Today I have an interview with Darlene Jones, author of the fantasy/sci-fi novel “Embattled“. Darlene stumbled across my site a few weeks ago, and we exchanged some emails, leading me to check out Embattled. I think our books actually have a bit in common – they’re both about a woman in a normal life who discovers that she’s been watched by a mysterious force that will give her special powers to help save the world. I haven’t had a chance to read Embattled yet, but it’s up soon on my to-read list – expect a review in the near-future. For now, enjoy the interview!
What provided the spark of inspiration for Embattled? Any long-term influences that you’d like to cite?
I started creating the story when I was suffering from insomnia. It didn’t put me to sleep! Years ago I lived in Mali and I always wished I could wave a magic wand and make life better for those wonderful people, so partly the book stems from those wishes. As I wrote, I began to really like the “magic” I could create with the beings from “out there somewhere.”
How long have you wanted to be a writer, and what is your earliest writing memory?
I was a reader from a very young age. Living on a farm in a remote area, there was little access to books, so I read the ones I had over and over. The first real writing I remember was a creative writing course in school. Work kept me busy. The only writing I did then was reports and newsletters. When I finally had the time to write fiction, I discovered that I loved it. Now, I can’t imagine not writing.
What was the last book you read, and is this part of your chosen writing genre or a departure?
I’m reading The Night Circus and have to say I don’t like it very much. I recently read The Tiger’s Wife. That book kept me enthralled. I don’t confine my writing to any specific genre. I read book reviews and go from there.
Looking at the synopsis for Embattled, I think our books have something in common – a woman who is chosen by forces larger than herself to take responsibility for a much larger world than the one in which she previously thought she lived. Does this theme resonate in your own life in any way?
Laugh! If only we could “fix” things, eh? It resonates in the sense that I like to have control and I like to do what I can to help others. I was a boss for part of my career and I liked the responsibility. I believe I helped make my little corner of the world a better place.
What might your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Oh, no, we’re not telling secrets, are we? My book has snippets from my life in it, but I won’t tell you which ones. Perhaps the fact that I lived in Mali might be surprising and that I’ve been to Tombouctou more than once and that I’ve slept on the ground in the middle of nowhere in Africa more than once.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I have two more books ready to publish – they continue the story – and am working on the fourth and final book (I think) of the series.
Thanks for the interview, Darlene! Good luck with your writing!