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Adam Interviews...Rissa Blakeley!


HA!

Nope, still not Adam - he's still in Wyoming.

So Iget to do another one!

Yay me!

--Kendra


Rissa Blakeley is the author of a fantasy paranormal series, Corvidae Guard, a post-apocalyptic series, Shattered Lives, and a horror short, Grammy’s Supper.

As a native New Yorker, Rissa is now a Georgia transplant, who is completely addicted to black coffee and La Croix. When Rissa isn’t writing, she can be found procrastinating on social media.




 

LINKS AND SOCIALS:

INSTAGRAM: @rissa_blakeley

THREADS: @rissa_blakeley


DCU or MCU?

Is this the wrong place to admit I don’t watch either?

Kendra: what the hell? I grew up on them both! Not watching either is sacrilege!



Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?

Reboots can work. If it’s a movie to TV based on a book, then for the love of all things holy, please follow the book. If not, I’m over it quickly. I wish more adaptions followed the books more closely. I’m looking at you Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children filmmakers. They murdered me by changing the characters’ powers.


Coffee, tea, or cacao?

Coffee. All the coffee. So much coffee, I want my soul to be a single sneeze away from leaving my body. Don’t tell my doctor I said that.

 



What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I don’t have a schedule but do what I can when I can. I have health issues. Consistency is difficult, but I do my best.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a sucker for bullet journals and all the things that go with them. I try to paint with watercolor. It’s fun, but I’m terrible at it.


What does your family think of your writing?

Several family members read my books. Even my mother, which leaves me a little nervous, considering some of the “interesting” scenes. In my recent books, I’ve trimmed those back not only for her, but for me. I have less desire to write them.


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Thirteen. By far, Grammy’s Supper is my favorite. It’s the first book that made me feel like an author.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of great messages. There have been a few not-so-great ones. Someone sent me a nasty message for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. I wanted to say so many things, but I kept it professional. But wow, it was difficult.

The bulk of the messages have come from my Shattered Lives series. Especially after Awakened Desires and Fractured Hearts. Everything from “ugly crying in first class on the way home from Disney World” to “I’m not speaking to you right now.” Which means I did my job. While it might seem off, I feel proud that I stirred up those emotions.

Grammy’s Supper had the best reactions. A reader said it was disgusting but one of the best books they’ve read. That made me a little emotional because, like most creatives, I never feel my work is good enough to put out into the world and worry that readers will solidly reject everything I write. So readers, if you loved the book, tell the author. It’ll make their day.


What do you think makes a good story?

Emotion and a twisting plot lines. I love it when I’m caught off guard and find myself gasping as the reveal happens. I enjoy a predictable plot now and then, but I need that nail biting wild ride.



Does writing energize or exhaust you?

This depends on the content. When I’m working on scenes that move the plot along, I get excited and don’t want to stop, but because of my health issues, I must take frequent breaks. That can slow down progress.

When I’m working on an emotionally charged scene, I tend to slip into brain fried mode. I stare out into the void and cannot focus on anything. Even though they take so much out of me, they’re my favorite scenes to write. Digging deep and getting all the emotions on paper is rewarding.

I try to use my real-life emotions. A form of therapy if you will. For example, in the book I’m working on now, there is a major death for one character. He screams “I didn’t get to say goodbye” several times, making the rest of the characters stand in pause and feel his pain. I used the emotions from my father’s death to guide me through that scene. It was exceedingly difficult, but I know when it’s read, the readers will feel it.


What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Listening to every bit of advice. There’s A LOT of bad advice. Social media is a vortex of bad advice. Now, I keep scrolling. I don’t read many books about writing because what works for one author doesn’t mean it’ll work for me. If you are reading through all the advice, ingest, give it a little thought, but know that it isn’t gospel. Chuck Wendig touches on this in Gentle Writing Advice. I found his take interesting. It gave me the confidence to just scroll past versus dwell on it, not allowing the worry to eat me alive.


What is your writing Kryptonite?

Fatigue. My illness hands me a lot. Fatigue shuts me down quicker than anything else, and I hate it.


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Original. I write from my heart and not to market. It’s what works for me. Because of that, my audience tends to be smaller, but that’s okay!



If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be patient. Also, social media is hard. Allow yourself breaks. The world won’t end if you take one.


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

There are a few things. Paying someone to help me create graphics and schedule posts has been such a life giver. She’s incredibly helpful. Also, editing. I know it’s expensive, but editing is truly worth the cost. Formatting is another thing I spend money on. I know my limitations, and I value what little time I have to write.


What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

Kindness. We aren’t always kind. It’s difficult to be all the time. Our personal circumstances dictate behavior, but we must always try to be kind.


What does literary success look like to you?

Just knowing someone read and enjoyed my books is a success. I celebrate the small wins. Money and chart topping aren’t as important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love both. Grammy’s Supper sat in the top 100 horror books on Amazon for a bit. Seeing my little book near one of King’s was crazy.



What do you have coming next?

I’m working on expanding and refreshing my comic series, Becoming Henry, into a web friendly version. Team Diamant is such a blessing. They are the kindest people on the planet. I appreciate them so much, and they’re such a pleasure to work with. Becoming Henry will be available on Kanme Studios and Global Comix. We might publish on another platform too.

I’ve kept my newest novel close to my heart. I should write the next book in my Corvidae Guard series, but this YA Thriller called to me throughout the last two Corvidae Guard books. I had no choice but to write it.

I’m Not Sorry is about an eighteen-year-old dropped into a situation that will test her resolve. She receives an envelope with a new identity and instructions to arrive at a university. Left alone after a tragedy, she had nothing to lose. However, while she stares up at the dormitory, she doesn’t know why she’s there or what her purpose is. The moment she enters the dorm suite, she knows something is terribly wrong. The assigned room belonged to a student who vanished and everyone, including herself, finds her untimely arrival suspicious. She works to find clues and information all the while guarding secrets of her own.



THE KING’S FATE (CORVIDAE GUARD #1) EXCERPT:

After Leolin descended the rickety ladder, he lit an oil lamp, then turned to face one of his most prized possessions. The next item for his growing collection was dependent on this peculiar species who claimed he worked for God. A God… Leolin snorted as he stared at the atrocity, feeling sure the Fae Gods would find its claim amusing, as well.

 

While strolling through the Fae Forest, he discovered the Angel protecting a Human, who had been ravaged by Roamers, until Death showed. The curiosity was too much to bear and Leolin needed to see if he could bring it to his manor. Once Death took the Human, Leolin snagged it.

 

After a day of poking and prodding, the Angel’s opalescent blood had splattered all over Leolin’s body, leaving his Fae scent undetectable. That’s when the plan to take the throne from Zachariah came to fruition.

 

Leolin smiled at the sight. Strung up on a St. Andrew’s Cross leaning against the stone wall, the Angel named Toma hung in the nude, wilted from fatigue. His battle-worn wings, now almost bare of pristine feathers, draped from his back, the tips grazing the dirt floor. Dried blood coated his chin down to his abdomen. He moaned as a cool breeze hit his tormented body. He didn’t even want to lift his head to look his captor in the eyes.

 

“My, my, my. You look…strung out.” Leolin smirked.

 

“You will pay for your sins,” Toma said in a gravelly voice.

 

“No… No. This is where you have it wrong, Angel.” Leolin paced in front of Toma, tapping his lip with his finger. “You see, I don’t believe in your God. Therefore, I will answer to no one.”

 

Toma looked up, his gaze meeting Leolin’s. “Then how do you explain me?”

 

“You are just another Fae species.”

 

“I am an Angel, superior to all Fae species. I work for God, who is superior to all, including myself. No Fae Gods…” He spat on the dirt floor, “could ever be better than He.”

 

Copyright Rissa Blakeley 2016

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