Born At Dawn
Da'Valia Trilogy Book 1 by Christina Davis Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.
Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.
The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.
Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.
Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?
⚠ This book is about a race of warriors and contains violent scenes, which may not be suitable for all audiences.
Here's what early readers of BORN AT DAWN had to say...
• "It's so good!!! I'm slightly obsessed ♥ ...I need more Astiand and Neva moments" ★★★★★
• "I always wanted to read more and struggled to put the book down" ★★★★★
• "I adored the book. It's unique, and the characters are incredible." ★★★★★
• "The pacing of the plot was one of the things that impressed me when reading this book: from the high-tension beginning, to the way world-building details were strung seamlessly ... every chapter left me eager to read more without making me feel as if I was being constantly strung along by cliffhangers." ★★★★
Neva froze when the sound of footsteps approached the door, disturbing the steady hum of the howling wind. The tower quarters had been cold and empty when she climbed through the frosted window, and Flynn had assured her the duke would be engaged in festivities downstairs well into the night.
She held her breath, remaining crouched over the warded chest in the dark as she waited for the servant to continue past. The whisper of a lock pick and wrench scraping against the keyhole reached her, and her stomach dropped. After a moment, the door inched open, then closed with a barely perceivable click.
Neva silently backed against the study’s stone wall. If the intruder lit a candle, she would be found out, so she murmured an incantation under her breath to call her favorite glamour to life. The telltale sting of invisibility washed over her as a man in black britches and a matching tunic strode into the study.
The invisibility glamour was worth the gold she had paid, and the pain of having it stitched into her skin inch by inch, but it bit like poison ivy. She resisted scratching as the sensation faded.
A woven rug muffled the man’s footfalls, and he squinted as he inspected his surroundings by moonlight, hesitating briefly when he passed the space where she stood, before continuing into the room. Her nose wrinkled. He smelled of spoiled milk.
Neva’s enhanced sight allowed her to see the intense concentration on his clean-shaven face. His short blond hair was almost as light as her own, his hazel eyes were probing, and his nose was bent.
Neva stayed quiet as he moved around the desk and to the back of the room. There, he knelt in front of the warded chest.
Her teeth clenched and her hand inched toward the dagger strapped to her ankle.
A job like this rarely came along, and she was counting on it to make a name for herself. Not to mention that Flynn Abernathy, the most feared crime lord in Glacier Pass, had commissioned her.
Anyone else after the same item was going against the Thieves’ Code.
Neva could ambush the man. She didn’t have the full power of a majila, a female Da’Valia, but she could do more than merely see in the dark.
Da’Valia were fast, strong, brutal creatures. Eliminating this man from the realm of the living likely wouldn’t cause them to hesitate, yet Neva did. Some said thieves were without honor, but she knew otherwise. Her father raised her to follow the Code.
“You don’t want to do that,” she said, dropping her glamour and stepping away from the wall.
The man spun around as if startled but was nimble as he stepped away from the hidden prize and tossed an illuminator from his pocket.
The ball of magic exploded in a burst of yellow light before hovering near the ceiling in the center of the study. The temperature dropped to near-freezing, and Neva’s breath traveled away from her in a fog.
Illuminators temporarily revealed that which lay beneath both spells and darkness. Neva didn’t know if the man had stolen this one, or paid for it with someone else’s silver or blood.
Then, the taste of copper settled on her tongue. He had paid with blood.
He frowned and stood protectively in front of the chest as he looked her over. Neva was dressed differently than when she delivered firewood about the city during daylight hours. She had replaced her heavy fur jacket and traditional skirts with a costume of another kind. The black of her boots matched her fitted bodysuit, and a charcoal wrap covered her light blonde hair.
“Good evening, dove,” he drawled, recovering smoothly. “Just who might you be?”
She noted with some relief this man’s accent was foreign.
“Maybe that’s what I should ask you,” Neva replied. Anyone who had purchased an illuminator with blood was a serious threat.
“Allow me to introduce myself.” He lowered into a slight bow, keeping his eyes on her all the while. “My name is Thatcher Sullivan. You may have heard of me.”
“You’re not supposed to be here,” Neva said, her voice bitter and flat. His gallantry didn’t fool her. He had made no indication he intended to stand down, and this job belonged to her.
“Ah.” He nodded. “An astute observation, but, alas, here I am.”
“You’re breaking the Code.”
A sneer flickered over his face. “I’ve been sent here by people who operate outside your Code.”
A thought sparked in Neva’s mind. His name was Sullivan, and his accent indicated he was from the west. Oh, she knew who he was all right. The Chameleon. Although she had never heard of him working this far north, he was notorious for taking contracts without local approval across Cirandrel.
It didn’t matter who hired him. Someone went through the wrong channels. The thieving community could forgive that. But if Flynn discovered Thatcher was working in Glacier Pass, the crime lord would have the thief’s head.
“I’ll make you an offer,” Neva said slowly. She wanted to keep the situation from escalating, if possible. “But only this once, so listen well. If you leave now, I won’t tell Flynn. If you make me fight for this, you will regret it.”
“So sorry, dove. I’ve promised some important people a certain item by the end of the night.”
“Now, listen here —”
Neva made it two steps closer to the man before he flung another spell in her direction. This one knocked her off her feet, slamming her into the wall and then the hard floor. Against a human, the spell would have rendered its victim unconscious. Against a half-Da’Valia, it failed.
But Thatcher wasn’t waiting to see if the magic worked. He was counting on it. By the time she regained her footing, he had used the lock pick and wrench from his pocket to open the chest.
He didn’t notice her because he was so intent, but Neva was shaking with anger. She didn’t think. She rushed him. Silent, fluid, nearly a blur.
She slammed into him, and he flew into the opposite wall with a hard thud. Thatcher’s body was still, his right arm at an awkward angle. The illuminator blinked out, sending the room back to darkness.
The noise from their scuffle made Neva cringe. She prayed the Guard hadn’t heard. Perhaps she should have dealt with Thatcher another way, but there wasn’t time to second-guess herself now.
Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and she spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals, embracing reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU's Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in a rural community in a small logging town in the California mountains called Boulder Creek. Population: 6,000. I had a rare bleeding disorder, so I was often in the hospital, and books became a vital escape. No one was really self-publishing back then, and I had to rely on the local library to supply my voracious reading habit. I was the kid who would stay up until 2 AM with a flashlight under my covers, reading even though my parents told me to go to sleep. So, eventually, I ran out of the kinds of books I wanted to read.
This is probably self-incriminating, but I remember using my step-sister’s address in a neighboring county so I could get access to their library system. That’s how desperate I was for books, and that’s why I started writing. I ran out of options, so I had no choice but to write my own.
I started writing my first “chapter” book by hand in a spiral-bound notebook when I was about 12 years old. I never finished that one, but I completed four other books and many more stories as a teenager. I took a break when I went to college, where I studied Journalism, but as soon as I graduated, I knew I wanted to write a novel. Pretty soon after that I decided I wanted to turn it into a trilogy, and then I spent the next decade making it the best that I could.
I’m what the writing community calls a “pantser,” so I built these books entirely based on a gut feeling of what the characters would do. But, eventually, I realized that wasn’t going to cut it. So I studied, I read books about writing, and I put my imagination to work. I invested a lot of time into developing the Da’Valian world until it was ready to be put out into the real world. And here we are!
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Haha. I love singing along to country songs, but I almost never know all the words. I’m the person who will make up their own words or start humming, or vocalize the guitar solo because I get really into it.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
OK, I’m convinced my mom’s house is haunted. I lived there for awhile and house-sat occasionally, and I’ve had some very strange experiences. Lights turning on in empty rooms, doors and drawers opening and closing, and once a strange voice. All these things would happen when it rained and I was there alone. It never felt malicious, but it was certainly creepy. Probably the creepiest experience was when a friend slept over and had a horrific, thrashing nightmare. That really put me on edge. Plus, there were crosses burned into the paint over a couple windows, which added to the mystique, and rumors about local ancient burial grounds that may have been constructed over.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Guys who leave the toilet seat up.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in beautiful Santa Cruz, California, and grew up alongside Big Basin State Park. The park suffered some severe fires this summer and, sadly, my childhood home burned down, so I’m still mourning the loss of that. I had always thought it would be nice to go back and visit it one day. The park suffered a lot of loss, too, so I know I’ll be too sad to go back and see it for some time.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I would spend it with my family, write my daughter a letter telling her how much I love her, take my husband on a hike, and eat all the food I’m not supposed to eat. Especially chocolate gelato.
How to find time to write as a parent?
Oh my gosh. The struggle is real. If anyone knows a trick, please tell me. Normally, I would set aside time to meet up with my writing partners, because we’re great at holding each other accountable, or I would call my parents to come give me a little time off “moming.” But with the pandemic and being a new parent, it’s much more difficult.
I don’t want to be the one to accidentally pass along Covid germs to our friends or parents, so I really rely on my husband, Brian. Most days after he’s done with work, my daughter hangs out with him while I “go book” as we say. I tried getting up early a couple times to write before my daughter wakes up, but she has a spider-sense and wakes up right with me, so evenings and weekends it is!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I saw my byline in the paper. I was freelancing for the sports section of the Register-Pajaronian, a newspaper in Watsonville, California. I was still in college and figuring out what I wanted to do, but there was a shift in my way of thinking when I realized that thousands of people were going to see this article -- about a local basketball coach who dedicated his life to coaching local kids -- that I wrote! What a thrill.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I love Back to the Future! And the second and third movies in the Back to the Future trilogy, but I love the first one the most. I have a little quote graphic with a Delorian on my desk that a friend gave me. It says, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Isn’t that the dream! I would love the Da’Valia Trilogy to be made into a movie. A lot of my visuals play on black and white, you have adventure, fights, passionate romance… I mean, let the dream casting begin! I’ll be waiting by the phone, Hollywood!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
The closest I got was the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands, but our timing was off and we were not able to go inside. My family history involves the Holocaust, and reading her diary when I was younger helped me imagine what they must have gone through.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
OK, don’t laugh, but for a long time, the grasshopper has been my spirit animal. I moved around a lot, and grasshoppers would always show up in strange places - my bed, in my purse at work… It struck me that maybe moving so frequently - 7 times in 7 years - was part of who I was on some spiritual level at that moment in time.
I thought they left me for awhile, when I settled down and got married, but I saw a grasshopper again just the other day. Maybe, together, we embody the spirit of jumping from one thing to the next. For a long time, that was jumping from one geographic location to another for me, but more recently, I think it pertains to major life changes and the willingness to take chances of a personal and professional nature. For instance, settling down with my husband, becoming a mother, and leaving behind a career that just wasn’t right for me anymore.
What inspired you to write this book?
The main thing that inspired me to write this book was Lilith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series. I know it’s strange to say an commercial urban fantasy series inspired you to write an epic fantasy series for new adult readers, but it did. Her story, the romance, and the imagery made me fall in love with an idea, which would be a spoiler for the third book of the trilogy, so I won’t go into that here. But, basically, reading good books is really inspirational for me.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Well, I have the second and third books in the Da’Valia Trilogy drafted, and I am working on editing them with the intent to publish the second book, Blood, Fire & Mercy, in 2021 and the third book by 2022. Beyond that, I have so many ideas floating around in my mind… choosing one will be hard.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters inBORN AT DAWN?
Yes! Neva Roberts is the main character of Born at Dawn. She’s 17 and working three jobs to help support her family. She’s super closed off, even from those closest to her, because she’s a half-blood and her mother raised her to hide the non-human side. But Neva is also pretty kick-ass. She moonlights as a thief, she enjoys competing in knife-throwing tournaments, and she operates in a moral gray area. Her biggest struggle in the first book is self-acceptance. The secondary characters are her human family and gang of thieves, and then as the book progresses, the Da’Valia, who are essentially battle demons that were created by the god of war.
There’s a couple of love interests, and each is really a reflection of some part of Neva. There’s her thieving friend, Adam, who she grew up with; her Da’Valian guardian, Astiand, who is your typical alpha male; and a Da’Valian soldier, Emiliand, who is your “gray shirt” guy. I don’t want to say too much about him because I know I’ll give something away, but he speaks to Neva in a way different from the other guys.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
OK, tell me if you’ve heard this one before - I started by pulling pieces of paper out of a hat. Seriously. When I finished college, I knew I wanted to write a book, and I needed some direction. I pulled out an occupation (thief) and a race (demon). Only I didn’t really want to write about a demon, so I decided to put my own spin on it. I wanted to create a people who complemented each other in a sort of yin and yang way. I also wanted them to be super honorable, courageous, valiant… And so the Da’Valia were born.
The hilans, the males of the race, have dark skin, hair, and horns. Their power is a night-sky black. But then on the other hand, the majilas, the females of the race, have white hair, skin and horns. Their power is sun-white and bright. They can use their powers together after a holy rite. I wanted the Da’Valia to be naturally fierce and brutal and purposefully proper and honorable.
Most of the Da’Valia characters were born out of these concepts. I didn’t even necessarily plan that Neva would operate in such a moral gray area, but I love that it worked out this way. She’s a half-breed, so it would only make sense that she does things a little differently.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
This question makes me laugh because I only recently realized what a name nerd I am. I have four different baby name books that I reference, and I owned them all long before I ever even thought about becoming a mom. The human names in the book were chosen to evoke a certain feel, one of high fantasy in a northern ice city. For the Da’Valian names, I built my own simple naming convention - guys have “and” on the end of their names and girls have “zhi” on the ends of their names. Surnames among the Da’Valia include a clan marker and a word derived from Spanish that often might hint at what type of person the character is.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
Oh my. Titles are hard for writers, and I ran through so many options before I settled on BORN AT DAWN. Eventually, I asked myself, “what is the theme of the book?” and then I looked for a phrase that embodied the theme. Since majilas, female Da’Valia, were created by the god of war at dawn and Neva’s journey is one of self-acceptance, Born at Dawn became the title.
Who designed your book covers?
Ruxandra Tudorica of Methyss Art. She’s an artistic goddess. Her process is super interesting, beginning with a stock image of a model, progressing with 3D stock images of clothing, hair, weapons, etc. Then, she digitally paints over it to turn it into an illustration and she adds the background elements. I can’t recommend her highly enough. When I look at the cover of Born of Dawn, I feel like this character who I’ve gotten to know so intimately over the years, has truly come to life.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot in the process of writing this book and this trilogy. I read so many books about plotting, took classes, challenged myself, asked other people to challenge me… My beta readers who tore into the first several chapters were perhaps the most helpful. I was able to learn from their constructive criticism and apply it throughout the book.
My husband also works in quality assurance and is one of the most critical people I know, so I asked him to be my consistency editor. During his paternity leave, we’d sit down at night or during nap time and go over his comments to troubleshoot them. In the process, I realized I couldn’t fake things or explain them away with magic. I needed to make sure every decision could be backed up if it was challenged. Rest assured, every decision in Born at Dawn can be defended! Haha. Anyway, now I feel as if my brain is wired differently, because as I write, I think to myself, could I defend this choice to my husband? And if the answer is no, I try again.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just, thank you so much for trusting a new indie author to take you on an adventure. I hope you love the book as much as I do!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
So there are two scenes that I ADORE, but I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that the Da’Valia are a passionate race and Neva’s relationship with a certain hilan (a male Da’Valia) gives me all the good feels.
Disclaimer: The book is mild steamy - no actual smut takes place (and sorry if the word “smut” offended anyone. I think you either love the term or hate it, and I prefer to embrace it!).
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
It would absolutely be Neva. We’d hang out, throw knives, and maybe get into trouble with her invisibility glamour.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I have one character in Book 3 who was largely inspired by a friend of my parents growing up, but everyone else is from my imagination.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Oh, yes, and they will never see the light of day! Haha. I wrote them when I was a teenager, so while I look back on them fondly, they really were the stepping stones to becoming the writer I am today.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Mmm… Something wintery or minty.
What did you edit out of this book?
I edited out two different beginnings to get things going right on Page 1. In one deleted beginning, Neva was meeting up with the crime lord who gave her a job, and in the another, she was on the job infiltrating a tower. The opening I went with, where she’s interrupted mid-job, seemed like a lot more fun.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Sarah J. Maas
What book do you think everyone should read?
The Sun Does Shine. I know, I just named 10 fantasy authors who are my absolute favorites, but The Sun Does Shine, a non-fiction book about one man’s wrongful imprisonment, will open your eyes to some of the injustices in the South, specifically against poor black men. I cried for this guy, his mom, and everything they went through just because he was poor and black. He had to fight for decades for the right to freedom.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first chapter book when I was 12, sooo let’s just say “many years.” I still have that first story in an old spiral-bound notebook. I never finished it, but I like to think it had potential. I believe it was heavily influenced by “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Jumanji,” and “The Mighty Ducks.” It was about an orphan who could see ghosts, liked to play hockey, and was going to live with her aunt in a haunted hotel following the deaths of her parents.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Some characters I will have in mind before I begin writing, and others will surprise me. Usually, I’ll have a vague idea of who I want them to be, but then I flesh them out more as I go, or do short writing exercises to learn more about them.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book, but I’m more of a research-as-you-go person and frequently Alt+Tab back and forth between my word processing screen and my Google screen. Latin, torture, food preservation, weapons, a lot of military stuff… The list is really long, but the site I use the most is Thesaurus.com, especially when I’m looking for the perfect word choice.
Do you see writing as a career?
For some people, I think it is. I would love for it to be mine, but I’m a pragmatist if nothing else. That’s why I studied Journalism in school. I loved to write and I wanted to earn a living doing something I loved, so it just seemed to fit. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what a high-stress, low-pay, draining environment it can be until I was more than a decade into it. Anyway, I digress. My hope is that my next career will be that of an author, but time will tell.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s fantastic. As I said earlier, there were not enough books for me to read growing up. I yearned for more great fantasy stories, and there just weren’t any. Now, with self-publishing as an avenue for so many authors who have great stories to tell, the market is saturated -- and you might think that’s a bad thing, but it’s not. Because the other side to it is that technology provides savvy consumers with what we need to determine if we’re going to like a book. There are reviews, Goodreads, and blogs… Really, you can have a pretty good idea of whether or not you’re going to like a book before you start reading it. Except you cannot always rely on ranking in library apps. I recently learn the stars in Libby are based on checkouts, not whether readers actually like the book. Haha. I think we just unveiled a personal pet peeve.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I like to write in silence, because then I’m not distracted, but once I get going, it’s hard to stop me. Some background noise is OK -- I do write a lot in coffee shops -- but the exception is if the background noise is a video game, because that looped music messes with my creativity. My poor husband found this out the hard way.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I tend to write one book at a time. For this trilogy, I hopped around a bit, because when I got to the second or third books, I realized I needed things to happen differently earlier on.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer, but a pen for when inspiration strikes and I’m not in my office.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I adore Jo from Little Woman. I’ve read that book many times over the years, and I always feel like I get something different out of it. For a long time, I was resistant to growing up and I really related to young Jo. Then, my life arc seemed to follow Jo’s all the way into adulthood. Plus, she was a writer :)
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I have always loved reading and storytelling. I absolutely know being an author was the right choice for me. I just wish I had decided to embrace it so fully earlier, and that I hadn’t held myself back for so many years. I got trapped in this cycle of trying to achieve perfection, but I’ve finally realized that perfection is unattainable by definition, and that every moment is the moment to seize.
I almost died in childbirth last year. It was a really traumatic experience, and I legitimately thought I was going to die. At the time, I remember being overtaken by a bright white light in the operating room and thinking, “well, at least I got my baby here safely.” But then, guess what? I was still alive, and I started contemplating what I want to do before I die -- and then the pandemic hit. I have to tell you, if you’ve been thinking about doing something for a long time, make it happen now. Stop waiting, stop putting it off. If there is no tomorrow, make sure you don’t regret it!
Advice they would give new authors?
I actually got to do this the other day, and it was great. I met a new friend online and she’s writing her first book. Here’s the advice I gave her: 1) Write your first draft and don’t get too caught up on the details, like if a chapter is too long or short. Things are going to change later, and you might realize you needed a scene earlier on, so trying to nail the length of your chapters first might actually create more work for you in the future. Get the first draft down on paper, and then start fine-tuning. 2) Use Art Breeder to visualize your characters. It’s super helpful to have a visual reference, and really fun!
Describe your writing style.
My writing-style is fast-paced, and it’s fairly easy to read. I was trained as a journalist, so I like to get to the point.
What makes a good story?
The best stories are the ones that make you fall in love. I don’t care if I’m falling in love with a city, a relationship, a magic structure, or what, but I want to fall in love. That’s why I read.
What areyoucurrently reading?
I am in the middle of Sarah J. Maas’s Crescent City. I haven’t fallen in love yet, but I know I will.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
It usually starts with a moment or two of inspiration, and I’ll jot down notes about a main character and who she is. I’ll write a few scenes that make for interesting back story and start to think about what kind of a plot I might explore. From there, I try to develop three main points for the story - where my character is in the beginning, where she is in the middle, and where she is in the end. Then, I write, re-write, self-edit, have an alpha reader, go through beta readers, have my husband do a consistency check, send the book off to an editor, make those changes, and then have Word read me my book aloud. Done. Easy. [Haha!]
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
This is an excellent question. I’d love to say I’m original, but I am heavily influenced by what books I read and what I watch on TV. I’ll write a scene and then laugh because it’s so familiar. Art inspires art, if you will. I’m not one of those people who’s looking at tropes and saying, I need to hit 1, 2, and 3 in this book, but I’ve read and watched enough media that it’s just natural to lean into some tropes -- even the ones I am not a huge fan of myself sometimes, oddly enough!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Read more books about writing, write more, and stop wasting your time in a job you don’t love (so you can write more!).
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
One thing about guys that I’m frequently surprised about is that they are always thinking about sex. I guess it’s kind of programmed into them at an evolutionary level. That said, I write in close-third, so I don’t write from the perspective of the opposite sex very often. When I do, I find it helps to do writing exercises to flesh out my supporting cast -- it’s extremely helpful when trying to imagine how they will react in a situation and pinpointing what drives them.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Far too long! Haha. Just kidding. I do not know how people are pumping out two books a week right now (hyperbole), and with social media, it can be far too easy to judge myself against others. This trilogy took me 12 years to write (I was working full time, and wasn’t able to write for a couple years because of tendonitis), so I guess I’m averaging 4 years per book, but I still need to work out the kinks in Book 2 and 3, so let’s round up to 5 years.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I do believe in writer’s block, but I will say that in the times when it has hit me, the root cause was that I hadn’t plotted ahead. I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants!), but I enter every story usually with three main points in mind - where the main character is in the beginning, the middle, and the end.
When I get stuck, it’s usually because I’m writing a scene that shouldn’t be where it is, or it shouldn’t be in the book at all. My advice to you if you’ve hit a block is to stop what you’re doing and work on something else, or go on a walk, or do the dishes, but you’re probably not loving what you’re working on in this moment if you’re blocked, so go back to it another time and assess if you even need it at all. Your reader will be able to tell if your heart wasn’t in it.
Follow the tourHEREfor special content and a giveaway!