So, Desiree, please tell us about your book.
It’s written in first person, from the heroine’s perspective. She’s a normal college girl until she has an accident that warrants a trip to the hospital. Her injuries heal quickly and her lab results are off the charts. It’s a mystery as to why bizarre happenings are overshadowing her, until Kalen, the hero, enters the picture.
He reveals to her an ancient prophecy that transcends time and the planes of existence, challenging her take on reality, and Brianna is thrust into a race for her life. With the balance of their worlds at stake, Kalen takes Brianna to his world, where he can better protect her… unanswered questions would be addressed by the council that resides in the mountain cities of Ethos, so they take up their journey.
During their trek to the mountains, they undergo a series of trials, and find themselves facing the ultimate choice. Throughout their perilous adventure, they are tempted by forbidden love, knowing they can never be together, but it’s that same temptation that leads them to find their greatest strengths.
Multiple sources inspired the story, but in short, I knew I just needed to write. So I tried to think of a way that I could appeal to a wide market, while choosing genres and topics of popular interest, but did my best to put my own spin on it so it was unique in its own way. I tried to avoid clichés so my own voice would shine through the work.
It’s a story about integrity, duty, agency and self mastery. I wanted to write something that would teach a moral, inspired by an apparent lack in action by the people of today. People everywhere seem complacent, and the liberty of those same people is on the brink of destruction. My series is a call to action; to act or be acted upon. It’s about choice, the very thing that makes us superior beings… and the same element that can ultimately lead to destruction, if not exercised wisely.
Who or what inspires your writing?
My need to create is probably the driving force behind my writing. Even if I don’t really know what to write, I just start typing the first thing that comes to mind and let it develop on its own. Anything can inspire me; from something I studied about history to something my kids say out of the blue. So long as I write or paint, I’m happy.
When did you know you would be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, and taking creative writing classes have always been a priority for me all throughout school. But the writing but really bit me when I was twelve, though I didn’t seek publication until I was an adult.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
The VERY first novel, written at age twelve, was about 30,000 words and took about 3 months. Now, as an adult, I am on my third full length novel. It takes me about 6 months to write a book between 120,000 and 155,000 words. I’ve got a lot to juggle.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to write without distraction was really difficult. I have 4 children, one of which is a special needs child, so peace and quiet is rare in our home. I only seem to write when everyone else sleeps. So I often had to sacrifice rest to complete this book.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Put the kids to bed and get cozy with my lap top. Nothing really weird, just need to make sure there are no distractions.
Have you written any thing else?
I wrote a lengthy political thriller/urban fantasy called, The Establishment (155,000 words), in 2010. But after 15 rejections and some honest feedback from beta readers, I realized that it just wasn’t what I wanted to be associated with for a debut series. So I tossed it aside to work on character development and plotting for a new series, which ultimately became Ethos. Within about two weeks of sending Ethos out to publishers, I had three offers. I’m also now working on a steampunk/dystopian series called “The Elevator”.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Read, read, read… It’s amazing how much you can learn by reading other books- plot formation, character development, scene transition, dialogue do’s and don’t's, and what type of descriptive writing is appealing or over done. Granted everyone likes different styles, but by reading other author’s work, you will learn to form your own voice by taking metal notes of what you liked and what you didn’t like.
If you’re thinking about writing, quit thinking about it and just DO IT. Don’t worry about what others think. SOMEONE out there is bound to appreciate your creative effort, you just have to find them.
Who are your favorite Authors?
My favorite authors have changed over the years and continue to change as new books come out and my perspectives change. Some select favorites: Frank Herbert, Anne Rice, Larry Abrahm, J.R.R. Tolkien… But scripture has influenced my writing more than anything.
What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Honestly? The Book of Mormon. I’m on my 7th or 8th reading right now. A lot of people give it serious flack because they’ve been taught by their religious leaders to hate it, and for no good reason. Teaching people to be haters, or to have fear or prejudice for something that is ‘different’ speaks volumes of the person spreading intolerance and hatred… Regardless of what others say, this book inspires me, just like it has inspired millions of others… it literally changed my life. And every time I read it, I learn something I didn’t notice before. It’s packed full of action, history and spiritual wonder that keeps me coming back again and again. Even for non religious readers, it’s a book that gives an interesting perspective to the history of ancient America. I highly recommend it.
And of course, I’d have to add the Bible to that list too.
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading several unpublished manuscripts by emerging authors. Everyone needs beta readers, so why not do my part too, eh?
How do readers find out more about you?
The best place to stay updated on latest news is to follow me on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. Also, lots of goodies on my official website and blog.
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