MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DEVRI WALLS🌻
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
All my books fall into the YA fantasy category in one way or another. I have epic fantasy, fantasy, paranormal fantasy blend and dark fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Venators was a very intentional story. I needed a new project and for once didn’t have something already waiting in the wings. I remember thinking, “Do I want to stick with fantasy or should I try some paranormal?” The question annoyed me and I thought, “Why do I have to pick? Why can’t I do both?”
That’s how the bare bones of Venators world started. I created an alternate universe where anything and everything existed. Fantasy and paranormal snuggled up together in one power hungry world. I was so excited to work with dragons, magic, werewolves and vampires in the same book and I LOVE what it did to the overall environment.
After that I departed from my usual writing style again and decided to construct these novels with a different plot design. Each book within the Venator’s series will have a mini plot arc that starts and resolves itself within that book. But there will also be larger series plot arcs that are unfolding over the top as the books progress. It’s a beautiful blend of traditional novel writing and a layout resembling your favorite binge worth television shows.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
Fantasy, particularly young adult fantasy, has always been my drug of choice. I love the perfect brand of escape fantasy offers. There is so little resemblance to the world I know it allows me to leave everything behind for a few hours. I never did enjoy books where I need a map, a genealogy chart and a lengthy flow chart to remember what was going on. So the young adult fantasy genre was a natural fit.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
In Venators the gate to the dimension of Eon is through the ST. Louis Arch. I spent a couple days around the arch writing the battle and chase scene as I moved from place to place. That was an awesome experience.
Outside of that most of my research is usually battle related. The fantasy world comes out of my head and the rules of nature are usually a little skewed when magic is involved. Therefore, little research. But weapons were a big deal in this one and I consulted a weapons expert frequently. We also had to invent some weapons as well as alter things—such as the traditional ways of carrying a crossbow. I chatted with my weapons expert about what could and couldn’t be done to come up with reasonable solutions.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Absolutely. That was planned from conception.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
My days are really…hmmmm, flexible is probably not the world I’m looking for. They are rarely the same. I have a lot of things I’m trying to cram into my days. I’m a mother of two. My husband has a very odd schedule, which leaves me alternating between having afull time husband and being a single mom. I’m a voice teacher and have about 12 students this year. I’m writing books and by all definitions of the word, running my ownauthoring business.
My days are something filled entirely with business items. Interviews, design work, social media, video recording and editing, etc. Other days I mix writing with business. Some days I write most the day. It depends on the needs of my week and my own mental state.
Creativity for me is greatly impacted by my moods, I reeaaallly wish that weren’t that case.
If I’m on a deadline obviously things switch to writing being the only focus and word goals and the whole nine yards.
Flexible or chaotic?
You be the judge. Lol!
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Book two in the Venators series is already complete and waiting. Because it hasn’t seen the editors yet I can’t move onto book three without risking being forced to trash a lot if significant changes are made in book two.
Sooooo, I did what any logic person would do and started a new series. It does not have a name yet but I’m really excited about this new project. I have high hopes for it.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I don’t have names with special meanings. But I do focus on some sense of continuity. I usual search certain styles of names so the book doesn’t feel disjointed with onecharacter named Sally and another named JonVon Leggenstien. Venators was interesting because we have so many different species. In this book I chose to keep the continuity within species instead of the world as a whole.
Where do your ideas come from?
Who the heck knows. My brain is a scary place to be.
Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes the smallest things will trigger entire stories. Song lyrics, movies, a tree, a person in Wal-Mart. I never know what’s going to do it. But my ideas come in very fragmented. I see what you would call, a movie scene in my head. If I like it I start focusing on it and asking things like, in what world would that happen in? Or what circumstances would’ve created that?
What would that character’s end goals be? And so on.
And see? I sound like a crazy person… awesome.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
There is a part of me that wants to write a thriller someday… someday. It’s about the only other genre I ever get ideas for.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Publishing. I enjoy writing. I even deeply enjoy the process that is someone else destroying my writing and then having to put everything back together again so I can watch this beautiful thing emerge that wasn’t there before. (Cough, cough.. editing)
But publishing… that is another beast entirely. The promotion, the hours of social media, the Instagram account and Facebook account and YouTube account. Ordering and directing design on cover art, bookmarks, promo items, swag. Approving print copies and being terrified that you have surely missed something horrible that will now be in Barnes and Nobles all over the Untied States. Having long to do lists that have absolutely nothing to do with actual writing. THAT is the hard part.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think they are loads of fun and someday would love to have one. I am however very particular with all things associated with my book and would rather wait than have one I’m not pleased with.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I haven’t quit.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being able to do something that I love and work in a creative medium is a huge blessing and I am so lucky to be able to do it. I feel like I found my calling and that is beautiful thing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Oh man, hopefully further along and well established.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Writing and publishing are two very different things. If you love to write, DO IT! And keep writing when that story is hard and when you hit the wall and when you are sure it sucks. Finish that book and then turn around and edit it until it turns into something beautiful.
But unless you are ready and willing to do all of the things that come with publishing a novel, don’t chase that path. If you have to go down the path, then do it, but try to focus on the parts that you love.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I do read reviews. I’m not sure if I’ve read them all, but I read a good amount. And NO! I never, ever, ever respond. Soooo not appropriate.
The bad reviews almost ruined me in the beginning and my coping mechanism came out of total desperation. I got on Amazon, looked up Harry Potter and read all the one star reviews. Trust me, there are a LOT. And they are not very nice. As I read all of these horrible reviews about a series that not only I, but the world, adores, I thought to myself, “Ok, if people can hate this, they can hate my books too.”
I could write the Pulitzer prize winning book and there would still be reviews about how it was the worst drivel they’ve ever read. Art is subjective, that’s just the way it is.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I adore Ve Schwab. Her Darker Shades of Magic series is BRILLIANT.
I also love the Demon King Series by Cinda Williams Chima.
I obviously have a very long list, but these are at the top for sure.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I don’t even know anymore. It honestly depends. Sometimes I can’t stop and I’m on fire and it is so incredibly invigorating. Other days… I feel like I just ran a mile, in the mud, with weights around my ankles.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Fear is a big one for me. I get so wrapped up in the emotion that trying to create through it is difficult.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what the story demands and what I want to write. I do this work because I have a passion for it. I don’t find passion trying to write something because I “should”
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thanks for having me!