Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Authorsday - Dara England

This week I get to introduce Dara England.
She graciously agreed to be grilled, er, interviewed. Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a packet of bookmarks and book cards. So onto the questions.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve written off and on since I was a kid. My first book was a picture book called “Melissa”. I was about six years old when I wrote it. By my teens I’d grown more serious about my writing and had realized this was what I wanted to do as a career. At fifteen I completed my first finished novella and at twenty-two I finished my first full-length novel.

How did you pick the genre you write in?

My genres picked me. I’ve always been attracted to stories with historical settings so it seemed natural that I should write historicals. As for fantasy, I saw Lord of the Rings and was instantly hooked. My interest in paranormals just sort of evolved from my love of the impossible and the fantastical.

What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

My first full length novel was called BowFinder and yes, at one point I did try to publish it. I was too inexperienced at the time to realize what a lot of work it still needed before it would be ready for any eyes but mine. Some day I may go back to that manuscript and rework it. I had a good connection with the heroin in that book and I’d like to give her another shot.

Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?

I received offers from several publishers for BROUGHT TO LIFE, so it was a hard decision to make. However, I did the research and Lyrical Press just seemed to have so much to offer. They’re a fairly new press yet (celebrating their one year anniversary this May) but they had a very professional set-up and ambitious plans for the future so I decided to hop on board. Of course, I also had conversations with a couple of their authors who had nothing but good to say about Lyrical. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of doing some heavy research before signing that contract. Google is a great friend at times like this.

Describe your book.

BROUGHT TO LIFE is a paranormal romance/time travel/contemporary fairytale. It’s the story of a frustrated artist and city girl who is a bit of a cynic about romance. However, she picks up a historical romance novel and by chapter two she’s hooked—on the hero. The whole premise of the book revolves around the question: is love enough to bring a fictional character to life? You can learn a little more about BROUGHT TO LIFE and even read an excerpt at:

What authors do you admire?

I’m a huge fan of the fantasy authors Juliet Marillier, Robin Hobb, Kristen Britain, and the late Robert Jordan. I’m still one of the many fans longing to know the ending of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

What three things would you want with you on a desert island?

1. A laptop with an internet connection and a never-ending battery supply.
2. A stack of great books.
3. My Yorkshire terrier Ajax (who comes complete with an endless supply of dog food and water.)

What is your favorite word?

Super-califragilistic-expealidotious. Why? Because if I say it loud enough, I’ll always sound precocious—or so says Disney’s Mary Poppins.

What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

Oh wow, there are so many. Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of visiting Greece, Rome, and Egypt. I’d love to see some ancient ruins—maybe even touch them. Then again, visiting Stonehenge would be an awesome experience. Other places I’d love to see are Scotland, France, and Italy.

What other time period besides your own would you like to experience?

Again, it’s hard to pick just one. I’d love to invent a time machine and drop in on the middle ages. The ancient world would also be an amazing place to visit. Can you imagine seeing Julius Caesar or any of the Pharaohs in person? Then again, the Victorian era would be interesting. I have a huge longing to attend the Great Exhibition.

Thanks for playing along Dara and being such a good sport. I wish you the best of luck in the future. Thank you for joining me today.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the blog, Chris!

--Dara England

Anonymous said...

Keep writing, Dara.

Morgan Monroe said...

i Like your interview questions Chris . insightful and fun! A good blog read :D I need to read your book Dara!!! it sounds really good!

Raonaid Luckwell said...

I agree Stonehenge would be an interesting place to visit. I would some day!.

Terry Dubbs said...

Loved the interview - and I downloaded the book and read it. It's wonderful! I look forward to another from you soon!

Katie Hines said...

Well, Dara, I'm leaving a comment. Your link on FB took me directly to the comment page, so I didn't get to read the interview.

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry, Katie. Don't know how I did that...

--Dara England

Chris Redding said...

The first time dh and I went to Stonehendge, none of the pics came out. I have to admit there is an energy there. I didn't think there would be even though I've been fascinated by it.

Anonymous said...

that was a great interview and good insight into Dara's career so far I would love to read Brought to Life after reading this.

Serena said...

Hi Dara,
It sounds like writing is in your blood. Stonehenge does have a certain fascination, but because of my Italian heritage, I'd love to go to Italy and Europe. I did go as a young teenager with my family, but would appreciate it so much more now! (catch you on FB)

Thanks Chris for the interesting interview!


Unknown said...

What a great interview! Dara, your book, Brought to Life, sounds great.

I'm a paranormal/romance type of girl myself.

Dottie :)

Sarah said...

What a fun interview! Dara, Chris, you girls did great. I'd like to visit many of the same places Dara mentioned. In fact, I'd like to visit them with her. ;)

The Geeky Quill said...

Great interview. That's so cute that you started writing at six. Do you still have your first book? I keep all the books my kids write. They'll be great mementos whether or not they keep writing.

Dara England said...

Actually yes, GQ, I do still have part of that first story. Unfortunately only one page survived...

--Dara England

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. Really enjoyed your book, Dara. Am looking forward to the next one!

Lynne_Marie said...

Nice to "see" you both in person and get to know you both better. Write on!

Lynne Marie Pisano