Today I’m fortunate to present R. Castro author of A Shining Star and Elemental Linx, book one in TheTetrad Prophecy Series.
Hi Rose, thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
Rose: I’m from the USA, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Puget Sound region. But I’ve lived many places, including Mexico. My parents didn’t like being anchored down for too long, so we moved a bit. I tend to call Mexico home, mostly because that is where we settled the most.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
Rose: Oh gosh! It feels like a loaded question. LOL! OK, in all seriousness, for me it has to be captivating. The first chapter has to hook me to keep me reading. As a prolific reader, I appreciate originality, although, I have enjoyed a few retellings.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
Rose: I know this may sound cliché, but I’ve always wanted to write and publish at least one book. As a young child, I’d write short stories, and I moved onto sappy poems in my teens. But it wasn’t until I faced my current health challenges and a lingering threat of going blind that I hunkered down to make my dream come through. I’d researched enough to learn that self-publishing was a viable option. I’ve always been a “dreamer, ” and I’m sure growing up an only child nurtured this, at least for me. I’m the type of person who walks by a mossy evergreen, and a thousand ideas run through my mind. Life inspires me, every moment of every day.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Rose: Oh, I hate to admit to this, but I’m a very undisciplined writer. Most of this stems from my health. So there is no rhyme or reason to my writing. I write when I can, although I do try to write (or right now, edit) a minimum of fifteen hundred words a day.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Rose: I chew on ice. I know! It’s so bad. Disclosure: Please don’t try this at home, kids. LOL! But it’s true. My hematologist say’s it has to do with my blood disorder and anemia. For whatever reason too some of us who suffer from this, ice just tastes SO good. Yes, I know, most people find ice flavorless; I don’t.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
Rose: The title is Elemental Linx, and it’s book one in The Tetrad Prophecy series. It’s my first official work in progress, but this past NaNoWriMo pushed me into realizing A Shining Star, a contemporary inspirational romance as my debut as an author.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Rose: It takes A LOT of work. For those who are serious about the craft, whether you have formal education/training or not, you find you are often your worst critic. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride, for me. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel so many times, but thankfully, I plugged into some superb writing communities where I’ve forged some incredible bonds with very talented writers. It’s helped me recognize this isn’t a simple hobby for me; I’m sincerely driven. If I never make money, I’m OK. The excitement of sharing something I’ve created is enough.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
Rose: “That is the Emperor’s family. Today a bloodletting ritual will be performed.”
I noticed his clenched jawline through the side of his mask, as he fell silent.
“What does that mean?” I continued.
“Silence now! You will displease the Gods with all this questioning.” I had noticed an ancient temple in the distance earlier, and now as we approached it, I could see crowds of ornately dressed people surrounding it.
The clamor grew louder by the moment as we approached the crowd, and I experienced a deep sense of confusion accompanied by a dull pain in my chest; anxiety I thought, as I purposely took long deep breaths in an attempt to calm my nerves.
Strategically placed fires blazed throughout the city, and beautiful earthenware pottery decorated the walkways. The geometrically designed buildings demonstrated impressive skill and artistry. The numerous canals were beyond belief, even rivaling Venice, but with a more rustic appeal.
In the distance, I could hear the sound of mournful wailing. It grew louder as we neared the temple, causing me to cringe a little. I noticed Tadeo casting glances in my direction.
Tadeo gave instructions in a native dialect. I wasn’t exactly sure what the dialect could be. However, he proceeded to explain to me in plain English, that we were taking our positions for the ceremony on the steps of the temple as The Shorn Ones. I suspected this was part of whatever festivity was about to take place.
A priest led the procession, followed by the Emperor, the Emperors’ family, and finally, The Shorn Ones were now in position. I had no idea what was happening as I searched my memory for various history lessons, and finally settled on Mesoamerican history; The Aztec Empire, of course! I recalled they spoke Nahuatl, a native dialect.
I was watching the priest’s preparations when a cold realization came over me; I was about to witness a sacrifice, the ritualistic blood sacrifice of a human being.
“NO!” I shrieked inwardly and felt myself about to faint as Tadeo and a couple of the other warriors pressed in on me from all sides to shield me from the dignitaries and keep me standing upright.
An ominous voice spoke inside my head. “Birth, death, and rebirth…all is destroyed, one will choose…born again through sacrifice, the cycle will end and bring forth a new age.”
I felt myself falling.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
Rose: I have four contemporary inspirational romance novellas scheduled to release, one in each quarter of 2017. Also, I will start working on book two, Five Pendants of Creation, of The Tetrad Prophecy series. That’s already outlined, so I’m hoping this one will go much smoother.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Rose: For me, it’s both an Editor and Cover Designer. I know my weaknesses when it comes to writing, and there is no way I could put out a product that is close to marketable, on my own. Regarding cover art, well, I’m one of those people who does “judge a book by its cover.” Although I’ll be the first to admit, there are some great reads out there which by the cover alone would not have drawn me to read them.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Rose: Facebook: www.facebook.com/itsrosecastro/
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a little about myself!