Welcome back to Monday - let's get you out of work mode and into another author interview!
I have the pleasure of talking with award-winning fantasy author D.L. Armillei. This USA Today and International Bestselling Author spends most of her time fantasizing about visiting other worlds, befriending magical animals, and meeting new friends who will go on dangerous yet rewarding adventures with her.
D. L.'s (Donna's) flagship Anchoress series is about the spiritual development of a female teen warrior set against the backdrop of an epic quest fantasy. It's Karate Kid meets Lord of the Rings.
Some of her favorite books include Dune, The Hobbit, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. Her favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (again), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, and Wizard of Oz. Most often you can find Donna ignoring reality with her nose in a good fantasy book. Although, witnesses have seen her dragging friends to the hottest new fantasy or action movie.
When Donna's not writing, she can be found reading quietly in her hammock with her little white kitty snoozing by her side. Or searching for the next unique fantasy product to offer on her "Your Fantasy Portal" website. 🦄 Or creating the next fun video for her "Your Fantasy Portal" YouTube channel, the place where fantasy and fun come to life!
You might also spot her hanging around tiki huts on white-sand beaches in Florida, riding her RAD electric bike wherever the trail takes her, swimming in the clear blue water off the Gulf of Mexico, or kayaking with mermaids (real ones) in Weeki Wachee. 🧜🏻♀️
1. Star Trek or Star Wars? I love them both, but if I had to pick one, Star Trek. Live long and prosper. 🖖 #trekkie4ever
2. Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? Gone too soon! Bring back Captain Tight Pants!
3. Coffee, tea, or cacao? Yes, please. I like all of them & drink all of them. My favorite pre-made drinks are Rebbl Elixirs.
4.How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? I don’t have any unpublished manuscripts but I have a ton of ideas for future books in both fantasy and scifi.
5. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When I was four years old. I wrote a “story” in “cursive” and gave it to my mother to read out loud. Instead, my mother tucked the pages into a desk drawer and said we could read my amazing story together, in a few years, after I had learned how to read and write.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? My flagship series called the Anchoress came to me during an energy healing session. The story was downloaded into my consciousness. I had a vision of a teenaged female warrior. She had obviously gone through a lot of challenges and trials and instead of crumbling, she conquered them and came through stronger than ever. She was an inspiring figure and I had to know her story. From there I built the entire Anchoress series. Otherwise, I get story ideas from watching news and current events on YouTube, reading anything from science and economic books to all types of fiction, and by observing people.
7. What is the first book that made you cry? Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It was required reading in my elementary school class. I broke down crying at the end because I found it so incredibly sad.
8. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? Paying for a professional editor. It’s one of the most important things to spend money on as a writer. It’s more obvious to invest in a good cover and to hire someone to write a catchy blurb (many authors find writing their own blurb difficult, me included) but editing often gets cut from the author’s budget because of the high cost.
9. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Write down every creative story idea, organize my thoughts and write a manuscript. Get your story out there. I don’t care that you’re only four. 😆
10. What does literary success look like to you? I would love to have my books made into film. That way I can reach a wider audience. Bring my engaging and self-empowering story to more people.
11.What is your writing Kryptonite? Film. TV, videos, movies. Total time suck. I love watching videos on YouTube and going down rabbit holes about new subjects. I get a ton of ideas for dystopian, apocalyptic, and scifi stories from watching YouTube.
12. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry? Pirating. Books represent the hard work of the author. Giving them away on a pirate site, or at all, takes a paycheck away from the author that poured their soul into the story and paid a lot of money to get the book produced (multiple rounds of editing, book cover, formatting, time, effort, marketing & promo costs, website maintenance).
13. What do you have coming next? Book 4 in my Anchoress series is targeted for release late 2023.