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Friday, 19 June 2015

ℚ The Secrets Of Yashire: Emerging from the Shadows [1] - Diamante Lavendar

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author

Synopsis | Teaser: Excerpt | Author Q&A | About the Author | Tour Stops

A big welcome to author Diamante Lavendar, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration your book, The Secrets of Yashire: Emerging from the Shadows?

"I was inspired to write The Secrets Of Yashire after my daughter passed away.  

I had always been an artistic person but had mainly dabbled in music and drawing up until that point.   However, upon the death of my daughter, I found The Secrets Of Yashire pouring out of me.  It was filled with the hopes and dreams I had for my daughter...things I wanted her to learn in life and hopes for who she would turn out to be.

It is also a story of things I had gone through and realized in life; kind of a culmination of myself and my daughter journeying together through Yashire.  

I also wrote The Secrets Of Yashire to help young adults to find their way in the world; to be a guide for them to seek positivity and meaning in life."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As I mentioned above, there is a lot of me in this book.   Not only in the hopes and dreams I had for my daughter but also in things I have learned throughout my life.   The virtues that Brianna learns on her journey are things I wished for my daughter to have learned and things I learned myself through different life experiences."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I chose to go with this cover because it adequately depicts what the story is about.   It is a journey Brianna takes in her mind.   The cover also shows that the story takes place in a land of fantasy.   I thought it summed up the book quite nicely!  The artist that designed the cover is Kim Wickman.  I'm very happy with the job that she did!"
Why should we read your book and what sets it apart from the rest?
"The Secrets Of Yashire is a story of self actualization, self acceptance and enlightenment.

What sets it apart from the rest is the concept that Brianna is on her journey not only for herself but for everybody else in the land as well.  It isn't just a selfish motivation that spurs her on...it is the realization that she must complete this journey to help everybody in the land.   The longer she travels, the more her focus becomes that of unity of everyone in the land and not just of herself.

It is a story of finding freedom and loving others, of being a guide to light the way not only for herself but for everybody around her as well. "
Can you tell us something quirky about the book, its story or characters?
"I named several of my characters for their role in the story.

Brianna means "high, noble, exalted, strong".   It is the perfect name for the main character of my book.

Angelos, the tiger in the story, is like her guardian angel.  He keeps her safe and sings only the truest songs of love.

Abiba was a name I made up but then, out of curiosity, I looked it up on the internet and one site explained it as being someone "who was asked for" and someone who "desires to help and understand others" which I found to be very interesting since Abiba is Brianna's guide through Yashire!   I found myself thinking the winds of fate had directed me to write this story!

My characters are quite quirky as well; Angelos, with his singing, Abiba and his sense of humor, the purple cats who turn pink when they're hungry, large field mice who speak with country accents...and much more!"
I like the sound of all of that!
Who would you recommend The Secret of the Yashire to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I would recommend my book to any young adult or adult who loves fantasy and stories of self actualization.

This book is more than fantasy. It is a book that will help to guide the reader to a happier life..a more meaningful existence. It will also help the reader avoid some of the pitfalls that life has to offer as he/she travels with Brianna and sees the situations that Brianna has to deal with.

The only warning that I could possibly think of for The Secrets Of Yashire is that in the beginning of the story there are a few minor references to sex and a few minor swear words, but nothing excessive or explicit at all."
If you could / wished to turn The Secret of the Yashire into a movie, who would be your dream team.
"My dream cast would consist of a handful of actors since most of the movie would be computer animated because of the fantasy aspects of the story. I would have to select actors to do voice overs of the animated creatures.

The main character, Brianna, would be best portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence.  Jennifer did a wonderful job in the Hunger Games and I believe she would be a huge asset for The Secrets Of Yashire.  Since Brianna is on a journey in a land of fantasy and questing for answers just as Katniss found herself in a realm where anything was possible, I believe it would be a really good fit to have Jennifer in my movie.

Angelina Jolie would be a wonderful actress to play Libban, the Keeper of the Land.  Angelina does a wonderful job commanding her characters and that is just what would be needed of Libban; she keeps watch over everything in Yashire and guides Brianna on her journey. Angelina would be very apt in portraying Libban’s concern, love and power in the story.

Angelos would be animated, and would need someone with a beautiful singing voice.  I would imagine Angelos’ voice to be otherworldly and angelic.  I think Angelos’ voice would have to be created from a combination of ethereal instrumental music and voice overs of several singers, male and female.  It would have to be a voice that would send goosebumps up and down your spine. Andrea Bocelli, Chris Martin, Diana Damrau and Enya would be a good start!

Abiba is kind of a goofball.  He is very close to Brianna and acts as her guide through Yashire.   He has a good sense of humor and keeps things light and interesting.  He would be computer animated since he is a bird with one eye.   I think his voice would be the voice of actor Gilbert Gottfried.  That would add some much needed comic relief!

The last of the main characters of the book is Zolan, the evil wizard.  I think Jon Voight would do a splendid job portraying Zolan.  Add the depth of Angelina being on the same set with him and it would be a character conflict made in Heaven!  Just imagine the greatness their combined effort and angst would add to the story! "
All of that did bring a big smile to my face - that would certainly be something!  Very interesting sounding characters there!

What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?   Is this the genre you also like to read about?

"I like writing fiction.  It is a lot of fun to make up people and places that only exist in the imagination.  And I do love fantasy.  I've always had a really good imagination and I love to sit down and come up with unusual characters and places.

However, I do write about real life situations as well.  My book, Breaking The Silence, although created in a fictional format, is based on a true story.  And I do have plans for writing a poetry book and possibly a non-fiction book about writing, so my interests do vary.   Though I prefer fiction and love fantasy, I'm also interested in other things as well.  And other projects.

As far as what I read, at the moment, I read a lot of books by inspirational authors such as Joyce Meyers and Larry Huch.   I like to learn as I read and these types of books help me to learn and grow as a human being."
What is your writing process?
"Usually, a story comes to me and I sit down and write.   I don't have to spend much time developing a plot line and characters- they usually flow out of me in the process of writing.   After I get the first draft down, then I go through the manuscript again and do some editing to make the story and characters cleaner.  Afterwards, I send the manuscript to my editor who goes through it and sends it back to me.  Then there are more revisions, another edit and finally the finished product.

If a story is more complicated and has more characters to deal with, I keep notes on the manuscript and refer back to it as I write.  But the substance of the story generally flows quite easily as long as I'm free of distractions when I'm writing.

If I experience a writer's block, I get up and walk away from the project.  After I do some thinking and refocusing, I'm usually cleared out mentally to go back and continue the process."
What is in store next?
"I am currently working on a fantasy story set in the middle ages.  It is a combination of some mystery, romance, inspiration and discovery.  It is the story of a young man determined to achieve his dreams despite all odds....a theme that resurfaces in my writing.

After that, I will be writing the second sequel to The Secrets Of Yashire.   Then possibly a third.  I am also planning on publishing a book of poetry and possibly a non-fiction book about writing in the future! "
Thank you again for joining us and spending so much time with us, Diamante.
Some of the images used in this article come from the author's art site - do check it out.

The Secrets of Yashire - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Kobo UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from Smashwords

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