Thank you so much for sharing your book with me and agreeing to do a Q&A for my readers.
Give us a quick summary of Caged Fire!
Caged Fire follows the perceived escape and adventures of Vida Emily aka EmVee Lewis who escaped a place called the Void with her father. She thought her family was dead, only to find, there was a chance that they were alive. EmVee a new fenrir-demi-god wolf, and her friends attempt to save her father, and discover just how twisted the Void and the people in it can be.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in completing your book?
Time was a major hurdle. Life always gets in the way of writing and whenever you step away from it, getting back is challenging. Also, there are some creative elements that had to be played with before finishing a scene or action which stunted the writing.
While Caged Fire is book #1 of The Vigiliant Series, there is actually a prequel that informs the first book. Which one did you write first?
The prequel was written first and gave me a place to discover my characters. There will be a prequel for each new character, which is each sibling, in the series.
The world of The Void that you created is a dimension that exists outside of ours, but also between other dimensions. Have multiple dimensions always interested you or is it just something that came up as you were writing this series?
I’ve always been wildly interested in dimensions and played with the concept. I also write scifi which introduces dimensions easily. It offers so much ability to create that I couldn’t help world build a place like The Void.
The gateway to The Void is in Rhode Island, which seems like a random place for most. Why does this state hold special significance to you in this book?
To be honest, it’s based on a vacation I took to Rhode Island. During the day while we went to the parks, the citywalk and the docks, it was sunny and bright. But at dusk a heavy fog set in when we were at a park and we literally lost our youngest son in the fog. Then all of a sudden he popped up near the trees of the park we were in. Then we drove home from the park and an eerie fog settled the area. It was great inspiration.
EmVee, the main character, dreams of becoming an MMA fighter and fighting plays a heavy roll in the story. What inspired you to write about MMA fighting?
I’ve always wanted to be like Bruce Lee growing up. I’d watch tons of his movies and even got up to my blue belt. Now my kids do martial arts, my oldest even teaches Jujitsu, my youngest does Capoeira and all have dabbled in Tae Kwan Do and Hapkido. So, we watch a lot of MMA fights and my sons tournaments. So essentially, EmVee inherited it from me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My busy life is a major hindrance, but also a great inspiration for my writing.
How long did it take you to get this book published, from its initial conception to the release date?
The entire process was a year.
What is the first book that made you cry?
There are so many, I believe Of Mice and Men and also Outsiders were the books that impacted me emotionally.
Many of our readers are trying to decide which avenue of publishing to pursue for their books. Since your book is published through a small press, could you share with us what you’ve enjoyed about this process?
Publishing through a small press gives the author more control and input into their process, you have a voice and more freedom in negotiating.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers looking to publish their first novel?
Approach writing and publishing as you would a business endeavor. Take the time to learn all you can about the industry, trends, marketing, the various avenues to publish, how to even publish yourself – even if you don’t plan on doing it.
What other books and authors inspire you?
KL Brady and Leslie Esdaile Banks were two authors I met personally who broadened my perspective and fed my determination to think differently about publishing.
What is your favorite book to recommend to others?
It depends on the genre they enjoy reading. For Young Adult, I’d suggest Beloved by Toni Morrison. It is a thought provoking book.
Your book heavily features romance, in addition to being a Young Adult Fantasy story. Why do you think romance is so prominent in this genre?
Love and romance is a great release and diversion when life sucks you into a black cloud of drama. It’s another dimension to the story that gives an inside view of the character’s heart.
Can you give us a hint of what you’re working on next?
I’m working on Dexter’s story. It’s a novella introducing EmVee’s brother in Unbreakable Darkness which is book 1.5. You can see a teaser excerpt and cover here: https://lmpreston.blogspot.com/2019/03/unbreakable-darkness-excerpt-pre.html .