Today I’m hosting DeAnna Browne and her adult urban fantasy, Demon Rising. DeAnna is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. DeAnna is also here to give us an interview today!
Interview with DeAnna Browne
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I recently started taking classes on the German Longsword. It started as a research opportunity, but I soon fell in love. I learned in my classes that the common scene in movies where two people struggle with clashed swords (the technical word is a bind) is not reality. Most sword fights last less than two minutes. I’ve enjoyed the physical and mental aspects that sword fighting offers. The older I get, I find myself saying yes to most adventures that cross my path.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
I don’t personally think interesting things come up and knock on one’s door or at least not in my experience. I think you need to go out and seek adventure. I love to travel and one of my most amazing opportunities was backpacking through Europe for three weeks with my husband and eighteen month old baby girl. We met so many wonderful people on our journey and had experiences we’ll never forget.
What are some of your pet peeves?
People that ruin the end of a story. The rest I can deal with.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
I’m so glad you gave me ten to choose from, because I love a variety of genres and have favorites in each. These are in no particular order, and it often depends on my mood.
Urban Fantasy: Patricia Briggs is a big favorite. I love her Moon Called and Alpha and Omega series. They are definitely some of my go to comfort reads.
Classics: John Steinbeck is probably my favorite master of the prose. His characterizations blow me away. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury vies for my favorite all time novel. I love dystopian and some of his lines are stop-me-in-my-tracks amazing.
Adventure/Suspense: The Bourne Identity Series by Robert Ludlum. The books are very different from the movies and a million times better.
Historical Fiction/Romance: I recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer to most people. It is a sweet romance, and I enjoy the history.
Another favorite is Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin Trilogy, especially #2 Dark Triumph. She does an amazing job weaving history and magic together. I also love a romance where the characters are marred internally and externally. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a another great romance.
Historical Non-Fiction: Too many to choose from, but a recent favorite is My Mother’s Secret by J.L.Witterick
Young Adult: I’ll read anything by Holly Black and Kristin Cashore. For contemporary YA, I’ve recently fell in love with Nocole Yoon and Rainbow Rowell.
Middle-Grade: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor was my favorite story growing up. I also recently started listening to Big Nate books by Lincoln Pierce, and they make our whole car laugh out loud. Of course, Harry Potter tops my list too.
I may have cheated and gone a bit over. I love chatting books and exchanging recommendations, so feel free to join me on goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17079239.DeAnna_Browne
What inspired you to write this book?
For my novel, Demon Rising, it started as I was driving down the road listening to the song Demons, by Imagine Dragons. Dreaming about Demons, I started to imagine a world filled with demons, literally and figuratively.
Everywhere, everyday people are fighting their own personal demons. What if they were real as well? After several missed turns and being late, this small seed of an idea grew into a novel. Now I don’t recommend brainstorming while you’re driving. It’s really distracting.
What can we expect from you in the future?
The second book in the Dark Rising Series, Unholy Sundering, is due out in 2018. I’m also currently finishing up edits on a science fiction novel.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
When I start a novel, I begin with the characters. I write short stories, journal entries, and whatever I need to get inside the characters mind. Then when I began writing, the characters take off. Sometimes they do as expected, but every now and then they take a twist I didn’t see coming, and controlled chaos ensues. It’s part of what makes writing fun.
I have a short story, Evil Etched in Gold, I offer for free on my website about Nevada, a secondary character that is an illusionist and has the power to look like anyone. I also have a short story about one of my main characters, Darion, when he first experiences his powers of fire. These are such fun to write and one day I will put them together in a collection.
Where did you grow up at?
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and despite my travels, I always end up back home here. On the plus side of growing up in the southeast, I’ve learned to make a mean salsa and guacamole.
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
In nature with my loved ones.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I love the secondary characters in my books just as much as if not more than my main characters. With minor characters we only get a glimpse of their story, and they have so much more to share. One of my favorite secondary characters is Grace. We meet her halfway through the story, as a product of the magicians’ slave trade. She’s compliant and defeated at first, but never loses her brazen personality. When she is given a second chance, she fights with everything she has.
What are you passionate about these days?
Books, swords, yoga, and enjoying my family.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Yoga and books.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I have five children and time management is a must. I’m not a night owl, so during school or naps is my usually time, but I often have to escape to the library or coffee shop too.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I wrote here and there growing up, but I never considered writing a novel until I had children. With a newborn baby at home, I found the time to explore my creative side and fell in love with writing. Granted I never realized how busy that baby would become. I think it’s human of me to second guess my decision to become a writer now and then, but I believe following one’s passion in life brings joy.
A day in the life of the author?
I have a crazy couple of hours in the morning getting my kiddos out the door. Then I pour myself a nice cup of Crio Bru, which is similar to coffee but roasted cocoa beans. It’s amazing. I spend time writing in between loads of laundry and other fabulous activities. One of my favorite aspects of writing is heading off to writing retreats or conferences. I’m planning to attend one in Northern Arizona this fall and in Northern California this winter. It’s a great time to get a lot done and meet other wonderful authors.
Advice they would give new authors?
Write every day, read every day, and find a critique group that you trust. I’d like to say writing comes easy to me, but it doesn’t. I work hard to constantly improve my craft by participating in critique groups, attending workshops, and reading a lot of books on writing.
I do have a page on my blog dedicated to writing books, blogs and other resources for other writers. https://deannabrowne.wordpress.com/writing-resources/
What are they currently reading?
I just finished The Star is Also a Sun by Nicola Yoon, which is a masterful story. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline is next in my pile.
How long have you been writing?
One and off since a teenager with random poems and short stories. I began writing more consistently ten years ago. A Demon Rising is my second completed novel. The first one is buried somewhere.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I begin with a rough outline, and then focus on my characters. I’ll write short stories, journal entries, find pictures on line, and whatever else I need to get inside my character’s mind. I believe the characters drive my story and they sometimes surprise me and change course mid story.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Both. When I start writing the story, characters get their own personality and take over. Usually by the time I get to the end of the story, I have to go back to the beginning to clean up the mess my characters made.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book. With fantasy, I usually have to create some type of world bible. I’m currently finishing up edits on a science fiction novel that deals with virtual reality. I’ve had to do a lot of research of tech and virtual reality and thankfully, I have a programming friend that has guided me through the process.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book. My current novel, Demon Rising, takes place in a world where magicians reign and demons are sources of power and used as pets. Since my world primarily deals with magic, I dove head first into research.
Though A Demon Rising is pure fiction, I love to find connections to magic in the real world. For example, I researched Solomon, yes the one from the Bible, and his role in ancient magic for my novel. Google it, it’s amazing. I also recently found in Chicago that the Newberry Library is calling for the public to help translate 17th Century books on witchcraft and magic. One in particular is called “The Book of Magical Charms.” This book is thought to be written by two witches in the 1600s in England. It contains spells on how to cheat at dice and talk to the spirits.
Whether you’re a believer or not, research is fascinating. As a writer, it sparks my imagination and feeds my creativity.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Artistic. Adventurous. Strong. Complex. Caring.
Thanks, DeAnna! Now let’s learn a little more about your book…
Some sacrifices cost more than death…
Thirty years ago, dark magicians unleashed new power on the earth fueled by demons. Governments toppled, millions died and magicians ended up on top of the food chain.
Twenty-four-year-old Becca survives these dangerous times by relying on her wits, her fists, and the limited goodwill of her boss, a local crime lord. When news comes of a fire back home and the family she left behind dead, she realizes her dark past has finally caught up to her.
On the hunt for her missing sister, she must rely on Darion, a treacherous ex-boyfriend with ties to the local coven for back-up. Problem is he’s a pyromancer that can’t be trusted, especially with her heart. Will she escape the sticky web of treachery and deceit with her sister and her heart, or will she sacrifice it all to save another?
Becca’s forced to navigate a dangerous web of deceit and must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save her sister.
“An enthralling new voice gives us a magical world where love leads to dark decisions.” ~ Jami Gray, award winning author
“…extremely well written, filled with wonderful characters, strange happenings, and face paced action. I, for one, found it very hard to put down. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.”
~Taylor Jones, reviewer
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35919298-demon-rising
The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.
She moved amid a throng of people, shuffling along the worn walkways. Heavy clouds were scattered across the sky, while dilapidated buildings surrounded them, a haunting reminder of what once was. A young man pushed past Becca, dressed in blue coveralls. He must be heading to the line. The tattoo on Becca’s neck prickled as she walked the crowded path to work. Searching for the possible source of magic, she continued forward, with coffee in one hand and the other resting by the knife at her waist.
The warehouse traveled up twenty stories high, the tallest building in town with a large fountain in front. It must have once been a beauty. Now the fountain, covered in graffiti, ran dry and the boarded up windows could barely keep the wind out.
A familiar, lanky guard stood watch on the side of the road. Could he have been the source of the magic warming her tattoo? He scanned the crowd with a demon dog at his side, a German shepherd with unnaturally large black eyes.
Turning forward, she let her dark hair fall into her face, not wanting to draw his attention. She stepped past the guard undisturbed. She could handle herself with the guards, but her boss, Nikko, constantly nagged her about keeping a low profile.
The crowds pressed together, and a large man knocked into Becca’s side, tripping her. She stumbled, spilling the remains of her coffee all over her black jeans. Someone swore as the crowd surged forward, and she stepped to the side.
At five-foot-five, she was on the small side, but strong enough to cause pain and scrappy enough to avoid it when she could. The crowds weren’t her problem, though. That would be the presence behind her, causing her tattoo to burn.
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demon-rising-deanna-browne/1126957944?ean=9781626947238
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DeAnna Browne graduated from Arizona State University with her BS in Psychology. She finds it helps to corral those voices in her mind and put them to paper. Her debut novel, A DEMON RISING, came out in August 2017 with Black Opal Books and book two in the series, UNHOLY SUNDERING, is due out 2018. An avid reader and writer, she has a soft spot for fantasy with a touch of romance. Despite her love for food and traveling, she always finds her way back to Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, children, and pet dog.