InterviewThank you so much for joining me, Leslie! I'm so excited that you're going to close out this amazing, whirlwind year :) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was in the fifth grade when I realized I wanted to write. I was reading a book called “A Taste of Blackberries” and after our reading time each day we had to reflect on what we read in our reading journal. My teacher, Mrs. Phyllis Gilbert used my journal excerpt as an example to the class, reading it aloud and telling me how well my writing was. It was right then that I knew being an author was what I was meant to do. She really helped shape my future.
I think the most difficult part of being a writer for me is separating my personality to create each different character that reflects different parts of myself. Sometimes it is hard to accept that each of us has a dark side or an inner bad guy so to speak, but when you’re writing you have to think like that person would think.
I could see how that could be difficult, but I think it could also be a really fun challenge. Who are your favorite authors?
I love James Patterson, not only does he really write captivating material, but I have to give him props for always having something in production! The guy is a machine! I would have to say that I jumped on the “Twilight” train so Stephanie Meyer really got me with that series. I like to read P.C. and Kristin Cast materials. Honestly I really keep myself away from reading when I am writing because I want to make sure I am not influenced by other materials when creating mine. I want to make 100% sure that all of my ideas are original and not duplicated or tied to anything else so I’m really not familiar with a lot of new stuff out there at the moment.
There's nothing wrong with liking Twilight :) What authors inspire you?
As previously stated I am not only a fan of James Patterson’s materials, but I am inspired by him and his devotion to being an author as a whole. You can tell he has a passion for what he does by always having new ideas and keeping something in the works all the time. Another author that is not only a favorite but an inspiration to me is author, Bob Larson. I have read and re-read some of his materials and they just get better with each read. I feel like I can relate to the exact emotions and events he writes about even if I’ve never experienced them. I think that is what makes a project a true success is being able to capture someone and make them feel exactly what you are conveying with your words that make up your story.
The funny thing about this is that I always start with a game plan, but inevitably it always gets thrown to the side. I guess my creative juices don’t get started flowing until I start my actual writing process and then I end up changing things and adding in details and events that I’d never even had planned to begin with. In the end I suppose it is safe to say I plan and wing it. LOL.
LOL that's awesome :) It's great that you're able to let go of your game plan and not fight your characters. What type of books do you like to read?
My favorite books to read are not necessarily any specific type but it is how they are written. I don’t like to read a story, I like to become involved with the story. I love to feel like I’m really there so authors that can grab my attention and provide enough detail that I can create a movie in my own mind as I read, making me feel like I’m really there are the types I like to read. It’s also what I try to provide for my own readers.
Well aside from spending as much time as I possibly can with my family and of course catching up on my favorite t.v. shows I will admit I love to go do karaoke. I was a musician for years and at one point even had a contract to be a singer so I never totally let it go. I still have some of my own original music but the music industry is tough and I can’t see myself being able to keep up with a music career and be a mother. That’s what is so appealing about being an author as well, it allows me to make my own dreams come true without losing a moment with my family.
Honestly, I am not much of a vacationer… mostly I am a staycationer! LOL…. But if I had to choose I would say my favorite is going on a cruise to somewhere warm and sunny! I don’t like the cold and snow is just not my thing so I am all about the warm temperatures. Besides, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a cruise?
Every year on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas we all go to my Granny’s house (who is the world’s most phenomenal cook I might add!) and spend time with family. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, even though the food is always abundant, but in our family we believe love is spelled T I M E. You never know what tomorrow holds so we try to spend as much time together as we can.
I think that's absolutely wonderful :) Why did you choose to write a coming of age story?
It’s kind of funny you should ask, I actually wrote “Enigma” because I’d read everything in my house while I was unemployed when my company went out of business and decided to take a stab at entertaining myself by testing the waters of my own creativity. I knew I loved fantasy/fiction and after thinking about it I wanted to put a spin on it and do something no one else had done yet taking it in a completely different direction.
I'm so sorry you had lost your job but it sounds like you made sure everything worked out for you! What has been the most fun about working on your books?
The most fun I’ve had with this actually comes in the form of getting to know myself. I think many of us go through life never really having the opportunity to do that, but as writers we have that opportunity more than most. As previously stated I base each of my characters reflecting different parts of my own personality, so in doing that I was able to learn what makes me vulnerable, my strengths, weaknesses, and even more as I really introduced me to my true self.
That's one of the best responses I've ever heard <3 What has been the hardest scene for you to write?
The hardest scene for me to write was describing the funeral for Mattie’s parents. I can’t imagine what that would be like at thirty much less thirteen. I really hated to have to think about what it would be like to lose my parents and the thought itself is just heartbreaking!
I do have a favorite. I have to say that Avan is my favorite because he is willing to do whatever it takes for Mattie. Not only does he protect her and want the best for her safety measures but his love for her is innocent and pure. I wrote his character not only as the crush for girls and women to think of as “dreamy” but also to provide a true example of modern day chivalry. I wanted girls and women to see an example of how a real man is supposed to treat a female in hopes that many will look for those chivalrous qualities rather than being okay with lowering their standards and accepting being treated badly just for the sake of having someone or going for the guy with the fast car and lots of money that tries to influence them in the wrong ways.
Can I just say that I adore the name Avan? I've never heard it before. He sounds like a wonderful character and now I'm dying to read this book even more. Tell us about Mattie.
Mattie starts out as your average teenage girl enjoying high school and living life as happily as she can without her parents. She is the kind of kid you never have to worry about getting into trouble for the most part. Unfortunately, her best friend is the queen of peer pressure and is determined to take some of Mattie’s innocence away. Upon finding out what she really is her entire world changes instantly as she has to accept that a normal teenager is the farthest thing from what she is. She is faced with some cold hard truths that there is no way of getting around and has to evolve into who she was meant to be all while currently being trapped in a human body she was born into.
The teenage years can be so hard and that is a common struggle many teens face. How did you come up with the premise for Enigma?
I’d read a great deal of fantasy/fiction and where there were small differences here and there it just seemed like at the time everyone was kind of going in the same direction. I wanted to take what interested me and push it in a totally new direction that no one I knew of had pushed it so far. I wanted to create the impossible scenario showing how it became possible. I wanted to do something that would stand out and separate itself from everything of its kind, a unique masterpiece.
The angels in the story all have missions that they must fulfill. Mattie requires the most elite of guardians created specifically for this task alone where the main mission of the dark angels is to obtain her. The battle of good and evil weighs on Mattie’s existence. There are supernatural elements in the different powers that the angels have. Heavenly angels and Dark angels have very different sets of powers. Mattie actually has many more than either one considering she is the offspring of both a Heavenly and a Dark angel.
“Enigma” is actually the first of a series so there will definitely be more books with her featured in them! This series will take you through twists and turns you never expected! Just when you think you have it figured out you will encounter more that you never expected so put your seatbelts on and stay tuned! There is action, suspense, romance, madness, insanity, treason, mystery, and so much more!
Well, I can assure you I’ll never stop writing. LOL. As for books what is coming next is the second book of the “Angel’s Promise” series entitled “Exile”. It is nearly completed to send over to production so that is my next move!
Yes, I want my readers to know that I don’t desire to ever become someone out of touch with reality or someone who seems out of reach. As an author I want them to also be able to identify with me as a person. I always update my facebook fan page www.facebook.com/angelspromiseseries and twitter @angelspromise1 as well as my author page at www.lesliedrennan.tateauthor.com where I also have links to my blog on word press and ways to email me so I encourage people to get in touch and find out more about the series.
Enigma...Buy it Now!
When thirteen-year-old Mattie Holland comes home to sirens and crime-scene tape, she is completely unprepared for the tragedy that awaits her. Her parents have been victims of a murder-suicide.
Just another girl enjoying school and her friends, Mattie never could have been prepared for the strange things starting to happen. With no records of the past to be found and surprises around every corner, Mattie discovers she is the offspring of two fallen angels from good and evil, making her an enigma. The most desired, one-of-a-kind treasure of the dark side, Mattie finds protection from Avan, a boy she’d merely adored from a distance at school. However, soon Mattie will come to realize that this flawless individual whose eyes she seems to get lost in was created specifically for her. Evil is always after her in hopes of creating a new league of dark angels to conquer good forever, but being born into a human body, she must find the strength to overcome it all in order to evade capture, being forced to bear the offspring of the dark side and earn her wings. Who would have known that the war between good and evil would rest on an Angel’s Promise?