Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Welcome back Deborah A. Bailey, author of 'Hathor Legacy: Burn'

Welcome back to Books to Light Your Fire! We last saw you in January. In addition to working on this sequel to 'Hathor Legacy: Outcast,' What have you been up to?
I'm glad to be back! Time has gone by so quickly, hasn't it? A few months ago I published Secrets of a Great Resume. And I started work on an audio version of my short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales.

Currently I'm working on a pair of paranormal romance novellas featuring an entrepreneurial lion shifter and his non-shifter mate. I'm finishing up book 2 and if I stay focused (sometimes that can be a challenge) I'll get them out before the end of the year. Maybe I'll get to visit again after they're published! :)
Is there going to be a Book 3?
Yes, I originally planned for a trilogy. I have a few ideas for what will happen in book 3, but I haven't created an outline yet. The way I left the story at the end of book 2, there will be a lot of changes coming up for the Guardian organization.

Nadira and Jonathan's relationship will continue to grow stronger, in part due to their psychic bond. So, they will be a very solid team going forward. But though I love a happily ever after, you know there will be challenges along the way.

I've also introduced a few secondary characters who may get stories of their own. An author friend of mine suggested that I write a few shorter novellas in between books 2 and 3, so I might do that featuring the secondary characters.
What are the challenges in writing a sequel?
Well, for me the challenge was in creating a new story while referring to events from the first book. You have to bring new readers up to speed.

When I wrote book 1, I did the worldbuilding as I went along. I tried to explain as much as I could about Hathor, but some readers felt that they didn't have a good enough sense of the backstory.

I think as authors, we know our world and our characters, but we don't always get that onto the page. In book 2, I filled in as much of the backstory as possible, without doing a lot of info dumps (and slowing down the story).

However, there are always going to be situations where I want the reader to come to their own conclusions. For instance, in book 2 I introduced Mikal, another Guardian who knew Nadira from childhood. There are things about him that might seem obvious to the reader, but Nadira can only see things based on the information she has. While the reader sees her POV and Jonathan's. As a reader, you have more information--and you might come to a different conclusion than she does.
What are some of the pleasures in writing a sequel?
If you've already created a world and the characters, writing a sequel is like reconnecting with old friends. When you start a new story, you have to build up interest in the characters and in their world. While at the same time you're introducing them to the reader. With a sequel, there's information that's already been established, so you can keep moving forward.
How did your feelings change toward the characters and their situations as you continued their story?
That's a very interesting question! Last week I finally read book 2 as a reader (and not as an editor or writer). Then I read book 1 again. I could see the progression and character growth between the two books.

In book 1, Jon and Nadira have a lot of conflict. I wanted Jon to have alpha traits, so he had to be a bit prickly. He was used to doing things his own way, and being a CEO's son, he had means and a position in society. Nadira had a position too, and powers that set her apart from average people.

In addition, she went through the trauma of being separated from her parents. Jon was raised in a loving, supportive family. Right away there was conflict because their world views were different.

By book 2 Jon and Nadira have learned to work together, and their connection adds another dimension to their relationship. Jonathan is less arrogant, mostly because he's grown a lot during the time he's been with Nadira on Hathor. Something else that helped to change his personality was that in book 1, he found out some family secrets. That knowledge gave him more compassion and understanding.

In the first book, Nadira was more independent and didn't have a lot of trust. Not to say she's not independent in this book, but she's learned to open up more and let people in. Her relationship with Jon has taught her that she doesn't have to do it all alone. And she's found that being vulnerable doesn't mean you're weak and helpless. So she has a better understanding of herself.
What do you think you have learned about your craft in between these two novels?
Great question! As far as I'm concerned, if you want to be a better writer, you have to write. That's what helps you to develop your craft. For years I wrote short stories, and had a certain comfort level with short pieces. It was very intimidating to dive into a longer work.

I'm grateful that I had help from a writing mentor for both books. It's good to have someone who's on the outside who will ask questions. I was too close to the work to think about the points she brought up.

When I worked on the first book, I was focused on trying to be perfect and pick just the right word. I think I spent too much time on the technical things, instead of letting myself enjoy the process.

In book 2, I went with my feelings and just wrote the story as it came to me. I had an outline, but there were many times when I deviated from it if I found a better route to take. I was much less concerned with perfection, and more with staying in a creative flow.

I think a reader who picks up both books will be able to see the difference. Not that one is better than the other, but the feeling is different. Sorry, I don't have a better way to explain it!
-You have previously won awards for your short stories. Congratulations! Can you tell us about those experiences?
Thank you! I submitted two of my stories to contests at the Philadelphia Writers' Conference, and I was very pleased that both stories won awards. In addition, I entered a story in a competition held by US1, which is a magazine based in Princeton, NJ.

I didn't even know my story had been chosen until I received the award check!

When you're acknowledged in that way, it's a good feeling because I got validation that my work was good enough to be selected. But at the same time, it's easy to get caught in a trap of always looking to be validated outside of ourselves.

If we don't get a certain number of reviews, if there aren't enough 5-star reviews, or if this one or that one doesn't acknowledge us, we feel bad. At the end of the day, we have to believe in ourselves and work. Just tell the best story you can, and when it's done, start the next one.
You told us before that the best writing advice you ever received was to write every day. It can be a struggle to figure out how to carve out the time. How did you make it a habit? How has it improved your writing?
What I've found is that once I get into the regular habit of writing, I don't want to stop. I want to do it all the time. I'll bet most authors feel that way. It's something you have to do, because it's like oxygen. But sure, it can be a struggle to find the time.

Right now I'm on a contracting assignment as a technical writer, and this project requires me to be in an office everyday. After working from home for the past couple of years, it's a big change. It’s a challenge to manage my personal work, and commuting takes about 60-90 minutes out of my schedule.

It's easy to end up dropping the things that don't seem as important. But in this case, my fiction writing is important to me. It's not just a nice little hobby, it's part of my business and I have to take it seriously.

Having a regular writing habit is like having a regular exercise routine. It's not something you can do once in a while and expect to see results. I think writing regularly will help you to improve in the same way that regular exercise will help improve your endurance and your strength.
What is one of your greatest achievements?
Well, since we're talking about writing, I'm going to say that one of my greatest achievements is to have written and published my 2 novels in a year and a half. It was a dream of mine to write a novel, and it's exciting to see it come true.
What is still on your "Bucket List"?
Let's see, I'd like to learn how to play piano. I've taken lessons in the past, but if you don't stick with it, you lose it. I'd also like to travel and visit different countries. Friends of mine have visited the UK on a few occasions, and after seeing their pictures, I'd love to visit those places myself. My list seems to get longer and longer!
What message would you like to send out to readers?
I'd just like to thank them for picking up my books. There are so many books being published and readers have an endless amount of choices. I really hope they enjoy my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. And I'll add that even if you've never tried a SF Romance before, give it a try. There are so many terrific writers in the genre, and many different types of stories.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank you for hosting me, and thank you for doing your part to help authors get their books out there.
You are welcome! Thank you so much for your time!

Visit Deborah A. Bailey's Amazon Page

Hathor Legacy: Burn
by Deborah A. Bailey



On the planet, Hathor, an old threat re-emerges that may destroy the fragile alliance between the Guardians and Novacorp. When Nadira is called to investigate a rash of fires throughout the city, she discovers the Deshtu, another group with PSI powers who have been purposely kept in the shadows.

Working to uncover the source of the fires, Nadira learns the brutal truth about the origin of the Guardians. The Guardian Elders have plans to make Nadira more powerful, and she may be forced to sever her psychic connection to her lover, Jonathan Keel.

When an unexpected ally gives Jonathan information about the Deshtu that connects them to the fires, he becomes a convenient scapegoat for the opposing factions. Nadira puts her life on the line to solve the crime, while the Elders make their move to remove Jonathan from her life forever.

As time runs out, the Guardians prepare for a clash with Novacorp that could plunge the planet into chaos, and a final betrayal forces Nadira to risk everything to save herself and Hathor.

Read an excerpt:
Up ahead at the corner, she saw lights and transport vehicles passing back and forth. They could get one and head back to the apartment. She was in no mood to return to the reception. Not after what she'd just seen and felt.

"What the hell could be the reason to set these fires?" Jon asked, picking up the pace as they neared the corner.

"The officers think the Guardians are doing this. They believe Varyn's story."

At the corner, they hurried to the transport stand and got into the first one of a long line of shiny, blue and black vehicles. Once the doors closed behind them, she pressed her palm against the clear ID plate. "Take us home."

"Affirmative, Sentry Nadira." After retrieving her data from the system, the transport pulled into the traffic lanes, heading towards the apartment building.

"When are you going to talk to Varyn again?" Jonathan asked, as he glanced behind him.

"As soon as I can. I wanted to give her a little time. But I don't think I can wait much longer," she replied. "Is something wrong?"

"Huh? No. I just felt like we were being watched." He settled down in the seat and slid his arm around her. "It's nothing."

She remembered having that same feeling when she'd come home from the Gathering.

As a Guardian she'd tracked people before. She'd used her abilities to sense their locations and read their thoughts. Was that happening now? Were she and Jon being tracked by the people who'd set the fire?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As a little girl when Deborah A Bailey was watching Star Trek and Twilight Zone, she was writing and drawing her own superheroine comics. When she grew up, she continued to write and followed her love of technology into a career as a computer programmer and developer. But writing was never far away from her heart, so over the years she wrote and published stories set on other worlds and in Earth's future. Ultimately she fulfilled a lifelong dream and completed her first novel in the Hathor Legacy universe, Hathor Legacy: Outcast.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and her work has been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun. In 2013 she published a short story collection, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. In her "other" life, she's a freelance writer who's published three non-fiction books and countless articles that have appeared in print and online. Visit her blog for writing tips, interviews and updates.

Deborah will be awarding a free print version of Hathor Legacy: Burn to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY), and a Grand Prize of a $45 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. A $35 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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