Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10 Questions for Indie Author Charissa Dufour

1. Congratulations on publishing your debut novel, Sucked In.  Tell us about the book-- what inspired you to write it? 

Thank you! Sucked In is the first in the series that just plain sucks. It’s a ridiculous romp through the world of vampires, fae, and werewolves. Sucked In answers the question “What would the author of sappy, vampire romance novels make of the real thing?”

Ashley Hawn, my main character, struggles to transition to her new life as a vampire. The change is made extra difficult by the fact that nearly every supernatural being is after her.

The story came to life when my husband and I were sitting on our back porch, making fun of Twilight, and one of us said “What would happen if Stephanie Meyer was suddenly turned into a vampire only to learn that vampires don’t sparkle?” A half hour later, we had the bare bones of the plot. Many years later, I had a college degree and a finished book.

2. How much of the book is pure fiction and how much is rooted in real events, or even autobiographical?

Great question. There is a surprising amount of this book that is from my real life. There’s a mention of how the main character broke her nose which I took from how I broke my nose. Other small pieces are also from my life.

Most, but not all, of the main characters are based on real people in my life. In fact, I often message the person who inspired the character and ask them what they would do, think, or wear in this particular situation. My work is really a collaboration of minds. I think it makes it the story more interesting, more rounded.

3. Which of your character(s) do you identify with the most?

The main character is based off a mix of me and a dear friend of mine, meaning I obviously connect with her. She is me, except with red hair and a vampire.

4. Why did you become a writer?

The story of how I became a writer isn’t exactly a happy one. In junior high I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I had to drop out of school and battle through a long, tough recovery. During my time out of school I spent many days completely alone. Being an extrovert made this incredibly hard. I started writing books to keep myself company.  By the time I returned to school, I had my first completed novel. It was total crap.  I spent the next six or seven years honing my skills and learning a lot more about the written word. The day I hit “publish” on Amazon was the most exciting day of my life.

5. What’s your writing routine like? 

I have my own office at home, with many corkboards full of sticky notes, drawings, and inspirational sayings. On my desk, I have duel screens (very exciting and very new), so that I can have multiple documents out and at the ready. I love listening to three different Pandora stations that are just enough to keep me energized but not enough to distract me. They include: Ella Fitzgerald, Olly Murs, and Matchbox 20.

I admit I get blocked, a lot. I think all writers who are honest would admit to it. I often time stare at my screen morosely. Then I get up and play with my kittens. Sometimes I switch up the music and other times I get more coffee. Caffeine is a huge help to the ol’ blockage, of the mind that is.
And of course, sometimes I just give up.

6. Do you stick to just one genre, or do you write in multiple genres?  Why?

At present, I write two different genres, urban fantasy and medieval fantasy. I write what I want to read. It gives me a passion for what I write and makes it fun. If you don’t love it, it won’t be loved by your readers.

7. What’s your favorite medium—novels, short stories, flash fic, etc.?  Why?

I love novels. I like stories that get it all out. I feel short stories always leave me wanting WAY more. Short stories are great, though, when they introduce a new series by an established author. A great example is Patricia Brigg’s Alpha and Omega series. It started with a short story in a book called On the Prowl. Great introduction to characters, leaving you desperate for more!

8. What are your favorite books/authors?

I’m sure everyone who has ever tried to answer this question will say it is nearly impossible to answer. There are just too many amazing books out there. I guess, if I have to choose just one, I would pick Dragonsong by Anne McCaffery. Such a good story with a character you just can’t help but love. Her whole series is amazing, really.

9. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading The Only Good Roman by Christine Elaine Black, another indie author. After this I will be reading A Chronetic Memory by Kim K. O’Hara.

10. Do you have a work-in-progress you’d like to tell us about?

My next book to be released is currently called Torn. It’s the story of a princess who, through a series of accidents, ends up the slave of her family’s enemies. She must hide her identity, as she tries to ruin them from the inside. Eventually though, they discover who she is and find the one way they could make her life worse—marry her to the heir to the throne. Will she do it? Will she turn into her own family’s enemy to save her life? 

Thanks for reading!  As always, please feel free to leave questions or comments in the section below.  To learn more about Charissa and Sucked In, read on.   

Author Bio

My journey to become a writer began in 8th grade, when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and pulled from school to recover. During this time, I was left alone for hours on end and it was then that I discovered new friends within the pages of books. I also learned the blessing of creating my own friends within my writing—as demented as that sounds. Therefore, at the ripe age of fourteen, I wrote my first novel. It sucked! But I kept going. Now, I am finalizing my first indie novel, with sequels to come; two other series, and a fiction-based blog. I never imagined the first horrible novel about a man who crash-landed on his long-lost home would turn into a lifelong passion.

About Sucked In

Ashley Hawn writes novels where the dark, handsome, brooding anti-hero always gets the attractive mortal girl... that is, until her out-of-her-league boyfriend turns her into a creature of the night. The only problem is, real life vampires are nothing like the creatures of her imagination. Suddenly, she is trapped in in the middle of a supernatural war that challenges everything she thought she understood about the world of fiction, leaving her with the realization that being a vampire actually sucks.

Purchase on Amazon.

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