Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview with Elita Daniels

1. What (and how many books) have you released? What are they about? I have two books published under my name, but I have other works released under a pen name. Tree of Life is the very first book I wrote. It's about Deacon a young mortal mage, who is raised in the elven realm after he's rescued from his necromancer father. Growing up among perfection, Deacon becomes jealous of the elves and hates Nature. He sets out to destroy them, but along the way he falls in love with a beautiful dark priestess and she tries to stop him. I wanted to explore the idea of what it would be like as a human living among perfection. As a mortal would I try elevate myself to an elven level and would my short comings drive me to insane jealousy, or would I simply enjoy being immersed in an ageless world, experiencing all I could for the brief time I had there? Guardian is completely different. It's set in a world where vampires are openly mixing in society, but they’re under heavy restrictions and have to take sedating medication. Every vampire is assigned a human guardian whether they like it or not. The story revolves around Anna. She falls in love with her guardian, but she’s not sure if he’s all that he seems. I really like True Blood and Equilibrium, so there’s probably mix of those in the story.

2. Which, if any, character do you feel has the most of your characteristics (or acts like you do)? That's a tough one. I think when we write we can't help but put something of ourselves into our characters, but it's also fun to create people who are opposite to us in every way. If I had to choose it would be Deacon. I've always had a bit of a love---hate relationship with Nature and I had a terrible temper when I was a teenager.

3. How did you get the idea for your work? What lured you to your topics?
Well, for Tree of Life I had a scene in my mind of mother and child fleeing from someone, but I didn't have a story to go with it. Then the death of my dog brought out some pretty intense emotions and I started thinking about mortality in general. A story began to unfold about a mortal living amongst the immortals and how that affected him and messed with his head. For Guardian I drew inspiration from Equilibrium, True Blood, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Resident Evil. When I first thought about what it would be like if we had vampires living among us---how would we control them and what would happen if they were all treated like criminals and forced to have human guardians to monitor them---I thought it would make a great story to see through the eyes of a young female vampire. I wanted her to be a kickass vampire, but also vulnerable.

4. Out of your works, which scene was the most intense, or most visual, for you to write, personally?
When Deacon's mother died it hit me hard and I wrote the whole chapter in one sitting. That scene brought tears to my eyes, probably because it reminded me of the loved ones I have lost and will inevitably lose.

5. If you could cast any actor/actresses to play your main characters, who would you select?
Oh, I LOVE this question. Deacon would have to be played by Garrett Hedlund. I'm slightly obsessed with him, well, Murtagh really. He was my inspiration for Deacon. Magenta would be a cross between Liv Tyler and Ashley Greene. Cedrik would be Jensen Ackles. Fraomar would be Sean Bean. Anna would be Rose Byrne. Leon would be a young Richard Gere. And Greg would be Garrett Hedlund, Beau from Country Strong.

6. If you could meet anyone or see anything from your novel, characters or otherwise, what and/or who would you choose?
I would love to see Loriendale the elven realm where Deacon is raised. To me that would be amazing. I imagine it to be something like Rivendell from LOTR. And of course if I could meet Deacon I would be a little scared but very happy.

7. How did you go about selecting your cover?
When we first put the cover together for “Tree of Life” we didn't have enough money to have custom artwork done for us, so we used a beautiful photo of a gold leaf to represent the elves Tree of Life in an abstract way. We also hired a cover designer to put it all together. Later, we redid the cover and got artwork from the very talented Phatpuppy who does cover art for many authors including Amanda Hocking. My husband does all my covers now using whatever artwork I choose and he does a fantastic job.

8. What, if any, is/are your next upcoming project(s)? When can we expect them?
Tree of Life part two is ready to go, but we've just been so busy we haven't had a chance to make it available yet, but that should be coming out very soon. I'm also working on “My Boyfriend is a Zombie” and that should be coming out this December.

9. Why did you become (or decide to become) an author (or start writing)?
I've always wanted to be an actress, or be involved in the film industry anyway I could, and since that dream was going nowhere fast I decided to write a novel. I discovered very quickly that creative writing satisfied that need for me.

10. What do you love the most about being an author?
I enjoy living another person's life for a short time. It's like watching a movie except I get to control it. Although the characters sometimes don't do what they're told. They push me around.

11. What or who inspires you to write?
So many things inspire me to write. It might be a scene from a movie, or a beautiful picture, or a poem. It was my brother who originally inspired me to write. He's a screenplay writer, and the very first thing I attempted to write was a screenplay. It turned out okay and I made top 100 in Project Greenlight. My brother told me I should try my hand at a novel, so I did.

12. What is the top cause you champion?
I'm very protective of animals and women.

13. What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in becoming an author?
Don't be afraid to write what thrills you. If it means something to you, it will likely mean something to other people as well. It takes courage to put your heart onto the page, so always be proud of your work even if it's not the best you have ever done or will ever do. I think it could be a good idea to check out the traditional publishing route once you've completed your novel, you never know what opportunities that may hold, but you should definitely give self-publishing a shot if you're willing to take charge of your career and take on the responsibilities of marketing.

14. What is the one thing your readers should know about you?
They should know I don't know what heck I'm doing. I don't have a concrete method of how I write. I put down whatever comes into my head, so my books and future books aren't going to be very similar. I'm hoping to settle into a familiar style soon. I wonder if it's frustrating for readers to not know what to expect from an author or whether they like the diversity.

15. What is the one thing you want your perspective readers to know about you?
I'm always trying to find new ways to tell a story in the simplest most impactive way. And I'm forever trying to think of unique ideas, so hopefully my books will entertain.

16. If you could do anything (for a career), besides being a writer, what would do?
I would be an actress, or anything to do with the film industry.

17. Aside from writing and reading, what are your hobbies?
I love to dance, particularly Latin American. I love singing, cooking, watching movies, a little bit of gardening, collecting fine china, perusing homeware, cookware, and kitchenware. I would love to learn how to play the guitar.

18. What is…?
…your favorite author? 
D.H. Lawrence.
…your favorite book or series?
Wuthering Heights, but Eragon is a close second
.…your biggest literary inspiration? Anything from D.H. Lawrence.

19. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what artists?
When I was writing Tree of Life I would listen to the one song over and over all day long until the scene I was working on was done. Now I prefer silence, unless I'm struggling to get into it. I do listen to a lot of music while day dreaming about the story and trying to capture the right mood. I listen to Linkin Park, Disturbed, Nickleback, Britney Spears, Red, Cold Play, Within Temptation, Enya . . . there are too many to name. Evanescence is my favourite. Lithium is my favourite song.

20. Is there anything, specifically, that helps you write (or is unique about your writing process)? I can't say if my process is unique or not because I don't really know what other writers do. But I don't normally write scenes in sequence. I write whatever scene comes to me and then join the dots at the end. I see a story as a puzzle to put together. I'm not sure if that's common or not. Music seems to be a common aid for authors.

Thanks for joining Ricochet Reviews for an interview!!

Where You Can Find Elita Daniels:

Where You Can Find Tree of Life:

Where You Can Find Guardian:

Where You Can Find My Boyfriend Is A Zombie:


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