The other day, while totally doing loads of work and definitely not looking at Facebook while I should have been writing my next novel…I came across this post that was asking authors if they would be interested in doing interviews.
And, hey, like, totally, that’s a blast, so I said sure.
As it turns out, the coordinator is this awesome new author hitting the scene in March with her first book The Most Special Chosen.
Well, I had to ask about it, especially when the title of her series is: Exalted Bloodlines! Come on, that’s pretty sweet. Like, a creepy, cool, kinda chill-inducing series title that you just need to know more about.
So, it is my very great pleasure, not only to have met, but to get to introduce to you,
Rachel de la Fuente
Why did you first start writing? What was the inspiration for your first book?
I first started writing because sometimes a story just has to be told. I wrote lots of short stories as a child. The Most Special Chosen has gone through multiple iterations, and is VERY different than the story I originally started writing in a composition notebook in high school. Back then, I was writing a story about myself and my boyfriend at the time as vampires. Several years later, I wrote what is now Chapter 14, and that completely changed the course of the story from a standalone book to a series. And I'm very happy it did.
I have always been a fan of hand-writing my stories, though I’ve fallen out of the habit lately. But you go above and beyond that and actually use a QUILL!!! Because that’s just awesome! How did you get started with that? Why? Can you talk a little as to the difference, for you, in writing by hand and typing/other forms of getting your story down?
It's not quite a quill, but fountain pens are really cool. My fiancé is a HUGE fountain pen enthusiast, and he infected me with the fountain pen virus. (I've infected several people with it now, too. *evil laugh*) I loved -- still love -- that you can use any color ink. I started out borrowing his pens, and they just wrote so well, I got my own. I started out with inexpensive ones, and then it grew from there. I even bought a pen specifically for my series (to sign books, etc). You can read about that experience on my blog.
As far as difference, I find I remember things better when I actually write it. I'm a fan of writing (actually putting pen to paper), and keep long hand to-do lists, as well as keep a pared down version of a bullet journal. Although I can type much faster than I can write, I really like seeing the ink flow, watching my thoughts turn into words, and you don't really get that feeling from typing.
Did you ever consider traditional/self-publishing? Was there a reason you chose the way you did to go about publishing your works? Do you have any insights for future authors trying to make the same choice?
I originally self-published The Most Special Chosen back in 2013. I wanted to be able to tell my mom that I published a book before she died. And I did. But I didn't promote it, which meant it never really sold, never garnered any attention. Last year, my fiancé and I met the owner of his publishing company, Burning Willow Press, in person, and he asked me to send in the first three chapters. I did, it was accepted, and now it's being "traditionally" released in March.
The Most Special Chosen takes place in the Exalted Bloodlines universe. Can you tell me a little about what it was like creating your world and why/how you went about doing it? You know, for authors out there just starting out, what do you think is most important about creating your universe?
I want the Exalted Bloodlines universe to feel like our own. Like everything could really be happening. So I've been doing a lot of research on various points in history to fit in my own historical happenings. Kind of like Assassin's Creed, if you're familiar with it.
For people creating their own universes, I think the most important thing is to take lots of notes so you don't break your own rules. Fans will notice, and it will take away from the experience.
If Elysabeth went out on a first date, what would she wear? Is she the down-to-earth type of girl, or is it dresses and makeup all the way?
She's a mix. She likes dressing up, because she knows she looks good when she does. And we all like to look good, if only for ourselves. Dressing up doesn't necessarily mean "formal" or "dresses", though. It can be dressing to accentuate one of her features. But being comfortable is really important, too. For a first date, it would depend on how much she likes the person, and where they were going. She took extra care with her outfit on her first date with Damien, after all. But she's had dates in the past where she just wore a t-shirt and jeans.
How many books do you have published now?
This is my first.
Do you have any books in the works at the moment?
I'm working on the sequel to The Most Special Chosen and a submission for Burning Willow Press' charity anthology series, Crossroads in the Dark.
Any advice you’d offer up-and-comers looking to find their place in the literary world?
Social media is your friend. Make time for it. Build your audience while you're waiting for publication, then promote to them. But make sure you don't over promote. Find a balance that keeps followers, but sells books (I'm still working on figuring this part out).
And finally, just to end on a fun, random side note, if you could choose a time-period to live in, actually having to respect the time-lord laws and yadda yadda, no medicine, no toilets unless they’re already there, when would you choose to live? And where!?
If we're talking about a permanent "move" I think I'd want to stay in present times, simply for the modern technological conveniences. Although I wouldn't mind living somewhere other than the US. But if we're talking about short visits (a week or two) I'd love to see Tudor England under the reign of Elizabeth I if I could be a courtier. The court of Louis XVI right after Marie Antoinette gave birth to her first son would probably be pretty interesting. As would a stint in the 80s for the clothes, color, and music.
Let me just take a final second to say a HUGE thank you to Rachel for taking the time out to say hello and stop by my blog.
I love being an author and getting to meet new authors, and I’m so excited to have met Rachel and bring this inside peek into her stories to you.
For more information on Rachel and her writings, here are her links below, and, as a special treat, here’s a little snippet of her first release:
The Most Special Chosen
Meet Elysabeth, an ordinary college student who has a not-so-secret vampire obsession, and Shawn, her best friend of eight years who has learned to manage Elysabeth's...less awesome characteristics. Graduation is six short months away, and then it's time to join the working world. Enter Damien: mysterious, gorgeous, and, according to Shawn anyway, dangerous. Elysabeth and Damien are drawn to each other instantly, but Shawn, positive that Damien is hiding something, is desperate to keep them apart. Join them all on an exhilarating journey of romance and discovery. Their differences lead to some rocky moments, and Damien's secrets could see everything fall apart. But that's nothing to the secret uncovered about Elysabeth and her family.
You can also sign up for her blog here: http://feeds.specificfeeds.com/rachels-reflections