Today I’m fortunate to present Drea Damara author of Beyond Farwin Wood – A Blinney Lane Novel.
Hi Drea, thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
North Central Illinois, born and raised.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
A world people can connect with and characters with interesting problems.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I liked how books could transport me as a child and wished that if I fell asleep with a book open, I would wake up in the world of the book. I incorporated that wish into my first novel.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Crazy. It’s an obsession really. When you HAVE to write, HAVE to get it out, you just spend every waking moment pouring it out to get it down and bring it to life. I spent about twelve hours a day for a week writing the complete draft of my first novel. Once I had the story complete in my mind, I felt I need to type it all up so the characters could breathe.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I imagine my stories like films in my mind, complete with their own soundtrack. I create a playlist for each novel and repeatedly play it while I am writing the story. It helps inspire me and generate creativity.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
Beyond Farwin Wood – A Blinney Lane Novel #2. It’s a bit of everything, but mostly a supernatural fantasy.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I never imagined I’d be getting research tips from witchcraft groups, but I wanted to make that element of my story authentic so I did a lot of reading on a helpful witchcraft group’s page about natural remedies and spells.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
From Beyond Farwin Wood:
Valerie couldn’t believe they were still reminiscing over names like two old-timers on a Sunday afternoon.
“Ahem,” she said, clearing her throat.
Ranthrop peered at the sky in thought. “No, it was Luther Ritchie, I think. Definitely a Ritchie though.”
“Hey!” she said, slapping each man’s chest. “I don’t care if it was Lionel Ritchie or Luther Vandross! Where are the boats?”
Varmeer fingered the crest on his tunic, his expression crumpled. “M’lady? The boats are just on yonder side of the pier. The men are readying them now. We know you mean to make haste.”
Valerie looked around, making sure she hadn’t missed a real vessel. All she found were the rustic concoctions of floating logs, two of them now with sails unfurled. Men continued loading the bundles of tents onto them.
“Those are not boats!” She jerked her thumb in the direction of the pier as she turned to face her guides.
Ranthrop stared at her like he was trying to solve algebra problems. Finally he queried, “Lady Valerie, I can assure you those are boats. Do your seafaring vessels in Blinney look so different?”
“Different?” she asked in a shrill voice. “Those are what homeless trappers take up river in a western movie, not something you take out into open waters full of sea monsters!”
Varmeer and Ranthrop exchanged befuddled looks. Wringing her hands, she paced back and forth. She had to think of Franci and not sea monsters. Franci and not timbers cracking beneath her feet or water sloshing around her ankles. Franci and not drowning.
Ranthrop gave his friend a telling look. “Varmeer, would you leave us please?”
Varmeer nodded, casting a curious glance at Valerie. When he was out of earshot, Ranthrop took her by the shoulders, halting her.
“The crossing troubles you, m’lady?”
“Troubles me? I’m terrified!”
Ranthrop noticed the uneasiness in her pretty gray eyes. It was different than what he’d witnessed on their way down the mountain.
“I can’t swim.”
His anxiety at her state burst like a bubble. He chucked as he tapped the underside of her chin with his index finger. “Is that what has you twisted? Have no fear. You won’t need to swim.”
“Why does everyone think that’s supposed to make me feel better? It’s still water. I can’t walk on it. Anything could happen.”
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
A baby to start! My current and first pregnancy has delayed my next book release, No Death For the Wicked – A Trinity Missions Novel #2.
It’s the second instalment to my spy thriller series about a female covert operative and a reclusive mercenary. I am a “genre-jumper” so I don’t like to be boxed in, writing only one type of story. I am big into emergency management and hazard mitigation, so I’m excited about a utopian sci-fi I have planned. I try to contribute to BHC Press anthologies when I can, as well, because they have some awesome collections and concepts that I am proud to be a part of. My Blinney Lane fans continue to humble me with their support and demands for more, so I am not ruling out a third instalment of Blinney Lane just yet 😉
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
My writer’s desk. Ironically, I don’t always write at it, but it was a right of passage for me – something I promised to get myself when I reached one of my writing goals. So it signifies the success of my journey. I bought matching shelves for it where I dedicate space to books by other authors that I have been given, purchased, and reviewed. The only people as great as readers are writers and I’ve been blessed to meet so many wonderful fellow literary voices. It’s a nice reminder to know we have been a part of each other’s journeys.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My author website is www.dreadamara.com and forgive me for my nesting period and baby registry addiction, as it has fallen a bit to the wayside. However, I try to keep up with my blog JustAGirl with all kinds of literary and life tidbits: https://dreadamara.wordpress.com