I am so excited to share with you my first ever author interview & I am SO excited to introduce you to one of the sweetest people I have met!
Nelou is the author of The Fray Theory. A new Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy series that releases on August 31st with Resonance, the first book in The Fray Theory series.
I read Resonance earlier this month ( earlier in July ) & it was absolutely amazing!
If you want to check out my review of Resonance before reading this interview click here.
Now without further ado imagine yourself in a cute little coffee shop in Vancouver. You have a delicious cup of your favorite coffee or tea & you are sitting across the table from the wonderful Nelou Keramati. Here is how your conversation may go:
1. To kick us off tell us a little about yourself & how you started writing:
I’ve always been inherently right-brained and in love with art, animation, and movies from a very young age. But I was raised to be left-brained, studying sciences and learning to see the world analytically. Initially I wished to pursue medicine (hence my studies in cognitive neuroscience and psychology), but my artistic tendencies eventually overtook me, and I tried to strike a compromise between nature and nurture by pursuing architecture. Although I loved design it made me crave the artistic side of things even more, and after obtaining my Masters of Architecture, I decided to pursue acting, my one true passion since I was practically a toddler! All of this is to say that becoming a writer was literally the last thing I ever thought I would do, especially since I didn’t even speak English until I hit my teens. In retrospect, I feel like I was always meant to be a story-teller of sorts. I loved to pretend to be in alternate worlds full of possibilities far more than playing with dolls. I could be anyone and do anything I wanted. It never occurred to me to share my inner worlds with others, until I came up with The Fray Theory, that is!
2. I know you probably get this question a lot, but how did you come up with The Fray Theory trilogy?
It was a late summer night a few years back. My best friend and I were strolling downtown and talking about the serendipity of our lives. Marvelling at all the random ‘coincidences’, I just needed to come up with a plausible explanation for them. The idea of the Fray Theory (albeit in a highly unrefined form) came to me, and I said, “I think I’m going to write a book,” and then I did! And now it seems the story will be extending beyond three books!
3. There are a lot of elements that go into the theory of “The Fray Theory”, did you do research to come up with the theory?
Ironically, I avoided research like the plague! I knew instantly I had come up with something special, and I feared that being exposed to other theories/scientific facts would either influence my work, or discourage me from pursuing things further. I spent months as a recluse, fleshing out the theories, and they kept on becoming more and more complex. And one day when I was explaining the premise to a friend, I realized I’d created a universe with its own set of rules!
4. And obviously a masterpiece like this had to involve much planning & work put into it, how long did it take you to write Resonance?
Firstly, thank you for the compliment! I spent over a year working exclusively on story structure. The theories themselves required a tremendous amount of time to develop, and the last thing I wanted was for someone to be able to find fault with them. Once I felt confident enough that the logic was sound, the theories’ progressive revelation was embedded into the plot and tied to character arcs. Once the ‘backbone’ was more or less set, I began to write all three books simultaneously, which took about six months. The writing, revising, and editing of book 1: Resonance took roughly another six months.
5. What would you say was your most interesting writing quirk while working on Resonance?
I love to pit my characters against one another. I constantly experiment with putting them under duress so they’d be forced to show their true colors. I pick a hypothetical issue and let my characters argue. I feel that this process has lead to some of the most organic scenes in the novel so far. It often leaves me in tears, but I love the visceral experience!
6. I loved getting to know the characters in Resonance. Where did you get the inspiration for their characteristics & appearances?
All characters are in a sense extensions of myself. Since early childhood I’ve had vivid, peculiar, and incredibly fascinating dreams; a trait I gave to Dylan, albeit with a much grimmer outlook. And I’ve always fantasized about having supernatural abilities, but it was never flying or becoming invisible. I wanted to be strong, indestructible, and be able to exercise control over my surroundings, and those desires I believe manifested in Neve and Romer’s abilities.
Neve: As someone completely new to writing fiction I had no idea how to construct a realistic protagonist. So initially I used myself as a template for Neve. But as it turned out, my own educational background, personality, and life-experiences were exactly what I needed to incorporate into the protagonist; especially in a complicated story about the human mind. So over time, she and I became more and more alike!
Dylan: As for Dylan, ever since early childhood had this red-haired boy somewhere in the corner of my mind. His appearance changed a lot over the years, and so did the stories I imagined for him. But his red locks always remained striking, like wild flames.
Romer: He is the attractive, hot-headed bad-boy archetype I’ve always wanted to be friends with; someone daring and fun, but also deep enough to have real conversations with. Like Neve + Neuroscience, I felt that I could bring a lot of authenticity to Romer’s character by giving him something else that I’m highly familiar with: architecture.
7. To give us a little look at the characters we are going to meet in Resonance in 5 words or less describe Romer, Dylan, & Neve.
Neve: smart, strong, deep, caring, and courageous.
Dylan: loving, generous, lost, damaged, and misunderstood.
Romer: free-spirited, funny, loyal, honest, and broken.
8. I was looking on your website & saw that you lived/live in Vancouver. I know some of my followers, including me, haven’t been to Vancouver. Are the places in Resonance all real or did you have to do a little making up?
I know my city very well, and in describing it, I tried to be as true to reality as I could. Vancouver is so breathtakingly beautiful that there was no need to embellish. I wrote in a way that if someone came to Vancouver and ventured into Gastown for example, they’d be able to pinpoint Neve’s exhibition space, and then walk the designated number of blocks westward and arrive at the Vancouver Convention Centre! I just love the idea of travellers (and locals, of course) being able to fully immerse themselves into the story by visiting the ‘sites’ described in the book. Even I get chills sometimes when I go to these places, feeling like one of the characters could turn the corner at any moment. And even when I see total strangers occupying these spaces, I feels like it’s because I’m in a Proxy dimension!
9. All authors have a life lesson they want readers to take away from their books. What is yours?
I hope by reading The Fray Theory, people might reflect on their own immense potential. I personally love the idea of infinite Proxies because it is a reminder of all the possibilities out there, and our ability to make the one we desire most, into reality.
10. I know a lot of my followers are aspiring authors. As a debut author what is your advice to them?
I could probably speak for days on this topic, but I think the most important thing is to prepare. Start early and try to build a fan-base as you write. Get on Goodreads if you aren’t already (it’s a fantastic site run by fantastic people) and claim your author profile.
Though writing is a tremendous task in and of itself, but beyond that the author needs to understand the publishing industry so that they can make informed decisions about the fate of their book.
Do your research about everything: Genre, target audience, story structuring, writing style, character arcs, editing, formatting, copyright, cover art/photo, indie vs. traditional publishing, royalties, ebooks and their various formats, ISBNs, barcodes, printers and their paperback/hardcover provisions, pricing, distribution, advertising, social media promotions, personal website, email lists, etc…
Do everything in your power to acquire maximum knowledge and have maximum control over your creative work. And don’t lose hope! The aforementioned are one-time efforts, and once that first book is out, things will become much easier. Writing is hard work. It requires dedication and patience, but it is also incredibly rewarding! So don’t let stress overtake the experience. Enjoy every precious moment, even the ones that make you want to pull your hair out! As an author, you’re sharing your consciousness with the world, and it will remain long after you’re gone. You will remain long after you’re gone, and that’s a beautiful thing!
11. Is there a book that you have recently read that you would like to suggest to everyone?
I’d like to recommend ‘On Writing’, particularly to aspiring authors. Stephen King’s memoire-like exposition of how he became an author and the challenges he faced are very organic, and often incredibly humorous! The book is an eye-opening read that is far more about the essence of writing, and less about conjuring a ‘to do’ list.
12. If you are able to tell us, what are you currently working on?
I am currently in the process of promoting Resonance (a full time job), but once the novel is published in August I plan on commencing Amalgam: the second book in The Fray Theory series.
13. Where can we find you on social media?
I am pretty active on Goodreads and Instagram (and very rarely on twitter):
14. To finish off this interview could you tell us one random fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
I grew up on Anime and loved it so much that I learned to speak Japanese! Well, I studied it for two years in university, and I’m pretty rusty now, but it’s a little something I’m really proud of ;).
I want to thank the lovely Nelou Keramati for letting me interview her. I had loads of fun reading the book & doing this interview! 🙂
Don’t forget to get your copy of Resonance on August 31st!