Today I would like to welcome author Vashti Quiroz-Vega to discuss her upcoming release, The Basement.
(Paperback and eBook)
Cleo pounded repeatedly on the door. She knocked as hard as she could to no avail. She rubbed her knuckles, which had begun to ache. Just as she decided to give up and turned to leave, someone finally opened the door. It was Robert. He looked a mess! His hair resembled a bird’s nest. Apparently, she had woken him.
Amidst all the drama the night before, as he tried to teach his son a lesson in manhood while his wife interfered, Robert had become very upset. After his wife left the apartment to look for Robbie, he drank heavily. He gulped down one beer after another and passed out on his easy chair in the living room. The banging on the door shook him from a deep slumber.
Cleo wore a concerned grimace. “Something’s happened to your son!”
Robert, who was a bit disoriented, gawked at the girl, his forehead crinkled in confusion. He wore a bewildered expression, and his eyes darted to and fro. He winced and rubbed his head. He had a terrible headache—one of the disagreeable aftereffects of drunkenness.
“What are you talking about?” he asked in a gruff voice. “My son’s sleeping in his room.”
Cleo watched as he staggered forward like a drunk, expending huge amounts of energy just staying in one place.
“Your son’s downstairs sitting on the sidewalk in front of this building!” Her voice was shrill, and her eyes were opened wide. “He could be hurt! He’s covered in blood! You need to come downstairs right away!”
Roberts’s hands flew to cover his ears, and he grimaced as his head throbbed from her screams.
“You sent him down to the basement last night!” she added with reproach. Then Cleo rolled her eyes at him, spun, and zipped down the stairs.
“That doesn’t make sense. His mother went down to the basement last night to get him!”
Robert was ranting, unable to focus, until a light bulb went on in his head and burned the infiltrating fog. Panic surged through his body and seemed to sober him up.
“My poor son!” he gasped.
He shambled to Robbie’s room. He needed to check for himself whether or not his son was there. He pushed open the door to Robbie’s room and saw he was indeed gone. He proceeded to his bedroom to wake his wife, but when he looked inside, he was shocked to see the bed had not been slept in. Dread overcame him again.
“What happened last night in that basement?” he asked under his breath.
His pulse began to race, and he breathed heavily. He did not bother to brush his teeth or fix his messy hair. As he bolted out the door, he was still wearing the same unkempt clothes he wore the day before—the very clothes he had soaked with foul perspiration, and which now stuck to his salty flesh. He had the appearance and startling, offensive stench of a vagrant. At the moment, he did not care about such things. All he could think about, as he rushed down the stairs, was getting to his wife and son.
What happened in the basement?
Welcome Vashti! Tell us about your inspiration to write The Basement.
The Basement was actually a short story I had written in high school. I came across it one day while cleaning, along with a bunch of other short stories I had written. I read them aloud to my husband, and he encouraged me to expand them into novels. That’s how The Basement was born.
So I guess we know the story behind the title!
It just made sense.
Can you explain the message you want to convey through this book?
Absolutely. I touch on the issue of bullying, verbal abuse and facing one’s fears.
Did you pull from your own real life experiences?
There are traces of my childhood in this book.
Are there any scenes that stand out to you?
I have several. I love the scene where Robbie descends into the basement, and when Robbie and his friends go on a treasure hunt. I’ll just mention those.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Killing my darlings during the editing process.
Curses to that darn editing process!! Did you face any other challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing The Basement to life?
I love writing, and I also enjoy the research part of it. The publication process takes so long, and it can be frustrating.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much about writing, editing, social media and marketing. It was and is a learning process.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
I think every writer would say yes. We never feel like we’re finished. There’s always room for improvement.
Lord knows, I live that remark! Do you feel like you have a specific writing style?
I do. I believe every writer does.
True, some have a few! Are there any books that have influenced your writing?
I can’t say it was one particular book. Stephen King’s books have definitely had an impact.
Name your greatest source of support outside of family members.
I have gotten a lot of support and encouragement from my Facebook, Google+ and Twitter followers.
Yes. The feedback from your followers is invaluable! So do you see writing as a career?
Of course! I consider myself a writer first and foremost.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “The unread book is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” –Ursula K. Le Guin. My characters Robbie, Natasha, Barney, Cleo, Ethan and Nestor have this message: “I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don’t really exist if you don’t.” –Vladimir Nabokov
Can you name the last book you read that really moved you?
Night by Elie Wiesel.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV. There, you got me.
Reality TV is one of my biggest vices! Do you have a favorite?
I love The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, Face Off, and those Real Housewives are hilarious! Thank God for my DVR.
So, what kind of book do you read in your spare time?
I love Fantasy, Fantasy Thrillers, Horror and Suspense.
Tell me something that others would be surprised to know about you.
I’ve zip-lined off a 1,000 foot mountain and onto a beach in Haiti, scuba dived in nearly frozen water in Alaska, river rafted and hiked on crusted lava in Costa Rica, and I did some cave tubing in Belize, among other things. I’m a bit of an adventurer.
I love it! Just a tad jealous, I must admit! lol Well, what’s on the horizon as far as your current/future projects?
I am querying my second novel, Lilith, a Fantasy aimed at a Young Adult audience. I am also in the process of writing my third book, Dracul, which is also a Fantasy.
Tell me a more about Lilith.
“Lilith” is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Young Adult/Adult series. The characters in this story are angels depicted in a very unique way. It is a story of many twists, surprises and a bit of controversy. “Lilith” is currently in the querying process, and I’ve already begun writing the second installment, “Dracul”.
Vashti, it has been a pleasure. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your work with us!
You can find out more about Vashti and her books through the links below:
Other: Google+ https://plus.google.com/118350621380528092317/posts