Friday, June 14, 2019

9 Questions with Heather Benson

This week's author is Heather Benson from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her dark fantasy novel Awaken the Demon.

By H.N. Benson

1.     What message are you hoping people will receive when they read your book?

I hope people will see that life is hard, there are many things that can go wrong or that are hurtful, but that how you live and how you handle those situations are in your control.  You can choose to let them destroy you or you can choose to learn from those moments and allow them to make you stronger and better than you used to be.  Rosina has to face many things that most people only hear about but she fights every day to be better than what she was handed.  She struggles to remain human even though she has a monster whispering in her head.  I hope people that struggle with their own monsters can see that there is a choice.

2.     Why did you write this book? 

I wrote this book because I was looking for a way out of my own hell.  I have had to face many things in my life that have made me want to quit, to just lay down and never get up.  I know there are others out there that struggle as much as, or more than I do and I want them to know they are not alone.  Rosina faces a real monster but to many of us in the real world, those suffering with PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc, their monster is themselves.  Their body and mind reject what is normal or pervert their thoughts and feelings and it is an everyday struggle and I want them to have an outlet as I did when writing.

3.     What has been the hardest part of the publishing process?

Honestly, putting together all the different requirements for each publisher.  Each time I submitted my manuscript, I had to do something different, some wanted just a few chapters, some wanted it to be single-spaced, some needed a query letter, and some needed just a synopsis.  If I didn’t know my book inside and out before that, I sure did after.

4.     What has been the biggest (pleasant) surprise in your publishing journey?

Just how amazing my publisher is.  This is my first time publishing and they helped me with every step.

5.     Would you write a sequel to your book? Why or why not?

Yes!  I’m actually half-way done with the second installment.  I know the story isn’t over yet and I want to share the rest with everyone.  And I believe that my characters’ growth and achievements are something that people would look forward to reading about.

6.     What author or book has influenced your writing?

I started writing when I was around thirteen years old, nothing fancy or even worth trying to publish, but it was my way of coping with things going on around me.  And at that age, I would have to say that I was mostly influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien, I read the Hobbit around that time and fell in love with his stories, and later read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, only increasing my love.  Not long after that, I found Anne Rice and her vampire chronicles and they forever changed my love for vampires and reading.

7.     You are stranded on an island with only 3 books. What are their titles?

The Vampire Lestat (By Anne Rice)
The Dorina Basarab series – Midnight’s Daughter (by Karen Chance)
Shifting Shadows (by Patricia Briggs)

8.     What is your philosophy about rejection?

I knew I would be rejected, even J.K. Rowling was rejected several times and if she was and still such a success, then I can as well.

9.     Do you have a day job? What is it?

Yes, just customer service.

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