Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking With Tricia Drammeh

Hello, and welcome to TriciaPalooza! Tricia Drammeh’s debut  novel, a young adult paranormal romance called The Claiming Words, will launch on October 6 in St. Charles Missouri. If you’re in the area, stop by Main Street Books from one to three o’clock next Saturday for the official launch. If you can’t make it, watch this blog all week for a new TriciaPalooza post every day! And if you leave a comment each day, you'll be eligible for the giveaway of a Kindle version of The Claiming Words. We’ll have book excerpts, character interviews, and a review. First, a little about the book:

"Welcome back, Tricia. I’m so excited about your launch. The Claiming Words is a very intriguing title. Where did you get
the idea for it?

The idea started with a random idea for a love triangle. The characters Alisa, Jace, and Bryce emerged first, and Rachel appeared once I began writing. The story didn’t exactly follow along my original train of thought, but that’s how it started.

The Claiming Words is a paranormal romance written for the young adult audience. Do you have any plans to write in any other genres?

I’ve dabbled in other genres. The Fifth Circle is geared toward an older YA market and there’s not a trace of fantasy or romance. It’s in first draft form and waiting for my attention. I’m also working on a chick-lit novel, a zombie book for an adult audience, and another paranormal YA novel.

You are prolific! What do you like best about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is having that ‘aha’ moment when everything comes together.

Aha! Sorry. Couldn't resist. What’s your least favorite thing?

My least favorite thing is writer’s block.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I came up with the title for The Claiming Words when I was at work one day. The book was originally called “The Watchers,” but I wasn’t very fond of the title. I was doing a little brainstorming while entering Accounts Payable, and The Claiming Words just popped into my number-saturated brain.

I love it when the title of the book becomes clear in the story, and this scene is so good because Mordecai is so bad: “Bryce’s little brother will never choose you, and if the Alexanders were honest, you would have known that. The male of our species craves the magic of the female—power you do not possess. He will never whisper The Claiming Words in your ear. Perhaps you should run along now and find someone of your own kind.”

Which came first: the title or that scene with Mordecai?
The title came first. I was in the middle of a massive rewrite when I came up with the new title, and the scene with Mordecai was an add-on.

You have some real bad guys—and girls—in this story. What was the inspiration for them?

My bad girl, Becky, is just your typical snotty high school cheerleader. I went to school with a few Beckys. As for the bad guys, obviously the Demons are just stone cold evil, so they are figments of my imagination. I love the bad guys in my book, probably more than I love the good ones.

How did you create the plot for this book?

I am ashamed to tell you my book had no plot for probably the first five revisions. There was a lot of stuff going on, but I didn’t really form a coherent plot until much, much later. Needless to say, I ended up scrapping more than half the book and rewriting it.

I love your cover art. Did you have any say in it?
I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for a cover. My publisher had a view ideas that he passed on to a brilliant artist, Catherine LaPointe. She worked up a few sketches, and we chose one we really liked.

What do you think of it?

I was so impressed because her rendering of my characters is exactly how I envisioned them.

Tell us about the artist.

Catherine is a New York artist who does illustrations, book covers, shoes (how cool is that?) and just about anything else. She’s amazing. If you want to check out her work, here’s a link to her website:

There are a lot of characters in this novel. When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

I usually have a main character or two in mind and work around that.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

My favorite scene is when Alisa gets fed up with Bryce and challenges him to a battle in the sparring ring. She doesn’t defeat him, but manages to best him a few times and wipe the smug grin off his face. Like they always say, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

I love that scene! Why did you let Bryce eventually beat her? I would have loved for her to wipe the floor with him as she did with Jace.
There’s no way Alisa could ever defeat Bryce. He’s been professionally trained, unlike Jace who is still learning. I love that scene too.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

"You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift.

Who are your favorite authors?

J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tad Williams, Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy, and Marian Keyes to name a few.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I’m reading an Advance Review Copy of First Frost by Liz DeJesus. I’m also reading Heroes & Lovers by Wayne Zurl in paperback format.   

The reviews have been great for The Claiming Words, but criticism is part of the package for a writer. How do you handle criticism of your work?

It hurts when someone doesn’t like something you’ve put your heart and soul into. I try to remember that everyone has a different opinion and preferences. In nearly every negative critique, there’s at least a grain of truth. Sometimes the truth hurts.

You live in St Charles, Missouri. Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where your town.
I live right down the road from the historic district. One weird thing...last year St Charles was in national news because the Sugar Plum Fairy got fired.

Oh no!

One nice thing about St Charles is Historic Main Street. It’s right by the Missouri River and has the most wonderful, interesting shops imaginable, including Main Street Books where my book launch is being held.

I’ve been there, and you aren’t exaggerating.

There are a dozen different festivals at the Riverfront, but I love Main Street even on a deserted Sunday night. One historical fact about St Charles is that it was the first state capital of Missouri.

Writer’s block is inevitable. What do you do when it happens?

I am well acquainted with writer’s block. I get writer’s block every time I get to the middle of a manuscript. I usually solve it by starting a new project. Maybe that’s why I have six unfinished novels in various stages of incompletion.

Is there anything in particular that you do to help the writing flow? Music? Acting out the scene? Long showers?

Music helps. Acting out the scene? I’ve never done that, but I have been known to talk to my characters while I was alone in my car. Is that weird?

No comment. What’s one of your favorite quotes?

"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein.

I just finished reading The Claiming Words, and I'm ready for another Tricia Drammeh book. What are you working on now?

I’m working on a rewrite of The First Protector, which is a prequel to The Claiming Words.

Can you tell us a little bit about The First Protector? Will we see more of Jace, Rachel, Alisa, and Bryce?

Yes, we'll see Jace, Rachel, Alisa, and Bryce in The First Protector. The book takes a look at the story before The Claiming Words. It's written from the point of view of Jace & Bryce's father, Abe. It explains why the Demon Nevare has set his sites on destroying their family. The First Protector currently covers some of the territory explored in The Claiming Words, but delves more deeply into certain aspects of the Demon's vendetta against Abe.

Cool. Thanks for being here, Tricia. We'll talk to you more later in the week. 

About the author:

Tricia Drammeh is a wife and a mother of four children. Although she currently lives in Missouri, she has called many places home, including Georgia, Ohio, and California. She’s worked in retail, customer service, sales, and accounting, but writing has always been her dream career. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, drinking vast amounts of coffee, and spending time with her family and the multitude of animals who have taken over her home. Tricia is currently working on her sixth novel.

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