Interview with Z.L. Arkadie, author of Once Friends
26 Mar 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Once Friends?
Once Friends is part of the LOVE in the USA. Whereas the first twelve books focused on the lives of the Lord family and their friends and loved ones, Once Friends is the start of the Hester family stories. The Hesters are two sets of sisters, who are cousins and their grandmother, who is a woman who has always been before her time when it comes to life. The LOVE in the USA series focuses on characters who aren’t necessarily looking for love or expecting it. Love comes to them when it’s ready, and it’s exciting, inconvenient and alien. But they’re dedicated to figuring out a way to make their relationships work and last forever.
You’re hosting a literary dinner part. Which three writers are invited?
Of course J.K. Rowlings because, I mean, all hail Harry Potter. Such imaginative artwork and the characters don’t get lost in the rich world she created. I mean, isn’t that amazing? She CREATED it. My next invitation would go to Carole Radizwell. I read her book “What Remains” at least five years ago and that story never leaves me. I have a list of questions a mile long to ask her about that book. And finally, when I read romance, I need large doses of reality and Candice Bushnell gives it to me. I would so invite her. And I’m sure we’ll all just have one glass of red wine along with the tastiest food ever, and we’ll talk about stories from sun down to sun up.
Who is your favorite couple from literature?
Well, in the literary sense I have two favorites—Mr. Darcy and Lizzy Bennet as well Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway. Regarding the latter, I feel there are no better love stories than the elements that bring two people together as great friends. As far as the first couple, I love the romance between the two characters but I perceive a divorce in the future when Lizzy gets bored and has nothing to do with herself. She wants all of Darcy’s attention but he has lots of business to attend to.That’s why in my stories, I make sure my characters have passions in life outside of their relationship to keep them happy and occupied.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
Writing of course! I always end the day wishing I had five more hours, along with the extra brain power, to do more of it!
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been a creative person. I always loved stories that moved me whether in books, on TV, the big screen and especially in real-life. But I guess living and figuring out what I love one aspiration at a time led me to where I am. In the end all roads led here.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Stopping at 30k words for my first read-through and then seeing how it all magically came together. It always amazes how the plot points are always there, because the first half of the book is such a struggle to write.
What scene in Once Friends was your favorite to write?
Well, I have two. But hands down my favorite scene is toward the end of the book when Sonja sits with her grandmother to discuss all she’d discovered about her Gran’s past.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Absolutely! Everyday I wake up and practice being brave, faithful, hopeful and kind.
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