Sunday, October 21, 2012

Zoe Saadia

Interview with 
Zoe Saadia

Author of The Fall of the Empire

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I was an avid, not to say obsessive, reader of historical fiction since I knew how to read. As a child I was always busy making up my own stories in order to prolong a good book. Curiously, this inclination survived even the difficult teen I was (at those times I was writing covertly, so no one would notice and take me for a nerd :D).
And all the while my other obsession with misunderstood Pre-Columbian Americas kept making me argue with everyone who would dare to say a word “Indian” in my presence, up to the point that people were careful with what they say around me (all the while living on the other side of the globe).
At some point, when I had a few years to myself, to research whatever I liked, and wonderful libraries of places like Berkley at my fingertips, I knew how I would combine both of my passions. Although it took me more than a decade to evolve into a worthwhile author, I’m pleased.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Oh, that would be very difficult to remember. I was busy writing since I was a teenager, and I remember that the first attempt to write a full length novel involved a time traveling into some parts of the Amazon River. I don’t think I ever finished it J

Were you inspired by someone or something?
Oh yes. My official inspiration is James Clavell and his wonderfully epic historicals, bringing to us cultures unfamiliar to the western mind but in the way that did not turning them into artificial or too “western”.
Colleen McCullough and her “Masters of Rome” Series had also contributed to my conception of how good historical novels should be written so as not to scare off the reader with too much history.    

What do you like about writing a story?
I love the way the writing transfers me into a different world. It’s a difficult, very demanding process, and most of the time I’m stressed, working with no breaks, afraid that I won’t be able to bring it out in the best of ways. Still, when I’m finally finished, and after a day or two of breathing with relief, I start missing the excitement, the surge of adrenaline that drives me crazy while working on each story. I guess writing is a sort of an addictive drug 

Can you tell us about your book?
“The Fall of the Empire” the book that Mr. Roy Murry was so kind to read and review, is the last in my “Mesoamerican Saga”.
My “Pre-Aztec” Series dealt with the times when the Aztecs only began to come into the game of powers that kept Mesoamerica on edge for more than a few centuries.
“The Rise of the Aztecs” Series opened the new era, when the Aztecs and their allies began to feel powerful enough to challenge the might of the Tepanec Empire. It ended with the beginning of the revolt, while the balance of powers began to tip.
So “The Fall of the Empire” is the story which brings the whole saga to the closure, uniting both series. One empire is about to fall, while another is about to rise - the Empire is dead, long live the Empire :D.
But, like all my books, this story is about people, historical characters and the fictional ones, people who just might have been existed, helping to make history while pursuing their private goals. A Tepanec trader, a girl who has her own very peculiar agenda, nursing a grudge against no lesser person than the emperor himself, and the conquerors, of course, the Aztec Warlord and his allies and friends, all thrown together in the turbulent times for their homelands and their people, making history, changing their lives . 

What genre best fits for the book?
Historical fiction, definitely!

Are you working on something new at the moment?

Oh yes, I left Mesoamerica for a while, well settled under the raising Aztec Empire.
So now it’s back to North America, to deal with the raising to power Great League of the Iroquois. My new trilogy will be dealing with this historically important event while the first world’s true democracy was being born.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Oh yes. I would advise those people to write. Write, write and then go on writing some more. New authors sometimes tend to forget why they had started to write in the first place, overwhelmed by the crazy world of the social media. I was guilty of this too with my first book, promoting busily, making all the mistakes and dealing with mounting frustration along the way.
Today I know better. Writers write. One book doesn’t turn a person into an accomplished author and the writing process help to keep our sanity in the best of ways.  
Where can people go to read your work?
I have plenty of excerpts and reader-friendly articles, dealing with the relevant history and cultures, on my site

Thank you so much. I’m delighted to be a part of this wonderful blog and I had a great time answering those questions.

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