Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Interview with Theresa DaLayne


What inspired you to become an author?

My high school English teacher, Mr. Stewart. He had a prostatic leg, which was fun when tapped his pencil on it.

In his class we read the Iliad and the Odyssey, were my intro to mythology began. Later I applied for his journalism class, and from there became the features reporter, and the next year, features editor.

After my first semester as an intern at a local newspaper, I realized I hated journalism. Like—hated it. I just didn’t like writing what other people told me to. I wanted to write what I thought was interesting, and I didn’t want such a strict word count limit on what I wrote. That’s when I realized I wasn’t cut out for writing news, and instead would write fiction.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I love to write detail and visceral reactions. I want to insert the reader into the scene and bring them along for the ride, right along with my characters. Texture, the temperature of the air, and any assault of their senses—I want my readers to feel every page.

Do you write in different genres?

I sure do. I started with young adult paranormal romance, then branched into new adult contemporary romance, and I also write young adult inspirational. My inspirational will debut February 2016 with Limitless Publishing, and that will be published under Theresa Mae.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not in my paranormal books, but my new adult contemporary, THE EDGE OF YOU, is set on Kodiak Island, Alaska, where I lived for seven years. I miss it in the summer. Writing that book was like going back home, which was both fun and emotional at the same time.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Oh wow. That’s tough. I really love Arwan from The Stone Legacy Series because for me, a hero has to be a certain breed of man. He has to be strong yet respectful—determined, yet willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. I don’t write asshat heroes. I can’t. I just can’t.

Here’s an excerpt from Lights of Aurora, book three of The Stone Legacy Series, that best describes Arwan.

She really was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Long, dark hair and full lips. Wolf-gray eyes. Like some kind of dream made into reality as a reward for some noble conquest he’d never completed. Cualli may be a goddess, but even she paled in comparison to Zanya’s bravery, humor, and beauty. For the rest of his days he would compare every woman to her, and for the rest of his days he’d live unsatisfied and lonely.
“I’d choose someone who would do anything to make you happy. Someone who would wake up and ask himself how he was going to make you smile. Someone who would listen to you. Find the things you love the most and surround you with them. Understand your heartache—
no, take it away. And when he can’t make it vanish, wish it were his own to bear.” Arwan’s eyebrows knitted together. “Someone who would walk beside you with a firm hold but a gentle touch. A man who was always there, but never drowned you in his own pride.”
A tear streaked down Zanya’s cheek.
Arwan reached out and wiped it away. His fingers lingered on her skin for a moment, and he pulled back. “But Jayden does care for you, and in some ways, he is better for you. Riyata are enlightened. He can give you things I can’t. A long, happy life, both here and in the hereafter.”

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Yes. The Stone Legacy Series is a five-book young adult paranormal romance series based on Mayan mythology. All five books will be released by April 19th, 2016. Books 1-3 will be out by the end of January. February has a release, and then another in April. So watch out because you won’t have to wait a year to read it to the end.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure! Like I said, my big release is the five-book paranormal romance series—The Stone Legacy Series.

Book 1 is Mayan Blood.
Book 2 is Interlude
Book 3 is Lights of Aurora
Book 4 is Anarchy
Book 5 is Birthright

There is also a surprise prequel I can’t wait to share with you guys titled ISHEL. But my publisher won’t be revealing that right away. What I can say is it will have a ton of bonus material in the back that you don’t want to miss out on.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

BIG shout out to the Deranged Doctor Designs. They have done an AMAZING job at capturing the feel of my series, showing off the Mayan mythology, all while keeping enough mystery to not give it all away. If you need a cover done, they are well worth the investment. Check them out here: http://www.derangeddoctordesign.com

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I always refer aspiring authors to Caro Clarke articles. She has a ton of great advice, which was immensely helpful for me in the beginning. Check those out here: http://www.caroclarke.com/writing.html

Also look into GMC—Goals, Motivation, Conflict. That is a great character development book. TIP: Buy it straight from the author’s website. It’s like a billion dollars on Amazon.

After that, just finish the book. Start with a short story and work your way up. Give yourself permission to write crap because you can edit crap. You can’t edit a blank page.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an Alaskan, hijab-wearing feminist with a micro dermal piercing who writes paranormal novels and is a sarcastic extrovert. I’m a walking oxymoron on paper, but when you meet me, you get it.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?


Besides the slew of young adult paranormal romance books, I do also have an inspirational release under Theresa Mae in February titled, IF ALL ELSE FAILS. It’s a great fiction book based on an agnostic teen, who learns about the Islamic faith through a girl in her World Religion class. My editor called it one of her favorite edits of all time.


Book-1-3-2


Stone Legacy Series Overview
Genre: Mature YA

Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…

Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. The only home she’s ever known is the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched.

When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.

A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…

When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya's mission, it's unclear if his intention is to help, or if he's on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.

With the approach of an ancient bonding ceremony, Zanya struggles to control her abilities—and her desires.

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. While Zanya battles to seize control over her supercharged powers, she must also face an overwhelming suspicion that her new boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both. And with her powers finally taking root, pacing their relationship becomes even more of a challenge.

Just when she thought life couldn’t get more complicated…

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Zanya’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.

When the heavens, middleworld, and underworld collide, an epic battle for power threatens the existence of mankind. Their survival rests in the hands of Zanya and her new, enchanted family. But when a final secret turns her world upside down, her stone, family, and future aren’t the only things she’s destined to protect.

Mayan Blood
Stone Legacy
Book One
Theresa DaLayne

Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…

Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.

With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.

Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger.

When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.

A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…

When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya's mission, it's unclear if his intention is to help, or if he's on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.


Interlude
Stone Legacy
Book Two
Theresa DaLayne

Tara may have spent years in an asylum, but that doesn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with a the group of enchanted Mayan descendants, seventeen-year-old Tara is forced to wait on the sideline while her best friend—the Stone Guardian— battles to reclaim a friend’s soul trapped in the underworld.

It sucks being ordinary when everyone else is superhuman…

A mortal girl with a tainted past, Tara is left to deal with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a healer. Her best friend is The Guardian, and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. Meanwhile, she struggles to leave her childhood of abuse in the past, and while Peter picks her up every time she falls, it becomes clear he deserves better.

When they opened Pandora’s Box, hell came pouring out…

When she’s given a chance to aid in the group’s mission, Tara is eager to pull her own weight, even if it means uncovering buried memories of being held prisoner by the underworld general. Now haunted with flashbacks of torture, Tara wanders from the safety of Peter’s arms into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground ring of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

  
Lights of Aurora
Stone Legacy
Book Three
Theresa DaLayne

After living her entire life in an orphan asylum, Zanya fears she may actually be losing her mind.

Following the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Zanya Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the relic stone while Sarian, the underworld general, ceaselessly drives her to the brink of insanity.

With the approach of an ancient bonding ceremony, Zanya struggles to control her abilities—and her desires…

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. While Zanya struggles to seize control over her supercharged powers, she must also face an overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both. And with her powers finally taking root, the struggle to pace their relationship takes on a life of its own.

Just when she thought life couldn’t get more complicated…

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Zanya’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.


Anarchy
Stone Legacy
Book Four
Theresa DaLayne

Jayden’s heart may have stopped beating for good when he was rescued from the underworld, but it can still break…

After an ancient Mayan ceremony goes horribly wrong, Jayden is left to face reality—the girl he once loved is pledged to another. At his breaking point, he steals a cab to leave behind the group of enchanted descendants, this time for good.

When Hawa—a beautiful but lethal acquaintance—decides to call shotgun, his only choice is to take her along for the ride.

He’d be glad to have the company…if it were anyone but her. He only knows her by occasionally sharing a hallway in Renato’s huge estate in Belize. It’s clear she has a perma-chip in her shoulder, and they have absolutely nothing in common. So he thinks…

With no cash and nowhere to stay, Hawa leads him into the heart of Guatemala City to an abandoned hotel of orphaned kids. As more of her tainted past is revealed, an unwelcome memory reappears in flesh and blood, threatening to break her wild spirit.

A mysterious orphan is the only one standing between him and the new queen of hell…

Modem, a spunky twelve-year-old girl with a knack for computers, seems to be keeping her eye on Jay. When his abilities go rogue and pull him back to the underworld, Modem shows she’s more than meets the eye. And as everything spirals out of control, Contessa proves no realm is out of reach…



About the Author:

A long-time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of fiction.

Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and has been repeatedly guilt-tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries—not to mention an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. Wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.







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