Thursday, May 26, 2016

Defy Blog Tour: Author Interview + Book Review

Defy Blog Tour Header

DSC09450-2   INTERVIEW :
Would you tell us a bit of your journey writing the Blades of Acktar series?
It’s been a crazy ride from the first moment I got the idea to now. Flash back two years ago to March of 2014. I’d been writing for years and years and years (at least, that’s what it felt like) and I’d been out of college for a year. I had a moment where I sat myself down and told myself I wasn’t going to get anywhere if I kept moping and waiting for the time to write and never actually finishing anything.
Right after that, the idea for the first three books in The Blades of Acktar smacked into me, and I knew this was an idea I could write and finish. Starting in March, I wrote an average of 1,500 words a day until by December, I’d finished the first drafts of the first three books. It was a rather euphoric feeling.
That August, I applied for a Shalom edit from Nadine Brandes, and I learned in September that she’d picked my application for the edit. In February of 2015, I got her edit back, which taught me an astronomical amount about writing.
In March of 2015, I made the decision to indie publish, and Dare released in June. I was able to release Deny and now Defy within six months of each other because I’d already finished their first drafts back in 2014. The wait between Defy and book 4 will probably be a little longer because I still have to finish writing the book.

Who helps you in your writing life?
So many people! My parents are very supportive, as is my entire family. I have two friends who read everything as I write it, and their encouragement helps me push through the first draft. I’ve made a number of friends among the author community online who are also amazing! If you want a complete list, you’ll have to check out the acknowledgements page of one of my books. I tend to go on and on listing everyone.

How many drafts do you normally write before you complete your manuscripts?
Lots and lots! I tend to be a messy draft writer, which means my first drafts is barely readable. It takes several passes through the manuscript, often with significant re-writes, before it is ready for publication.

Do you have a detailed outline for your books when writing, or just a simple outline? Do you have any tips?
I’m still working on my own process. For Dare and Deny, I didn’t have an outline at all beyond the one in my head. I wrote a very simple outline for Defy and book 4, and then proceeded to only partially follow it. I’d feel bad about it, but I’ve heard authors like Jill Williamson tend to write outlines, then don’t follow them, so I’m not the only non-outliner out there.
I guess, my tips for outlines is try a few things until you figure out what works best for you. That might change as you become a better writer, but you don’t have to follow all the advice out there. There are books and books on writing and outlines, and for me, most of that just makes my eyes glaze over and doesn’t work. But it might for you.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
This seems like a really, really popular question to ask. Like people think I’m wise or something. Hmmm…that’s a weird thought since I still sometimes feel like I flailed and stumbled into being where I am now.
So here goes my mostly standard reply:
Read. Duh.
Write a lot. Also duh.
Don’t publish until you’re ready. I look at some of the teens and high schoolers publishing nowadays, and I’m blown away. Personally, I wasn’t ready for publication back in high school. I didn’t know half of what I know now. I would’ve been overwhelmed figuring out KDP or Photoshop. Doing all the taxes and paperwork being an author and publishing requires would’ve probably broke me down into tears.
If you’re ready to publish in high school, then great. You’re amazing! But don’t feel like your author life will be over if you don’t or you decide it is best to wait. I still have to remind myself of that occasionally.



The war for Acktar has begun.
With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.
Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.
Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.
War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?
Acktar rests on one hope:
The Leader is ready.

Book Review:
Can I just say how much I enjoyed Defy? It was really, really good.  :D
Oh the feels in this book. I loved getting to join back up with the characters and continue on the journey. Defy picks up where Deny leaves off -Renna in the hands of the enemy, and Leith, Brandi, and the runaway Blade/trainee's are escaping.
It was all so very exciting, I couldn't stop reading it and basically breathed the book in. (read it in a day people. All 359 pages) With Renna captured by King Respen, she is constantly under guard by Martyn, and Leith knows it. But with the resistance soon to attack the castle he fears he cannot save both of them. He makes a choice that in the end will either save his two friends, or they will all die. Turning himself over to Respen to save Renna, Leith undergoes torture at the hands of his friend and fellow Blade members.

Characters: I love Leith, Martyn, Ranson, and Renna. (the others are great to, but in Defy these were my favorite.) I love how Renna loves and gives to others, even those who hurt her. How Leith selflessly gives himself up to save others, and how strong both of their faith grows. How Ranson and Martyn learn what compassion is, and how they both are freed from their prison of death and darkness.
One of my favorite quotes was from Leith: I don't Fear You Quote

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received this book free from the author for an honest review

May 27th -June 3rd books Dare and Deny will be on sale on Amazon!

Tricia M. will also be holding a Facebook party on June 2nd. Don't miss it as she will have giveaways, character Q&A, guest authors, and more!Facebook Party Announcement


  1. I really need to read this series! :)
    I tagged you on my blog, Soleil. :)

  2. Fantastic interview and review!!! Aw, Defy was such a great book!