Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Interview with Connie Lansberg, author of 'The Perfect Tear'





Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project, Alone with Bees, performs her songs written especially for The Perfect Tear. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming soon.

She also received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created.

Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne and later, worked extensively with Marcy Kennedy on the book. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished by 2016.

"The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn't and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why.

Because, I'm not unique or different – I'm exactly like you and I love that.

We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry.
You may or may not understand what I'm trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same."

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: The Perfect Tear
Author: Connie Lansberg
Publisher: Rockit Press
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Fantasy

The Perfect Tear begins with the Singers of the world who, during their initiation by a multi-dimensional being, are given a magical three-pronged hair comb to use as tuning forks to help keep the world in harmony.  They are a special breed of women, able to connect their voices to the vibration of the earth in order to create this needed balance and equilibrium for all.   
   
The story follows the main character Eleanor, from age six to sixteen.  She is a good natured and dutiful young girl, with a profound ability to interact with both animals and nature.  Like her mother, she is a powerful Singer but has not yet been initiated because she has not reached the age of maturity. After the unexpected death of her mother, a grey mist descends upon the earth and the world fails to thrive, forcing this innocent child into a course of action that she had never asked for, nor had ever envisioned.

Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, Eleanor is determined to find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark and powerful crystal that contains the Third Vibration, which she must find and release in order to heal the land – and save her world.  Just like the notes of a song must connect to create a perfect melody, Eleanor has to discover the proper associations needed to create this special harmony.

For More Information

  • The Perfect Tear is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

A. The story of The Perfect Tear actually started with ten original songs, then a play, then a movie and now a book and it took a very long time to distill the movie into something manageable and then I had to expand it again with the book. It’s been a crazy process. After really working hard to get the story down to 110 pages for the script, my LA manager suggested, since it’s high fantasy, that I write a book as well. So I did.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

A. It took me several months to get out of the very succinct style needed for film and into the heads of the characters, which isn’t allowed in a film script. What a luxury it is to be able to relay what a character’s thoughts are as well as their dialogue and actions. Not to say it was easy, by no means. The style is still very cinematic. I had to start from scratch and I found an editor who was patient enough to guide me through the techniques needed. I followed an outline of 15 major beats, both for the movie and the book. Then I wrote a full draft. I read as much as I could about technique, my style emerged by itself, but I brought the editor in very early to guide me as I went. Don’t hire a friend. I believe you should find the best editor you can afford. I also feel if you have your story laid out in these beats–Blake Snyder Beat Sheet–you won’t get lost or give up. For all the hard work it was so much fun to do it. However, these gun for hire editors will never be as invested in your success as much as one working for one of the big five traditional publishers, so revise a couple of more times after the editor signs off. 

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

A. I’m with a hybrid in America but I’m not thrilled with the level of service. It’s my own fault though. Because the book is a companion to the movie, we wanted to get The Perfect Tear out as quickly as we could (it still took 2 years!) and though I was offered three traditional publishing deals, I decided to do most of the work myself in a trade off for getting it out there. I’ve learned my lesson and that side of it isn’t for me. I really will never go down that path again. I need more pampering than that! I love writing, not selling. Selling a book is full time job and I’m terrible at it.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

A. I’m laughing here. From the traditional publishers it was the 90-10 split–10% to the author and no advance. All that work and they want to give you 10% and then take it back if sellers return the books. It’s kind of crazy, but now I might do it! With the hybrid, the surprise was how long it took to proof read the manuscript–over 120 hours. Anyone who writes anything, text to speech is your best friend when proofing. And also, I don’t think Hybrids know the first thing about selling books nor are they willing to learn.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

A. I’m writing the sequel to The Perfect Tear, The Living Library, which moves the characters nine months ahead. When I finish the screenplay, I’ll start on the book. I will be looking for a traditional publisher for that one. Hoping to get that finished by the end of the year.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

A. I have to say Facebook. It’s like an online magazine. I find lots of things to save for later or repost. Then Good Reads–so many great books. I love Youtube because I can find any song I need to learn. And I like making videos too. I’ might start a little channel for the book, answering questions and such.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

A. I am in no way, a morning person. Because I also sing jazz here in Melbourne, I’m up late. But I do try to read and I usually have a few books on the go. I just finished Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants and I’m about to read All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book? 

A. My message is a powerful one especially for girls, but also for boys. I feel the dystopian narrative is all too real and we all need to learn how to dissect fear into manageable components. Anger and violence are both just fear in bigger chunks than we can handle.  It’s also about connection and how my heroine must use her intelligence and her instincts to defeat what appear to be overwhelming odds. She’s a girl with a great connection to the earth but she certainly, like most girls, can’t and doesn’t want to, fight.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A. I want to say thank you so much for allowing me talk about my book. I love my story and my characters and having someplace to express that is a delight. Thank you.