Wednesday, October 3, 2012

D.L. Richardson Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

D L Richardson is the author of ya paranormal novel The Bird With The Broken Wing. She once ran a secondhand clothing store and played bass guitar and sang in a band she helped form when she was sixteen. She lives on the south coast in Australia with her husband and dog. Her second ya novel is due for release mid 2012.
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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I used to sing in school and when I left school I formed a rock band with my boyfriend. I played bass and sang lead vocals. I wrote all the lyrics and some of the music. From expressing my teenage angst in lyrics came expressing my teenage angst in short stories. I borrowed books from the library and bought a few magazines on writing – no Google back then. I was 21. I remember sitting in front of an electronic typewriter – no desktop computers or laptops back then either – when this thought washed over. “I want to write novels”. From then on I have been an on and off writer, learning the craft and sometimes failing dismally. Boy, there is a lot more to writing a novel that publishers want to publish than you think.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

Things like prejudice, fanaticism, discrimination…they close our mind to all possibilities except the one being championed. Storytelling, especially fiction, opens our mind to a million other possibilities. Of course, we readers and writers know many things aren’t true right now, and may never come true in the future, but if we don’t believe in the impossible, how can we see things in another perspective? When we lose perspective, we let others guide us.

I think that when we tell and read stories, we see different sides of the story. And often we need to hear the other side to stop us from becoming judgmental.

For my writing, this presents a challenge because I like to write different points of views in my stories and I understand that many readers like first person, and only one point of view to really pull them into a story. I get that. It’s what keeps readers turning the page. However, I do believe it’s important to tell the whole story.

My third next book is written first person, one point of view and it’ll be fun for me to come up with exciting ways to tell the whole story.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Keep writing. Even in the down times, write a song, play the piano or guitar, stay creative.

In my study, I have my computer on one side of the room, and my piano and guitar on the other. It’s a simple matter or turning around and soaking up another set of creative juices. And the interesting part is, I’ve composed two of the best songs of my life. But I gave up wanting to be a singer/songwriter a long time ago to focus on writing. What is another of my life goals? To write a song for the soundtrack to the movie based on one of my novels. Yeah, I still dream of playing on stage. That is a rush that is incomparable to anything in this world. I’m grateful I got to do it for a few years before I worked out what I wanted to be for the rest of my life – a novelist.

In your new book, The Bird with the Broken Wing; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

I’ll let my characters answer this...

My name is Rachael. I’m a guardian angel. I can’t reveal my true identity or apply divine intervention. But the mortal I’m watching over is trapped in purgatory and will be stuck here forever if he can’t remember his past. I’ve tried everything to make him remember so he can ascend. There’s just one thing I don’t get about this whole situation. Why am I here?

I’m Ben. I joined the army to run away from my problems at home. What I’ve seen and done is unforgiveable. I’m losing my mind. That’s okay. I can’t wait for it to hurry up and be erased forever. I see things…shadows, ghosts. They call me. I want to follow them, but Rachael thinks I should concentrate on getting well before I go anywhere. I don’t know where they want to take me. Worse, I don’t know where I am.

Hi, I’m Jet. I hate my parents, especially my dad. I hate Lucas even more. He’s my ex-boyfriend. He…he dumped me in the most humiliating way. I wished I was dead, so I took an overdose to make my wish come true. Don’t judge me. You don’t know what it’s like. Anyway, I thought I was recovering in a detox clinic with a cute guy and a nosy brat. Turns out, we’re all in this crazy place together and there isn’t a way out. 

What part of Rachael did you enjoy writing the most?

Rachael is seen from Ben’s eyes as a kind and caring friend who only has his best interests in mind. Seen from Jet’s eyes, she is a goody-goody, a know it all, and won’t let Ben have any fun. Not until the end do we start to see the real Rachael, the angel who will do anything to help her mortal, except that has run out of ideas on how to do this.

I wanted to make Rachael’s character trait very aligned to what is written about guardian angels - faithful, loving, watchful, protective. By keeping her character true to these traits, I was able to expose her flaws.

The below two extracts show Rachael’s devoutness and her acceptance that devoutness can be blind. I loved showing her as a vulnerable flawed being who gets a second chance to make up for her mistakes.

Extract one - Rachael cringed. She liked it better when she was the one doing the judging. “Things happen for a reason. How else do mortals learn and grow? How you deal with conflict defines who you are, not what you do to gain popularity or wealth. So many people get that bit wrong. And you said yourself, you can’t be sure of what happened.”

Extract two - When a shadow appeared at the foot of the mirror, she thought her prayers were answered. The shape cast a circle of darkness in front of her. The shape turned out to be Neale. No longer wearing his glimmer, his wings spanned across the room, like the interior of an enormous pillow.

His beaming smile lit up the place. “The answer is no.”

She was momentarily startled. “What was the question?”

“Has He forsaken me?”

But He had forsaken her. If she was here, He must have. She’d messed up badly, and the only true punishment she could suffer was eternity without mortals. She couldn’t survive with anything other than her angelic role. How would she cope without a mortal to watch? Might as well drop a dolphin into the desert and ask it how it planned to live.


Jet was right about one thing, though. Angels had no right to mess things up without facing the consequences.

If you could introduce Rachael to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Good question. I’m not sure. I guess I’d have to say that I’d like to introduce her to Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. My Ben is very much like Peeta was at the end - mixed up and crazy from a fight he should never have gotten involved in. “Because...because...she came here with me” is a quote from Peeta in The Hunger Games. That pretty much sums up Rachael and Ben’s relationship. Rachael stands by Ben because she is assigned to him. Peeta could have used her comforting presence.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

My second ya novel is due out shortly. I’ve just finished a mammoth round of editing. Editing serves as a reminder that a) as a writer, I still have much to learn; and b) there is never enough time to do everything in life because if there was I’d have edited it better in the first place.

This new novel, is a spy thriller with a paranormal edge (because I simply love spooky stories). Three kids receive the organs of a dead CIA agent, and when they are abducted, his spy knowledge begins to awaken inside each of them. This story will potentially be part of a series. However, the follow up will most likely be next year. I’d also like to write a follow up to The Bird With The Broken Wing.

I’m currently writing my third novel. This will be my first love story and it is a story of a teenage girl who dies after an argument with her boyfriend. She takes over someone another girl’s body to spend time with her boyfriend. Got about a third of the way through when the editing for the second novel came. I can’t wait to sink my teeth back into the story.

A common theme for my stories is that my characters receive second chances. I do believe that many young adults are too hard on themselves. Maybe society puts extra pressure on them to grow up too fast, to know what they wanna be too early, that it isn’t okay to fail when it totally is. Failing is how humans learn.

I like to write stories that say “even if it feels like it’s the end of the world, until the zombies are beating down your door, it isn’t.” And even then, it isn’t really the end of the world, just the beginning of a new story.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Well, like everybody else, I have to work a day job to pay the bills. I do a good job at work, but I stay under the radar as far as promotions are concerned because I don’t want to work longer hours. Basically, every time a colleague or manager asks me “are you enjoying working here?” I slap a big ol’ smile on my face and I say, “Great. It’s great. People are lovely and the work is interesting.” A big fat lie. Well, maybe not the bit about the people being lovely, because most of them are nice. It’s just that every second that I am not writing I am thinking about writing. It cuts me to the bone that I can’t write for fourteen hours a day and pump out two novels a year. Work stops me from doing this, but hey, I gotta eat and keep warm etc.

This will change one day. Yes, I am published author, and that’s one huge dream achieved. But I don’t think any of us every give up aspiring to achieve the next big goal in our life. Writing full time is my next big goal.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

For voice - let the character into your head. It’s funny, but your character will end up nothing like you write down on paper. You’ll give him a name and he’ll insist on something else. You’ll give her grace and she’ll insist on eating with her hands. The more you get inside your character’s head and let them into yours, the more you notice they have their own traits and their own voice that is dying to be heard.

For style – start with writing what you love. It’s easier to write a book set in history if you love history, space if you love sci-fi, romance if you are a complete romantic fool etc. And you should read lots of books in the genre you want to write, as genre often sets the style. I write young adult fiction so I need to be conscious of language, adult content, and adult presence. Adult fiction can contain sex scenes, morbid, gory bits, and adults have a different set of problems. You should explore the styles in the genre you wish to write, but make your own mind up by whether you want to follow that style. There are just as many people who hate ‘first person, present tense’ (The Hunger Games, I am Number Four) as enjoy it. And just as many people who hate ‘third person, multiple point of view’ (pretty much every Stephen King novel).

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

My husband. He is my best friend. Awww. That happens when your partner becomes the one constant thing in your life.

Five years ago my husband and I moved away from the city into the seaside town of Batemans Bay, so we both said goodbye to a lifetime of friends. I have often made friends at work, mostly because that’s where I do most of my socializing – I am not a night owl or party animal so I do most of my catch up when I’m awake. But I change jobs often and then the girls and me don’t hook up as much as we used to. Ian is the rock in my life. I miss him the second he leaves the room, and then when he walks back in I’m like, go away will you. Haha. We have a lot of fun together.

What is your favorite room in your home and outside environment?

Inside - I love my living area. It has views overlooking the bush from one window, and views off my deck and into my backyard from the other window. Plus it has loads of cushions and throw rugs and filled with items I’ve collected over the years. It’s also one of the only rooms in the house almost-fully renovated.

Outside – would have to be the beach. No, I’m not a surfer or swimmer, but to me there is nothing more wonderful than watching the sun rise over the ocean. The sound of waves crashing is hypnotic. Staring into the horizon is soothing. I often go for walks along the beach to relax, recharge or regain perspective in my life.

Who was your first boyfriend?

I was in the fourth grade. His name was Dennis and he sent another boy to ask me to be his girlfriend. I said he’d have to ask me himself. He did, but when he tried to kiss me, I bit him on the hand. After that, we were boyfriend and girlfriend for about a day and a half. Actually, this happened to me a lot. Boys would send over their friends to ask me. I’d say they had to come ask me themselves. Most didn’t. Guess that was why I ended up going out with anyone who asked me. Haha. That sounds funny but it’s the truth. I mean, how else am I supposed to know somebody if I don’t spend any time with them?

I have never lived by the checklist rule, you know the one. He must be dark haired, tall, popular, no extra toes, like the same band etc etc. I’m attracted to what’s inside a person. Growing up, I have a soft spot for stray dogs and boys that ask me out.

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?

Bread. I know every diet dictates that you must give up carbs but carbs are energy and I need energy. Some days, I can work an eight hour day and come home and write for another four to five hours. Plus I like to take the dog for a walk and spend time with my husband.

I’m justifying my love of bread. Not just bread, but pastry too. Love it!

I make a simple bread on a cold night to go with a warm soup and it’s divine. I buy a fresh, crusty loaf from the baker and can eat the whole thing. I eat my pie crusts because they taste sooo good.

Where can readers stalk you?

Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook



Angels may not reveal themselves to mortals...

...but when the mortal Rachael’s watching over is hurting, how can she stay hidden in the shadows?

Guardian angel Rachael becomes trapped with the mortal she’s been assigned to watch over. Unable to watch him suffer, she decides the only way to free him of his inner demons is to break the rules about becoming involved, revealing her true identity, and applying divine intervention. But what choice does she have? Without her help, his soul will be trapped forever. Then a stranger appears, giving Rachael reason to wonder if his is the only soul in need of saving...

You can purchase The Bird with the Broken Wing at the following Retailers:
          


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you D.L. for making this giveaway possible.
4 Winners will receive an e-copy of The Bird with the Broken Wing by D.L. Richardson.
Winners will receive one The Bird with the Broken Wing Postcard by D.L. Richardson.
Winners will receive one The Bird with the Broken Wing Earrings by D.L. Richardson.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

24 comments:

  1. Done. Thanks for all your amazing reviews and lovely giveaways x

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  2. All done! Thanks for this great giveaway! :)

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  3. Awesome giveaway. Fascinating book. Don't we all want to redeem ourselves for something terrible we have done in our lives, be it big or small. I would love to read this story. Thank you for this giveaway!

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  4. thanks for a great giveaway and kind donations..

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  5. Thanks for the great giveaway and very kind donations. :)

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  6. Great giveaway that for the swag for the giveaway

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  7. Thanked her on facebook. Thanks for giveaway.

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  8. Thank you so much for this giveaway cant wait fingers crossed ;)

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  9. OMIGOSH THIS BOOK LOOKS AMAZING. THANK YOU SO MUCH D.L. FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!! Even if I don't win I am so totally buying this book!! The cover looks epic and the story looks even epicer!!! Thank you again!!!

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  10. Thank you so much! This looks like an awesome book.

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  11. Good luck to everyone who has entered the giveaway. And a huge thanks for popping on over to my FB page. Totally awesome. Jean Book Nerd fans are the best!!!!

    D L Richardson
    xox

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  12. Thanks for the interview and chance to win.

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  13. Thank you for the giveaway D L Richardson and Jean BookNerd!!

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  14. Good luck to everyone who entered and thanks Jean for hosting this giveaway. I'm over the moon that this giveaway received over 12,000 entries.

    D L Richardson
    xoxo

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