Saturday, April 4, 2020

iRemember by S.V. Bekvalac - Book Tour


The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.
It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.  
Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.
A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.
Purchase Links
For a limited time, iRemember will be available for only 99p.

Author Q&A
1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I had (and sometimes still have) a tendency to think too critically about my writing too early, and evaluate sentences before they were even formed. To the point of being unable to write anything at all. In case what came out wasn’t perfect. That impulse made starting to write hard for me. So I’d tell that slightly younger version of myself: don’t think too much. Just write. Write aimlessly, as if you were wandering through beautiful foothills of language. There’ll be plenty of time to edit, think, and criticize later. And plenty of time to write for publication. When you over-think and strive, you lose the joy in words. And what you write when you’re busy worrying about how others will receive it is never as good as the stuff you write when you’re just having a wander. Or a wonder.

2. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?I wrote iRemember while working pretty much full time, which meant that I wrote in snatches, between things. This extended the time it took to get a decent draft together. It took about a year. And at that point it was still a house of cards. Not made of aces either. The first gust of wind and it would collapse. From that point on I tinkered with the manuscript until I was happy enough that I thought only working with an editor could make it better. That took another 6 months, still writing in short bursts in between commuting, working, and all the other things that make up a life. When an editor finally saw what was my first ‘final draft’ we talked about it, and I decided that I needed to rewrite two thirds to really make it work. It took five more final, final, final drafts. Another few months. I had one other attempt at a novel that I wrote before iRemember which took about the same amount of time. So I guess it takes me about two years from first thunderbolt of idea to polished the-house-now-stands-up-on-its-own book.
3. How do you select the names of your characters?I studied Russian literature and Russian authors love giving characters names that suggest personality traits, or that have symbolic or metaphorical meanings - so I picked up the habit of giving characters names I felt reflected their personalities in some way or what they represented to me in the thematic of the text. Obviously, so much of what readers see in names is informed by their own cultural reference points, which, needless to say, are not the same for everyone (or even anyone) so I leave it up to individual readers to make what they will of names like Icara Swansong and Lucian Ffogg.
4. What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?I wish it was something majestic and soaring. But I fear the truth is less dignified. I love nibbling on nuts while I write and am generally really easily startled. So I think it would have to be something small and rodenty. Friends at school used to say I reminded them of Scrat – the squirrel from the film Ice Age. I suppose squirrels have their own particular brand of dignity. They are obsessive in their focus on preserving for the colder months. And I suppose that’s part of the writerly impulse – to preserve and make impressions. Before another Ice Age comes and wipes us and our emotional journeys out.
6. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?Probably write about it and bury it somewhere for the next not-yet-evolved life-forms to find.
7. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?I would actually like to spend some time with Icara Swansong, the main character in iRemember. I always wonder about the parts of her inner world that she didn’t show me when I was writing her. I’d like to see what surprises there are in her back-story and emotional development. And I think it would be fun to masquerade as a stranger and freak her out by telling her things about herself she didn’t think anyone knew about.
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?You don’t have to write every day. This is basically blasphemy I know. But it’s true. Not everyone has that luxury and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t. Sometimes the world doesn’t give you time every day. Just take whatever time there is. Even if it’s only once a week. Or once a month. Sit down, no matter where you are, even if it doesn’t feel ‘right’. Pick up a pen, or a pencil, or a keyboard, or a crayon. And see what happens.
9. What book do you wish you had written?I get such bad prose envy whenever I read almost anything by anyone. There are so many great authors out there. But I really, really wish I’d written Gnomon. I didn’t. Nick Harkaway did. Damn him.
10. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)10?! Right…I speak 5 languages (that’s like five different fun things right there). I tried to teach myself bass guitar but the neck was too thick for me to play any notes. I’m obsessed with unicorns and own a growing collection of mugs, figurines etc. I feel similarly about Moomins. And lastly… I’m not very good at even basic maths. Even addition. As you can tell from the number of facts in this answer.

Author Bio
SV Bekvalac was born in 1987 in Croatia, in what was then Yugoslavia, but grew up in London.
She studied German and Russian at Oxford, and went to film school in Prague. After almost becoming a film-maker and then an academic, researching cities and films, she found herself writing fiction about cities instead. She started off with screenplays and short stories, but they got longer and longer. iRremember is her first novel.
She has lived in cities all over Europe. Now she lives in London, or in one of her own imaginary cities.

Social Media Links Twitter  @sandra_bek @EyeAndLightning

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