I’m here with Mia Darien, fellow author NaNoWriMo Winner and animal lover. Mia has a few books out and today, she’s going to grace us with a few details.
KM: Welcome Mia! Thank you for taking time out to stop by my blog. Tell us about your books.
MD: Thanks for having me! Well, I’ve got two books out in my Adelheid series, which is paranormal suspense. All books are in first person, but each book follows a different narrator. The setting and the town is what connects things. Adelheid, CT is a fictional city with a lot of paranormal residents. The setting is one where supernatural creatures have been given legality.
The first book, “Cameron’s Law,” is set a year after this (the law) happens and follows Sadie Stanton, a vampire who was at the heart of the legality movement, as she sets up a business to help the supernatural community, and help humans with the community. She’s hiring preternatural jobs: hunter, animator, summoner. Attacks by vampires against werewolves start happening and threaten to cause rifts in the community, and there’s an anti-preter group called LOHAV trying to take advantage of it and rescind the law. Sadie has to work fast to keep it all together, but it doesn’t go as planned. What ever does?
“When Forever Died” follows Dakota, who we meet in book one, and who is the agency’s hunter. She is a different kind of shifter called a theriomorph and has a tragic, haunted past. Well, that past certainly isn’t sleeping in her book. It hits her head on while she’s hunting two different vampires. One is an Ancient, over a thousand years old and powerful, and the other is an ex-lover. All kinds of things come to a head in her book. We get to see a bit from Sadie and other characters from the first book, too.
KM: I love vampires, even if Agents are tired of hearing about them. The market is still booming with Vamps, so why vamps for you?
MD: Well, not just vampires but all kinds of paranormal beings. I love playing in the genre. Why this genre for me? I couldn’t say. I was drawn to it when I was a teenager, like so many, but then got stuck there.
KM: Your cover art doesn’t mention a publisher. Are you choosing the self-pubbed route? What framed your decision?
MD: Yes, I have chosen to self-publish. It wasn’t an easy decision. I carefully weighed pros and cons. I have tried to get published “traditionally” but have dealt with a lot of rejection, but my problem was never my writing. I wasn’t ever told a story was badly written. In fact, the opposite. Every story got a rejection that said it was well done but just didn’t fit what they were looking for. I got very close a couple times, but finally got tired of just not fitting. I knew that the reading population was much more vast than most publishers think.
Ultimately, I realized that – for me – the biggest reason to want a traditional/digital publisher was their help in the marketing. I’m not very good at that, but even so, I knew a lot of it would still be my responsibility even if a publisher did pick me up. There’s the ‘prestige’ of it, but that didn’t seem like a good enough reason to keep running into brick walls. The editing, but I knew I could manage there too and I’m not bad with graphics work, so I could do my own cover art.
I liked that self-publishing would allow me broader control over my own material and my own destiny, so to speak. So, I chose that route. It’s not for everyone, but it’s been a good choice for me.
KM: A lot of my followers are also fellow writers. Describe your writing process for us. What works for you? How long did it take you to write, edit and prepare for publishing?
MD: First off, I’m an outline person. I do not write “by the seat of my pants” but write a scene-by-scene outline for every story. So, I have my period where I work on one story over here while collecting ideas for another over there. Then I work on the outline, trying to make sure it all flows in a good narrative form, that I have enough scenes to demonstrate character and story without resorting to “telling over showing” and so forth. Then, once my outline is done, I write. I read a quote once, I want to say Hemingway, who said that writing is easy. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed. Well, that’s kind of how it feels! I try to write every night, barring anything getting in the way. I’m the mother of a two year old so writing usually has to wait till he’s in bed. Unfortunately, I have a chronic pain disorder that makes some evenings not so good for the writing, but I try to get at least one scene or one thousand words written every night.
How long? It varies from story to story. Some of these stories are ideas that started when I was a teenager, so you could say it takes a decade. But no, I’d say several months from the beginning of the idea collecting, to plotting, to writing, through at least three Beta Readers, revising, editing, polishing, ad copy and cover art, publishing.
I don’t let any grass grow, though. I generally am plotting one story while writing another while editing/shepherding through my Readers a third – if not more than that – at any given time.
KM: Such a colorful story has to have a colorful artist! Please tell us about yourself.
MD: I really don’t know that there’s much to tell. I’m a pretty boring person. That’s why I have to write such crazy stories! I’m a wife and mother, life time resident of New England, reading and writing take up whatever time is left from the rest of that, and sometimes I fit in a little World of Warcraft.
KM: Thank you Mia for stopping by and sharing your books with us. I look forward to diving into them!