Aspasía S. Bissas
Aspasía S. Bissas
It’s that time of year again– the Smashwords end-of-year e-book sale has begun! Get Love Lies Bleeding for half off (and as usual, Blood Magic and Tooth & Claw are free)! The holidays are a great time to catch up on your reading (or maybe even complete a challenge). Download my books and get started right now….
Aspasía S. Bissas
Gift giving season is upon us and if that’s something you’re into, may I just point out that Love Lies Bleeding makes an excellent gift for book- or vampire-loving friends, loved ones, and distant acquaintances (not to mention the good karma you’ll get for supporting independent authors!)
If you’ve already read and enjoyed any of my books, could you please take a minute now to leave a rating or review (links below)? It’ll help keep your stocking coal-free…
A novel about delusion, obsession, and blood.
Paperback available from Bookshop – when you use this link, a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself.
Myth and magic collide in this story about choices, transformation, and retribution.
A dark fantasy story about memory and delusion, violence and consequences; inspired by real events in Belle Époque France.
Feel free to leave a rating/review on any other book sites too!
Thank you for supporting authors ♥
Aspasía S. Bissas
It’s been a while since I posted a tag, and I thought it would be fun to revisit an old one and see if anything has changed. If you’re curious about what I (or writers in general) do, this post is for you…
Novels are still my favourite way to express myself, although short fiction is growing on me. I also enjoy getting poetic when the mood strikes. For non fiction, I love being able to share my thoughts and passions in a blog post.
It’s funny because for the longest time I read either horror or literary/classic fiction almost exclusively, and that was what I tended to write. But in recent years I’ve been increasingly drawn to fantasy, especially anything involving magic or non-human characters. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person (maybe just that I’m a recovering English Major), but I think it’s safe to say my writing from now on will mostly be in the realm of dark/urban fantasy.
Most of my life, although I’ve taken a few long breaks. Even before I ever wrote anything down, I would tell myself stories to help me fall asleep (something I still do), or just to pass the time.
Since you asked…
Although it’s not the first story I wrote, it’s the first one I remember that made an impression. In grade 6, we were given an assignment to write a modern re-telling of a fairy tale. I went with Red Riding Hood. I’ve forgotten most of it now, but it had something to do with Red smuggling drugs in her basket (I believe the wolf was a cop). I didn’t think it was anything special, but my teacher did. He came to see my parents and told them to never let me stop writing. I wasn’t exactly planning my career at that age, but I’m pretty sure that was the moment when some part of me decided that I would be a writer. Thanks, Mr. Coyne!
To quote my answer from the last time I did this tag: I don’t feel I have much of a choice. That’s what I love, it’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I feel I was meant to do.
How does anyone find the time to work, or to do anything else that matters to them?
Morning or early afternoon, somewhere comfortable, quiet, and without distraction (she said, staring pointedly at her cats).
I don’t eat while writing, and if I drink anything, it’s usually water or tea. And people say writing isn’t exciting.
Silence. See above re: the excitement of being a writer. But seriously, music interferes with the rhythm of your writing, and the lyrics get into your head, and probably onto the page without you even realizing it. The people who can work with music or the TV on have some kind of super power.
I think most of them wonder what I do all day. But the rest are encouraging/supportive, and that’s what matters.
My answer from last time hasn’t changed: I love it when the words come together and flow out of you. Best feeling in the world. (It’s also pretty satisfying when you’re stuck and finally figure out the perfect solution).
Writing quickly is impossible for me, and we live in a world where people expect endless new content. If anything ever makes me quit, it’ll be that.
I used to write first drafts by hand, and I’d love to get back to that– but I’m slow enough as it is. Now everything goes straight onto my laptop, unless I get some unexpected inspiration– then I use my phone to get it down before I forget.
Lately this isn’t as much of a problem as lack of focus. But when I do get stuck, I’ll think about it, or push it to the back of my mind, while I do other things. That usually gets results. Talking about it with my partner also helps a lot. I think the worst thing to do for writers block is to stress over it and try to force a solution.
A combination of deadlines and anxiety can be extremely motivating! But the truth is, if you’re not into it, nothing will motivate you. The best motivation is passion.
I don’t think there was any one specific author who inspired me to become a writer, but there were a few who inspired my love of stories, reading, and books, so thank you to Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, and L. Frank Baum.
This year is almost over, but my goal for 2022 is to publish my next novel! Watch this space…
Keep going, don’t give up, and it’s never too late (now I just have to keep following that advice…)
Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts on writing? Share in the comments…
Aspasía S. Bissas
PS: Happy World Kindness Day! Much ♥ to everyone online and off who has shown me so much kindness and support. You guys rock!
‘Tis the time of year for ghouls and monsters and vampires, so I thought I’d share this short piece again, for those of you who haven’t read it (or who feel like re-reading it). Enjoy!
Note to the reader: the following text is transcribed from a document found in the crawlspace of an old row house in Montreal, Quebec. The owner of the building sent it to a local historical association, who are now sharing it in hopes that someone might have more information.
Interview with "Mara," a young woman who claims to be a vampire By J.S., editor at large April 5, 1918. J.S.: Could you please state your name for the record? M: You can call me Mara. J.S.: Is that your real name? M: Real enough. It's the only one I have left. J.S.: Could you tell me what you said when we met earlier tonight? M (does not reply) J.S.: When we met, I asked what a young lady was doing out alone in the middle of the night. How did you respond? M (smiles): I told you that I am a vampire. J.S.: A vampire--like Mr. Stoker's Count Dracula? M: As far as I know, he is fictional. I am not. J.S.: What would you say to those who don't believe in such creatures as vampires? M: Your lack of belief doesn't make me any less real. J.S.: How long do you claim to have been a vampire? M: Most of my life. J.S.: How long is that? M: Isn't it impolite to ask a lady her age? J.S.: Do you drink blood? M: Of course. J.S.: Where do you get it? M: Wherever I can find it. J.S.: From animals? M: No. J.S.: Do you have a reflection? M (gets up and walks to the lavatory. She stares into the mirror over the sink): It would seem so. J.S.: Can you turn into a bat? M (does not reply) J.S.: How many other vampires are there? M: More than your kind would care to consider. J.S.: My kind? You mean mankind? Human beings? M: Yes. J.S.: Do you pay attention to human events? What do you think of the Great War? M: I wish I could be there, in the thick of it. J.S.: Do you mean as a nurse? M (laughs) J.S.: Why do you want to be at the front? Isn't it dangerous? M: The danger is why. It's all death and chaos. People die, people go missing--no one gives it a second thought. Vampires do well in times of war. J.S.: If that is the case, why aren't you there? M: Someone else is there. He's looking for me. I do not wish to be found. J.S.: Who is there? M: You should worry about the illness instead of my acquaintances. J.S.: The illness? Are you referring to the Spanish Flu? There are rumours of epidemic. M: The rumours are correct--the influenza is spreading rapidly. I can smell it in the air. J.S.: You can smell it? That must be handy. M: It helps us to choose. J.S.: What do you mean by 'choose'? M: Most of us prefer blood from healthy specimens. J.S.: And the rest? M: We find those who don't have long. Some consider it a kindness. J.S.: Why are you telling me this? M (does not reply) J.S.: I don't have the Flu. M: No, you have something deeper. In your bones. J.S.: Oh, really? What does that smell like? M: Like sour chalk and dry rot. J.S.: Rot is right. You expect me to believe such nonsense? M: What about that ache that never seems to go away? It's been getting worse, hasn't it? J.S. (reluctant to respond) J.S.: I have an appointment to see a doctor. M: He won't be able to help you. J.S.: How do you know? M: They rarely can. J.S.: Then what can anyone do for me? M: I could prescribe you herbs, but they won't help, either. J.S.: A vampire and an apothecary? That is quite the combination. M: I learned my trade young and found that it pays to keep humans healthy. J.S.: Is that it, then? All you can offer are ineffectual balms? M: I can also offer you a kindness. J.S.: You mean death. M: Some prefer it to suffering. J.S.: What if I refuse? M: It's your choice. You have time to decide, but not much. J.S.: Where are you going? M: I have other business to attend to. I'll return in a fortnight. Tell me then what you've decided. J.S.: Will it hurt? M: I can make it so it doesn't. M leaves and I finish recording our exchange. I don't know why, perhaps for posterity.
I am unsure how to proceed.
Want to read more about Mara? Download my books now….
If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥
Aspasía S. Bissas