I was having something around seven panic attacks every day for no reason, which only caused more panic attacks. You desperately search for some sort of explanation or cause, and cut out everything you can in the hopes of making it stop, but, again, the more you panic about panic attacks, the more of them you get to enjoy. So, you lock yourself away in the hopes of having a controlled environment.
                After two years of that living hell, I finally got help. It took years of treatment, medication, and exposure therapy to get over my agoraphobia, and I did it. I’m a (more or less) fully functioning human being now who can step out the door with no problem. Agoraphobia sticks in your mind like an addiction, and it’s an ever-present temptation to give in and go back to hiding and feeling safe, so my life is one of constant vigilance. It always will be. But the point is that I beat it, and I’ll keep beating it, and I will never stop being proud of that accomplishment.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
                I’m a military brat, specifically Air Force, so my perspective is a little different on some things, where there’s a normality to things that isn’t there for others. Only recently did I realize that there are so many people who don’t know anything about weaponry, or think that deadly force is never okay. There are even some people who don’t believe ranks exist, whereas it’s a natural part of life in my mind, so there’s an unspoken command structure at all times with my characters. I also moved a lot, so I never know how to really write close childhood friends or any permanence to the feeling of home.
When and why did you begin writing?
                I’ve been writing and making up stories pretty much nonstop since birth, so I don’t know how to answer this. I started writing when I learned to write! There’s a notebook from when I was in kindergarten full of terribly misspelled stories about unicorns, so I guess that’s my official first written work.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
                Not at all. I just know that I love being able to dive into the nonexistent lives in my brain and try to drag them out onto my keyboard in the hopes of having something tangible I can share with others. I’m a terrible speaker, so writing is the only way I can even hope to show it.
When did you first know you could be a writer? 
                I still don’t. Everything about getting Gnomon published has pretty much fallen into my lap with minimal effort on my part, and it doesn’t feel like I’m a writer. It feels like I sold a thing I wrote and then edited it a lot and then I get money if people buy that thing I wrote…which is the definition of being a writer, but I still don’t know it. I still don’t feel like I have the right to call myself a writer or author or anything. I’m just a person who writes.
What inspires you to write and why?
                The biggest thing that inspires me to write is wanting to tell people my own way of seeing things, or my thoughts on something. I want to show my point of view, so they’ll understand. Again, I’m absolutely atrocious when it comes to actual talking, so writing’s my only real option to convey anything effectively. The best way to make someone understand something is to make them experience or feel it, so I write a story instead of an essay, and sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. But the urge to try and tell people what I want them to know is my biggest drive with writing.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
                There’s two things, which are stories involving crime and murder, and fantasy. I try not to let myself settle into any sort of comfort zone, though. Settling down is settling, and I’m nowhere near ready to call my work good enough to stop trying to push myself.
What inspired you to write your first book?
                Well, what inspired me to publish my first book was financial desperation. I’ve conquered agoraphobia, but being bipolar is another beast entirely if you’re trying to get over it. When I lost my job because of bipolar disorder ruining my life (again), I was very quickly running out of money and was incapable of working another job even if I got one, so I submitted Gnomon to my publisher in an act of desperation. Much to my relief, they bought it, and the rest is history!
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
                Everything. There are catchy phrases on billboards, there are interesting lyrics in songs, and there are poems and novels that are so good you have to put it down and walk away because it’s hard to even process. We live in a world of words and writing, and all of it contributes to make some monstrous mass of stories and sounds and concepts that can twist whatever I’m working on at the time.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
                The hardest thing about writing a novel is finishing it. The temptation to step away and work on something else is hard to resist. It’s a bit like when you go to college and have that shocking realization that nobody’s going to make you go to class but yourself. The hard part is doing it, even when it’s easier not to and there are no consequences if you miss a day or five (so I guess it’s not that much like college). Writing a book takes diligence and dedication, and those aren’t easy to find, let alone every single day. Heaven knows I can’t do it some days.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
                Writing about terrorists means you have to be able to think like one, which was definitely…educational. Of course there’s the things I learned from copious amounts of research about Paris and France and Europe, but the thing I really learned was what it’s like to be completely, passionately devoted to something, and to believe in something so deeply you’re willing to kill or die for it. You can’t write characters like these without changing your worldview a little bit – and when you’re writing about obsessive justice terrorism, it can change your worldview a lot.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
                The brutal truth of the matter is that I kind of need to. My bipolar disorder is controlled now, thank goodness, but it’s never going to go away, and I know I’m going to be swinging high or low at some point. I’ve never been able to hold a job for more than nine months. It’s either a writing career or a life of unsatisfying temporary positions with no benefits. Plus writing is a lot more fun and I love doing it, so I’m not too broken up about my situation.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
                I hope not. There’s a definite writing style in Gnomon, but a lot of that is due to the thought patterns of the point-of-view character. But I really, really hope I don’t have a specific writing style, because to me, again, that means I’m starting to stagnate. If you see the same thing twice from me, I’m going to think I’m not doing my job right. So the honest answer is probably that my writing style is obsessive perfectionism!
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
                The thing I’m currently putting the most work into is dialogue styles for characters, hopefully making it obvious who is saying what to the point of not needing the ‘Name said’ tags. I also read all my dialogue aloud (which can get pretty awkward if someone else is in the room), trying to make sure it sounds okay, and I think that it’s getting to be pretty okay, so I’ll say that dialogue is what I’m the best at right now. Of course I’m going to have to work on something else now that I’m almost satisfied with my dialogue, so hopefully my answer will be different next book.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
                I have a lovely shade of red hair.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
                I’m terrible at actually making my hair look nice, that’s pretty frustrating.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
                This is the very last stanza of the poem, and the entire thing is about how life is worth living, and it’s hard, but the point of life is to keep fighting, with hope for the future while feeling as alive as possible in the present. Life will happen as it happens, but you have to persevere and keep moving forward, ready for anything and shrinking from nothing. Reading this poem always makes me feel like I really can do whatever I’ve set my mind on, makes me feel hopeful and determined, and feeling that is so important to me.

Luchia Dertien is a 27-year-old white cis female living in the United States. She desperately wants to be petting a dog right now. Writing genuinely is her passion, which she has been doing since the age of 3. Her first written work is titled “Castle Castle” and is generally considered to be the greatest piece of literature she’s ever produced. In middle school, she wrote a story called “Death By Mud,” which is her second best piece of literature. “Gnomon” is usually ranked somewhere near 13th.  

For More Information

Visit Luchian’s website.

No comments:

Post a Comment