How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I grew up in the Dominican Republic, a very different and yet incredibly defining experience for a writer. The island shaped my writing in so many different ways. It gave me inspiration. It taught me plot, characterization and point of view on the go. It trained my senses in the keen art of appreciating the details. Scents, colors, textures and flavors pack a huge punch beneath the tropical sun. Conflict meets drama when you live in a society where extreme poverty collides every day with extreme wealth and justice is a no-go. The D.R. was an incredible setting, and growing up on the island was a fantastic experience in itself. No wonder I write fantasy!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
My villain gave The Curse Giver its title. She is an intriguing, mysterious curse giver, a creature who makes her living from casting curses. For her, good is evil and evil is the only way to go.
As the book begins, she has cast a fatal curse on the line of Uras, and only Bren, the last Lord of Laonia remains alive. But like his father and his brothers before him, he is also about to die. His only hope is to find a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest way. But when Bren finds the woman, the condemned healer he rescues from the pyre is not what he expects. Together, prey and predator must ally to defeat the powerful curse giver who has already conjured their ends.
How and when did you take the plunge to become a writer?
I think I’ve always been a writer in my mind, but I also have a very practical streak. The idea of being a starving artist was terrifying to me, especially because I married young and had little ones right away. So I decided I was going to do it backwards. I was going to raise my family first and then, once my family’s needs were met, I would devote my time to writing. And I did.
What do you find most rewarding about being an author?
The amazing readers who come along in my adventures.
What made you decide to write fantasy?
I’ve always been intrigued by the fantasy genre. I love the genre’s creative freedom, the opportunity to rethink, redesign and reinterpret the human experience, the creative challenges that arise from world building, and the mysteries that magic brings to the human equation. I grew up in the Dominican Republic and my life always felt kind of magical in many ways. I’ve always straddled different worlds. Fantasy is a perfect fit for me.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book, then choose the title?
I usually discover the title of my novels at the very moment when I write it for the first time into the story. It can happen early on, during the opening paragraph or late in the process. It’s really neat. It’s always a “wow” moment.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
I typically know the beginning and the end of my novels before I start writing. I also have a pretty good idea of the plot and the big issues I want to tackle. But my plots are always twisting and I discover a lot about my characters and the storyline as I go along. The best plot twists are those that surprise not just the reader, but the author as well.
Early bird, or a night owl?
I’m a creature of the night, a night owl for sure. It’s peaceful at night. It’s quiet and there are no interruptions. At night, I’m free to dream, even if I’m fully awake.
Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
I credit my family for encouraging me to pursue the path to publication, especially my husband, who encouraged me when I was reluctant.
Are you familiar with the social networks and do you actively participate?
Of course! I like FB and Twitter. I’m very active on these, even though, occasionally, I’ve been known to neglect a post or two in favor of writing. I do love the opportunity to interact with readers, writers and friends. I also like Goodreads and Amazon authors. I have considered becoming active in other social media networks, but to be honest, I barely have the time to keep up with what’s on my plate right now, let alone tackle more.
What are your current projects?
I’m really excited about my newest fantasy novel, The Curse Giver from Twilight Times Books, which just came out in print this October. The Curse Giver is about an innocent healer, Lusielle, who is betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn’t commit. When she’s about to be executed, Lusielle is rescued from the pyre by an angry, embittered lord doomed by a mysterious curse. You might think that Bren, Lord of Laonia, is Lusielle’s savior, but no, he isn’t. On the contrary, Bren is pledged to kill Lusielle himself, because her murder is his people’s only salvation.
What ensues is a dangerous journey, where Lusielle and Bren have to escape their ruthless enemies and unravel the mystery of the terrible curse that ails the Lord of Laonia. They also have to overcome the distrust they have for each other, struggle with the forbidden attraction between them, and defy the boundaries between love and hate and good and evil to defeat the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.
I’m really proud of The Curse Giver. It’s gotten some wonderful reviews, which you can check out at http://www.doramachado.com/cursegiver.php.
I’m also excited because all of the books of the Stonewiser series are coming out in audiobook this year. In fact, the first book of the trilogy, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, is already out. I have to tell you, listening to the story was one of the most powerful and joyful experiences I have ever had as an author.
The narrator, Melissa Reizian, is an incredibly talented voice actress. She did an amazing job, applying a broad spectrum of accents and sounds, enriching and enlivening the story. Even if you have already read Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, I encourage you to listen to the audiobook. And if you’re an audiobook lover, this is one you have to hear. You can listen to a chapter sample at: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stonewiser-Audiobook/B00F52CJIY/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379186069&sr=1-1
It’s good old-fashioned storytelling at its very best!
There is a lot more going on at www.doramachado.com, including my blog, newsletter and a giveaway that your readers might enjoy.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?
Write like the wind, write often, diligently and continuously, write for yourself and my favorite, write all the way to The End.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Lots of stories, fantasy adventures with lots of twists, conflict, meaningful relationships and lots of romance. I have several different projects going, including The Misery Glutton, a romantic fantasy with a Latin twist that has been really fun to write and The Soul Chaser, a companion novel to The Curse Giver. I’m also thrilled because the Stonewiser series is coming out in audiobook. In fact, the first book of the Stonewiser series, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, is now available as an audiobook at http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stonewiser-udiobook/B00F52CJIY/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379186069&sr=1-1. Take a listen at the sample chapters, available for free. If you enjoy a complex, beautifully narrated story, then this one’s for you.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for having me here today, and special thanks to your readers. If you enjoy a fast-paced, epic adventure with lots of conflict, plot-twists and a torrid, forbidden romance, The Curse Giver is for you.
Lusielle’s bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.
Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Rating – PG-18
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