Interview & Giveaway with Ron C Nieto, Author of Silent Song

Posted July 4, 2012 by Melissa in Author Interview, Giveaway | 2 Comments

The Interview:

When did you first realize
you wanted to be a writer?

As soon as I
realized that I couldn’t be Batman.

seriously now: I can still remember when I wrote my first “novel”. I was nine.
I never finished it (thank God!). If the files hadn’t been eaten by virtual
moths, I’d probably gag and die of shame. But the funny thing is that back
then, I didn’t think I wanted to be a writer. Neither did I think I’d be a
writer when I actually finished my first story, when I was fifteen, and neither
did it cross my mind when I started writing fanfiction, when I was eighteen.
You know why? Because I didn’t think it could be my job. It was like being
Batman: a nice dream, but something that couldn’t happen.

Then, in
University, I ran into some people who believed in me and told me that, yes, it
was possible; that the whole point of dreams is to chase after them. That I should
strap on the heavy writing gear and get started if I wanted to get anywhere.

I did. It
turned out they were right. As soon as I allowed myself to think that I wanted
to be a writer, it started happening (it took a lot more time and effort to get
to a publishable point, but that’s another story, isn’t it?).

Do you have a routine that you use to
get into the right frame of mind to write?

This answer is going to be
embarrassing, but… I buy a metaphorical pot of glue.

No, really. If left to my
own devices, I’d stall and stall forever, find a ton of things to do, decide
that inspiration isn’t hitting… So what I do is the following:

I sit down in front of my
computer (preferably while it’s on). I select the music track that suits better
the story, characters or scene I want to tackle. I check my e-mail and such
while waiting for the music to take effect. Then, I fire up writeordie software
and start typing away.

You might have heard about
the little nifty program. You know, it’s the one where your words get deleted
if you so much as stop typing to scratch your nose.

The result is that, no
matter how stuck I felt in the beginning, I end up flying. True, the characters
tend to commandeer the story and later I have to do damage control, but usually
the whole thing looks better if I let them do as they please anyway (and yes,
this is just a figure of speech. I don’t think my characters are alive inside
my head. The voices told me it was just my mind…).

What books have most influenced your

This is not an easy one,
because I’m bound to leave out books that have made me feel strongly and that
have influenced me, but I’m going to go with four: two from my teen years, two
from recent years.

Ender’s Game,
by Orson Scott Card: all sci-fi lovers have heard of this one. It was
earth-shattering for the genre. It was earth-shattering for me, too. It made me
think a lot, and there’s this paraphrased quote… “To destroy something, you must understand it first. And when you understand
it, you won’t want to destroy it anymore.”
It changed me, and I’ve been
fighting haters armed with nothing but that knowledge ever since.

by Frank Herbert: when I was younger (as if I wasn’t young anymore…) I used
to say that it had been that famous sentence, “Fear is the mind killer”. It was, especially coupled with the
quote from above (my tenets in my rebellious years) but it was so much more.
This book is just too deep and powerful to pinpoint one single aspect.

The Sundering,
by Jacqueline Carey: you’ll say that I cheat, because that’s a duology. Well,
I’ll just feel petulant and point at the omnibus edition. This book is a lot
like The Lord of the Rings… from
the Nazgul captain point of view. It made me cry like a baby, and it has its
own quote to ponder over: “When
everything that is good calls you evil, are you?”

Froi of the Exiles, by Melina Marchetta: as you can see, this one is an extremely recent
addition. Again, it’s a book that made me cry and feel things I didn’t know I could
feel. It’s about being human and being oneself, whoever one might be. I don’t
have a quote, but it really marked me.

What do you like to do when you are not

Actually, I’d love to be
able to say that I do nothing but writing, that it’s my all-consuming passion
and only purpose in life…

It’d be such a fat lie! For
starters, I have my day job. It’s closely linked to books and reading, but it’s
not writing my own stuff. Since I’m a procrastinator monster, I also love
gaming whenever I have the chance! My favorites include Final Fantasy XII and
Neverwinter Nights. And soon, oh soon, I shall buy a computer where I can play
thee, Dragon Age II!

Finally, you guessed it: I
also spend inordinate amounts of time torturing people around me by playing
guitar. Keith’s not based off me, though: oh no, he actually can play. I just
make a lot of noise and put in plenty of enthusiasm.

What do you think makes a
good story?

I think there are
whole books out there trying to define the elements of a good story. I’m pretty
sure I could whip together a new one if I got started, so I’m going to try and
keep it as short as I can.

In theory, there’s the
pace and world building and inner logic… and yes, I value those aspects. But
ultimately, what makes a book stay with me is the relationship I establish with
the characters. I don’t need them to be good or evil or troubled heroes,
either. I just ask that they are real and genuine. I want to be able to feel
what they are feeling and to understand why they change and evolve; being told
that some character ends up redeemed just because that’s the plot is not
particularly memorable. I don’t want them to make excuses. I don’t want them to
move in a certain direction because that’s where they should be headed. I just
want them to be them. If a story has that single aspect covered, I’ll probably
like it.

And, if you think
about it (and look at it under the right light while squinting your eyes just
so) you’ll see that the other aspects of a good story are related to being able
to relate to the characters as well. Example: world building. A person (or should
I say sentient being?) is the result of their culture, their education, their
social environment… if that background is not well thought out, then we won’t
be able to truly understand the character because he’s been shaped by a world
we can’t possibly understand (on account of it not being explained at all).

Inner logic: if we
want our world and characters to be real, they have to be consistent. Our whole
lives are based on knowing what to expect (drop off a cliff and you’ll fall
kind of thing), so when we find a hole in a fictional book, we pull out of the
story because we can no longer follow the developments.

And so on and so
forth… I did say I’d try to keep it short, didn’t I? Ahem. Sorry. In short,
for a good story, worry about the characters first, and then about what makes
them be themselves. The rest should come later. 

The Book:

The princess of the school, Alice, is keeping a secret that could strip her of her high school fame. She is obsessed with the school’s outcast, Keith, but not just him – his music. 

Since the inspiration for the song hit, Keith can’t get it out of his mind. The song must be played; it demands to be played. He knows the music is changing him, but he is unable to stop it. 

Music has the ability to move you, enlighten you, and take you to places you have never dreamed of. And this particular piece? It has a life of its own and makes you forget who you really are. 

As Keith and Alice learn of one another to the notes of that one perfect tune, they can overlook their roles and discover who they could be together. But they also discover someone else is listening and intends on keeping Keith to herself, possibly for an eternity. 

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon

The Author:

Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and decided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself, and so Silent Song was born as her debut novel.

Connect with Ron:  Website  | Twitter

The Giveaway:

There will be 12 ebooks given away on the tour plus one signed print copy. All are open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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2 responses to “Interview & Giveaway with Ron C Nieto, Author of Silent Song

  1. I’m trying for the real book copy please. I have no way to use (and don’t do) e-books, ever. The author sounds great and the humour, although I thought male at first, is paced very well!

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