Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Interview: Raine Thomas



Raine has a Degree in English and a Master’s degree in Humanities. Her trilogy DAUGHERS OF SARAQAEL was published from July - November 2nd, 2011. For more information on Raine, and short summary of her books, you can visit her website and blog at (this link).





Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Raine: Sure! I was born in Chicago and have a lot of family there. I now live in the Orlando area after a number of years spent in South Carolina and Atlanta. Writing has always been a part of my life. Every job I've ever had has required me to exercise my degree in English...from writing and reviewing legal documents to generating grants for a nonprofit organization. I now also get to apply my master's degree in humanities (a degree program with a very broad and stimulating curriculum) in my creative writing, which thrills me. Outside of writing, I'm also a wedding planner and a wife and mother, so there's never a dull moment!


Me: Your passion for writing really took off during 4th grade- when you wrote about a dancing spider- but what happened after the competition?
Raine: Funny enough, while I loved the thrill of completing a story in the fourth grade and having it recognized by my teacher and other adults, I didn't do much creative writing outside of school until I was a teenager. At that point, I went to Chicago in the summers and spent time with my cousins, one of whom was an avid reader. She asked me to create stories so that she had something new to read every day, and because of her, I wrote my second complete book by around the age of 14 or 15. My interest in creative writing definitely grew from there, and I made writing a part of my life whenever I could.

Me: Could you tell us your prized dancing spider story?
Raine: Oh, my--I think that story got stashed with other keepsakes in a box by my mother! I do remember that the story was about a spider who wanted to learn ballet, so she took lessons and entered a competition. She ultimately won. The book was written on pages cut in the shape of a ballet slipper (I even used pink construction paper for the front and back of the book!).

Me: The Daughters of Saraqael is a trilogy. Which was hardest to write and why?
Raine: This might sound like a cop-out, but each of the books presented their challenges. The first book, Becoming, was, well, the first book. There's a lot of pressure to write the first book of a trilogy in such a way that you capture the reader's interest to want to read the next books. If that isn't daunting for any writer, I don't know what is! My challenge with Central was in developing a story that had a logical beginning and satisfying ending while being the "middle" book of the trilogy. And Foretold was challenging because of the fact that it culminates in the big battle that has been built up for three books. I had to make sure it was worth the wait!

Me: There are a lot of new terminologies in your books- how on earth did you come up with them?
Raine: When crafting fantasy, a writer has to be quite creative in her world-building. I knew from the beginning that I didn't want to write about subjects that were "in fashion" at the moment, like vampires or werewolves (which I dearly love to read, by the way). My goal was to create something that no one else had. To do that, I had to invent names and concepts that didn't previously exist. Thus, the Estilorians were born. Everything from the term "Estilorian" to the nine Estilorian class names were created by me through some creative thinking. I tossed the names around in my head until they seemed right.

Me: Did you enjoy writing your novels?
Raine: I really loved every minute of it! Now that I've gotten the books out there and I've established a fan base, I'm eager to make writing my full-time career. Doing what you love should be something everyone has the opportunity to do.

Me: What gave you inspiration for your novels?
Raine: The concept behind my books all started with Amber Hopkins, the protagonist of Becoming. I worked for eight years with youth who were diagnosed with severe emotional disturbances and/or behavioral issues and their families. Many of those youth were in foster care. At one point, I supervised the crisis team at an emergency shelter for kids who had been removed from their homes for one reason or another. I had numerous conversations with youth who had anything but a normal upbringing. Because of them, I wanted to create a character who experienced such an "unstable" beginning and persevered. Amber is that character.

Me: Any advice you want to give to fellow writers? 
Raine: I'd like to suggest that writers stick to what they know when getting started. If you have confidence in what you write, that will get through to your readers. And be sure to conduct research for anything you don't know. In truth, you'll probably enjoy that as much as the writing!

Quick-fire questions:

Me: Dinner or dessert? 
Raine: Dinner for me! I'm rarely into sweets.
Me: Summer or winter? 
Raine: Definitely winter. Living in Florida, all we usually experience is summer!
Me: Vampire or Werewolf? 
Raine: Can I choose Estilorian? :) Between the two, I'll say vampire. They're generally more seductive. *wiggles eyebrows*
Me: Fast food or home-cooked meal?
Raine: Depends on who's cooking! If it's left up to me, fast food's probably better. My hubby, though, cooks a mean home-cooked meal. Delish!

Raine's books are now available in paperback at Amazon and CreateSpace! Or you can get them on Ebook.

Amazon CreateSpace      Amazon CreateSpace        Amazon CreateSpace                                                                                                      


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