Dana Davis !!!
The Last time Dana joined us, she was promoting
her Desert Magick Paranormal Fantasy Series:
Today, she's here promoting her newest Fantasy Trilogy,
The Teadai Prophecies
Before we get to the books, let's take a look at our interview with Dana:
MLM: Do you have any holiday memories from 2010 that you would like to share with us? (Memories can be nice and sweet, naughty, or just plain goofy!)
DANA: Funny you should ask. Three days into our holiday staycation, hubby and I were biking. He decided to turn left and I went right. I rear-ended him and found myself flat out on the street. Turns out I cracked a rib. So instead of all the hiking and biking we’d planned, we spent our two weeks off playing Scrabble and watching videos. Hubby made some yummy treats and I think my butt got bigger. Yep. It did. I’m still healing and hope to be back on my bike in another couple of weeks or so.
MLM: With the beginning of each New Year, many people make resolutions to change something about their lives. Do you make resolutions each year? Why or why not? In other words, what’s your philosophy behind your decision to make or not to make resolutions?
DANA: Resolution, what’s that? But seriously, I love my life and I don’t do a specific New Year’s resolution because I tend to make little ones all year long. Like, get more writing done. Or take more breaks from writing to work out. Or do more little things for hubby to let him know I love him. Stuff like that. I’ve found that if I make them a little at a time, I tend to actually get them done.
MLM: The buzz all over Tweetland and Facebook is how stressful many of us tend to find the holiday season (Thanksgiving through the New Year). This year they’ve seemed to be even more so with everything that’s been going on in the US and abroad. Stress isn’t usually conducive to writing, so we need to shed that stress, clear our minds so the words will follow. How do you plan on recharging your soul? Any relaxation tips you’d like to share?
DANA: I used to stress out over every little thing and still have tendencies in that direction. But I’ve gotten a lot better dealing with it. For me it’s exercise, meditation, and reading. Some people have genuine things to worry about so you really have to put things in perspective and decide what’s really worth stressing over and what isn’t. Your holiday dinner not coming out perfect won’t cause the universe to implode. And I know this from experience because I’m still here. After having been through multiple job losses and family deaths, dealing with an inner ear disease, and having our house on the market, the holidays are a breeze for us!
MLM: One of the greatest things about the Internet is that we can connect with writers of all kinds from all over the globe so we want to know:
a.) What area of the country/world are you from?
DANA: My home is Los Angeles, California but hubby and I have been living in the Phoenix, Arizona area for the past twelve years.
b.) What are the average temperatures of your area?
DANA: Phoenix is a desert so summers are scorching, above 110F degrees most days. Winter days are usually in the 60s with 40s at night. We joke about fall and spring being a great week out of the year.
c.) What type of clothing would most residents be wearing today?
DANA: Desert rats are wimps when it gets cold. And this goes for those of us from LA, too. Our highs are in the low 60s this entire week so jackets are in order here.
d.) What tips do you have for people to “survive” the weather where you are?
DANA: In summers you need to stay inside from around 10am – 3pm. That’s the hottest part of the day. When you do go out, make sure to have plenty of water with you, wear a hat and lots of sunblock. And wear sunglasses year-round. The sun is so strong here that it can cause eye problems if you don’t protect those lovely orbs.
MLM: Say you’re at a cabin in the mountains, and it’s not exactly warm out and you had the option of where you wanted your hot tub to be. Would you have the hot tub inside or outside the cabin? Why?
DANA: I love being outside in a hot tub, but being a wimp about the cold and all, I would only go in when the sun is out. Or else buy one of those patio heaters to put next to it. Okay, those of you from colder climates can stop laughing now.
MLM: If you could go anywhere in the world for the holidays, where would you choose to go? Why that destination over others?
DANA: Well, hubby and I love to travel and have been to many places around the world, so our holidays are spent at home and we really like it that way. We’re hoping to move back home to LA this year if possible. Arizona is nice but there’s nothing like being in California for the holidays. We really miss the beach and walking on the strand in winter or hanging out at the pier eating seafood.
MLM: We’ve had our fun, now it’s time to switch the focus to your writing. Why fantasy? What was the draw for you?
DANA: I’ve always loved fantasy, even as a kid. I’m an escapist, I guess. When the real world is ticking me off or just plain stressful, I can get lost someplace else very far from this reality. I used to get in trouble for daydreaming in school. And I grew up in the entertainment field. I worked in Hollywood and for Disney. Can’t get much more fantastical than that.
MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please look beyond words hot, steamy, mysterious, paranormal etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
DANA: Escape and enjoyment about sums it up.
MLM: Earlier we discussed stress and the holidays. While stress may not always be conducive to writing, do you find that the holidays disrupt your writing schedule? If so, how? How tough is it to get yourself back in writing mode? What does it take to get you back on track?
DANA: The only time my writing is disrupted is when we have company or hubby is off and we want to play. This past holiday I actually got more writing done than I thought I would since I’m injured. I can’t do too much physical stuff just now but typing doesn’t hurt. It’s very easy for me to get back to my writing after a break because my head would explode if I didn’t get all those stories out of it. I tend to get cranky when I don’t write.
MLM: Earlier we asked you about where you’d put the hot tub. Does this show through in your writing? If so, give some examples how, please!
DANA: One of my characters has a hot tub in the Desert Magick series. Does that count? I tend to have my characters outside quite a bit, especially in my fantasy books. Even though I don’t enjoy camping, I love going on nature walks and just being outside. I think that comes through in a lot of my work. In the Teadai Prophecies trilogy, nature is important so the characters do a lot of outdoor living. They also do a lot of traveling.
MLM: Who decides what the characters/creatures you write about do, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one pouring the soap in the Jacuzzi?
DANA: My muse is a busy and bossy lady so I get bossed around by my characters all the time. In one of my books, I had originally planned to kill off a certain character. When it came time to write the scene, she wouldn’t let me. I tried and tried to get it to work but it just wouldn’t. In another novel, I ended up killing a character that I hadn’t planned to because it didn’t work any other way. That, and he told me to do it. Really.
MLM: Of all the stories you’ve written, which creature/character did you have the most fun creating and why?
DANA: I have fun with each book I write or else I wouldn’t be interested in telling the story. Same goes for characters. I enjoy creating strong female leads so readers will find them in all of my novels. When you get two or more headstrong women together, things tend to get interesting, especially when they’re stuck together in a situation they don’t particularly enjoy. And of course villains are always fun to write. I get to do things I would never do in real life and get away with it.
MLM: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?
DANA: I’ve been asked this question many times by many different people and my answer is always the same. I would be afraid to meet any of my characters in real life. They’d beat the living daylights out of me for what I do to them in my novels.
MLM: Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
DANA: Hmm, let’s see. That would be any character with magical powers. Any who know how to use a weapon or could beat me up. And any character I’ve done bad things to. So, that pretty much covers all of them. Okay, those who scare me the most in the Teadai Prophecies series are also the most beautiful. The Vedi are husband and wife leaders of the Gypsies. As a go-between for the Goddess and their people, their magic surpasses all the others, and they could do really nasty things to me if they wanted to. Even in my dreams.
Now for some excerpts...
What do a mysterious woman, a tavern wench who counts to calm her fears, and several annoying adolescents have in common? They are destined for a magical and uncertain future together. Whether they want it or not.
Saldia glanced up. The moon was two days from full harvest glory. Her heart leapt into her throat and her legs began to quiver. She realized she’d stopped when the other woman tugged on her arm.
“Come along, Saldia Trich.” Haranda sounded as though she spoke to a wayward child. A cold breeze rustled the leaves around them but her candle barely flickered. She looked tired, exhausted even.
Saldia flogged back her fear and walked alongside the woman. “I’m Gypsy folk?”
“But I don’t have powers.”
The two were silent and Saldia counted the trees closest to the road to try and still her dread as she thought about her future. Powers? What kind of Gypsy workings would a tavern wench possess?
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The ledge dropped sharply into the canyon below as the full moon rose above the cliffs and created shadows against the landscape. Adelsik wedged her otherself between a boulder and a massive tree to keep from falling, her back pressed against wet dirt. Rancid smells from nearby putrid root plants caused her to gag, so she envisioned a scarf, and when it appeared, carefully tied it around her nose and mouth. If that didn’t keep her stomach under control, she would secure yet another across her face. It worked and the smell no longer made her gut heave. Distant howls filled the stagnant night air and she shivered. More illusions to frighten her, make her submit.
This isn’t real. It’s just the Netherworld. I’m slumbering.
The ground gave a sudden shake and she lost her footing. One hand managed to grip a large branch that cut into her otherself’s skin, and she struggled to keep from plunging into the canyon below. She still harnessed the Energy from previous attempts at changing this nightmare the stranger had created and put all her fear and strength into altering the landscape once again. The
quake stopped and the canyon began to turn into the sandy beach she was so familiar with here in the Netherworld. But the image didn’t last. Sweat slicked the skin of her otherself from failed attempts to change the landscape, and she clung desperately to the jutting branch as her feet dangled off the edge of the cliff.
Pim laughed and Cass couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped. Eletha wasn’t one to go into water without at least her tunic and underbreeches, said it felt too much like bathing. Perhaps the recent tree deaths had knocked all sense from her. Cass caught movement in her corner vision.
Brak, a large man even if he wasn’t Bankari, stopped short of the bank and scratched at a facial scar. “You mad, woman? Get yourself out of there before you catch a death.” He never said much to the others but always had an opinion where Eletha was concerned.
The little, fiery-haired woman, who seemed to enjoy taunting him, laughed and splashed the shore in a flurry of arm and leg movements. “You big dolt! Gypsies don’t get ill!” A huge grin revealed a number of teeth.
With that, Brak grunted and walked off, mumbling to himself.
Eletha splashed around until he disappeared behind one of the supply wagons before she climbed out, shivering. She didn’t seem concerned with covering her nakedness.
Pim eyed her up and down. “That a way to get attention. Not a man alive can keep eyes from a naked woman.”
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