Saturday, April 13, 2013

Featured Author: Tricia Drammeh

Last September, Tricia Drammeh was here to tell us about her debut novel, The Claiming Words, a YA paranormal romance. Tricia has just self-published her second book, The Fifth Circle, a novel in the contemporary fiction genre, and I'm happy to have her back today to tell us about it.

About the book:

Sean is no stranger to darkness. He's overcome a dangerous addiction, struggled with mental illness, and faced relentless bullying by his peers. His best friend, Alex, has always been there for him, but when he falls in love with her, he replaces his online gaming obsession with a possessive interest in her.

Alex's survival depends upon her ability to lock memories of her troubled childhood deep inside her mind, but an unhealthy relationship with Sean causes dark visions of her past to rise to the surface. Sean's obsession and Alex's complacency collide, resulting in tragedy.

Together, Sean and Alex live in a hell of their own making. One will escape at the expense of the other. Both will discover why Dante chose to condemn the Wrathful and the Sullen in the Fifth Circle of Hell.

Interview with Tricia:

Welcome back, Tricia! Your first book was published with a small press, but you've gone the self-pub route with this newest book. How's your experience been with self-publishing versus small press?

There are definite advantages and disadvantages no matter which path you choose. The publisher for The Claiming Words looked at The Fifth Circle, but it isn’t really a genre they handle, so I decided to take the self-publishing route, and I’m glad I did! It’s something I really wanted to try. For me, the biggest advantage is that everything is done according to my own timeline. I’m not the most patient person, and when you’re working with a publisher, you have to adhere to their schedule. With self-publishing, everything moves so much faster because if you miss a scheduled launch date, you only have yourself to blame.

How did you start writing?

I wrote a little bit of poetry in high school. I’d always wanted to write a book and even tried to write one several years ago. I started writing The Claiming Words almost three years ago, and it’s the first novel I ever completed.

What do you like best about writing?

I love getting sucked into a world of my own creation.

What’s your least favorite thing?

I don’t like it when I have writer’s block or can’t get a certain scene to work.

How you come up with the title The Fifth Circle?

In the book, one of the main characters is assigned the fifth circle of hell as the topic for a research paper. In many ways, she’s been living in the fifth circle of hell her entire life, playing the part of the sullen, or apathetic.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

Sean and Alex live in a hell of their own making. One will escape at the expense of the other.

How did you come up with the idea for The Fifth Circle?

Well, since I never plot anything out ahead of time, I started out with a vague idea for a young adult fantasy (like I always do). The fantasy elements never came together, and the characters were darker than what I normally write. I set the book aside for a while until I had a dream about the Inferno and the circles of hell. When I woke up, I knew what to write about and the story took off from there.

What is your writing process?

As I mentioned, I never plot anything out. I tend to write as I go, which usually means heavy revisions and rewrites later on. 

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings books more than once. I’ve also read Gone with the Wind and Pride & Prejudice several times. I’d love to reread Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction before the next book comes out.

Oh, now stop sucking up. :) 

Have you ever bought any books just for the cover?

I almost always choose books based on the cover, especially when I’m in a book store. A good cover will draw me in and a good back cover blurb will determine whether or not I actually buy the book. I’ve found many amazing books this way.

What would your characters in The Claiming Words think of the characters in The Fifth Circle?

I don’t think my characters in The Claiming Words would have much in common with those in The Fifth Circle. In The Claiming Words, the characters all come from caring, loving families who are close-knit, but I’m afraid in The Fifth Circle, this isn’t the case.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

My favorite scene is when Alex sits down to take her English final. The essay topic is: What was the single most significant event of your life? Her teacher stops her before she begins writing and says, “If I asked anyone in this town to write your essay for you, I know what they’d choose to write about. You don’t have to let that one event define you. You choose what to write about.” Those words—-and the subsequent essay Alex writes—changes everything for her.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Can I pick two?


For Sean, his theme song would probably be Lithium by Nirvana. Though Alex makes references to I Cain’t Say No from Oklahoma, I think her song would be Wide Awake by Katy Perry.

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

I’m currently reading Elfin by Quinn Loftis. It’s an ebook review copy for a blog tour.
I’m really, really enjoying it.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

It’s never fun to get a bad review, but I try to remember it’s impossible to please everyone. That being said, there is often valid criticism and helpful advice in a negative review, so I make note of that and try to use it in future writing.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Anywhere! I do my best writing late at night after the house is quiet and the kids are settled, but if I’m in the writing zone, I can write anywhere, anytime. Of course, I’d prefer to do my writing in a beachfront cottage somewhere, but we don’t live anywhere near the ocean.

Where’s home for you?

I currently live in St. Charles which is a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on edits for Dark Summons, the first book in a paranormal series for young adults. It’s about a high school girl named Abby who accidentally summons a demon during a séance. She learns very quickly that the supernatural world isn’t as fun and exciting as she thought. Her life becomes unmanageable until help comes from an unexpected source.

About the author:

Tricia Drammeh is a wife, a mother of four children, a coffee junkie, and a book lover who lives in the St. Louis area with her family. She's an author of multicultural fantasy, mainstream fiction, and paranormal romance novels for young adults and adults who are still young at heart. Tricia has penned six complete novels including The Claiming Words and The Fifth Circle


Connect with Tricia:

Website / 
Blog / 
Facebook / 
Goodreads / 

Buy the book: Amazon