Zodiac February Read-Along discussion

Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)
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Ask the author > Questions for Romina Russell

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Rikke (RikkeReads) (rikkereads) | 12 comments Mod
As mentioned before Romina Russell will be joining us at the end of the read-along to answer some questions. So if you have any questions for her about the book or anything, you can post them here ;-)


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Where did you find your inspiration for Rho? I think she's an amazing character, and I really feel like I have a connection with her, because we're so alike.


message 3: by Daisy (last edited Feb 22, 2015 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Daisy | 16 comments I have two questions, I hope that's okay. Here they are:

Hi Romina! I noticed that the main character in your book, Rho, shares a similar first name to you and you both play the drums (correct me if I'm wrong here). This got me wondering how much of yourself you based Rho off of, if any. Aside from her, if you were to rewrite the book from the perspective of any other character, who would you choose and why?

Also, as a Libran, I was wondering what made you decide Hysan's character should be from Libra. Since he is sort of a parallel to Mathias (from Rho's point of view anyway), did the decision to make Hysan a Libran have anything to do with the fact that you wanted to contrast Cancer with Libra? If so, why did you pick those two Houses?

I'm a bit confused as to whether I should also post these in the Ask The Author thing on Romina's profile, or will they be answered in this discussion? Thanks. :)


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Mallie wrote: "Where did you find your inspiration for Rho? I think she's an amazing character, and I really feel like I have a connection with her, because we're so alike."

Hi Mallie,
Thank you! Happy to hear you connected so much with Rho. <3 When I started working on Z, I was interested in exploring a character whose strength wasn't in her hands, but in her heart. Someone whose best weapon would be her love and her voice. The values of House Cancer seemed best suited to this kind of heroine, and so Rho's story started on that Blue Planet. ;)
xoxoxo
Romina


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Daisy wrote: "I have two questions, I hope that's okay. Here they are:

Hi Romina! I noticed that the main character in your book, Rho, shares a similar first name to you and you both play the drums (correct me ..."


Hi Daisy,
Thank you for your questions!
So to answer your first one about Rho's characterization, follow my weird logic here: Rho is SO different from me that I was able to add superficial similarities without worrying about confusing her character with mine.
I'll explain:
I have another manuscript, one I've been working on since college (more than 8 years!), and the MC is SO similar to me that I can't finish her story. Whereas Rho--who is a selfless, impulsive, idealistic Cancrian--is completely unlike my Virgo self--an analytical, controlling, neurotic, obsessive, perfectionist--which somehow makes it easier for me to inhabit her headspace.
In pretty much every situation Rho encounters, I would probably do the opposite thing Rho does. I'll give you an easy example: If I tried warning people about Ochus and no one believed me, I wouldn't keep trying--I'd turn my back on the Zodiac and wait for them to realize their mistake and call me back. (Oops!)
So it was fun to make Rho just a little like me, in small ways, like giving her curly hair, or a similar name, or making her a drummer. Oh, and also, we have the same taste in men! ;)
If I were to re-write the book from another POV, I'd write it from Nishi's so that we could see what she, Deke, and Kai were getting up to while Rho was off on her adventure. <3
As far as Hysan's character, he was obviously a Libran from the start! His charm, intelligence, friendliness, fairness, wit, and his passion for justice--it all seemed to scream House Libra to me.
Happy to answer any more questions you may have! <3
xoxoxo
Romina


Erin Lynn | 8 comments If Zodiac were adapted for the big screen, would you want to write the screenplay and be completely involved in the process?


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Erin wrote: "If Zodiac were adapted for the big screen, would you want to write the screenplay and be completely involved in the process?"

Hi Erin! <3
It would be awesome to see Z as a film! Since I'm a freelance video producer, I would really love to be part of the production process. Yet I wouldn't feel comfortable writing the screenplay--that's a completely different art form, and one with which I'm not very familiar. Still, it would be fun to get the chance to read the script and offer feedback, if I had any!
The thing I would ESPECIALLY love to do if a film were ever created is its movie trailer! I worked as writer/producer at a boutique motion picture marketing studio for five and a half years, so it'd be fun to combine two of my passions. <3
xoxoxo
R


Daisy | 16 comments Wow, thanks for the great answers! Now that you say it having the main character a complete opposite to yourself makes perfect sense! I'm not sure if I would completely abandon the Zodiac after warning them and them not believing me, but I'd definitely need to have my 'I told you so' moment, like you said.
Nishi was my favourite character in the book, so I'm glad to hear you think her story is that important. :)
I was actually looking down a list of Libra traits after I finished Zodiac and it all sounded exactly like Hysan! Me, not so much...


Daisy | 16 comments I have another question, regarding the cover. When you were writing Zodiac, did you have a cover design in mind, similar to the one it has now? Or did you not really think about it and just let the cover artist see what they could come up with?


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Daisy wrote: "I have another question, regarding the cover. When you were writing Zodiac, did you have a cover design in mind, similar to the one it has now? Or did you not really think about it and just let the..."

Hi Daisy!
Thanks! <3
Cover-wise, I had no idea what to expect, and as I'd heard horror stories from authors who didn't have a say in their covers, I tried to mentally prepare myself for whatever came my way.
The first cover Penguin sent me wasn't the current one. They actually did a different design for Z's first galley--there are still some images of it online: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/....
They then came back to me and said they were designing a new one, and that they were making the book's dimensions bigger. I was such a nervous wreck waiting to see what it would look like, so it was absolutely amazing to open up my email and see the beautiful final cover. <3
I had no comments or complaints!!! :)
The artist, Vanessa Han, is brilliant, and she's actually designing the rest of the series, so I'm super excited to see what she comes up with.
xoxoxo
Romina


Annie Sun (anniesun) | 3 comments Hi Romina!

I absolutely loved Zodiac, and the cover is also a plus. As a Sagittarius, I loved reading about Nishi. I really loved all of your characters though. In terms of questions, I was wondering if we are going to get to learn more about the origins of the galaxy Rho lives in. Will we understand more of the process and how each sign evolved differently from each other?
Also, was Rho named after Rho Ophiuchi, the star system in Ophiuchus?

I can't wait for the next book!
Thanks!


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Annie!
Thank you so much! <3
I actually didn't know about that star system--what an awesome detail! Thank you for telling me. :)
Readers will absolutely learn more about the ZODIAC galaxy as the series progresses. For now, there's extra info about the universe and each planetary system on the www.ZodiacBooks.com site, in case you want to check it out.
SO excited to share the sequel this December! <3
xoxoxo
Romina


Daisy | 16 comments Romina wrote: "Daisy wrote: "I have another question, regarding the cover. When you were writing Zodiac, did you have a cover design in mind, similar to the one it has now? Or did you not really think about it an..."

That's really interesting seeing the original cover, although I am glad they changed it to the one it has now! I'm really excited to see how the covers for the rest of the series look like too! :)


Cas ❦ (rowangalathynius) Hi Romina! I'm sure some of us were quite sad when (view spoiler)(I certainly was), was there any ultimate reason this happened?

Thanks!


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Rose!
Thank you for your question. I was absolutely devastated when that happened, and I could barely put words on the page past that scene. <3
But by that point the story wasn't mine--it was the characters'. Their actions throughout the novel led to everything that happened on Firebird, from Mathias's love declaration to Rho leaving him behind. I couldn't have stopped any of it, or I would have been one of those meddling authors who forces her will upon her creations. ;)
There are consequences for every action, and that's the awful truth Mathias and Rho realize by the end of the book. Even silence says something. Doing nothing is itself a decision. And by wasting all that time, and holding back so much from each other, they created the wall between them and set themselves on their crash course.
Thanks again for asking! <3
xoxoxo
Romina


Erin Lynn | 8 comments Romina wrote: "Hi Rose!
Thank you for your question. I was absolutely devastated when that happened, and I could barely put words on the page past that scene. <3
But by that point the story wasn't mine--it wa..."


I'm so brokenhearted. :'(


Cas ❦ (rowangalathynius) Romina wrote: "Hi Rose!
Thank you for your question. I was absolutely devastated when that happened, and I could barely put words on the page past that scene. <3
But by that point the story wasn't mine--it wa..."


Thanks for your answer! I understand completely what you mean. Every character should be flawed. :) Doesn't make it hurt less though.


Annie Sun (anniesun) | 3 comments I realized I had another question!
Are all people born during that time of the zodiac? Like are all Cancers born from June 22-July 22?

Thanks! :)


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Annie! <3
In ZODIAC, one's astrological sign isn't determined by her birthday but by where she's born and who her parents are--a combination of nature and nurture. It's like one's race/nationality on Earth.
Thanks for the question!
xoxoxo
Romina


Annie Sun (anniesun) | 3 comments Thanks for doing this and for all of the answers! :)


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Of course! Thanks for having me here--so much fun to chat with you guys! <3 xoxoxo


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Romina!
It just occurred to me, that almost everyone has parents of the same sign. Is this because not many people from the Zodiac visit each other, as mentioned in the book? And what sign would you be, if your parents had different signs, like if your mother was Sagittarius and you father was Leo, or another combination?


message 23: by Romina (new) - added it

Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Mallie! :)
In the ZODIAC universe, inter-House marriage is rare because it's generally frowned upon, and on some Houses those couples don't even have full rights and legal protections.
Children with mixed-House parentage are rare, and they always take on one of their parent's signs. So, say for instance that Rho and Hysan had a kid, he/she would be either Cancrian or Libran. <3
Thanks for the great questions!
Xoxoxo
Romina


Katie (katied4568) | 2 comments Romina wrote: "Hi Mallie! :)
In the ZODIAC universe, inter-House marriage is rare because it's generally frowned upon, and on some Houses those couples don't even have full rights and legal protections.
Childre..."


Hi!

If this is ok, I was wondering how you would decide which sign an inter-house child would have. In the example you used, Rho and Hysan, how would you decide Libra or Cancer?


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Katie!
I think it's a combination of the baby's genetics, her astrological fingerprint, and her fate in the Psy. <3
Xoxoxo
Romina


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Romina Russell (rominarussell) | 11 comments Hi Katie!
I think it's a combination of the baby's genetics, her astrological fingerprint, and her fate in the Psy. <3
Xoxoxo
Romina


Katie (katied4568) | 2 comments Thanks!


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