Saturday, December 13, 2014

0 Romina Russell, author of ZODIAC, on the subjectiveness of art

What do you hope readers will take away from ZODIAC?

 The most powerful insight the protagonist (Rho) gains on her journey—which I hope to impart to readers—is how integral our cultural differences are to our unity. As planet after planet is attacked and devastated, Rho learns that the more the Houses close themselves off to each other, the smaller their worlds grow—even their worldviews begin to shrink. She starts to understand that the reason the Zodiac has a dozen Houses isn’t so they can learn about each other, but from each other: Each sign brings a different strength to the galaxy because all twelve are meant to work together, not apart. I think the parallels to our world are easy to draw.

 What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

 Never stop writing. Even the best star readers can't predict what's going to get picked up. ZODIAC sold, but I have a book I've been working on for eight years that has yet to sell, and every few years I rewrite it and try again. Which brings me to my next thought— Rejections do NOT mean your book sucks. Art is subjective—it can’t be right or wrong. When you walk into a bookstore (or click into a virtual marketplace), you only leave with one or two (or a handful of) purchases. Even though you may not think of it this way, you're effectively "rejecting" hundreds of thousands of texts—most you never even looked at, some you glimpsed at briefly, a few you sampled and didn’t love. The ones you skimmed and set back down weren't bad books: They just weren't right for you, or maybe they weren't right for you right then, or maybe you just didn't have time to read everything you wanted and were forced to be a tough judge. Now think of the number of agents/editors you've queried with your manuscript—a number nowhere near the number of books you yourself have sampled and not loved in your lifetime—and keep querying!

 What are you working on now?

Right now I’m getting to do more of something I love—world building. Since I’m working on the sequel to ZODIAC, I’m creating the new Houses that Rho visits on this journey. The chance to build new worlds has been the best part of working on this series.


Zodiac by Romina Russell
Released 12/9/2014

 At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

Purchase Zodiac at Amazon
Purchase Zodiac at IndieBound
View Zodiac on Goodreads


Romina RussellRomina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

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