1. Could you introduce yourself and “The Sapphire Talisman” to our readers?
Thank you for having me, Kelsey. I loved your review of The Sapphire Talisman. I’m a mother of 2 rambunctious boys, wife of the love of my life! I’m very blessed.
The Sapphire Talisman is a continuation of the sixteen-year-old empathy, Julia Parker, and vampire slayer, Nicholas Kendrick. The story opens with Enigma’s warning to Julia that Alora is back, and she wants revenge. Their love will be tested in new and incredible ways either ever imagined. I’m so excited to share it with everyone December 15th!
2. How did you come up with the ideas in “The Sapphire Talisman” and what/who inspired you to write it?
Lemons in my life inspired the first book and my enthusiastic readers inspired the second. Right before giving birth to my second child, my first was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (at age 3). Our life’s turned upside down. I ended up quitting my job to be home with them. I desperately needed something to preoccupy my mind during the long hours of tending to a newborn and being available 35 hrs a week for therapy for my oldest. That became The Emerald Talisman (TET). I wrote TET in segments, being my most favorite ones first. Then I bridged them together to complete the manuscript.
With The Sapphire Talisman (TST), I started at the beginning and wrote all the way through to the end. It didn’t come together as smoothly or easily as TET, which was frustrating, but I completed the entire thing in 8 months. It’s weird, but my best idea’s came during my daily shower. I think because I wasn’t being pulled in a million different directions from my kids. I’d imagine the scene and then write it out later in 1K chunks. If I could write 1K words in a day, I’d be happy and finish the rest of the things I needed to complete in my day. You have to set daily goals/limits so you don’t feel guilty when doing free-time activities. It’s not like I had a boss breathing down my neck (well, my readers were pretty persistent).
3. Do you think the main characters in the novel should be perceived as role models by teenagers?
Actually, I think the question should be, should authors write strong role models for their YA audience. In life, everyone is trying to sell something. Whether it’s their value system, a new car or joining their side, they have an agenda, albeit hidden, it’s there. Teens are one of the most open groups of people who are by nature naive and looking to find their niche in the world. As an author, I want to provide quality, moral YA fantasy fiction I’d feel comfortable letting my own children read. That involves strong heroes and heroines who may or may not make good choices, but suffer consequences of those decisions, like real life. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten many mom’s stamp of approval and they feel peace of mind letting their kids read my stories.
4. Do you think the paranormal romance genre has exhausted its potential? Or are vampires and other peculiar creatures more popular than ever?
The readers want fantasy romance of all kinds. I don’t think that’ll change.
5. What do you mainly focus on when writing a book – plot, characters, etc.?
For me, the plot determines who and where the scenes need to be. For the Sapphire Talisman, the whole premise surrounded the confrontation with Alora and Julia. From there, I filled in the rest of the story with the ending in mind. I try not to pigeon hole my characters and allow them the freedom to run dialog naturally, gently steering them towards the next scene. I guess it’s called ‘panster’ writing meaning by the seat of your pants. Works for me.
6. It can be speculated that nowadays blogger reviews may give a book a push or condemn it to oblivion. Do you agree that the Internet plays a major role in the successful publicizing of a book?
Being an indie writer, I’ve heavy tapped into the book blogging world and they have made my book(s) a success. Though, if I’d written something they didn’t like, it would have killed my novel for sure. I’ve hit a good thread and I’m thankful for them.
7. I know of authors who ignore and discard criticism from reviewers. What about you? Do you think an author can improve an aspect of his/her writing based on reviews?
I read all my reviews. Many have given very credible feedback I’ve adapted into TST. Some complain about the novel and don’t provide reasons why they didn’t like it. I can’t do much with statements like “I didn’t like it.” I have a lot to learn and I’m open to constructive criticism from credible sources.
8. What do you find particularly difficult in the whole writing & getting published process?
Each step has its challenges. I think overcoming the fear and putting out your hard work and heart out there for criticism and rejection is the most difficult part.
Thanks so much Brenda!
I have a signed copy of The Sapphire Talisman to giveaway to one lucky winner!
Ends December 3
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