Welcoming my next victim is a beauty from the land of down under! Please welcome Dionne Lister!
Dionne lives in Sydney with her husband and two children and after seventeen years as a property valuer, is completing a creative writing degree and working as an editor. Her first fantasy book, Shadows of the Realm hit #1 on Amazon in two categories and #6 in teenage literary fiction. She loves sharing her stories but with they wouldn’t keep her awake at night. Dionne co-hosts Tweep Nation podcast and Club Fantasci book club and is looking forward to the April release of the second book in The Circle of Talia series.
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing as a child because I love telling stories and getting lost in my imagination.
If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?
I didn’t write when my two children were babies—I was way too tired, so it did affect me, but I think it’s improved my ability to have empathy for others and I think that’s an important trait as a writer, so overall, I think it helped me.
Who is your favorite author and why?
There are so many! You are so mean, making me pick just one. Growing up it was David Eddings, but now it would be someone like Julian Barnes or Terry Pratchett.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I hope to be a best-selling author who can make a living out of my writing so I can always do it (how original I know). I also want to write books that people can get lost in—I want people to love my books as much as I do.
Traditional or Self publishing? Why?
They both have their good and bad points. At this stage, I’m enjoying the control I have over what I publish, when I publish it and of course, I earn more money per book as a self-published author, but I would love to see my books in more bookshops, which is hard to achieve unless you have a traditional publishing contract. I would also like to think that even if you have to do a lot of your own PR as a traditionally published author that the publishers give you a bit of added exposure.
Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.
I wrote my book about 9 years ago and sent it out to publishers because back then there was almost impossible to self-publish and it was called ‘vanity publishing’. If you did it yourself back then no one would ever touch you again (very elitist of the publishers, I think). Anyway, after a few rejections I realised I probably needed to do some work so two years I ago I finally had the opportunity to enroll in a university degree and after learning a lot, I revisited my book, had it edited and self-published. It was a long journey, but an extremely satisfying one.
Tell us about your book (s).
My first book is Shadows of the Realm, a family read epic fantasy (suitable for most ages) with action, adventure and dragons. When the gormons invade Talia, Bronwyn and Blayke—two young realmists—are forced to leave their homes and undertake a dangerous journey to Vellonia, city of the dragons. My second work is a book of suspenseful, literary short stories, Dark Spaces, which delve into the darker side of human nature and tell some intense tales. I’m currently finishing off the sequel to Shadows of the Realm and it should be out mid April and it’s called A Time of Darkness.
What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?
I had always loved fantasy and since I didn’t want to research for my first book, it was the perfect choice. The suspenseful short stories came out of nowhere when I tried to write short stories. They were just waiting and now I have a crime/thriller novel I’ve started and will finish when my Circle of Talia series is finished.
Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?
You should love my main character, Bronwyn, because she is brave and stubborn and will always fight for what she believes in, but she is young and has a lot to learn so is not as open-minded as she could be. Blayke is quiet and a bit shy, he is also sensitive and thoughtful, but he hates himself at times because he doesn’t feel like he’s brave or strong enough.
Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?
No, but I do listen to music when I write—usually 30 Seconds to Mars and The Fray.
Closing note from the beauty from downunder! “Thanks for having me Allison, it’s been a lot of fun and I hope your readers haven’t fallen asleep while I’ve droned on :). Cheers!”