Yvette lives in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. During the day she has a full-time career, but when she gets home and kicks off her shoes she becomes absorbed in her next novel. She enjoys the company of her ever-patient husband who believes she’s lost in her computer, and three dogs who are the only ones who can drag her away from writing-mostly because she has no desire to clean up their mess.
1.Why storytelling? What made you yearn to tell a good story, and how long was this story within you before it came out?
I’ve been an avid reader for years, probably more than is healthy for one person. I’ve had a story dancing around my head for almost a decade, and with each new book that I read, more details would be added to my own story. I never imagined I would actually put it on paper. Being busy with a career, a husband and two young boys, I couldn’t see myself ever having the time. But when the boys became adults, I was lost. The Empty-Nest Syndrome hit me hard. I experimented with several different hobbies and one day decided to start writing. The first book I wrote was not Light’s Rise. I tentatively called it Seraphina. Light’s Rise starts in the early 1800’s, while Seraphina has many of the same characters – two hundred years later. When I finished writing Seraphina, I realized I couldn’t tell that story without introducing the Council first and spinning the tale that brought them to Seraphina’s beginning. From that first book arose the Light in the Darkness Series. Seraphina will be a transition story into a new series and a new world.
2.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
While I like to read many different genres, fantasy is my favorite. Authors can create a world of their choosing, the only limit being their own imagination. It allows us to escape reality and immerse ourselves in magical creatures, powerful heroes and evil villains.
3.What character from your book fills you with hope?
His story is one of a young boy thrown into slavery. His master is not the cruel, heartless tyrant we normally expect. He is a demon overlord, whose evil and hatred know no boundaries. Cyrus loses everything he loves, but in his weakest moment is found by Darian. With the Council as his new family, he finds hope, purpose and the desire to protect his world from the evil that is threatening to destroy it.
4.You have unlimited money to buy a gift for your main character. What would you buy?
Darian is Austrian nobility so that would be challenging, as he already has the means to buy what he wants. I would have a pair of daggers crafted for him that compliment his personality. Their silver hilts would be capped with a single ruby mirroring the wealth that he only displays when necessary. The long, thin blades would be sharpened on both sides, with protective runes etched into the metal during forging. The blades would represent his sharp mind and hidden strength.
5.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I try to immerse myself in the emotions of the character that I’m currently writing. I don’t think I can properly convey those feelings, if I don’t attempt to put myself in their shoes. During high action or emotional moments, this can be exhausting. I think the most difficult characters for me are the villains. It’s not natural for me to think like an evil demon, but it’s important for the villains to be believable. Immersing myself into the mind of a demon overlord is emotionally taxing, and usually requires a nap when I’m done.
6.How did you find the time to write this book with your busy life? What ideas do you have on how others can make time in their lives?
I have a full-time job that consumes my daytime hours. But when my youngest son moved out of the house a couple years ago, I found that my evenings where empty – in more ways than I liked. So I started writing. If someone is truly interested in writing, but has demands from family as well as a career, I would suggest scheduling their writing time, even if it’s no more than a couple hours on the weekend. This would provide a set time that is not taken up by the many other demands of a busy life.
7.Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds them back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is that my main character is a man, and I am not. I always worry that I don’t portray his reactions with enough masculinity. I’m very grateful for my beta readers, who do an amazing job keeping me on track.
8.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
Take the time to look for agent and/or publisher. Self-Publishing through Amazon is not difficult. Doing it successfully requires a huge amount of work.
9.Let’s talk about tools. Do you have a word processor that you would tell us to use? Is there a certain computer that has become your favorite? What do you look for in a keyboard? What would you absolutely have to have if you were to sit down and write your next book?
I use Microsoft Word, with advanced proofing options. It catches most of my spelling and grammar errors. I rely on my editor for the rest. I bought a mechanical gaming keyboard several years ago because I loved the idea of the raised keys. They are easy to keep clean, preventing sticky keys and ensuring extended use. I have to have to a PC, not a laptop. I would never be able to type for hours on a laptop. The ergonomics are awful and I’m not as young and resilient as I used to be.
10.Describe your workplace.
My desk is in my living room, surrounded by the things that make me comfortable. My only distractions are my dogs and my husband, but they know when I’m in a zone and respect it.
11.What piece of art, that is not writing, moves you?
Music can change everything about my mood, frame of mind, ambition, and even sleep. Thankfully, I enjoy a variety of music that is capable of encompassing all of those things.
12.If you could live anywhere other than where you are, where would it be?
Ignoring all of my own obligations and restrictions, I would love to live in New Zealand. I’ve only seen it through pictures, which are breathtaking. The research that I’ve done on the area is also very promising. Maybe one day I’ll get to at least visit. If I have to consider reality, I think I’m happy where I am. The mountains of West Virginia are beautiful and remote. But I’m still close enough to all the modern conveniences that make life a little easier.
13.You have a chance to hang out with any literary character for one day. Who would it be and what would you do?
That’s a really hard question. There are so many characters that I thoroughly enjoy reading about. For a light, fun-filled day, I would enjoy time spent with Amelia Peabody, from her own series written by Elizabeth Peters. From my fantasy genre, it would have to be Tryton from the Warsworn Series by Ben Hale.
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