Interview with Deborah Rix, author of 'External Forces'

Deborah Rix’s favourite position for reading a book is head almost hanging off the couch and feet up in the air with legs against the back of the couch. She’s been reading too much from Scientific American for research and ideas and needs to get back to some fiction. She has a long standing love of science fiction, some of her favourite authors include William Gibson, Philip K Dick, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Douglas Adams, Iain M Banks. A bit old school.

Deborah enjoyed a successful career in entertainment publicity, live music promotion and event management. Which means she slogged through muddy fields for music festivals, was crammed into concert halls with too many sweaty teenage boys and got to go to Tuktoyaktuk (that’s in the Arctic Circle) for a Metallica concert. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada, where she is the proprietor of The Lucky Penny, a neighborhood joint in Trinity-Bellwoods.

External Forces is her first novel.

Visit her website at www.DeborahRix.com.



Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?


That’s a difficult question. I did not set out to be a writer, it was borne of frustration. I needed characters that I could tell exactly what to do and they would do it. Immediately. But the inspiration came from reading the news and subscribing to Scientific American and Nature and getting both excited and frightened by the future that awaits.


Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?


Ha! That’s like asking if the agent to the leprechauns left the pot of gold out for me to find. The amount of time spent researching each agent so that your query showed that you knew something about said agent and could provide an enticing reason why they should consider representing you is inversely proportional to the amount of time that this same agent will spend reading your query. Eventually the law of averages will win, I just didn’t have that much time. This is my first published book and I published it myself.


Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?


I live in Toronto, (that’s in Canada) and we’d go across the street with a picnic blanket to Trinity-Bellwoods park and people-watch while we talked books. However, this is Canada, so you can’t ever do anything all year round. If it were too cold/wet/snowy for the park we’d go to my little joint, The Lucky Penny, which is on the park. I’d get you an excellent latte and a jawbreaker candy and you’d be forced to listen to me go on and on about books I like while you wrestled the jawbreaker into submission. How’s that for a fun afternoon?


When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?


When I’m not writing I am the mom-taxi and I make lunches and… oh, you meant when I’m not writing AND I’m relaxing. That doesn’t happen.


Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?


I am lucky enough that I am not reliant on book sales for an income. I have a little corner store / take out place that I’ve just opened. It will one day make me richer than my wildest dreams. Until then, I am really nice to my husband so that he goes to work every day.


In your opinion, what makes a good book great? 


I can love a book for a lot of reasons, but when a book makes me think of something in a new way, and it can be a small idea or a big idea, that’s when I think of it as a great book. Oh, and if it makes me ache to cry.


Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation.  What did you want to be? 


Huh. I probably wanted to be ruler of the world when I was ten. If that had happened (when I was ten) things would be peachy keen right about now, let me tell you. But, assuming that the job of ruler of the world was taken, then I think I wanted to be a scientist of some sort. Not the boring kind of scientist, but the Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye the Science Guy kind of scientist. The fun kind.


Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?


Alrighty. This is where Jay and Sheree first meet. They are the main character Jess’ best friends.
“I thought you'd be taller,” muses Sheree, looking Jay up and down.
“And I thought you'd be more attractive,” Jay responds, pursing his lips.
Oh. No.
Sheree is smiling pleasantly at Jay, which makes me nervous.
“Jess didn't tell me that you had vision problems,” she says to Jay sweetly, “but I guess that explains the way you're dressed.”
“Hey,” Jay says back. “Want to take a walk? This is an excellent time for you to go MIA.”
Hendrick laughs, which pleases Jay. I give Jay my Behave glare, but he pretends not to see. Sheree's eyes narrow and she taps a finger to her lips as she considers Jay.
“I'm trying to decide if I like you, or if you're simply a pain in the ass,” she says, tilting her head to one side.
“I'm having the same problem,” says Jay, tilting his head in imitation.
I cradle my head in my hands and groan audibly.
“I'm going to like you, but only because of Jess,” Sheree announces.
My head comes up.
“Same,” says Jay, smugly, “but only on a trial basis. I reserve the right to retract at a later date.”
“Done,” says Sheree with a grin.
I gape at the pair of them. They're going to like each other for me? I swallow the sudden lump in my throat.
Once the conversation between them starts though, it's as if they've known each other forever. They are both so willing to share every detail about themselves within minutes of meeting that I wonder how it is I’m friends with them. I don't talk about myself that much. I leave them to it and head off to bed, relieved.


What’s next for you?


I need to finish Acceleration, the second book in the trilogy. There’s a first draft that needs some serious work and I want to get at it. And I need to make an appointment with the dentist.
  
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