The world has long forgotten them, but their descendants live on, not wholly mortal or god, but something in between…
At the dawn of the sixth century, in the aftermath of her mother’s brutal execution, Mara Black is forced to flee the only life she has ever known.
Mara can tell she’s different, but isn’t sure why. After she encounters two mysterious strangers, she discovers her secret is but a drop in an ocean of many. She is a Dia, a descendant of ancient gods, and her mother sacrificed herself to protect Mara from their past.
Summoned by an uncle she didn’t know existed, Mara thinks she’s found the family she’s always wanted, and Corbin, a love she never thought possible. But not everything is as it seems. Her uncle has other motives for protecting her, and her mentor, Malcolm, becomes so jealous, he’ll do anything to get what he wants.
When tragedy strikes, and the true darkness among them comes to light, Mara discovers that sometimes love can give you everything, and obsession can take it all away. With her powers gone, and destiny calling, she has to look deep within to find the courage to save herself. Mara, along with Corbin and her newfound family, must fight to get back what was taken, or die trying.
~ Bewitching BT
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
I have been writing and re-writing these characters for years. I don’t recall what inspired me to create them, but the entire story was built around them. In earlier versions, the setting was contemporary, but that never felt right. When I started researching mythology and came across the legend of the Tuatha Dé Danann, I knew that was the perfect fit for Mara, Corbin and Malcolm. And my fascination with the middle ages just happened to work for the story. There is also a lot of Arthurian inspired ideas woven throughout the story.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
My story has two protagonists, Mara and Corbin, and one antagonist, Malcolm. I would say Mara is a lot like me, only she’s better looking ;). Her thought process mirrors my own, and she goes through a lot of the same life experiences.
Corbin is a lot like my husband. He is sweet, but has a tough streak that comes out when it needs to. I really love Arthurian legend, so Corbin was molded around the King Arthur kind of ideal. He is what I would imagine a young King Arthur to be.
Malcolm is a mix of a lot of people I’ve known. He has the qualities I hate in people, but also the humanity that makes even the worst kind of person a sympathetic character.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Definitely. As I mentioned earlier, I lost my mother four years ago. Just before her passing, I was writing a scene where Mara’s mother dies. That very same day I got the call to come home immediately. Within 48 hours my mother was gone, and so was my ability to write. For some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to touch the emotions needed to create a compelling story.
After three years of not writing a word, I woke up one morning and it was like my creativity had come back to life. I suddenly had the need to write something down, so I sat at my computer and spent the entire day writing the first chapter of The Darkness of Light. I haven’t had a bout of writers-block since.
I’m still not sure how I overcame it. But I think sometimes the block is there for a reason. It’s okay to take a step back, heal, grow, and wait for the inspiration to come.
5. Your all time favorite book?
Anne Rice’s Blood and Gold. If there was a fire and I could only save one book, that would be it.
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
It was the book that inspired me to become a writer. I loved the writing style, the story, and the characters. I still read that book at least once a year.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
I suppose my longest project would be The Darkness of Light. I developed these characters and their story in 2008, and I’ve been trying to get their story right since then. This latest version of the book took me almost a year to finish, but it had many years of preparation ahead of it.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
I don’t think so. I feel the same, anyway. I’ll let you know after my release date.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
No. After I was able to get past the writer’s block, I never felt like giving up. I was so happy to have the ability to write again, I wasn’t about to let it go.
10. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I haven’t had to deal with that just yet, but my hope is that I won’t get too caught up in them. I read a tweet the other day that said, “Expecting everyone to like your book is like expecting everyone to be nice in traffic.” That makes sense to me. You can’t please everybody.
11. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
This is part of a series, though I can’t yet say how many there will be. For the next book I can tell you that it will follow the same structure as the first, but this time the story will focus more on, Malcolm, the antagonist from the first book. He has some hard lessons to learn, and while I don’t think he is every truly redeemable, I think he can try…maybe.
12. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I’m a one-track mind kind of girl, so right now I am giving all of my attention to this series. But I do have some plans and chapters written for a historical novel that recounts the story of a young boy named Mathias, who is kidnapped and forced to work in an Elizabethan theater. I’m not sure if it will ever become a finished manuscript, but I hope it does.
13. What made you decide to go the self-pub way?
I wanted control of my book. I did query for a short time, but I really didn’t like the querying process and found it very frustrating. I had 33 rejections, and 2 agents interested. Of those 2, one really “liked” my manuscript, but had a client with a similar novel, and the other wasn’t the right fit for me.
I’m also not a very patient person. Even if I landed a big six deal, I’d be waiting years for my book to come out. I didn’t want that for this book. I needed to walk it through the process myself. I may still query future projects, but I needed to handle this one myself.
14. What would you say was the toughest part?
Learning all the ins and outs of self-publishing was the hardest part. There are so many options and so many things a writer needs to do before sending their novel out into the world. I had to do a lot of research, find a copy-editor, cover designer, formatter, writing partners, and still figure out all the details for each publishing site. It was a full-time job on its own.
15. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
Absolutely. My copy-editor was Melanie Hennessey, my cover designer was the dark artist, Nathalia Suellen, and my formatting was done by Caitlin Greer.
16. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I asked for recommendations from other writers. It’s also very easy to find out who edits or does the cover design of books from the acknowledgments page. If you like the work, contact them, it’s that simple.
17. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
That’s tough to answer, but I would say that this version took exactly one year from the moment I wrote the most recent draft to publication.
18. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
There will be a paperback version available on Amazon, and ebook versions through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple. I chose not to go with Smashwords, because they’re not as easy to use as some claim. I found it much easier to go to each site, set up my account, upload everything and go from there.
19. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I think I would relax a little more about the publishing process. I got myself so worked up sometimes about things. Luckily I had some great writer friends who always walked me through it and calmed me down.
I would also use less beta-readers. I think sharing a manuscript before it’s finished puts too much pressure on the writer. I miss the days when this book was my little secret.
1. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Blood and Gold by Anne Rice
2. Name your favorite fruit.
Royal Gala apples
3. Coffee or tea?
4. Favorite season?
5. How about fav time of 24 hours?
I love mornings, even though I’m naturally a night person
6. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
7. Favorite food for breakfast?
8. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory
9. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
I collect books, anything related to Edgar Allan Poe, and fairies.
10. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Black and purple
11. Drama or comedy?
Drama. But Anchorman is still my favorite movie of all time.
12. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Write drunk, edit sober –Hemmingway. 😉
13. Cats or dogs?
14. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight
About the Author & Links:
Tammy Farrell grew up in Orangeville, Ontario Canada where she discovered her love of writing, and all things related to Edgar Allan Poe. She now lives with her husband and four fur babies in Greenville, South Carolina, where she teaches pre-GED English and attempts to learn French when she isn’t busy writing.