OBS owner/reviewer Dawn is back with a new interview, this time with the talented aspiring writer, author Jacinta Maree and her debut novel ‘My Demonic Ghost’. Here they talk about the inspiration behind the story, her characters, the journey behind publishing her book, future projects and some fun facts. Enjoy!
- Read OBS’s review for ‘My Demonic Ghost’ here.
- Visit author Jacinta Maree at her personal blog here.
- Don’t forget to check amazing drawings inspired by the Banished Spirits series here.
Dawn: What was the inspiration for My Demonic Ghost?
J.M.: The big question that sparked the beginning of My Demonic Ghost was from the French philosopher Descartes and his teachings about the theory of consciousness. He had asked about the possibility of our world being a trick, or that we’re being controlled by a trickster (a demon god). From that point, it just made me think about a world where in the afterlife there was corruption among what we had presumed to be a just system.
My biggest idea was trying to twist the concept around where the Angels weren’t always the good team and that demons could play the part of hero instead. I was testing the possibility of writing a story where the audience was cheering for the darkness to triumph over the light.
Dawn: You eloquently describe the settings, characters, feeling etc…yet it’s not over done or too much information. How did you find that balance?
J.M.: I’m very glad to hear that as that was one of my greatest fears. I’ve been taught to include everything in writing up the first draft, absolutely every description. Smells, sights, touches and tastes and really step into their world. The trick is to go back and just skim the fat. It’s a lot easier to cut out words than it is to try and build an image back up, especially if you’ve stepped away from that moment and lost the flow.
Plus, I had a wonderful team of editors to help me out; Heather Savage and Sara Johnson at Staccato Publishing did a wonderful job making it perfect. Having professionals look over your work with fresh eyes does wonders.
Dawn: Lock has redeemable qualities, he’s not fully evil thus making him difficult to dislike. I wanted to dislike him but I found myself feeling sympathy for his plight. How did you hope his character would be received by readers?
J.M.: Exactly as you had described which makes me feel relieved. My goal was to get readers on the side that is usually perceived as ‘bad.’ I wanted them to cheer on the demons so I painted Lock to be an annoying, selfish brat but also lovable and someone who is real and makes mistakes. As the whole idea was wrapped around corruption among the heavens, having a character like Lock (who isn’t perfect but not evil either) labelled as one of the banished spirits would hopefully bring to light my message of not just accepting things as they are.
I wanted a story where things were really flipped around, and what better way than to write a book where the demons are the heroes and the angels the villains.
Dawn: What can we expect in the next book?
J.M.: I’m excited to say there’s going to be a lot more action mixed with humour and horror (an interesting combination I’m sure). I know this may sound strange, but book two takes place before, during and after the adventures of book one without retelling the same story.
Also, something that readers will pick up on immediately is that the protagonist in book two isn’t young Rachael, though both she and Lock play important roles in the story, the POV is told through the eyes of a new character; in particular a different dark spirit known as a Reaper.
Dawn: Will you tell us a bit about your journey to get My Demonic Ghost published?
J.M.: Honestly it was filled with a lot of disappointment at the beginning and self-doubt. At times, I was lucky to even get an acknowledgment email back from publishers let alone an acceptance or any feedback at all. I find myself as one of the lucky ones, as I had been contacting publishers for about a year before I came across Staccato Publishing. I’ve heard of many writers who struggle for years and years, so you can believe my shock when Staccato Publishing expressed interest to publish My Demonic Ghost under their new branch Darkest Night Publishing.
I had contacted them for an editing service initially just over the internet, and after numerous emails being exchanged I really got to know the staff and their business. It just goes to show that you never know what’s waiting around the corner.
Dawn: What is one thing you’d like readers to know about you?
J.M.: Staying on the topic of writing, you may be interested to know that before I start writing any idea I first draw them out in comic book forms (like a manga). I have so many MASSIVE folders just filled with numerous (probably dead end) stories from years and years of doodling. There’s some where I can see where the idea oriented from, and some where they filled with twisted plots, crazed characters and problems not even I can solve. I love to keep them and look over them from time to time, just remind myself of the endless power that comes from one’s imagination.
- Favorite place you’ve visited?
Japan, hands down so far. I was only there for three weeks but I still managed to pack my bag over the weight limit to an impressive 31 kg. Japan seems to also favour the cat image in all of their clothes, foods and toys so being a big cat lover every shop I walked into I was buying more and more stuff.
- Favorite literary character?
Hmm…this is hard as I like so many. I guess I’ll have to say Peeta from Hunger Games, I really like how his character was portrayed in the books. (I’m still only up to the first one).
- Favorite author?
It’s definitely a tie between Stephen King and Brent Weeks. I admire their style of writing and how everything they seem to write is just pure gold.
- Favorite color?
Definitely purple which is a complete coincidence considering Jacinta means Purple Flower. From childhood through my teens and up to my twenties my room is still and shall remain forever painted purple.
- Favorite food?
Chocolate! And if that isn’t classified as proper food then I would choose any kind of style curry. The spicier the better.
Thanks to author Jacinta Maree for an amazing interview!