Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Interview with Author Misha Gericke

Welcome to Up Around the Corner, Misha. Please, tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

Thanks for having me over, Terry. Well about me… I’ve grown up and still live in South Africa and like to do all sorts of random things when I’m not writing. At the moment, my main activities are fencing, singing, yoga, quilting and horse riding.

My writing interests are about as eclectic. Fantasy (any subgenre goes), sci fi, historicals, romances, mysteries, spy stories…

Quite a variety, indeed. I am guessing your reading selections are similar. Let’s put my prediction to the test: What was your favorite book as a child, what is your favorite novel, and what was the last novel you read?

You’re quite correct! Favorite book as a child was this old hard cover Robin Hood story that was in my grandmother’s house. Can’t remember the author or the title. But it’s one of the few books I’ve ever reread. Deeply regret that the book got lost when my grandmother moved in with us.

My favorite novel tends to be the one I’ve read most recently, although the one I finished last night was an exception.

Last novel I’ve read was The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.

How do you choose books to read, and how do you balance time for reading and for writing…and for everything else?

I actually take weekends off from writing to read. As for picking books, I choose at random. In other words, I put the many books I still want to read and use a randomizer to pick the ones I’ll read next.

Sometimes, though, I just follow a whim.

You have a book soon to be released. Can you tell us a little about it, and how you came up with the idea for it?

Mmm you can check out the blurb below, but basically, my first novel is book one in a YA Epic Fantasy series. It’s different from other fantasies, though.

As for how I came up with the idea, the story’s a bit long. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, though. One of my main characters walked into my head while I was re-reading Chronicles of Narnia.

I was actually not writing at the time, because of a book I wrote before that. It was bad for me to write it, so I’d burned the whole thing and stopped writing. The plan was to take a break for a year and clear my head. Darrion showed up in month four and convinced me to give the story a try by inviting his co-stars in as well.

The story itself came out of each character’s motivation. Each one wants something. And some of those desires are mutually exclusive.

Mutually exclusive suggests conflict. If you had to rate your writing, where would you put it along the spectrum of plot-driven vs. character driven?

Right down the center. My plot does come out of certain characters wanting certain things, but it’s one mean-ass plot.

If you could sit down to lunch with any three people, deceased or currently alive and language not being a barrier, who would you pick, where would you eat and what would you hope to discuss?

Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and Oscar Wilde. Location and food wouldn’t be so important, I expect, but it would be one rowdy evening.

Okay, so what might be discussed isn’t to be discussed ;)

What is one of the most difficult things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, and how did you manage to overcome it?

Oh that’s easy.  I needed to overcome my own perfectionism while drafting and rewriting. Before I wrote The Vanished Knight and its sequel, I used to edit my stuff to death before the story had a chance to become strong.

I ended up combating it by drafting by hand. If it’s in pen, I can’t erase something, so I have to work with what I have. In the end, what I would have edited out before, ends up being what makes the story great.

Great method to overcome a hitch in your writing process.

Sometimes authors write worlds that they’d love to dwell in, at least for  a while. Others, not so much. Is the world encompassing your upcoming novel one you’d want to live in? If so, why? If not, why not?

To be honest, the answer is yes and no. My world is pretty much as big as earth and Tardith the continent on which the series is set is a bit bigger than Europe. I would love to live in Nordaine, which is this walled off country in the north. Their whole culture revolves around an interesting mixture of honor, loyalty and being a bad-ass.

Maybe I’d live in Ladrien which is a small land-locked country in the middle of Tardith. They’re a scrappy, brave lot too, but my Nordian characters would just roll their eyes and call me a fool.

There are, however, places I know about in Tardith where I wouldn’t live for all the money in the world. You know… where dragons eat humans and that sort of thing.

A lot of people who visit my blog have never visited South Africa. Could you share a few neat things (places, culture, history, neighbors, opportunities, or whatever) about the city or region in which you live?

Mmm… Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, but we’re a pretty young country. The first colony was established in 1652. It was based around a castle by the sea. But over the years, the ocean seems to have receded and the Castle of Good Hope is now surrounded by buildings.

If you’re ever in Cape Town, I suggest you visit Table Mountain, Cape Point and the V&A Waterfront.

But please do drive out of the city. There are some spectacularly beautiful landscapes farther afield.

As we're approaching the end of the interview, is there anything you'd like to add or say to the readers here?

Just thank you for reading and that I hope that those who buy my book enjoys it. And thanks for hosting me, Terry.

You’re welcome, Misha. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

Below is a blurb for Misha’s novel, brief bio, contact information and links.

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.

She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter (@MGerrick1). If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog.

Links: Amazon     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble


  1. A great interview , thanks or including Misha on your blog.

    1. Yvonne,
      Misha's pretty sharp and was an interesting person to interview. Thanks for clicking over to take a look.

  2. Well done interview, perfectionism can really slow you down if you're not careful. Glad you got to finish this novel and move unto a sequel Misha.

    1. Oh definitely. It could be a debilitating writing weakness if I don't watch it the whole time. :-)

  3. Misha, you are eclectic indeed. Way cool interview.

    Nice to meet you Terry.


    1. That I am, Donna. Advantage being that it's interesting to live in my head. :-D

    2. Nice to meet you too, Donna. Thanks for stopping by to check out a bit about Misha.

  4. Good to learn a little more about you today. Hi and nice to meet you Terry.

    1. Hey Suzanne, thanks for clicking over and checking out Misha's interview.