Author on the Couch: India Powers and a Cover Reveal!
This week on Author on the Couch, I conduct a session with…
This week we’re doing something a bit special! India is going to reveal the cover for her paranormal historical romance novel DEMON’S BANE! Keep reading to the end see her cover and find out how you could win a copy of her novel!
*But if you’re impatient and can’t wait to see this beautiful cover–>quick scroll down and look, then come right back because you don’t want to miss her interview! Seriously. You don’t want to miss this!
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
India: In a Sociology class in college, I read about a study on the power of authority. It was a long time ago, so my memory might be faulty. The way I recall it, a volunteer had to shock a person in another room every time a wrong answer was given. The more wrong answers, the greater the electrical shocks. I remember that a majority of people obeyed the authority telling them to administer the shocks, even up to the highest and most dangerous levels (it was fake—nobody was actually being shocked, but the volunteer pushing the button didn’t know that).
I realized that without a doubt, I would have been one of the people who would have administered the shocks at continually higher levels. Even though I wouldn’t have thought it was right, I would have still obeyed. It was a shocking thing to realize about myself, that I had so much respect for figures of authority that I would even do something I thought was wrong because of their perceived power. And that scared me profoundly. It made me look at WWII and Hitler’s rise in a different way. I’d never understood how people could follow him. And yet, here I was, realizing I would have bowed down to a much lesser authority. It was a terrifying thing to realize about myself.
I didn’t know if I could change, but I vowed from that point forward to try, because I hated knowing this about myself. It’s been decades, but I still remember that sharp stab of fear. And yes, I did change. I constantly question and analyze the things I hear and read, and I do research (something I love to do!) to find out the truth. You never know what you would do in a tough situation until you’re in it, but I hope that I’ll never be afraid to stand up and do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
Me: I clearly remember reading about that experiment in my college days too.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
India: Curiosity—I love to learn! This is great because if there’s a topic that interests me, I’ll research it endlessly until I have a good understanding of it. I’ve read lots of books and taken many courses about writing and the publishing industry. All of this information has been invaluable. It has helped me improve as a writer, but also to understand the various publishing options available and to choose the course I felt was the best fit for me. The downside is that I never just do things. I have to learn as much as I can about them first!
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
India: The same one that plagues every writer I know—self-doubt.
Last year I heard Susan Elizabeth Phillips speak at Windy City RWA, and I’ll never forget her words when she talked about the doubts every writer, from newbie to multi-bestselling author, has. You think your writing sucks? You think they’ll discover you’re a fraud and your career is over? You think this is the worst thing anybody has ever written and you should just quit now?
“You’re not special.”
Every writer has these thoughts. It comes with the job. So pull up your big girl panties and get to work. Don’t give into the fear.
Me: One of these days I’m going to go back and count how many of my Authors on the Couch have answered that question with self doubt. I know it is the majority.
What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest?
India: In 2012 my goal was to finish my first book and enter RWA’s Golden Heart contest.
To give some history, I started this book in 2007, stopped working on it for a year, started it up again, and couldn’t get past chapter 4. I wrote many, many words, but the chapters weren’t working and I threw them out. Over and over.
I’d ask my friends—how do you get from scene A to scene B? I’m a plotter. I knew my story arc! I knew my character arcs! I knew the turning points! But I couldn’t master the art of getting to the next scene. (Hint: when I threw out my outline and let my characters lead, I got to the end. Who knew I was a plotter AND a pantser?)
So in November 2012, after years of trying, I finally finished the book. (Yay, NANOWRIMO!) I revised it and entered it into the Golden Heart. That was the first high point. It was topped 3 months later when I received a phone call telling me my manuscript, Demon’s Bane, had finaled! I never expected this. I was already ecstatic that I’d finished a book, but this put me over the moon!
Me: When you’re an unpublished writer there’s nothing quite like getting the Golden Heart Call!
What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer?
India: When I was a newbie writer, I couldn’t wait to get feedback from critique groups and partners! I hadn’t gotten very far into the story yet—just a few chapters—and I couldn’t wait to hear their thoughts. I received some very positive and encouraging feedback, but also some very negative feedback. The negative feedback devastated me. I didn’t write for a year.
Since I wasn’t ready to give up my dream, I did my best to learn. I continued to attend writing meetings, although I never gave my work out for critique anymore. I read books on writing. Signed up for online workshops. Anything to help me learn more about the craft.
Over the course of that year, I wrestled with the feedback I’d received. Although it was painful, I realized some of the negative feedback had merit. . . and some only deserved the wastebasket. Being able to differentiate between the two is a skill I only gradually learned.
Finally, I was ready to write again. I had completely overhauled my story, but I felt a new confidence in it. Eventually, when I finished the manuscript, that story went on to final in the Golden Heart!
When I meet newbie authors, I tell them to learn from my mistakes. Don’t share your work too early. If you haven’t gotten very far into your story, it can be hard to evaluate people’s input or keep it from swaying your vision. Protect the work!
Me: I think you hit upon something important. It’s super valuable to learn for yourself what critiques to listen to and which need filed in the trash. It took me a few years to figure that out.
Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
India: Regina, the heroine of my book Demon’s Bane. She comes from two cultures—her father’s world of the Mageborn and her mother’s human world.
My mother was Korean. My father joked he was a “mutt” (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Welsh, and rumor has it some Cherokee). Like Regina, I felt the tug between two cultures and that feeling of not quite knowing where I fit in.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
India: I’ve completed two books. Once I sit down to write, I’m actually pretty fast. I can write a decent draft of a 100,000 word novel in less than 3 months. What this number doesn’t tell you is that I’ve been mulling over the story for months (sometimes years!) before banging it out, and that I really, really struggle with the revision process. I’m still trying to find a method for revising that works for me. Right now it takes twice as long for me to edit as it does to write a first draft.
Me: What is a story your family always tells about you?
India: I grew up in El Paso, Texas, and there are a few words I pronounce differently than my husband, who grew up in central Illinois. We had just bought our house and were doing a top to bottom cleaning. I remember we had the refrigerator pulled out and I found a red crayon underneath. I said, “I found a crayon!”
My husband was behind the refrigerator and asked, “What?”
“I found a crayon!”
“A CRAYON! I found a red CRAYON!”
He leaned out from behind the fridge to see what I’d found and started laughing. “You mean you found a CRAY-on.”
I pronounce crayon as “crown.”
He’d heard me correctly. He just couldn’t understand how I could have found a crown under the fridge! We still get a good laugh at this story.
COVER REVEAL TIME
And now here’s the cover for India Power’s debut Paranormal Historical Romance novel DEMON’S BANE which releases September 30th, 2016. To be eligible to win a copy (either e-format or paper) do these two things:
- Share this post.
- Leave a comment for India.
Me: What a lovely cover! Tell us a little bit about DEMON’S BANE.
A witch’s dying curse. . .
A demon stalks London society, hunting the witch whose death curse catapulted him to Regency England and trapped him in the human world.
A demon’s revenge. . .
Regina Westcott possesses all the attributes necessary to make a good match: beauty, wealth, and mageblood. However, Regina’s mother was human. In the eyes of mageborn society, nothing could confer spinster status on a maiden faster. When mages begin dying at London balls, she finds herself under the scrutiny of Julian Rutherford, the dashing magelord who believes she—a non-magical halfblood—is somehow at fault.
A mage who’ll risk everything for love. . .
Julian Rutherford is a mage with a mission: free the soul of his wife by killing her demon murderer. He chases the demon to Regency England, where he is tormented by the lovely Lady Regina. Her every mannerism echoes the wife he’d lost centuries ago. But is she the reincarnation of his wife and a second chance at love, or the demon in disguise?
Me: Share a little bit of DEMON’S BANE with us.
Regina steeled herself. She’d been second best her entire life. She refused to be second best in love.
This is a super short excerpt, I know! But I love it. It’s the moment where Regina finally embraces who she is and accepts she deserves more.
Look for India’s Paranormal Historical Romance novel DEMON’S BANE on September 30, 2016.
Find India here!
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. Her debut novel RACE THE DARKNESS is available for pre-order now.
*Formatted By Manny Goodman