Author Interview of the Week
Meet upcoming author Rissa Blakeley!
|All Rights Reserved to Rissa Blakeley|
What made you want to be an author?
I never had ANY intentions of writing anything. I'm talking zero intentions. Ideas started to swirl around along with all the other chaos that fills my brain, and I had to get them down on paper just to find some relief. Once I started, I haven't been able to stop. The ideas, thoughts, and character dialog just keeps going. I don't want it to ever stop either.
Who has inspired you the most?
I don't think one person in particular has inspired me, but there are several people who have done things that I find inspiring. I have a really good friend going through some unfortunate issues with her son. She gets up every day and presses on. I have another friend who is sick with an incurable illness. She does her best to make everyday the best that it can be. I have family who have and are going through some tough times, but they still keep going.
That is what inspires me. It's not Hollywood. It's not politics. It's what I see around me in my personal life that makes me want to keep pressing on to the fullest.
Can you tell us about some of your earlier days of writing?
When I first started my book (Shattered Lives: Broken Dreams), I had no idea what would come of it. I had a few ideas and just ran with them. I didn't tell anyone for the longest time. Even now, there are only a handful people who know what I am doing. I'm not ready to expose myself yet. I may or may not be using a pen name.
It took me near a year to share anything with my husband. Finally, after one drunken writing session, at around in the morning, I emailed him a passage from the third book in my series. He has been helping me since.
You're an upcoming author about to release your first book, Shattered Lives. Are you nervous at all?
I'm quaking. Nervous doesn't even touch what I am feeling. I have a ton of fear, which is probably normal, but if there is a minute possibility that it is not, then I run with that minute possibility. That is my normal.
I really want to be that author who has a fan base who are chomping for the next book. Hell, to even have a fan base at all would make me squeal. Okay, for real, one fan would make me squeal. I'm not even lying.
My biggest fear is that no one buys the book. I just want people to read what I have poured myself into for the past year and a half. I never thought it would come to this, but now that I have come this far, I feel like I need to keep going. I can't look back now.
Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
Well, to start with, it's a cross genre book. I have issues focusing outside of my writing life, so why should I focus on one genre? Okay, who am I trying to fool here? I can't focus at all.
Anyway, it's an apocalyptic, paranormal romance with some sexy scenes and a bit of science fiction. Just a tad. At times it's brutal emotionally and at other times it will make you laugh. There is one scene that comes to mind when I say brutal emotionally. It's raw emotion is so close to my personal life that every single time I read that scene, I need time to get over it. It may not touch everyone who reads it like it does me, but I cry every damn time I go through it. I try to coach myself before I get to it, but I fail miserably. Once the book has been out for a period of time, I will inform my readers what scene it is that makes the emotional nut come out of me.
The two main characters, Henry and Elaina, are very much meant for one another, but all the madness that occurs in their lives pulls them apart. Their relationship is very mercurial, but sexy. They need one another more than they realize. Henry needs to fight his demons and try to move forward. The only direction he sees is where ever Elaina is. He will do his best to try to hold everything together, but at times, he fails miserably.
The book is more about the relationship between Henry and Elaina, along with the relationships around them, rather than what is staggering around in the streets.
Who is your favorite author?
This is a tough question. If you asked me five or six years ago, I would have said Dan Brown. Two years ago, I would have said J.K. Rowling.
This year... I am going with J.R. Ward. She writes the Black Dagger Brotherhood series along with the Fallen Angel series. I just love her style of writing. I love the humor and when things get serious in the books, they get really flipping serious. (I so wanted to use another f-word there, but I am doing my best to keep it clean... which is a reach for me!) Plus, her characters are drop dead sexy. Vishous... John Matthew... what else can I say? If you have read these books, when I say you feel me, you would understand. True?
What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author?
Discovering more about myself. I have realized that I don't need to hide my overuse of certain cuss words, my true feelings about desires, or how free I feel. It's amazing. Once I started to get to know other authors, I finally felt like I fit in somewhere. I feel like I have unlocked myself. For my entire life it was black or white, but I was gray. I am gray. I will forever be gray. This includes all the gray hair that just keeps coming, which is a bunch of BS.
I will never be confident socially and I will always have that anxiety laying close to the surface, but I don't feel like I need to hide anymore. Most people think I'm slightly odd, but that is what makes people interesting. How boring would it be if we were all the same?
Something that I would like to experience during this journey... a publishing company picking me up. Will I ever grow a pair big enough to approach a publishing house? More than likely not.
What advice can you give to any upcoming authors?
Well, since I am upcoming myself, some advice for someone on the same playing field... I would say just be yourself. Even if you use a pen name, you can still be yourself. My personality hasn't changed. People either love me or hate me. You can take me how I am or leave me. I will not apologize for being myself and I don't think anyone should. Be the Fruit Loop in that bowl of Cheerios and enjoy the ride. Us Fruit Loops need to band together!
All silliness aside, I would just say put yourself into your work. Don't let others influence you to change who you really are and what you feel you need to write. And yes, it is need over want. It's never about what I want, it's about what I need to do. This goes along with quality over quantity. As much as I am an instant gratification kind of girl, I know that I need to take my time to make this journey with Henry and Elaina the best that I can make it.
Note: I would like to add a quick thanks to everyone, including the whole five people in my personal life, who are supporting me through this slightly mental journey. I swear it's damn amazing to see and hear people say, 'Wow, I want more.'
Thanks so much, Rissa for interviewing with us! We look forward to the release of Shattered Lives! Don't forget to follow Rissa on her outlets below!
Be on the lookout for Rissa's Cover Reveal for Shattered Lives on September 25!