Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Interview with Dionne Lister, author of the Circle of Talia series

Shadows of the RealmAt the Other End of Shadows of the Realm:
Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed?

The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.

Shhh....... Don't Tell:

They placed their plates on the ground. Arcon asked Blayke to lie on his back, hands by his sides. Fang was instructed to sit on Blayke’s chest. The rat was shaking, but Blayke didn’t notice as he was almost in a trance, breathing slowly and deeply, picturing the starry Second Realm. Fang shut his eyes. Arcon sent him an image of the Second Realm and showed him the path. The rat followed.

Arcon stood over two still bodies, eyes open, mind in tune with their journey. Phantom had materialised and watched unblinking from a nearby branch. He knew the gravity of what his companions would experience, having done it himself scores of years earlier. He hooted softly in protest, knowing that once this was done, there would be one less rat in the world he could eat.

Blayke journeyed through the dark, still tunnel—the only access to the Second Realm. He followed Arcon’s lead and didn’t notice the subtle turning from the usual path. When they emerged, it was not into the expected starry universe, but to an inky blackness. Blayke was scared and uncertain; the place they had come to was unfamiliar. He lost sight of Arcon, who was already on his return journey to Talia. His unease increased until he felt the presence of Fang next to him. In this space they were not the bright symbols Blayke knew in the Second Realm, but were invisible, nothing. He could only sense the rat, not see him. He could also feel Fang’s fear, albeit mixed with his natural rodent curiosity.

Light started to seep from the horizon, slowly creeping through the darkness toward them, encompassing all in its path. The swollen river of light gathered speed as it approached. They felt overwhelming dread as it washed closer. They didn’t know what to expect when it reached them and felt awe at what they could see in its wake. Rolling green hills stretched out behind the wave, azure sky above. The clarity of light was amazing—the most pure light imaginable. Blayke expected to be burnt when it reached them. Soon they were enveloped in the swell of light. The brilliance swirled around, above, beneath them, blinding the human and rodent.

No sooner than breaking over them, the wave washed past, leaving two vulnerable figures swaying, trying to regain their balance. Blayke felt different, and it took him a few moments to realise why. A heightened sense of smell overwhelmed him, and his viewpoint had changed. The hills in the distance had become mountains; the grass he had crushed beneath his feet moments ago was now chest high. He sat back on his haunches and looked down at himself. He looked incredulously at the dark brown fur that covered his body. He touched it with his small paw. His beady hazel eyes widened as this new reality dawned on him. He slowly shook his little pointed head. He remembered Fang and turned to meet his friend eye to eye. Fang’s whiskers twitched in a cunning smile and Blayke understood every high-pitched squeak when he spoke. “Welcome to my world, Blayke.”

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A Time of DarknessAt the Other End of A Time of Darkness:

A Time of Darkness is the second book in the best-selling Circle of Talia series. This exciting epic fantasy is filled with magic, dragons and adventure.

While Bronwyn languishes in a cell in the bowels of Vellonia and the dragon king argues for her death, the gormons are one step closer to destroying Talia. To add to The Circle’s problems, Leon’s plans to overthrow his brother, King Edmund, are moving ahead faster than anyone could have imagined, and someone will die as a result. The realmists and dragons are doing all they can, but how could it possibly be enough when thousands have already been slaughtered?

The prophesized time of darkness, a time the realmists have dreaded for the last thousand years, has begun.

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Author Bio:
So, who is Dionne Lister?

Dionne hails from Sydney, is an author, editor, has studied creative writing at Southern Cross University, writes fantasy and suspense/thrillers, co-hosts Club Fantsci book club and the Tweep Nation podcast, is an advocate for self-publishing, has recently presented at the Sydney Writers Festival and has grand dreams of riding on a dragon.
Having received rejections from publishers and agents, Dionne, determined to realise her dream (the publishing one, not the dragon-riding one), set out on the path to publishing her own book. After studying writing, employing a professional artist to do her awesome book covers and getting her books edited, Dionne has achieved her dream. She has spoken at the NSW Writers Centre and the Sydney Writers Festival after being discovered by Kate Forsyth. Shadows of the Realm (e-book) has reached #1 on Amazon in two categories. She is currently writing the third book in the Circle of Talia Series.

Handy Hinty Links:
Goodreads:                      Circle of Talia                         Dionne Lister
Website                                  Facebook                                    Twitter

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
I’ve written two YA epic fantasy novels, Shadows of the Realm and A Time of Darkness, and a book of suspenseful short stories called Dark Spaces. I’ve also spoken about self-publishing at the NSW Writers Centre and the Sydney Writers Festival.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
Why isn’t it number 1 yet? Just joking. It’s exciting but nerve-wracking as you’re waiting to see how it will be received and because I do all my own promotion, I’m thinking, “I thought the hard work was over, but no, there’s more work to do.”

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
Ever since I was in primary school, I wanted to be an author. After a few failed attempts at writing a novel, I was determined that I would finally do it. I picked fantasy because I love reading the genre and also there is no research involved (I’m a bit lazy sometimes). I also didn’t feel there was enough fantasy with dragons so I made sure there were lots of dragons in my story.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
It does hurt at first, but then I think about what the person said and is it constructive or just taste. I take any helpful feedback I can and I discard the rest. I’ve usually forgotten it within two days and thankfully I’ve had many more good reviews than bad (crosses fingers that it will continue to be this way).

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
It took me about 2 months to write the first draft and no planning. I’m what’s called a pantser—I just have a vague idea of what I want to do and then start writing. I had my manuscript assessed and rewrote it. It sat for eight years doing nothing until I started a creative writing degree. I revisited it, improved it and then had it edited. I went through it again, four or five times to polish it. It was finally published nine years after the first draft was written.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I knew what I wanted and told the artist (Robert Baird). He provided four sketches and I picked the one I wanted, then he tweaked it until I was happy. He did the most amazing job. When I first saw it, I cried. It’s a scene from the end of the book and the second cover, done by the same artist, is a scene from midway through the book. I love seeing my characters come to life in the way I’d imagined them.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I’m currently writing the third book in The Circle of Talia series (due out Feb 2014). I’ve started a crime/thriller novel and have an idea for another fantasy book. So much to do!

8. Top 5 books

  • The Hours—Michael Cunningham
  • A Fraction of the Whole—Steve Toltz
  • Lick (Stage Dive)—Kylie Scott
  • There’s Nothing to be Frightened of—Julian Barnes
  • Most anything from David Eddings (I know that’s more than five, oops)

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
The Hours and Lick.

10. Why read your novel?
 My novel has characters you can relate to, a world you can escape into, adventure, magic and dragons. What more is there? ;).

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I’ve had a lot of fun visiting

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