Today we have with us, Darlene Jones, author of Embattled. Darlene lives on Vancouver Island, Canada and spends winters in Mexico. She loves chocolate and thinks it should be in a food group of its own. Good morning Darlene! It’s great to have you with us!
Please tell us about your recent release, Embattled.
DARLENE: Ah, my baby! Embattled is the first of a series and features, Em, whose life is taken over by “beings out there, somewhere”. To add to the problem, the being controlling her is a rookie and, of course, he messes up. Then he risks his future when he falls in love with Em and becomes insanely jealous of her lover. And yes, they will get to live happily ever after, but it will take four books to get there.
Where did you get your story idea?
DARLENE: I wrote the story motivated by my experiences living in Mali a long time ago. I chose to go the “soft” sci-fi route for the adventure and element of magic that I needed, but at the core it's a love story.
Is there a message in Embattled you want readers to grasp?
DARLENE: Yes. Without moralizing, I'm trying to show how bad war and armed conflict are.
Of all your characters you’ve created, is there one you particularly like? Why?
DARLENE: Well, Em will always be first in my heart, but really I love them all. As I wrote the story it seemed that they became a part of my life and I didn't want to be without them. Laugh – that's why one book morphed into four and who knows if that will really be the end?
Did you plan your characters out before you started writing or did they develop as you wrote?
DARLENE: Some were definitely planned, but others developed and grew along with the story. Tony, for example, was incidental in the first draft, and came to play a larger role as I revised.
What is your writing process? Do you outline or start writing and see where it takes you?
DARLENE: With the first book, I just wrote and played musical chapters as I rearranged the story line, but now I do work from an outline although it's not a detailed one and it often changes as I go.
Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
DARLENE: Book two will be out in the next couple of months. I don't want to say too much – spoilers, you know, but I think readers will be very happy with the plot line.
How many hours a day do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?
DARLENE: I often feel that I'm glued to the computer. Not just writing and editing, but also marketing now that book one is out. I don't procrastinate most of the time, but, to answer the next question, when I get writer's block, I leave it alone for a while and then suddenly I'll have brainwaves that send me back to the computer.
And now a bit about yourself.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
DARLENE: I started writing when I was still a junior high school principal so my writing was sporadic. Now, I'm retired and have much more time to write, when I'm not with my granddaughter that is.
What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
DARLENE: I read anything that catches my eye and holds my interest. I have a long list of authors I like, including Alan Bennett, Amar Lakhous, Kathy Page...
And I have to ask this. Please tell us about that camel I’ve seen you riding.
DARLENE: Chuckle. That was in Egypt riding to the pyramids. Seemed the right thing to do.
Thank you so much for joining us here today, Darlene. Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
DARLENE: You know, it seems there are so many serial killers and vampires and paranormals, etc out there right now. I'd like your readers to know that Embattled is none of that. It's a unique concept that takes readers on a new ride.
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Darlene about her book, Embattled? If so, leave a comment here or connect with Darlene on line at:-