Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for Y.A. & N.A. Books group from Goodreads.
Today we welcome author Kirsty Dallas to the blog and group!
The protection every child is owed was lost on Ella Munroe. Her tiny body was beaten, bruised, cut and bloodied. And the thing about pain, it demands to be felt……. While searching for affection, Ella gave away her body and her escape was found in drugs. Self-loathing led to self-destruction and she tried to cut that hate from herself. They say pain makes you stronger, fear makes you braver; Ella had more strength and bravery than most. With her head down, scars covered and heart locked behind a wall of steel Ella ran. On the streets she may have found her freedom but she was still alone, until she found ‘Mercy’s’, until she found Jax.
Born a warrior, Jaxon Carter could intimidate with no more than a glance, but this warrior was not born to destroy, he was born to protect. To Jax, Ella was much more than a tiny beaten girl, Ella was an angel. Ella was Jax’s angel, she was his to protect and cherish. She was his to love and although Ella’s first instinct was to run, Jax made her yearn for things she had long forgotten. In capturing her heart, Jax freed Ella. In embracing her imperfections, Jax owned Ella. Sometimes though, you have to fight for love and sometimes blood is destined to run a river. Sometimes, hate trumps love.
All Jax had to do was keep Ella safe, it all seemed so easy….
“Your scars might remind you of where you’ve been angel, but they don’t have to dictate where you’re going.” ~ Jaxon Carte
Book 1 - Saving Ella
Rebecca Donovan was missing intimacy, but no matter how much she longed for a man to warm her bed and heart, she would not give Charlie a second chance.
Charlie Cole was missing Rebecca Donovan, yet his pride wouldn't allow him to beg. It took one life changing night to bring the two back together and this time neither was prepared to let the other go.
"Strength is overcoming your worst fear." ~ Charlie Cole
*** Due to adult content, this book is recommended for readers 17 years+ ****
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was 14 years old when I decided I wanted to write, it was a passion. I was 35 before I put my head down, bum up and started to take it seriously though.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book is a romantic fantasy that took a year to write. It is presently sitting with publishers waiting for a Yay or Nay.. My second book, Saving Ella took a month to write. The story just poured from me like a fountain!! My third book, Breeze of Life took about 2 months to write..
3. What do you think makes a great story?
From my opinion (& we will all have different idea's on this topic) a great story is one that is a little raw and edgy. I like authors who break the rules and are completely unapologetic for it.. I like stories that suck you in and leave you feeling like 'W...T...F'???
4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Oh man, when I write it consumes every spare second. I work at a 'real' job three days a week and when I'm not there or taking care of my daughter my head is in another place, writing, creating, constantly humming with thoughts and ideas. I can write for six to seven hours easy. It's a little scary at times how consumed I can become..
5. How do you balance family and writing?
It's difficult, especially when I'm 'in the zone'. But for me my daughter comes first. Her needs always take priority.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My head is constantly filled with idea's for books. It's like I'm running an endless array of damn movies up there. For Saving Ella it was personal, I've been in a violent relationship so I could reflect on my own feelings and emotions when writing. For Saving Ella I also sourced information from a police officer and social worker. For my next novel which I've not long finished, Breeze of Life, it touches on cancer and depression, I have spoken with doctors, cancer survivors and people who have suffered from depression. I would never go in and write around such a serious topic without some idea of the emotions and feelings that go with it.
7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much I enjoyed some of the things outside the actual writing. Like creating the cover and the book trailer.. I have lots of fun with all the creative aspects that come with publishing a book...
8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I've completed three books. My first, The Mortal King is a fantasy romance which is with publishers. The second is Saving Ella and the third is Breeze of Life, in editing now. I LOVED Saving Ella, but I have a feeling Breeze of Life is currently my favourite out of the three...
9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Most of my characters have traits that are from myself or a family member or friend, but no character is completely based around someone I know.
10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
At my desk in my study. I'm surrounded by books and inspirational quotes. It's my happy place!!
11. How hard is is to get published?
Crazy Hard.. My first book has been with publishers for five months... And still no word. It's a highly competitive industry with huge demands & a long list of authors trying to get a leg in that door. That's why the indie world has become such a wonderful place for writers.
12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
I'm pleased to say my entire family & network of friends support me the whole way. Saving Ella was a huge family effort. My father took the photo for the cover, my cousins best friend was the model, my brother let us use his factory for the shoot, my mum did all the artwork. My sister-in-law is my manager and has been integral to marketing and distribution. I am very lucky for their support, and they've all read Saving Ella and LOVED IT!!! Even the 'sexy' bits.. LOL
13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
pfft... Like that happens!! haha, I read in my down time or hang out with my daughter, family and friends. Sometimes I eat and sleep ;-)
14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
Don't be afraid to write in a way that scares you a little (I think that is a quote, and I love it). Also, negativity and self-doubt will crush your imagination. Be confident and believe in yourself. I also would encourage authors to seek the help of an editor. If I've learnt anything it is some readers can be very unsympathetic to poor editing.. A good editor is worth his or her weight in gold.. There is a program called STYLEWRITER, buy it use it embrace it!! I didn't use it on Saving Ella, I will always use it from now on!!!
15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
For a brief moment I really wanted to be Barbie, she seemed so cool, had awesome clothes and stuff.. Then I wanted to be a park ranger, but I'm scared of snakes so that dream was promptly squashed. I always wanted to write. In the back of my mind I think I always knew I would become an author. I just had to wait until I grew up and settled down...
16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
Oh man,, there are SO MANY!! My favourite book of all time is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons... I also love Acheron by Sherrylin Kenyon. I adore Amy Bartol, Jessica Sorenson, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Jennifer Armentrout, C J Roberts, Colleen Hoover, Shey Stahl.. There are many others but they are the ones who come immediately to mind.
17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
DO invest in an editor, DON'T rush your writing, make every word and every sentence count. DO embrace bloggers, they are your new best friend. And try to design your own cover, that way you eliminate double ups and you have full creative control. It will be worth it in the end!!
18. What are you working on now?
I have just finished Breeze Of Life. This is an epic, coming of life road trip adventure. It is ALL AUSSIE and the story takes place on the east coast of Australia. My yanky audience is going to have a blast understanding some of our 'stralian' terms... It tackles the serious and frightening topic of cancer and depression, while still embracing laughter, love and passion.. Lots of passion!! It will be released late August..
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kirsty! Good luck with your writing!
I'm just a little Aussie girl with a big imagination, so much to write and so little time to do it. When I'm not writing (or reading) I am kept smiling and sane (for the most part) by my 5 year old daughter. She is the light in my world. I have a wonderfully supportive family who keep me completely grounded. Trust me, they will never let any success go to my head!! And I love them for it. I enjoy ice cold ciders, barbeques, music and art. I hate cooking, in fact I think I have major kitchen allergies. My feet rarely grace anything other than flip-flops and even in the middle of a hot Aussie summer, I love my jeans!!! To sum me up in a few words (and you know how hard just a few words is for an author) ~ easy going, laid back, dreamy and passionate.
I hope you all love reading my novels as much as I love writing them.