What can you tell us about your new release, The Eclipsed?
Let’s see … The Eclipsed is the 25th full-length novel I’ve written and released, but the first under my new pen name Dara Kent. I decided to write under the new name for genre distinction, since my other novels are romance. When I had the idea for The Eclipsed I realized there was no place for a romance within the story, but I still wanted to write it. Stepping out of my comfort zone was definitely both exhilarating and terrifying. The tale itself is dark and has a lot of twists. Aside from that there’s not much else I want to say because … spoilers.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
My mind doesn’t go to a definitive answer to this question, but when I really think about it … libraries are what truly inspired me. (My mom used to take me to The Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh once a week when I was little.) You see, libraries, especially The Carnegie Library, seemed like magical places to me when I was a child. (Okay, fine, they still seem magical.) Imagining my books sitting in libraries across the country waiting to be checked out makes me feel like I’ve added a bit of magic to the world. It might seem silly, but it makes me happy.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Top five list for the best books I’ve ever read? Ever? EVER??! This is an extremely difficult, near impossible question to answer. But I’m going to try. (Why do I always hear Yoda’s voice in my head when I say I’m going to try to do something? “Do or do not. There is no try.” Ugh. Shut up Yoda.) Okay. Here I go:
1) Bram Stoker’s Dracula (This book sparked my love of 1st person POV through Jonathan Harker’s journal entries.)
2) Anne of Green Gables (I simply loved—and still love Ann with an e. ‘nuff said.)
3) Romeo and Juliet (I developed an obsession with the Bard fairly early in my reading life, and this was the gateway drug.)
4) Interview with a Vampire (I enjoy tortured characters, and one of my favs is Louis.)
5) Nope, I just can’t do it. By picking the fifth book I put a cap on my list. I can’t put a cap on my list. I just … can’t. I feel like it would be a betrayal of my booky soul. There are simply too many amazing books out there for me to pick from. Which is why classics are the ones that made the list. They stand out as OGs to me.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
What are the rules for this? It’s obviously a hypothetical question, so my first guest of choice doesn’t have to be alive, right? We’re doing this with some wibbly wobbly timey wimey rules? Well, it is my show, so I’m going to go with … yes. Time travel, and the bending of time and space for the win! Okay, I got a bit distracted there. Sadly, it happens often. Okay, my first guest will be …
Hunter S. Thompson. Yes, my choice might be a tad cliché, but my reason probably isn’t. You see, I imagine Hunter (Yep, we’re on a first name basis already.) would be enough of a distraction to hide all of the nerves I would most definitely have. While I’m trembling and shaking, he’d be regaling us with tales from his adventures, or sharing his surprisingly insightful takes on life. I’d be temporarily forgotten while all eyes are on him. Maybe I could make a break for it and no one would notice? Who gave me a talk show anyways? Did they not get the memo that I’m a shy introvert??? I’m … yeah … I think this question went wrong with me. I’m over here in my office getting anxious about something that doesn’t exist. Please send help in the form of chocolate ice cream. Thank you.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love digging into content edits after I finish the first draft. To me the first draft is the skeleton of my story, and I need to get it out as soon as possible before I lose inspiration. (I’m a pantser and I also don’t take notes so the first draft is a whirlwind.) But then I get to go back in and really enjoy crafting the story. It’s just me, my laptop, and my imagination. It’s the part that allows me to feel creatively fulfilled.
What is a typical day like for you?
Are we talking pre or post plague times? Yeah, yeah, yeah, as a night owl, and a bit of a hermit, not much has changed for me. I mean I don’t have any appointments or anything right now, but my days were never that exciting to begin with. This is what my current plague times day looks like (be prepared for a whole lot of nothing): I wake up, take care of my dog, eat, do any writing or writing-related work, eat lunch, work a bit more, exercise, shower, eat dinner, spend some time with my hubby and dog, and after my hubs goes to bed I work some more if I have any to do. Then I wind down with a bit of TV followed by some reading. I usually don’t go to bed until sometime between 3-4 am. That’s Monday through Friday. I don’t work at all on the weekends and spend all of my time with my little family. Yep, like a said, snoozefest.
What scene in The Eclipsed was your favorite to write?
The last scene. I swear the last scene in all of my books was my favorite to write, but with The Eclipsed in particular because I got to reveal all of the secrets and tie everything together. It was extremely satisfying to finally be writing what I’d been working towards since the first sentence of the book. Plus, I was almost done. Heh.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Ummm … well, I used to live by the whole “Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse” thing, but that time has passed. (I honestly never thought I’d live this long though.) Now … I’m not sure. I have a lot of favorite quotes, but I don’t think I live by any of them. A sampling of a few: “There are no happy endings because nothing ever ends.” ”Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” “Wibbly wobbly timey wimey.” “Not all who wander are lost.” “If someone tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back.” (Some of those are probably not exact, but that’s how I remember them.) So … yeah … that’s all I got for you on this one. Of course, I’m sure I’ll think of something obvious and brilliant as soon as I click send. *sigh*