I've been awful, I know. Give me some time. My life has been weird and stressful and BLAH. But look how I make things up to you? I give you an interview with the lovely author of The Dark Divine AND a giveaway!
Bree Despain's bio from her site:
Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. The Dark Divine is Bree's debut novel.
THE BEGINNING OF A STORY:
Where did you get the idea for The Dark Divine?
TDD was inspired by a conversation between a brother and a sister that popped into my head while I was stopped at a traffic light. The brother was warning his sister to stay away from a dangerous ex-friend who had suddenly returned to town. I was so intrigued by this conversation that I had to know what was going on in these character’s lives. I went home and started writing right away.
I loved the gripping beginning of The Dark Divine. What do you think are the keys to writing a good prologue?
I’m not sure I really know the keys to writing a good prologue. I kind of just go with what feels right. I originally didn’t intended for there to be a prologue to TDD, but one day I was sitting in church and the words in the prologue just came into my mind. I couldn’t shake the words, and couldn’t concentrate on anything else, so I wrote the prologue on the back of the service program. After I looked at what I’d written, I knew it was the right opening to the book.
My advice for a good prologue is to keep it short (under two pages is you can) and make sure it’s compelling. I’ve read many manuscripts with long prologues that are just there for the sake of giving background information that isn’t actually necessary for the story. I think if a prologue makes reading the rest of the story more compelling or intriguing—then it’s probably a good prologue.
When did you realize that you wanted to write a paranormal novel?
I didn’t originally conceive of TDD as a paranormal story. At first it was just about three friends trying to reconcile their past. However, as I started writing it, I kept thinking, “Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if there was something paranormal going on?” I fought the idea at first because I didn’t see myself as being a paranormal author (up until then I’d only written contemporary fiction) and I only put hints in the first draft that there might be something paranormal going on.
However, people who read the manuscript said that they felt like something was missing from the book. I put the MS away for a while and started writing another book that was a straight-up paranormal romance. I loved it so much and started getting new ideas for TDD, so I pulled out that book and completely rewrote it with a paranormal twist. And I absolutely loved the result.
THE PROBLEMS AND RITUALS:
How has music affected your writing?
I love music. I have playlist for my book comprised of songs that help me get into the mood of my book. I don’t always listen to it while I’m writing. But I listen to it in the car, or just before I start a writing session. Whenever I am having a hard time capturing the emotion or mood of a certain scene, I’ll turn to my iTunes and find a song that has a similar feel to what I’m trying to accomplish.
You can check out my TDD soundtrack here:
What's the most difficult aspect of writing for you?
I hate those days when I can’t get into the groove—especially when I have a deadline so I feel like ever second I’m not writing is wasted time. I think the hardest part is remembering to not beat myself up over these bad days and just start over with a positive attitude the next day.
How has being in a critique group helped your writing?
It took me 9 years of serious writing before I got an agent and sold my book to my publisher. Having a critique group helped me stay focused and driven during that time. It was great to have a deadline to work towards each month, and a support group to lean on when I got rejections or just felt discouraged. My critique group sisters (called The SIX) are some of my best friends, and I honestly don’t know if I would have ever gotten published without their love and support.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR READING AND WRITING:
Do you have any projects on the go?
Working hard on the sequel to TDD called THE LOST SAINT, and thinking about possibly doing a third book. I also want to return to that other paranormal romance I started writing before finishing TDD.
Have you read any YA books recently that you've loved?
I was a little slow to get on the bandwagon, but I finally read the HUNGER GAMES books and now I am totally obsessed. I can’t wait for the third one!Thank you SO much for shedding some light on the writing process! (Be sure to check out http://lilibethramos.blogspot.com/ tomorrow for more Dark Divine fun!)
And now, for a GIVEAWAY.
Egmont USA has provided three nail polish containers. They're the same colour as the girl's toe nails on the cover! Three people will get one nail polish container.
(Photo from Parajunkee)
I LOVE swag and I'm sure you guys do too! (Be sure to check out
http://lilibethramos.blogspot.com/ tomorrow for more Dark Divine fun!)