Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview with Tahlia Newland "Lethal Inheritance"

Hey Everyone!
Today I've got an interview with Tahlia Newland, the author of the new book Lethal Inheritance!

Lethal Inheritance
  The Romance Bookie: In a few sentences tell us about your book Lethal Inheritance.

Tahlia Newland: Lethal Inheritance is about a seventeen year old girl whose mother is kidnapped by shadow demons. Since no one else can see them, Ariel has to mount the rescue mission herself. She follows the demons into another layer of reality where she discovers that they’re hunting her and they feed on fear. She must defeat the demons before they kill her and enslave her mother. Along the way, she battles treacherous terrain, murderous earth spirits, self-doubt and a dangerous attraction to a young Warrior.

TRB:  How did you come up with the concept?
TN: So many YA fantasy novels have heroes and heroines who use paranormal abilities to win their battles, and I always thought, ‘yeah, well it’s okay if you’re special like that, but what if you’re just an ordinary person, what powers do we all have that, if developed, could be used to battle the bad guy. Mind power was the obvious choice. It’s something very under-utilised in our society; but what if there was a society that had refined their minds to such an extent that they became really powerful, almost a kind of magic?

I used my knowledge of the mind gained from years of study and practice of meditation to create the Warrior’s system for developing and using mental powers. It might be fantasy, but it’s based on reality. You could develop these same powers, but the demons you’d be defeating are inside you, not outside.

I also had to consider what kind of situation would force someone to develop that power, a kind of learn to meditate or die situation. That’s how I came up with demons who fed on negative emotions.

TRB:  While it is a paranormal story involving Demons, did you still find yourself putting some personal characteristics into your main character, Ariel?
TN: I think it’s hard not to. Ariel has my curiosity and desire to understand what’s going on. She asks questions until she’s very clear on situations. She’s also willing to do what she has to do, even if it means taking a knife to a demon before she has any idea what’s going on, but another part of herself just wants to curl up with a good book and forget about reality.

In other ways she’s not like me at all, for example, I’m not sporty like she is, and I was never scared of having a boyfriend.

TRB:   I noticed on one of your blog posts ( you mentioned creating a whole world for Lethal Inheritance, what was that like? I love it when authors think of all this extra back up information about the worlds they have created (i.e. JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, both have done this)!

TN: I loved creating the world. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that there are worlds within our worlds that we just can’t see. The view of the mountain realm—as shown in the map that’s in that post—came to me in the middle of the night like a scene in a movie. It was so real I could feel it and almost smell it. After that, I could just imagine I was there and in my mind, I was there. I used to love going to visit, and when I was there, the scenes from the story just appeared in my mind without any effort.

It took a long time to work out the details though. I had to keep refining the parameters of the world until it everything fitted. A world has to make sense and everyone in it has to be bound by the same laws.

TRB: When did you first begin writing? And why?

TN: I started writing it in 2007, and by the time I got an agent to represent the book in 2010, I’d also written the first draft of the 3 sequels. But my full time job finished at the end of 2007, and I went onto casual work, so I had plenty of time to write.

TRB: Why did I start?

TN: The scenes just started popping into my head and I had to write them down. I was very inspired, and the more I wrote, the more scenes revealed themselves. I felt like I was unearthing a story, rather than writing it.

TRB: The last book you read and loved?

TN: Angel by Laura Lee. It’s contemporary fiction about a couple of guys, but it’s absolutely beautiful. I also loved Linda Gillard’s The Glass Guardian and also Emotional Geology, both are beautifully written books. Another favourite is On the Soul of a Vampire by Krisi Keley. It’s very different to most vampire books and deeply spiritual.

TRB: What do you prefer: hardcopies or ebooks? Why?

TN: Ebooks. They’re cheaper, lighter and don’t take up space. They’re also easy to get rid of if you don’t want to keep them.

TRB:  Any advice for aspiring writers?

TN: Heaps
Learn your craft.
Learn to be self-critical (after you’ve written the first draft)
don’t be defensive when people criticise your work. They’re not putting you down, they’re helping you to make your writing better.
Get at least 10 opinions  before you even think of submitting a manuscript to an agent, (preferably not your family & friends unless they’re avid readers and prepared to be completely honest)
Leave your work for at least 3 months before submitting it. Read lots of books during that time, then look at your book again. I’ll bet you’ll be able to improve it.
Don’t submit to all agents and publishers at the same time.
Start with the traditional route, at least for your first book. It gives you the time & impetus to keep refining your work, and good rejections are very encouraging.
If you are interested in self-publishing, consider it very carefully. If you do it badly, it’ll kill your career. There’s a lot of hype about it, but the sales figures indicate that 49% of self published authors sell less than 10 books each month, and they work really hard for it. The main reason why publishers reject excellent books is that they don’t think they’ll sell well, so you have to ask yourself if you can do a better job of selling your book than an established publisher can.

Purchase links for Lethal Inheritance
US Kindle Store
UK Kindle Store
Apple ibook store
Barnes and Noble

Other links
Tahlia’s Weblog
Happy Honkers Blog
Goodreads Author page
Amazon Author page

Read an excerpt for free

Thanks Everyone! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

PS: I found this awesome giveaway on Jessi Kirby's website!