Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Jessica Dall. With her first book in the Order and Chaos series out, and a second coming, she is not one to miss! Read the Q&A below.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: My mom will tell you that I’ve been “writing” since before I actually knew how. I would scribble loops on paper in a way that I thought looked like cursive and write “stories.” As far as actual writing, well, I wrote some fan fiction in middle school and then finished my first novel in high school (which is now safely buried away on my hard drive and only comes out when I need to remember I have actually improved over the last decade-plus). I’ve been noveling ever since.
Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?
A: All sorts of things have inspired my writing–pictures, music, quotes… I’ve never had a lack of ideas. I’ve just never had enough time to write them all!
Q: Tell me about your book, Raining Embers. What was the original idea behind it?
Raining Embers is a historical fantasy novel set in a world loosely based on Renaissance Italy with a bunch of ancient Greek/other mythology thrown in for good measure. The actual story has been through so many iterations that most of the original parts of it has likely been lost to red lining at this point, but the original spark actually came from an art history lecture I went to years ago. The lecturer put up a picture of the Vatican library–and all the beautiful artwork decorating the walls in one of the rooms–and the idea of a similar library in the middle of a battle began to percolate. That original scene is still a small part of chapter one.
Q: What plans do you have for the next books in the Order and Chaos series? How many books are you planning to write?
A: Book Two–currently titled Graven Idols–should be coming out later this year and is currently in edits. It starts a few months after the end of Book One and directly continues the story with all the main characters trying to deal with how their lives have changed. I’m working on writing Book Three right now and have a rough outline for Book 4. If all goes as planned, things should be done at that point–but who really knows until everything is written?
Q: You did a “virtual book tour” hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours. Tell me exactly what that means. What happened on this blog tour?
A: A month after Raining Embers came out in November, my publisher–Red Adept Publishing–partnered with Sage’s Blog Tours to host a virtual book tour. Mostly that means a series of blog take overs/reviews/other things related to the release all taking place over a couple weeks. There are a number of reviews and guest blogs and author/character interviews still floating around cyberspace from December for anyone who’s interested in tracking them down.
Q: Are you working on any writing projects now besides the Order and Chaos series?
A: I’m currently in the research phase for a historical fiction novel that’s planned to take place in 18th Century Portugal–which is really a lot of fun, since it’s entirely not my area. I’m trying to see if I can work out a trip to Lisbon at some point for research (and because Portugal is supposed to be a beautiful country). Whenever I need a break from Order and Chaos I pop over there for a bit to try to clear my head.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do while writing?
A: It entirely depends on my mood at the time. I’m one of those lucky people who is able to write pretty much anywhere any time. Sometimes music helps, sometimes silence, sometimes I’m sitting with my laptop on the couch with a glass of wine. Whatever it is, I’m just glad to be writing most of the time.
Q: Who are your favorite authors? If you could meet one (alive or dead), who would it be and why?
A: On top of being an author, I’m also an editor, so I’m actually pretty lucky that I’ve gotten to meet a lot of brilliant authors from working on their books. For one author that I would still love to meet, though, that would be J. K. Rowling. On top of just seeming like a wonderful person from everything I’ve heard about her, Harry Potter is definitely part of what got me writing years and years ago (see that middle school fan fiction…) Partially I’d just want to say “Thank you.”
Q: Where is the strangest place you have ever come up with an idea?
A: Man, that’s a tough one, since my ideas tend to pop up just about anywhere I am. One strange one would have to be watching my husband play Assassin’s Creed. I’m not a huge video game person myself, but Assassin’s Creed has an amazing range of craziness that has sparked some equally crazy ideas.
Q: What is something you want the world to know?
A: I love talking to readers. It’s always a ton of fun to hear what people think, and I’m happy to answer questions if anyone wants to catch me on Twitter or my blog. And remember, if you like any author’s work, leave them a kind review on Amazon/Barnes & Noble/wherever. Good reviews help authors get through days when picking up scorpion petting seems more attractive than going over rewrites for a seventh time.
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