Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Interview: Claudia Brevis

CLAUDIA BREVIS is an author, songwriter, playwright, genealogist and New Yorker living with her husband, Skip Brevis, on Manhattan’s upper east side. 
          Claudia’s music and lyrics have been featured on stage, television, film and recordings.
          She vocal-arranged and composed original music for the off-Broadway hit Beehive, the 60′s Musical, and she and her husband co-wrote the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival hit, Winner Take All (A Rock Opera). 
          Other works include Norwegian Cruise Line’s Showdown, an interactive American Idol spoof now in its sixth year on the high seas. 
          When she isn’t writing music or working on her next novel, Claudia can be found exploring NYC, researching genealogy, cooking, or, most often, just hanging with her family! 
          The post-apocalyptic A GAZILLION LITTLE BITS is Claudia’s debut novel.

Favorite reads?
         I’m always working on something, so my reading tends to follow my various projects.  Right now I’m reading about the Essenes for one project and going through the letters of Robert and Clara Schumann for another, but if I had my druthers I’d read historical fiction all day long with some easy mysteries thrown in! I find reading fiction that takes place in small towns very relaxing.  A good dystopian novel is always up my alley, and I like to read Stuart Woods and Harlan Coben novels when I have time to decompress. That’s not often enough, though.
Inspirations for the book?
         My decades-long love affair with New York City was my inspiration for A Gazillion Little Bits. 
Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
         I don’t think so. I’ve always been a writer, writing plays and poems and songs as a kid, and then, as an adult making a living writing music and lyrics and musicals and that sort of thing, but becoming an author of fiction is a new hat I’m wearing! 
Any Pet Peeves?
         Being manipulated.  Don’t try to play me. 
Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
         Chocolate.  And never mind those fancy schmancy ones.  I’m a Hershey’s Kisses kinda gal!
The weirdest thing you've ever done?
         Hmm.  I think I’ll have to plead the 5th on this one. 
Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
         Good question. Because A Gazillion Little Bits takes place in a far away and changed future, I found almost all contemporary music to be distracting while I was writing.  I did refer occasionally to mixed voices or Gregorian chants, or drums.  Once in a while Led Zeppelin was helpful.  When my husband was creating the music for my book trailer, he created a dark, moody mélange of cello, drum, bird calls and vocal sounds.  His underscoring is really beautiful. (you can view the 60 second trailer and hear his music here: https://vimeo.com/96000265 )  My own personal favorite music is anything I can sing harmony with, which means, all music, because that’s what I do.  Sing harmony on everything!  I also have a particular soft spot for 70’s rock.
Do you need anything to write?
          Just my reading glasses. 
How long do you write on any average day?
          I multi-task all day long, so actual words on paper is probably not that much at all. I’m a slow writer.  But I spend lots of time researching, puttering about and mulling things over.
Give us the number one reason to read your book.
          That’s a hard one as I think we’re drawn to different works for different reasons. I can say that my own reason for reading speculative fiction or post-apocalyptic stories is one of imagination.  We live in the present and have facts that support our past.  In order to visit the future, we have to open ourselves to all sorts of possibilities.  And that’s just plain, mind-expanding fun!

Author Info:

New York City. 2256. 

Isolated by shifting lands, fire and beasts, fewer than thirteen thousand people live in the ruins and rubble of Manhattan without technology, government or any connection to the world from which they've descended... 

Until the mysterious whispers arrive, followed by a stranger who holds what may be the key to the city's ultimate survival. 

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