Eighteen-year-old Ava Flynn stumbles into the center of a centuries-old blessing turned curse, trapping herself in a conflict that’s been raging since before she was born. A winner take all battle for her soul.
Today I am joined by Erica Lucke Dean, who will take us through the winner takes all soul battle that is featured in her novel ‘Splintered Souls’. Erica thanks for joining me to chat about your novel. I’m eager to kick this off straight away, so let’s just jump into the first question – how did the idea for your book begin?
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of soul mates, so I wanted to come up with something that turned what we know on its head. I hope I accomplished that.
As your main idea was to challenge the idea of soul mates I imagine that a large proportion of the effort in this story was placed on character creation. How did they evolve?
I also put myself in the main heroine. Maybe not her age, or her appearance, but her heart and soul is me. Or at least one facet of me. Everyone else I “cast” using either people I know or actors I like. I build the world based on that.
I like the idea of ‘casting’ people you know or parts thereof into characters. As you’ve already done some of the casting do you have any top picks for actors to play your characters if your work was translated onto the screen?
This is easy. I did a Pinterest board with the fantasy casting. I would love Jennifer Lawrence to play Ava and Matthew Daddario to play Maddox. I don’t want to go into more detail for fear of giving away spoilers.
No problem, we don’t want to give the game away too early! That sounds like a great starting cast. Would you have a cast party with the characters in your book if they could come to life?
Oh Hell yeah. I’d even cook. Maybe. Maybe I’d have it catered. Yeah, probably have it catered. I would definitely order a big cake. And lots of champagne. You wanna come? I’ll totally put you on the list.
Of course, I’m not going to say no to a cast party! It sounds awesome! Did you have any awesome experiences like wild parties, or maybe less than awesome experiences of soul mates that you felt helped you write this book?
I always draw on life experiences. I’ll just never tell which ones. ;)
I wouldn’t want to disrupt that air of mystery by asking further :). Was research also required? Perhaps into theories of soul mates as a minimum?
I did so much research. Right down to the tiniest detail. I have a fear of someone reading my book and saying, “Wait, that’s not what time that event happened.” Or “I was there, and it was blue!” Something like that. LOL
What is the most important thing that you wanted to say in your book?
Love makes us crazy.
*Laughs* Very true. Once you had worked through the crazy, what did you find the most rewarding aspect of this novel?
I think this may be my favorite book I’ve written so far. I wrote it from beginning to end in twenty-one days. I felt like a superhero.
WOW, that is fast! With speeds like that it is easy to see that you are a writer. As you’ve produced this book in such a little time I’m willing to bet that you have another writing project on the go at the moment. Can you tell us about it?
I’m working on the last book in the Flames of Time series. I can’t wait to see it all unfold.
The final chapter of a series is always exciting! Good luck with it! Why do you write?
That’s like asking why I breathe. I write because that’s who I am. I have to write. The voices wouldn’t shut up if I didn’t write them down.
*Laughs* I’m glad you’ve found an effective way to shut those voices up. With the pace that you wrote ‘Splintered Souls’ and that you class writing up there with the same importance as air I’m guess that you are a full time writer?
Yes, I’m a full-time writer and pajama-wearer. I work from home so that means I spend lots of time on the Internet and eating cold leftovers out of containers. And donuts. I eat a lot of donuts.
*Laughs* Donut powered writing! Apart from the marvellous power of donuts, what techniques do you use to write effectively?
I try to hit a daily goal. That goal will change depending on my project or what else I may have going on, but I definitely shoot for every day.
As you have a word goal I’m guessing that you also know how the story will end. Is that true?
I always know how it’s going to end. I may not know exactly how I’ll get there, but I know where I’m going.
Do you use music to keep you on task?
Depends on what I’m writing. I try to capture the mood of what I’m writing so I can keep my head in that world. While writing Splintered Souls, I listened to waves crashing against rocks for a lot of it. You’ll have to read the book to discover why. ;)
Oooh, another little hint. Keep dropping these hints, they’re fun! As a professional writer I’m guessing from time to time you run into writer’s block. How do you get past it?
I read. A lot. Reading is the best way to rejuvenate creativity. For me anyway.
Once the creativity has been flowing and you have words on the page, how do you go about editing?
I edit as I go so when I’m finished, it’s where I want it to be. Then it goes to my publisher who sends it to the editors. I love the editing process. I’m a weirdo.
*Laughs* Editing is fun! I don’t see how people don’t like it either. It makes things better. Do you have any tips to make your writing better as you go? For example do you like to make sure that you delete certain words that keep popping up without adding much value?
Nope. But every book has it’s own list of overused words that I have to deal with in the editing process. It’s like the characters take over the ship and they have their own quirks. Me, I say “just” a lot. And I just can’t seem to stop myself.
Just is one of those evil words that sometimes refuses to die! Do you have any tips for self-published authors?
I honestly have no tips, because I have never self-published. I know many self-pubbed authors though, and I have the utmost respect for them. I like being the creative side and leaving the rest to someone else.
Okay, so if we focus on the creative side of writing, do you have other tips for authors?
Write. As much as you can. Even if it’s bad just keep writing. You can always edit later.
Never underestimate the power of editing! Erica, we’ve reached the end of the serious writing questions, but never fear the end of the interview is still a little distance away as I have a set of random quick fire questions to round out our chat in what you will hopefully find intriguing. Let’s start with are you a valuable asset on a quiz team?
Yes. Especially if it’s trivia. I’m great with trivia.
Awesome, I shall add you to the candidate list for my super talented trivia team! What is your zodiac sign?
What is your favourite quote?
Depends on my mood. Right now it would be a lovely little quote from Shakespeare. “What’s past is prologue.”
Ooooh, I like that one. That idea alone helps make your writing succinct. What is your favourite ocean?
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Life is too short for cheap sheets. I think that speaks for itself. :)
As a professional pajama wearer I feel that this is important information that you have provided and I will go and evaluate my own sheets to see if they stack up. If you invented a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
It would be a tall orange furry thing, and I’d call him Claude.
Do you feel like he would be a bit cuddly too? I’m not sure why I just get the vibe that Claude would have a cuddly side. Are you introvert or extrovert?
Introvert. Oh my god, such an introvert. But I pretend to be an extrovert sometimes. People don’t realize that when I get nervous, I talk a lot. As in can’t shut up. So they think I’m extroverted when in reality, I’m scared shitless in the situation and I just think really fast.
You’re lucky to be able to think really fast. I often go blank and can’t think of anything intelligent to articulate and instead end up sounding like a Neanderthal. Not pretty. Have you ever danced in the rain?
Of course. Rain is amazing.
Rain is amazing :). If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write the national anthem?
Either John Williams or Weird Al. Wouldn’t that be a cool anthem?
That would be cool, but a combination of John Williams and Weird Al would be even cooler! Are you left or right handed?
How are the colours in rainbows made?
I wonder how you can collect the Skittles from the rainbow. Would a big net be enough, or do they rest at the pot of gold at the end? If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
I need to think about that one. That’s kinda creepy. LOL. Maybe I’d cross a duck and a cat. I’d love to have a feathered cat running around the house quacking me up.
*Laughs* I want one of those too if only to be quacked up by the creature! What color socks are you wearing?
Socks? People still wear those?
I’m lead to believe that apparently in places that experience cooler weather they still do wear socks. What is your favourite flavor of ice-cream?
Vanilla. It’s the foundation of all ice creams. I can add what I want and create my own food group.
I never though of the use of vanilla as the basis for the creation of a new food good. I think that I have been seriously underestimating the power of vanilla. Thank you for showing me the light :). What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
I can’t say that can I? Ok, you ask… Haywood Jablowmy.
*Laughs* I did ask for it didn’t I! Now, do you feel like I missed asking you any questions today?
I just want people to know the second book in the series is available, so they don’t have to wait, and book 3 is in the works!
That’s great news for all of the readers out there! Erica thanks for spending a little time with me today. And for our readers out there, get the ‘Splintered Souls’ while it is on promotion!
Want to find out more about Erica Lucke Dean? Connect here!