Interview: Yvonne Navarro

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started into writing? 

The true start goes really far back, when as a very young child-- early grammar school age-- I wrote my version of a newspaper article to go with a picture I'd drawn of The Cat in the Hat.  My little creative project at the time was making up the front page of my own newspaper.  I don't recall the text of the so-called article, but the inference was certainly clear from the headline, which proclaimed "Dr.  Suess Dies in Fire!"  Even at that early age, I was clearly headed toward darkness.  Until early in the 1980s, writing always took a backseat to wanting to be an artist.  That changed when I loaned one of my favorite horror books to my mother, who read it then told me, "You could do this."  I admit I thought she was crazy... but she had planted the seed in my dead.

NRR: What is a day in the life of Yvonne Navarro like? 

Alas, pretty much like everyone else's, I think.  We all have our differences, sure, but I go to a day job for the government every day, pay bills, clean house, yadda yadda yadda.  If I'm lucky and the "normal" stuff doesn't intervene, I can snag some writing or painting time in the evenings (or especially on the weekends).  I cook only when there's a blue moon (ha ha), but I am EXTREMELY (capitalization intentional!)  lucky that my husband, author Weston Ochse, loves to not only cook, but try new recipes all the time.  I usually clean up, then we go our separate ways: my office is on the second floor of the house, his is in the basement.  In between all that are our dogs, three rescued Great Danes.  The oldest is Goblin, a big merle male who will probably never quite get over the abuse he suffered for the first 16 months of his life; Ghost, a deaf white female with a large star-shaped scar on one side from being set on fire when she was a 7-month old puppy; and Ghoulie, a blind white female we drove across country to get when she was 6 months old.  All three are PITAs (pain-in-the... you get the idea), and we just adore them.  I stay up way too late and get up way too early and I'm tired all the time.  Isn't this the American way?  Ha ha.

NRR: How were you inspired to write The Dark Redemption series? 

The credit for this rests squarely on Wayne Barlowe, a spectacular artist and also the author of God's Demon, his own book about a demon in Hell.  He started the entire thing with a painting of a female fallen angel sitting in Hell and contemplating a single, stunningly white angel's feather "What Remains" in his INFERNO collection).  His meaning was clear in that it embodied all that she had lost, and I thought, "What would she-- what could she-- do to get that back?"
NRR: What was the most challenging part of writing Concrete Savior? 

Discipline and life!  The same, I'm sure, as it is for every writer who works a full time job.  My husband is also an author (Weston Ochse), and now and then we talk about how there's a certain point in many of our novels where everything just sort of coalesces, apparently by accident.  All the pieces come together, the whys and whens and this-happened-because events... they click together like some kind of verbal Rubic's Cube where all the colors match and nothing's out of place.  Neither one of us is sure how this happens, but it always does, as though our brain had it all planned out from the start and was parceling it out in little pieces along the way at just the right times.  The challenging part?  It's waiting for all those elements to fold together and being afraid they might not, right up to the very end when they magically do.

NRR:  What is your guilty pleasure? 

Ice cream.  It's the first thing that comes to mind, even before the word chocolate.  At any given time there are four to six flavors of ice cream in my freezer and at least two flavors of sorbet.  The Husband seldom eats ice cream, so they're mine.  Yes... all mine.

NRR: What is one word you would use to describe Brynna's character? 

Perplexed.  It's going to be a long time before she figures out what's what with the human race, how she can keeping fitting into it, and how to fix the mistake she's made.

NRR: What is in your to be read pile? 

Uh... about two hundred books, actually. On the nightstand right now are FLESH EATERS by Joe McKinney, SOUTHERN GODS by John Hornor Jacobs, THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK by Timothy Ferriss, OOGY by Larry Levin, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY by Patricia Highsmith, and A TWISTED LADDER by Rhodi Hawk.  And that's just the nightstand.  There are 37 more in 3 piles in my art studio and God knows how many others interspersed throughout bookcases all over the house.  I have books I bought years ago but haven't gotten to for one reason or another, but I can't resist picking up something new if it looks intriguing.  A sad reality of a too-busy life has been the loss of much of my reading time, and I'm trying desperately to at least give myself ten or fifteen minutes a day.

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline of Concrete Savior? 

In Concrete Savior, Brynna is still working out her position in the world and with Detective Eran Redmond, and she runs across a young man who's like a self-appointed super hero rescuer.  He's saving people left and right, thinking he's doing the right thing but having no idea of the bigger picture and the consequences of his actions.  But where is he getting the info that the people are going to need rescuing in the first place?  There's something much deeper and darker going on here than an average kid trying to be The Good Guy.

NRR: What is next in the works for you? 

Possibly a third book in the Dark Redemption Series, which would be called Jericho Girls.  As always, I have a whirlwind of ideas in my head, including a fairly solid base for a brand new series.  There are also some other projects that have been nagging at me for quite some time in the form of a couple of themed collections I'd like to put together.  The Husband continues to poke at me about putting together a collected works of my short stories, plus I have an unpublished novella I'd like to illustrate.  I've dreamed of being an artist my entire list and a couple of college classes over the past two years have given me some technical knowledge and made me realize that I actually can make a decent painting if I put the time into it... and I love it.  Of course, being who I am, I'm having a great time painting stuff like dark angels and demons and zombies, oh my!

Yvonne Navarro

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