I want to welcome the fabulous author Racheal Wade who has been kind enough to do an interview and giveaway of her adult paranormal, Amaranth! After my review of the book, be sure to keep reading for an interview with the author and your chance to win one of five ebook copies of Amaranth :)
1. Thank you for stopping by Shadow Kisses Book Blog! First off, how has your week been?
Thanks for having me, Cassie. It’s been great. Busy, but great. I just finished book two of the Resistance Trilogy this week, so I feel very productive and excited about planning the release.
2. Tell us about some of your most recent work?
My debut novel was released in September and my poetry appeared in a few literary magazines over the past year. I just wrapped up The Gates, book 2 in the series, and will be starting the third installment around the New Year.
3. Where do the ideas for your stories come from?
A lot of things, I guess. Music and film really inspires me the most, more than anything. When I see a great film or listen to music, I get ideas for scenes and characters. They play in my head like a movie and I have to write them down right away. Then from there they just sort of evolve. I always had a persistent imagination and daydreamed in school. I remember getting ideas for stories in elementary school, not being able to concentrate, imagining what it would be like to be Alice in Wonderland or Lydia from Beetlejuice. Tim Burton has really inspired my writing haha.
4. Have you ever had any paranormal experiences of your own?
That’s a good question. I think I have. I think I do. I believe in the human soul, the human spirit, in God and heaven and hell. I think the world we live in is supernatural on its own so I guess I experience it all the time in a sense. When I was a kid, my best friend and I were convinced we could summon spirits and had a few scares, but we mostly just made fools of ourselves lol.
5. What's the best part of being an author?
Getting to use your imagination. Having the opportunity to entertain and inspire people with your words and storytelling. I am completely in love with talking to my readers, not just about how they felt about my work, but about books in general. I love reading just as much as writing, so talking to other readers who are passionate about storytelling is a blast for me, and I get to do that on a daily basis as a writer.
6. What's the worst?
For me, being consumed with my characters. I love and hate it, really. When I’m in the middle of writing a story, I have to get it all out and write the scenes out until the entire thing is done, which can make it really hard to concentrate on anything else. I feel like if I don’t stay in the zone, the characters have unfinished business and it gets underneath my skin. I feel compelled to tell their stories and can’t rest until I do.
7. What's a mistake you made that you wish you hadn't, but are glad you were able to learn from?
Wow. Tough one. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. One of the biggest I think was holding on to people, friends, and memories that I needed to let go. I paid for hanging on to them, had to learn the hard way. I know now that I need to move on when life moves on and that it’s too short to invest your energy in one-sided relationships or in things that are dead. There’s no life there. Only weight.
8. How did the idea for the cover art come about?
The image was the first thing I saw when the idea for the story was born. It was one of the first scenes that came to me. Camille in her red dress with her long dark hair, heading toward the bayou portal. I could see the purples and the colors pop with that eerie backdrop, and my amazing cover artist, Robin Ludwig, brought it to life exactly as I pictured it.
9. What was one of your favorite things about creating the world of Amaranth?
Getting to create the fantasy aspect was my favorite—especially writing Samira. I loved coming up with the concept for her and then dragging Camille into her magical world.
10. Do you have any musical muses while writing your books?
My iPod is attached to my hip and I’m equally as passionate about music as I am about writing. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world, so it definitely influences my writing. Florence and the Machine is my biggest musical muse and my favorite band, followed by Evanescence.
11. Your character, Camille experiences something that is a touchy subject for most, physical and emotional abuse. What do you think was most important for Camille to overcome this?
This is such a great question! I think Camille needed to remind herself of her inner strength. She was very frustrating for me to write because of this. She was kind of all over the place. One minute she loved Gavin, the next she was angry with him. She just couldn’t decide what she felt or wanted because she was afraid. She was disappointed in herself that she’d become a person who settled for that treatment, so I think she needed to find that strength again. The time she spent with Joel helped her see that.
12. What message from your books do you want to convey to your readers?
Life is valuable. Time is valuable. We all have purpose. Love is transcendent and worth fighting for. It still exists even when the world sucks.
13. What is an interesting quirk you have?
Oh, man. I think all of my quirks are annoying, not necessarily interesting haha. I guess one of my biggest would be the need for complete silence when I watch a movie. I get very, very grumpy if I can’t watch a movie and be completely absorbed in it. I take my movies seriously because I’m that obsessed with storytelling. I try to go to matinees when I go to the theater because I can’t stand people talking. It’s a tic of mine. And I talk a lot with my hands.
14. Who are your literary heroes?
Sylvia Plath, Cormac McCarthy, and Robert Frost. I also love Flannery O’Connor and Tolkien. Too many to name, really, but those are my favorites.
15. If you could have one paranormal power, what would it be?
Telekinesis for sure.
16. In most young adult novels the characters fall in love right away. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I do. I believe in instant chemistry, instant attraction that you can’t explain. I believe in soul mates and I think when you meet someone, you just know. Then I think the love naturally evolves from that point on. I’m definitely a hopeless romantic so love at first sight is easy for me to believe.
17. What is your next project?
The Gates, book 2 in The Resistance Trilogy, will be released in spring 2012. I’m in the middle of finishing the trilogy, working on another paranormal romance, and writing a literary novel, so I plan on releasing those within the next year or so.
18. Is there anything else you would like to let the readers know?
Yes! I love, love, love hearing from readers. I’m really active on Goodreads and Facebook and love receiving e-mails, so please come say hello and chat. And if you happen to like my work, leaving a review is greatly appreciated!