Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
Midniyte was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Alabama, was in the Air Force in Nebraska, and is raising her daughter in Colorado.
She overcame many learning difficulties to master art and writing, and conquered a debilitating illness to get published. She feels alive with the public attention she is now receiving.
She has a unique view of life, which she often shows in darker truths that heal. She crosses genres as well as writing styles, because she has skill in poetry, short stories, novels, and scripts.
Her spooky, metaphysical interests have shown to a mastering in her tales. Everything goes deep, no matter how small the story. Her poems are enjoyed over and over for their multiple layers that come through with each reading.
She likes to examine the question ‘what is strength?’ Is it the mind or the body? Do you have to have a world on your shoulders? Is it simple, like an open heart? Is it complex, like love cannot be reached outside of us? Do we have to learn pain? Can we learn where the calm goes?
Midniyte considers herself a wounded healer, because healing herself helps her heal others. This comes through in her stories. They make the darkness home, so the light can come, when you close the book. Sometimes it is the passion that reveals, warming every word.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
Midniyte: My first book is Transient State and that was released before Christmas. My next book will be Jane World and will be released before Summer.
Transient State is a dark science fiction novel, that has a taboo subject that takes place during a time when this was not taboo. For this reason, the publisher suggests 18+. That is about as much as I can say about that part of the story, because it’s revelation would be a super spoiler. It was something that had to be included as a necessity to the natural evolution of the story, which is about two aliens trapped in a world where they do not belong and where they are not compatible with the natives. They also consider each other’s way of handling this place completely different and wrong. And you may ask, how exactly are they incompatible? Completely.
Jane World is going to be released in two books. It is a compilation of flash fiction, called Midniyte’s Minis. It is a surreal world full of things she has to conquer or find peace with. It is a place I wrote from severe illness, a fantasy fiction version of my many steps to recovery from such damage. One step at a time, one story at a time, she explores the strange enemies and allies and discovers what needs to heal.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
Midniyte: I was once a helpless child because I was unable to express my thoughts. The only way to survive such a trapped existence was to find a way to express these. Through poetry and art, I learned one way of expressing what I could not speak. For many years I was stuck in that slightly muted world of learning disabilities, communication issues, and being undiagnosed (as a child) on the spectrum of autism. I had a strange world to express once I could finally begin to communicate to the nerotypicals all around. So, I began a journey of healing and communication so that I could learn how to write on the level needed to bring that out. We only can bring different to the viewer (readers), if we are different. And boy, am I different. Many enjoy the comfort of not being alone that my work provides.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
Midniyte: On Transient State, yes. I researched the history of the time and place it is set in thoroughly, as well as some theories of space, our planet, and our solar system that is not fully accepted by the science community; like Immanuel Velikovsky.
On Jane World, there was no conventional research. However, learning what I had to about myself, with extreme honesty, gained me the freedom to explore where I had to go to bring her alive.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
Midniyte: On Transient State, I had to face the two worlds I lived in and deal with how I did not belong to either: The Autistic-like one I had left and the Nero-typical one most people are aware of. I also had to learn how to write a novel, which as all writers know, is one draft after another. There’s no other way. Then there was overcoming my dyslexic issues during the years I was doing this.
On Jane World, my biggest challenge was finding the ability to do anything at all. I was bedridden at the time, recovering from the worst crash I had experienced and going through a divorce on top of that. I was determined to write, despite everything, and it healed everything as I did.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Midniyte: The main character in Transient State is Nipeyaire. His name means ‘night terror.’ He has love for life, all life, and feels a conflict with his existence in the world they are trapped in as well as the one they have left.
The main character in Jane World, is Jane. She is an adventurer, partially running away from who she used to be. Discovering who she is now as well as who she was, can be embraced too; as nothing in the past was what it seemed.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Midniyte: Nipeyaire’s greatest obstacle is his people, including his sister, because he never was one of them. Also, his own mind, with its conflict between the world he didn’t belong in and the world he can’t belong in.
Jane’s greatest obstacle is her path. She has to face herself and what she comes across to keep going, to keep moving on with life and peace. She has to find love out there, after she finds it in herself.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
Midniyte: The main antagonist in Transient State is Nipeyaire’s sister, Kypruss, and his own mind’s view about her. Both want to love and this is their greatest strengths.
Jane’s antagonists are different throughout. Most of the stories and their strengths vary. Most of her antagonists are there to demonstrate to her that she always has an answer; that she can trust her mind and her intuition. Their own strength if she was not there? Most of them were strong about goals, just on the wrong things.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Here is an excerpt from Transient State:
Nipeyaire held her hand tight as he weaved through the closely cropped trees. He narrowly avoided a low branch, a spider’s web, and a swarm of vines. He pulled Kypruss behind him, gliding her through the kilometres of fern. He did not consider or feel the wind when he was in the camp. That was when he was flooded with the senses of her. Now, in the forest, he could hear the howling above the trees and he was not sure if they could travel into the storm. They may have to stay in the boat anchored near the banks. He also knew if it was one of the great accumulating storms, it would be safer out at sea. He could feel the rain falling through the cover of the trees. Kypruss let go of his hand.
She fell to the ground and her head lay in her hands as she began to cry with the rain. Nipeyaire leaned against an olive tree and listened to her quiet whimpering behind him. He wanted to hold her and he could feel the ground tremble with her fear.
She was afraid of being alone. He would not seize her again for a long time.
When he had this rare chance to embrace her, she had such sadness. He wished he could console her, but he chose to let her be.
Kypruss thought of the men she had held. She thought of the men that could not match her essence. She had a living, ‘breathing’ aroma that was searching for her mate’s returning spirit. She wanted desperately to find this returning spirit. Would anyone possess it? She was sick of this and wanted to sleep. She found herself sinking toward the ground with heavy breath.
Nipeyaire knew that if she slept, she would not awaken for a while. It was normal for their kind. They would fall into a trance. It was inevitable to again be in a death-sleep state. Their life force would leave their shell once a year and then they were reborn for the next year.
Here is an excerpt from Jane World:
The stones would move up out of the mud only long enough for Jane to step on them, then she had to jump onto the next one not knowing where in front of her another would appear. The mud did not move or make any sound before it appeared. There was no clue and she could only rely on her experience and instinct. She wanted to look behind her but she would miss her next step. If she did not jump when the next stone appeared, the one she was on would disappear. She would fall into the dangerous, thick liquid. All she saw was the woman on the embankment. Jane had been watching her as she took her first step and all the leaps that brought her here to the middle. Moving forward, she could feel all their eyes upon her.
On the other shore was a statue of a woman. As Jane got closer, details appeared in the carvings and the figure was beginning to look a lot like herself. The eyes were closed and hands out, as if ready to help Jane when she climbed out of the mud when she arrived at the edge.
“I am all three. I am the three divine: The many steps of my past, my leaping moment here and the woman frozen in marble on the other side.” She saw the statue smile as she said this.
Kev: When you write, do you write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
Midniyte: I write, never knowing what the end of my sentence will be. I write ten pages a day until it is done. I get to know the characters a bit just before, then they tell me what they want to say and go where they want to go. I have an idea of where they are going because I know them and I know what I wanted to say when I sat down. However, the characters were made to express that desired story to begin with. So, they do their job, I follow.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
Midniyte: I have many things to prevent it happening. I journal; I walk three miles; I honestly face myself throughout my day. After that, if I’ve got behind on work because I was sick (because I am still recovering, mostly there though), how do I get back on to it? Usually music combined with micro-poems can give me a boost, helping me to get out the cobwebs. Sometimes a binaural beat to focus on. Mostly though, I decide I’ll write ten pages on my projects and if I am well that day, I just sit down and write until I have done the number I’ve committed to.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Midniyte: I write best at night, though I continuously try to get myself back to earlier hours. I have people not on that schedule counting on me. The night is where my brain breathes though.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
Midniyte: I write completely through my work before I even look, then I’ll go through and read it as if I am a reader seeing it for the first time. If it is not smooth somewhere, the grammar is off for example, I figure it out until it is smooth. A poetry background really helps you feel when the rhythm isn’t right. I took ten drafts to get my first book to be sent in and be published, but that was because I was learning to write novels. Now, a second draft is usually enough unless I remember a lot of broken rhythm, then I may wait a day or two and read it again to make sure the rhythm is there. Then I mostly take my editor’s advice, unless it went against a specific importance to the story (rarely an issue for such a thing). I only have one example there. In Transient State, I didn’t want any contractions included, to help everything seem old. Mostly with everything else, I had no problem tweaking to her specifics. I am dyslexic, I have to trust her experience there. Though she said, even if I wasn’t dyslexic, I don’t usually need much work. That was good to hear, it took me years of studying to help most of that after all.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
Midniyte: I illustrate my own. Is that what you mean? I let the story live in me until it has no words anymore and then I tackle it like an artist, trying to express what was not expressed with words. I think if that can be accomplished, it will be one more thing to help bring the reader to it and get them to pick it up.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
Midniyte: Yes, so much so. Even the font is important or it will never be seen, nor will your name. The art has to speak a short story already there on the cover; sometimes introducing a character or at the least, a secret. Nothing like an unspoken secret to get someone to want to investigate the mystery.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
Midnitye: I went with a small independent publisher. I didn’t want to be on my own completely with all the learning issues I’ve had to study, but it’s good to have a partner that was much more willing to hear my points of view and take advantage of my multiple masterings, like as an illustrator, than a big publisher would have been. I also get to cut my teeth on learning to sell myself as if I were self-publishing, as much as I can along the way.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
Midniyte: So far, my biggest publishing obstacle is the taboo topic in Transient State. We seem to do well with the cross genres that happens with my work and there’s an audience that is growing and eager for more of my thoughts. It is a matter of figuring out how to find the one waiting for the taboo too, I guess. We are getting way out of the box with that one.
Jane World has an audience that read my short story blog already waiting for it, so that’s a good start there. She was also made family friendly because that was the blog’s original intention; that gives a lot of platforms too. I made it that way because it was to be more interactive with the readers. I was encouraging them to create their own illustrations and to write their own short stories using her. My plan was to use it with students and classrooms. My publisher discovered me before that took off, but it may still come into play as we begin promoting her more.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
Midniyte: We use guest blogging, articles, and me on twitter. I have a following for my continuous, daily, micro-poems. We are in the process of getting the books on some bookstore shelves too. I have a weekly long poem on a new blog I’ve started at: http://www.midniyte.com/
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Midniyte: The best advice is the old line, “build it and they will come.” What I mean by that is, write and write and write. Evolve until you have a schedule that you can daily fill. Then on a separate schedule, edit. Edit until you’ve learned that writing skill and then move on to the next writing skill. Always edit once or twice, but go even ten times if you are learning something new. Then, find something else to learn in your writing. As much experience as you get, learn something new or put yourself into a place you haven’t ever pulled a story out of before. If you are always open and raw, your work will show it. That kind of work is what makes it good. There really is no other way of judging your work other than that. A creator is always dissatisfied or they’d never do another piece of work. I gauge my work on how I felt when I wrote it. If it comes from that place you’ve not explored before, the mystery will come through and draw your audience to you.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
Midniyte: I use Twiter the most. Please find me at: https://twitter.com/Midniyte
If you prefer facebook, most of what I post on twitter goes to: https://www.facebook.com/WriterMidniyte
I keep up most of my links on my personal site listed above and my about.me page: https://about.me/midniyte
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Links for Transient State:
AKA: MIDNIYTE, EVERYONE!