Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about THE MOREVA OF ASTORETH, and what compelled you to write it.
Roxanne Bland: In a way, this book was over thirty years in the making. When I was in college, a friend and I collaborated on a story, the details of which I will not bore you. Years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, in which he posits that ancient astronauts came to Earth, created humans, and founded the Sumerian civilization. A long time after that, I got the idea to meld the two stories in some way. As for writing it, I don’t think I was so much compelled to write the book as it was demanding to be written. I had another project going, and this book was knocking at my brain so hard that I had to put the work-in-progress down and write this book.
M.C.: What is your book about?
R.B.: The Moreva of Astoreth is the story of Moreva Tehi, priestess, scientist, healer and the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess, who is exiled from her beloved desert home for wilfully neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to delve into realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
M.C.: What themes do you explore in The Moreva of Astoreth?
R.B: Bigotry. It’s a soul-crusher. I think that sometimes bigotry toward others is but a reflection of what we hate in ourselves. To overcome it, we must examine our feelings and motivations, and accept who we are. Practice self-love, in other words. And once we have learned to love ourselves, real love can come into our lives and help us find our place in the world.
M.C.: Why do you write?
R.B.: Because I love it. I love making up stories. I love to see the words spilling across the screen as I write them. Even if I never published a thing, I would still write, for the sheer joy of writing.
M.C.: When do you feel the most creative?
R.B.: I’m always creative. I can be riding the commuter train into the city for work, and I’ll think of stories. Sometimes I wake up with story ideas. And, of course, story ideas will blossom in my head at any time of day.
M.C.: How picky are you with language?
R.B.: Very picky. English has a word for just about anything you want to convey. That’s why a thesaurus is a must.
M.C.: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
R.B.: Almost always. Sometimes it feels like I’m only taking dictation.
M.C.: What is your worst time as a writer?
R.B.: When I’m completely stressed out, and can’t think.
M.C.: Your best?
R.B.: The words seem to flow most freely at night, especially in the wee hours when people are asleep. I’m a night owl, I suppose.
M.C.: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
R.B.: I thought about this one. Physically, probably not. As long as I can talk, I can write, using those software programs that translate speech into text. The only thing I can think of that would stop me from writing is some kind of mental deterioration.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
R.B.: When I held my first book in my hands. It was such a high. I’d actually done it—wrote and published a book.
M.C.: Is writing an obsession to you?
R.B.: Probably. I write for my day job, a trade magazine, and I write books. I’m always writing something.
M.C.: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
R.B.: A lot of my life experiences are reflected in my stories. A number of my characters, I think, are facets of my personality blown up and given a life of their own.
M.C.: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
R.B.: Absolutely. My personal motto is “reality is highly overrated.”
M.C.: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?