Double Interview: Bree Despain & Lindsay Eland!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 |

Hey guys! It's the 22nd today! This means that Bree Despain's debut novel, The Dark Divine and Lindsay Eland's debut novel, Scones and Sensibility is out today!!!! Both books are coming from Egmont. I have not read either one but I will for sure soon. I decided to do a double interview since I have an interview with both these amazing authors, and both their books come out the same day! Please welcome Bree and Lindsay! =)

Did you always want to become an author?
I have always loved writing and telling stories ever since I was a kid, but for some reason I truly thought authors were a special breed of people, and someone ordinary like me could never be one. However, when I was in college, I took semester off during my Junior year to write and direct plays for at-risk kids from Philadelphia and New York, and I was reminded how much I loved to write, and how happy it made me. That’s when I decided to make writing a permanent part of my life and pursue my dream even if the odds were stacked against someone ordinary like me.

Can you tell us a bit about The Dark Divine?
The Dark Divine is a modern exploration of the Prodigal Son parable with a paranormal romance spin. That parable has always fascinated me because the story doesn’t really have an ending. THE DARK DIVINE is an exploration of what happens after the prodigal son returns . . . with some romance and mystery and mayhem mixed in to make it exciting. J

How did you come up with the idea of The Dark Divine?
The idea for THE DARK DIVINE just kind of hit me one evening while I was driving down the street. I was thinking about the song “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service, the novel SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, the TV show BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and a random memory from the 9th grade. I looked up at a billboard at a stop light and conversation between a brother and sister popped into my head. The brother was warning his sister that she needed to stay away from their dangerous ex-friend. I was so intrigued by these characters that I went home and started writing about them. That random 9th grade memory became the 1st scene in my first chapter, and the conversation between the brother and sister became the 3rd scene. I kept on writing about the characters and pretty soon I had a 1st draft for a novel.

Are you somewhat similar with Grace Divine, if not differences?
Grace and I share some similarities. I too am a daughter of a local religious leader, I have always loved art (though it’s my brother with the artistic talent. Not me), and I have a bit of a weak spot for bad boys . . . but I have to admit that Grace is often the stronger version of myself as a teenager. When I was writing Grace and needed to know what she’d do in a certain situation, I’d think to myself, “What would I have done?”. . . and then I’d make Grace do the exact opposite.

*TB: The next two questions were asked a long, long time ago, sorry! It's just fun asking authors these type of questions***
What would be the last book you read?
I just finished HUSH HUSH by fellow Tenner Becca Fitzpatrick. It was a lot of fun, and Patch is totally swoon worthy. I am currently reading THE CLOCKWORK THREE by another good Tenner friend Matt Kirby. This book doesn’t come out until Fall 2010, but it is totally amazing and I think it is going to do really well.

What was the last thing you googled?
Um, it was either the schedule for The Mountain and Plains Bookseller’s Expo, or alternate names for banshees. The 2nd one led me to a site called “The Dictionary of the Psychopomp.” Interesting stuff.

If you were brought to a deserted island, which 3 books would you bring with you and why?
1. My scriptures: to keep me grounded.
2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Because I love the theatre—and it would take up a lot of my time to finally get to read all of those plays.
3. The Complete Works of Meg Cabot (i.e. I’d glue all my Meg Cabot novels together and call it one book. I can get away with that, yes? I mean who’d be checking anyway?): For pure entertainment and enjoyment. I can’t get enough Meg!

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for the interview! I can’t wait to share my book with everyone. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you Bree! That was a wonderful interview! Be sure to go to the bookstore's to snag a copy of Bree's new debut novel, The Dark Divine, I've hear amazing things about it! =)

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Next, I have Lindsay Eland! =)

What is your most favorite part about being an author?
Creating engaging settings, hilarious characters, nasty villains, and mostly-happy endings.

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses in writing?
My strengths are character and voice. My weaknesses are most definitely plot and adding depth. I never get those two right the first time around…and sometimes not the third or fourth time around either J.

Do you have any similarities with Polly? If not, differences?
Most definitely, yes. I am a sentimental romantic at heart just like Polly, though I have never taken it to the extent that she does, and would never, ever consider it…well, maybe not.

How did you come up with the ideas for Scones and Sensibility?
The spark for Scones was probably two-fold. A lot of middle grade/tween girl main characters seem to be a tad on the tom boyish side. This is wonderful and I’ve written characters like this as well, and am actually writing one right now with a main character like this. But obviously not all girls are tom boys, right? What about the girls who love ribbons and bows and adore fancy and elegant things? Thinking about this was what made Polly first come alive for me. Her “voice” came to me next on one afternoon when my daughter’s best friend was over playing. Her friend is very dramatic and expressive and hilarious and charming all at the same time. I imagined Polly speaking to her best friend (much like my daughter’s friend does) with her hand upon her heart declaring they were “kindred spirits forever.” Thus, Scones was born!

List 5-10 of your most favorite things, does not have to be in a particular order.
1. Chocolate
2. Old fashion things like candlelight, elegant dresses, and calligraphy pens
3. Iced mochas
4. Memories
5. Family
6. laughing
7. witty humor
8. wildflowers in summer
9. snow-covered mountains in winter
10. bright yellow leaves in fall
If you were brought to a deserted island, which three books would you bring?
1. Well, I do have the entire works of Jane Austen all in one book, so even though that might be cheating, I’d bring that one
2. Anne of Green Gables
3. The Tale of Despereaux

What is the best piece of advice for those young aspiring writer's out there?
Read as much as you can. Write all the time. And always, always, always be listening and paying attention…stories are everywhere.

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you so much for having me, Mavie!

Thank you Lindsay for the wonderful interview! Be sure to snag a copy of Scones and Sensibility when you go the bookstore, I've heard amazing things about this novel too! =)
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