Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interview + Giveaway: Into the Light by Darcia Helle



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Into The Light
Author: Darcia Helle
Publisher: CreateSpace

Source: NUTURE Virtual BOOK Tourz
Description: Max Paddington refuses to go into the light until he finds his killer. This presents a dilemma, since Max is even less competent as a spirit than he was as a live person. No one sees or hears him and he can't manage to get anywhere or do anything on his own. Joe Cavelli is a private investigator, living an ordinary life. Then one day he walks across a parking lot, gets yelled at by a ghost, and his life only gets stranger from there. Max and Joe team up to find Max's killer. In the process, they form an unlikely friendship and change each other's lives in ways they never expected.

Where to find Darcia Helle:


1.   What works have you released? What are they about?

I have 8 books published. In order from first to most recent, they are:

Enemies and Playmates
Hit List
No Justice (A Michael Sykora Novel)
Beyond Salvation (A Michael Sykora Novel)
Miami Snow
The Cutting Edge
Into The Light
Quiet Fury: An Anthology of Suspense

All my writing falls, to varying degrees, in the mystery/suspense genre.

2.   How did you get the idea for your work? What lured you to your topics?


I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior. For instance, what makes one person kill out of anger, while another walks away? Everything I write, regardless of the plot, begins with a character and a personal challenge. My job is to follow along to see how that character reacts.

3.   What scene, topic, or section was the most intense (or visual) for you to write?


Wow, I could pick out scenes and topics from each of my books that were intense to write for a variety of reasons. Overall, Into The Light contains the most intense scenes for me emotionally. The book is about Max, a man who dies suddenly and is left with regrets. Throughout the book, he is forced to confront memories, both happy and painful. He learns a lot about himself and the people whose lives he touched. I think it’s easy for all of us to forget the impact we have on one another. And most of us have regrets. Some of us spend far too much time dwelling on those regrets and not enough time moving forward. This is the only books I sometimes wrote through tears.



4.   In the event that your novel became a screenplay, who would you like to see included in the casting?


I am terrible at this question. I don’t watch a lot of movies and don’t follow much in the world of actors/actresses. Also, the problem I have with this question is that my vision for my character is probably different from many of my readers’ visions. The beauty of fiction is each reader “sees” things in his/her own way. The only character I have a strong opinion on is Michael Sykora. I love the show White Collar and the actor who plays Neal Cafferty. (I had to look up his name just now - Matthew Bomer.) I’d love for him to play Michael.





5.   If you could meet anyone or see anything (characters, locations, events, abilities, creatures, etc) from your novel, who or what would you choose?


This is an interesting question. I don’t feel like I need to meet any of my characters because I feel like I already know them well. I’m totally character-driven in my writing. In order for a character to appear on a page, they first exist in my head. They talk to me. I feel their emotions.





If I could see an event, it would probably be Max’s antics while he is trying to figure out how to control his new spirit form.



6.   How did you go about selecting your cover?


For most of my books, I had an idea of how I wanted to represent the concept. I search sites like istockphoto.com until I find the photo that works. With the first few, I bought the photo rights, then used a template to fill in the title, etc. As I became more involved in the indie world, I met graphic artists and my last two books have had a professional design. For Into The Light, I found the photo and Jason McIntyre put it all together. With Quiet Fury: An Anthology of Suspense, I had the concept in my head and Heather Paye designed it.





7.   Do you have any upcoming projects? When can readers expect them?


I’m working on book #3 in my Michael Sykora series. I’d hoped to have it complete by summer, but I’m not sure I’ll make that deadline.





8.   Why did you become an author (or start writing)?


I started writing stories in Kindergarten and have never stopped. My only explanation for why I write: Because the voices in my mind leave me no alternative.



9.   What do you love the most about being an author?


Stepping out of myself and into someone else’s life.



10. What or who inspires you to write?


Everything and everyone. I find inspiration in the good, the bad, and the ugly in life.



11.What is the top cause you champion?


I have a few, but my top choice is animal cruelty and rescuing animals over purchasing them.



12.What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in becoming an author?


Write! That sounds obvious but a lot of people think they have to wait around for some sort of epiphany. Write anything. The more you write, the more the ideas will flow.


Read a lot, particularly in the genre you want to write within. Pay attention to the things you love about an author’s writing, as well as the things you’re not so crazy about. Writers read differently than non-writing readers. Whether we want to or not, we pick things apart. We notice sentence structure, characterization, plot development. We lock on to a great sentence and say to ourselves, “I wish I’d written that!”


Find a group of fellow authors whose opinions you trust. Share your writing and be open to critique. This doesn’t mean you have to apply it all, just be open to it. 


And, most of all, develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to love your writing style.





13.What is one thing your readers should know about you?


 I lack professionalism. By that, I mean I’m me all the time. I don’t have one persona for the public and another for my private life. I’ve read a lot about authors needing a “brand” and how we need to market ourselves using that brand. That doesn’t work for me, unless you consider being myself to be my brand. I’m totally approachable and love to talk to my readers. You won’t get anything different from me than my neighbors or friends do.


  


14.If you could do anything (for a career), besides being a writer, what would do?


I’d love to be a rock star but I have a horrible voice and guitar lessons didn’t work out for me. So I’d work with abused dogs to rehabilitate them for adoption. No, wait, I’d never give them up and would wind up with 100 dogs.


I’d have an independent publishing agency. I’d find all the emerging talent in the indie world and help make their dreams come true.


15.Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?


I am adept at driving my husband crazy. I love music and have an extensive collection that required my husband to build a custom entertainment center. I’ve been an avid hockey fan most of my life. And, of course, I usually have a book in my hand.



16.What is…?


a.    …your favorite author? Impossible for me to name any one author.


b.    …your favorite book or series? Another difficult question to answer. There are so many! In fiction, I don’t think I could name any one favorite. In nonfiction, a book that had a powerful impact on me is Dominion by Matthew Scully.


c.    …your biggest literary inspiration? All who have overcome obstacles and pursued their love of words.






7.Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what artists? If not, do you have other muses?


I need silence to write. Music, for me, is far too distracting. I find myself listening to the lyrics and hearing/seeing the story of the song playing out. Even music without lyrics distracts me. I get lost in music easily. It sways my moods and takes me out of the mood of the story I’m writing.


My muses are all over before I sit down to write. Ideas come from a snippet of lyrics, a conversation I overhear, people I see interacting in various places. Life is full of inspiration.



8.Is there anything that helps you write or is unique about your writing process?


I don’t know that there’s anything particularly unique in my writing process. What helps me write is an imagination that’s always in overdrive. I’ve been told I spend a lot of time in my own head, which certainly helps in fiction writing.



19.Which, if any, character do you feel has the most of your characteristics (behavioral or otherwise)? 


For the most part, my characters are unique with their personalities. The one closest to me in general would be Skye Summers in The Cutting Edge. That book is also the closest to my real life. I spent 15 years as a hairstylist in a small town. Skye is a hairstylist and I set the book in the same small town. The clients and conversations within the salon are, for the most part, real people and conversations. I changed the names and certain details to protect the innocent and hide the guilty. :)



Thank you for participating! 


Thanks for having me!







2 comments:

Laurie said...

Great interview! I had to laugh at your comment that you are adept at driving your hubby crazy! LOL...Mine has a tendency to pace when he is anxious and it absolutely drives me insane! Ha!

Darcia Helle said...

Thanks, Laurie!

Yeah, the pacing thing would make me a little nuts, as well. Watching someone pace makes me anxious. My husband hides out in the garage when he's stressed. I guess banging wood and nails around is better than pacing!

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