Dina Rae is my guest for today. She answers my inquisitive questions about her writing. First, here's a bit about the author.
Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.
Her other novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order. Dina's grandfather was the Most Worshipful of his lodge. The subject has always held a personal interest.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories.
Q 1. What came first; concept, character or title?
A. For me, the concept always comes first. I have always preferred plot over characters. I'm drawn to action-packed books filled with clues, facts, etc. Am blown away by Dan Brown, Brad Thor, and Preston and Childs. However, the books that I think about long after they've been read are the ones with strong characters, particularly Nicholas Sparks, Stephen King and Anne Rice. They know how to make the reader care.
Q.2. Name one quality your main character has that you lack.
A. My main character of Halo of the Damned starts off like me, insecure. She gets released from prison and starts a new life with her sister. But by the end of the novel, she becomes very powerful and takes matters into her own hands. I wish I could be that fearless.
Q.3. At what point in life did you begin to see writing fiction as a strong part of who you are?
A. I was laid off a year and a half ago. While I'm looking for a teaching job, I always wanted to be an author. I wrote two books and they both were picked up by two different publishers. I call it making lemonade out of some lemons that were given to me.
Q.4. Do you like to talk about works in progress? If so, tell us a bit about a current or future project.
A. I am currently writing a third book about a Haitian bokor who teaches two teens the dark arts. It's the first book that I've written where the characters have become more important than the plot. And like the other two books, I use a great deal of research.
Q.5. When writing dialogue, do you “hear” it in your mind’s ear?
A. Interesting question-the answer is usually yes, but there are times when I want to introduce research into the chapter and I use dialogue as a prime way of doing it. Other times when there is too much text, I break it up with dialogue. I also like to use dialogue as a way of describing the characters.
Q.6. Do you have a specific Achilles’ heel when it comes to writing?
A. I like to use certain words far too often. Grateful for Thesaurus!
Q.7. What do you see as your main strength in writing?
A. I like books with research woven into the plot. I use research and facts to back up the storyline.
Halo of the Damned is published by Eternal Press (http://www.eternalpress.biz) and The Last Degree is by DIP Publishing (http://www.dippub.com)