Author Spotlight: A.L. Davroe

This week’s author: A.L. Davroe.

She’s a very friendly lady that I had the fortune to meet at LLS. She’s very intelligent and full of talent. I’m honored to know her and call her a friend.

Book Spotlight:

Royal Revolution (Tales of Turin) by [A.L. Davroe]

Blithe owes everything to Castia. Her health, her power, her position. These gifts come at a price. As Castia’s magic apprentice, Blithe must fulfill the duties of Right Hand to her Hexen mentor.

Castia’s aspirations are high. High enough to overthrow the other eight women who rule over the Pillars of Hexen and become the one true queen of Turin.

The results leave Blithe questioning her own humanity and the person she has become, but she has a clear goal in mind — one that will change her world forever. She just needs a little more time. And a little more power…

Length: Novelette
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Audience: Mature (violence)

About A.L. Davroe:

A.L. (Amanda) writes both YA and adult cross-genre fiction.
She lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and has had such colorful careers as a meta-data specialist, barista, cheese-maker, a food safety specialist, and a government inspector.

Amanda’s work ranges from teen to adult and spans across multiple genres including Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, and Romance.  Her work has been published in various outlets including self, traditional, and small press.  Much of her work can be considered cross-genre and sometimes ranges into speculative.  She likes redemption stories, alternative histories, retellings, generally pushing comfort zones, and reexamining perspective.

Her educational background includes vocational schooling as a vet tech; undergraduate degrees in English and Anthropology with minors in Women’s Studies, Religion, and African Studies; Master’s work in Mental Health Counseling; and extensive certifications and FDA training in food safety, codes, and regulations.

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Interview A.L. Davroe:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I’m kind of all over the place!  I’ve got YA and adult oriented stories ranging from short stories to novels in sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and horror published across indie, small press, and traditional publishing.  My most recognizable work is the Tricksters series consisting of the duology, NEXIS and REDUX which is a YA futuristic dystopian.  This month I’m putting out the second story in my Tales of Turin series called GOBLIN GEMS and the third, HEXEN HAND, is coming out in November.  Tales of Turin is a dark fantasy collection of smaller novella and novelette length pieces that each follow individual “hexen” (witches).  These individual stories are part of a parallel narrative that culminates in a final storyline.  The first story for it, ROYAL REVOLUTION, came out last year.  That story follows Blithe a hexen apprentice who is helping her mentor to become the most powerful hexen of all.  GOBLIN GEMS follows Soraya who teams up with a goblin lord to help stop a slave trafficking ring.  And HEXEN HAND follows Marimeg who gets dragged into protecting a group of soldiers on a secret mission through a haunted forest.  In the end, these strong heroines are gonna start a war in the final story coming out next year.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

I’ve been writing since my freshman year of high school when my friend asked me to do a fanfiction with her.  I started writing on my own just a bit after that when I finished reading a book and didn’t want to leave so I made my own world I could always play in when I get bored (I still go back to that world whenever I need a touchstone).  I think the moment I knew I wanted to try publishing something is when I finished my first novel THE WILL OF THE FALLEN which is the first of my Dark Covenant Universe.  Weirdly, it wasn’t about “me” getting published, it was entirely that the story wanted to be told and it wanted to be told to others. That’s when I actually started trying to get an agent.  I didn’t get an agent for that novel, but I did for my second one (SCAR-CROSSED).  My third novel (NEXIS) actually sold to a publishing house.  I still haven’t published THE WILL OF THE FALLEN because I want to be able to do the story justice and, as a more experienced author, I realize the novel needs a little bit more…But, I will one day share it with the world!  SCAR-CROSSED also hasn’t been sold (not for lack of trying), but the market was just too overwhelmed with paranormal romance at the time we were pitching it (right after Twilight flooded the market).  I should probably start trying to pitch it again…

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough one.  I think back on interactions I’ve had with people who have expressed a love for or resonance with my work.  One of the things that always drives me is remembering an interaction with a young lady who told me my work got her through a particularly bad patch in her life and another one who said that she’d never felt like she resonated with a character before until she read one of mine.  Thinking about something like that reminds me that it doesn’t matter how many people don’t like my work as long as there is someone out there who does.  If that doesn’t work then sometimes I’ll read good reviews.  Often it just comes down to realizing that as long as I like what I’m writing then at least I’m happy.  In the end I can’t please everyone and I wouldn’t want to – my work would suffer because of it.

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

I wish more of my life experiences were part of my writing.  Imagine if paranormal beings were actually real???  I think that one of the big aspects I bring to my writing are the emotions and the gravity of reality.  I don’t always write the sweet, fluffy stuff because that’s not how life actually is.  I write about the hard things and people going through those hard things because they’re more realistic and human that way.  I deal with teen pregnancy, people getting kidnapped and tortured by serial killers, and coping with trying to find humanity after becoming a monster.  Not all my work is like that and it’s not usually front and center, but it’s usually somewhere in there for spice.  I like exploring the depths of the human experience and I don’t gloss over what that experience can be like.  I’m all about the grey areas.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Honestly, I’m not sure who the easiest character was.  I think that I have favorite characters and books that came to me easier, but that’s not a reflection on who was easiest.  I think maybe the most organic one that didn’t require too much thought to write was Jeanette Sauderheim from FOR YOUR HEART.  I wanted a slightly chubby, cat loving nerd who wore glasses and would actually be HAPPY about getting sucked into a fantasy situation because, at the time, I felt underrepresented in the YA community and wanted a character who actually looked and acted like me.  So, Jean was easier to write because she’s the most like me out of all my characters.  However, I think all my characters have a little of me in them – though, of course, I try to make them different from me too.

I think the hardest was probably Ellani Drexel from The Tricksters series.  Ella is a very unique person who grew up in the kind of setting that readers sometimes have a difficult time resonating with.  She’s very intelligent in some areas but quite naive in others and she’s also going through a physical and emotional experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  It was hard just writing characters in a setting that is a freakish mix of the past and future where things have been selectively forgotten or reinvented.  It’s harder writing some traumas that you’ve never personally encountered – Ella loses a parent and becomes disabled in a tragic accident then has to deal with being held captive against her will while her death is announced to everyone on the outside.  It’s exceptionally difficult to write a sheltered teenager who is also a genius in a specialized area.  This girl can do crazy mathematical equations and is a genius computer programmer, but she’s a bit socially inept and she’s still only sixteen so some of her reasoning is not mature – she makes teen-girl-in-love decisions despite being able to hack into databases.  She’s flawed and complex and has her rollercoaster moments but my hope is that readers see how strong she becomes as a heroine throughout the series.

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