Author Interview With Denae Christine

Tuesday, 26 January 2016
In this author interview we chat with YA wordsmith Denae Christine and find out what it is that makes her keeping writing.
If you use a Pen Name why/how did you choose it?  
My real last name is too difficult for most people to pronounce and spell.  So, my first and middle names suffice.  Plus, it makes me feel like I have a secret identity.
Why do you write?  
Because books inspire me, and I wish to inspire others.  I hope that, through my stories, readers will strive to be better, to love God and love people ever more.  Yes, I am an entertainer, but I wouldn’t entertain people with excessive violence or inappropriate characters.
When did you decide to become a writer?  
When I realized how much joy I got from reading and coming up with stories at age 12.
What genre are your books?  

YA fantasy with a healthy dose of action, adventure, and intrigue.

What draws you to this genre?  

Wonder!  Fantasy is a grand mix of the familiar with the unfamiliar, building a new world with magical, yet common, elements.  I’m drawn to YA because the characters are old enough to change the world and young enough to want to.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  
Starting something isn’t the problem.  It’s finishing something that is so difficult.  Until Royal Deception, I hadn’t finished a story longer than 50 pages.  Now I have two books close to 500 pages, and the third in the trilogy looks to be the same.
Do you write full-time or part-time?  
Part-time
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  
Typically, teach high school math from 7:30 to 4:30.  If I don’t have church in the evenings, I write or read until bedtime at 10.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  

A mix of both.  I had a couple sentences for each chapter planned, and then I just wrote, starting with the earliest and most interesting scenes.  Then I filled in the rest.

What have you written?  

Royal Deception 1 and 2 (Royal Deception and Runaway Deception), first two in a YA fantasy trilogy about a Prince who can shift his arms into swords, a tutor who can shift his arms into wings, and a madman who wants to kill them both.  The animal shifters and blade shifters don’t get along, and Prince Symon has to stop a foreign usurper from taking over his kingdom.  He doesn’t know whom to trust, even in his own family.

Are your books similar to any famous books?  

My whole trilogy is a retelling of The Lion King, and my first book is most like Page by Tamora Pierce.  Her main character and mine are about the same age (13) and have similar motives (protect everyone) and learning how to fight and save the kingdom and command others.

My second book is most like Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen, again with similar age of main characters and similar plot, but I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers.  

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? 

 Symon is driven to protect people.  He’ll do anything to save others and uphold justice.  He cares nothing for putting himself in harm’s way if it can help someone else.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Symon, because his motives are so pure.  His weaknesses are fun to write, too, and I love that he refuses to do certain things (he won’t steal, for instance).

Who is your least favorite character and why? 

Possibly the Queen.  She lets people walk all over her, metaphorically speaking.

How do you market your books?  

Author interviews (yay!), Goodreads giveaways, email blasts, Facebook, word-of-mouth.  Three local bookstores carry my books, which is nice exposure.  I use anything that’s not overly expensive or time-consuming.  I plan to try more once more books are out.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?  

Talking with people face-to-face, mainly.  Family and friends buy books, but so do strangers who admit to liking fantasy and talk with me one-on-one.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?  

Write faster.  First book came out 8 months before the second one.  I could have waited, I think, although summer really was a better time for me.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?  

Keep writing.  Join a writer’s group.  Keep reading.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  
The blank page.  
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  
The deadlines I gave myself, and getting feedback from beta readers on time.  Bit of advice?  Don’t expect people to read your book over the holidays.
Which writers inspire you?  
Brandon Sanderson and Rachel Aaron, and they’re my favorite authors.  Seriously, check out anything they’ve written.  It’s flat out amazing (fantasy, mostly, but that’s the best).
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  
I’m getting better at turning off my internal editor when I’m pounding out a first draft.  My first few stories never got past chapter ten or so because I had to keep rewriting and never finished (again, the problem with finishing things).  Now, I know it’s better to fix the problems after the ending is written.
What is your next project? 

After this series, I move on to the story about a girl who gets bitten by a dragon and grows dragon wings.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?   

Jesus Christ, because that means I’m either in heaven or He came back, and we all fight for victory and freedom in the Lord!

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  

If only people were better at math!  Haha, actually it would probably be teleportation.  That would be awesome.  Or give everyone the ability to explain themselves fully (regardless of language) with a snap of the fingers.  No more miscommunication.

Tell us something unique about you.  

Well, I was homeschooled, and I can wiggle my ears.  I also like math.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?  
Go to the links below (my website or Facebook or Goodreads).  I read and review a lot of books on Goodreads, if you’re ever curious about a YA fantasy book.

Website Blog Facebook Goodreads Amazon Author Page  CreateSpace

Book Links:
Royal Deception
Runaway Deception

Are you an author? Would you like to do an interview just like the one above to be published on this blog? If so follow me on twitter by clicking here and send me a message stating your interest. I try to reply within 24 hours, so don't be shy.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Powered By Mad Skills =)