Friday, 17 August 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW & PROMO - DESIREE FINKBEINER





1. Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’m a professional artist. My work is collected world wide and appears in hundreds of private collections all over the world. It’s been licensed and published on anything from calendars and stationary to skateboards and needlework patterns. I enjoy fantasy art and outsider art.
In the print edition of Ethos, I decided to add illustrations- I mean, why not? Might as well. But the illustrations do not appear in the kindle format.


2. Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?

I’m currently completing book two in the Ethos series. I found it more difficult to write, mostly because the plot becomes so much more complex and I had to do a lot of historical research to make the plot believable. I’m also responding to reader feedback in the other installments to keep readers excited about the series. Reader feedback does help steer me in new directions and sometimes makes me change direction. 



BLURB from Goodreads
When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies… 

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect. 

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…


Available at 
Amazon.co.uk 

3. What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

Book two of Ethos should be out around October, and book three sometime in spring 2013. Ethos is urban fantasy/paranormal romance. By summer 2013, book one in my new steampunk/sci-fi/mystery will be ready for release. It’s called ‘The Elevator’.

4. What made you decide to write that genre of book?

I enjoy all genres of fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal, so obviously that’s what I am going to enjoy writing. But I’m particularly a lover of urban fantasy and adventure with tons of action.

5. Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?

My favourite character in the Ethos series is Kalen. He’s virtuous and honorable, and of course, the perfect hero. 

6. If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?

I’d have to go with Arden (from Ethos). She plays a very small role in book one but a huge part in book two. I don’t want to give a major spoiler away, but when you read book two, Arden has a huge surprise for readers. I’m excited about her character. Total femme fatal and loyal to her cause.

7. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?

My older sister, Jamie, is always the first to see my books. She’s very supportive and encourages me to keep going. Then I pass out the rough edit to a few beta readers before sending it to the editor.

8. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes. I’ve given away many copies for review purposes. Ethos is getting a wide range of mixed reviews. Mostly good, but of course it’s impossible to impress all readers because each person has different perspectives and pet peeves. There will be lovers and haters for all stories out there.

9. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

Yes. And they all mean a lot to me- good and bad. Believe it or not, some of the negative reviews have been most helpful because they drive me to want to do better. Some of them also prove to me that I’m doing something right. One example is that of the heroine, Brianna. I purposefully designed her character to be a one-track-minded 21 year old, co-dependant young woman that obsesses over Kalen. But, readers who don’t hold on to the end of the first book, never get to see her blossom and overcome her human weaknesses. And believe me, Brianna makes a LOT of mistakes. It’s interesting to see how many readers are comfortable with accepting her flaws and growing with her on the adventure, and also interesting to see who gives up early on. 

I designed her immature personality for a reason, but some readers aren’t able to hold on for the ride. I’m trying to show the progression of maturity and how weak things can become strong to us as individuals. I think most readers ‘get it’, but there are some who are too quick to close the book and give up on Brianna. We were all 21 at one point in our lives, and I hope Brianna serves as a reminder that we all grow up.

That being said, the reviews tell me a lot. They tell me what I’m doing right, and how I can improve- but they reveal more about my readers than anything. It’s so cool to see how many perspectives come from the same story, and how many people love what others hate. Different strokes for different folks.

10. Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?

No. In fact, I try to take the time to thank reviewers regardless of what they wrote. The only time I dislike a negative review is when it offers no constructive criticism. “This book sucks.” Tells me nothing. But, “I couldn’t handle the heroine’s obsessive tendencies, or the way the magic system works.” Tells me what I need to know to either improve or reaffirm that I got the reaction I wanted. But by all means, be honest, I have a pretty thick skin and I’m not easily offended. I believe all opinions are valid.

11. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Write first, then come up with title. Naming a book before it’s written is like naming a pet before you get it… Unless you have the entire outline in your mind and you already know what the title should be. Even so, sometimes titles change once the work is finished.

12. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
On the fly. I don’t spend much time with names. I’d rather move with the story, so most of the time I just give new characters the first name that pops into my mind. However, if there is a culture that requires names with proper ethnic origin, I go to baby name websites.

13. Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Both. Sometimes I work on very detailed character sketches, other times I get to know the character as I write. The characters I write on the fly sometimes surprise me the most and turn out way different than my first impression of them at first introductions in the story. If I am surprised, as the author, then I think readers will feel the genuine surprise as well.

14. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Yes, all the time. Characteristics from people I know are often drafted into my characters to make them more real to me.  And there are several little true stories from my own life in each book I write. Or I borrow events from the lives of people I know and give it my own spin.


15. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")

Always. Writing without a moral is like team sports without any rules to guide the game. What’s the point?

16. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Ebook is my favorite because I hate clutter in my house, at least for fiction anyway. For nonfiction, I prefer print so I can keep it in our family library for educational purposes. I also like to be able to take notes in the nonfiction books I read. My history books are all marked up.

17. What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
Book of Mormon. I’m reading it for the 7th or 8th time. Bible coming in a close second, read 4 times.  I also enjoy other books of scripture and inspirational and historical texts. I also love reading Chinese proverbs and ancient texts like the Tao Te Ching, which I skim through often for inspirational passages.

18. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No. If there was ever an EMP, our wealth of knowledge would be lost. Or if, during a distaster, energy became an issue, how would people recharge their e-readers? Hard copies are classic and will always be around.

19. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
No. Early on, they seem encouraged to read for the sake of literacy, but the fault lies with most parents for never instilling a love of books within their children. We can’t just saddle the education system for failing to push creativity to its fullest potential. But it also bothers me that kids are forced to read books that they can not relate to in public school. For example, I remember having to read several classics that I HATED, so I gave up and rented the movie so I could write my report to pass the class. How can schools expect kids to LOVE reading if they can't assign something for kids to truly enjoy? Not that there aren't some great classics, but if we expect kids to gain a love for reading, the only way to do it is to give them something they can fall in love with... so they too, can feel the MAGIC of getting lost in a book. 

It seems to me, families who read together are closer knit, especially if they read some sort of scriptural text that promotes moral maturity. But we have so many adults in this world who don’t read, so how can we expect their children to respect literature? 





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