Friday, May 8, 2015
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Olive Balla
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to tell stories by the time I was about ten. I didn’t really think of writing them doewn until I was in high school. Then life happened, and for various reasons, I was unable to get serious about it until I was in my 50s.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
When I was younger, my favorite writers were Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, Helen McInnes, and Louis L’Amour. Later, I fell in love with Sue Grafton and Janet Ivanovich.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel An Arm And A Leg?
What I refer to as the catalytic event took place in a restaurant. I was in the booth next to a group of teenage boys who were talking about a recent trip to White Sands National Monument. One said, “So that’s where we decided to bury Mike,” and my jaw must have dropped, a dead give-away that I’d been listening. He smiled and added, “We buried him in the sand up to his neck.” I was glad to hear the disclaimer, but that first lightening-strike image plucked at my writer-brain, and I knew I had to write a story about it.
4. Will we ever see these characters again in the future?
Possibly. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to do a sequel.
5. What first sparked your interest in psychological thrillers and serial killers?
In one of my many lives, I studied psychology in graduate school. Abnormal Psychology sucked me into its net, and has yet to spit me out.
6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?
Since my work is fiction, I don’t write about real people. However, human that I am, my characters are most likely amalgamations of folks I’ve known. Many of the emotions are definitely taken from real life – from mine as well as from experiences of people I know.
7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
Futuristic Science fiction. I like to build worlds in my mind.
8. What would you do if you were Frankie?
I’d find out if my mother were still alive. And I’d probably marry Nick.
9. You're also an award-winning poet: can we expect a poetry collection from you soon?
Writing poetry requires a completely different set of tools than writing fiction. At least, that’s been my experience. I’ll not close the door on writing more poetry, but at this point, I’m focused on telling stories in a different métier.
10. Would you like to see An Arm And A Leg as a film? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?
That would be such an amazing thing. It strikes me that Ashley Tisdale would make a perfect Frankie. She’s tiny, with a touch of innocence. James Marsden would be a terrific Nick. I think Kevin Spacey would be a marvelous Bellamy, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster would be perfect as Larry.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I can’t envision myself not writing. If I ever lose the ability to write, I’ll lose part of my psyche.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
I’m working on three stories right now: an eleven year-old on the run; a prequel to AN ARM AND A LEG about Bellamy’s early years; and a futuristic story dealing with genetics.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with Agatha Christie or with Isaac Asimov. Even to be in their presence would leave me gasping.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
Happy to. 1. I wrote and performed a music CD for family and friends; 2. I composed and directed a Christmas Cantata for four-part choir and full orchestra that was performed in Colorado; 3. I sang the part of Mad Margaret in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigor in a local production.
Find Ms. Balla online via:
Official site (has all social media links)