Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ten Questions Plus One With M. G. Dekle

1      Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? Why do you or don’t you?
I don’t make my bed in the morning due to a combination of morning grogginess and not seeing the point. If no one other than my family is seeing my bed, what does it matter? That’s time I could spend writing or, more likely, lazily clicking around the web while trying to wake up.

2.       Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?
This may sound strange, but I don’t get anything rage. I tend to always be freakishly calm. I suppose other drivers can annoy me when they do anything that places their time over other people’s safety (swerving into a busy lane to catch an exit, texting, etc.).

3.       What is the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Lying requires social skills and cunning that I do not possess. I can keep a secret, but I’m terrible at covering it up with untruths.

I will confess to something here, though. As terrible as I am at lying, that is not to say that I never tried. In college, I once worked for one of those terrible fake talent agency companies for a couple weeks. Strangely, I could lie to myself to keep going back in order to try making a living. However, the incident that finally broke me of it was catching myself telling someone on the phone that I didn’t make commission in order to make a sale. It instantly stuck like a weight in my stomach and that was my last day working there. Sales has just never been my thing, anyway.

4.       Has the dog ever eaten your manuscript? Did you still give him treats afterward or was he/she in the proverbial doghouse?
No, in fact I’ve never lost any part of any manuscript. I save my work compulsively (usually after every couple sentences), use a battery backup in case the power goes out between saves, and E-mail the new file to myself each night. It’s actually kind of cool that I can track my work’s daily progress from the very beginning.

5.       What inspires you?
Different types of music tend to help push me past writer’s block. Sometimes cracking open an old favorite book can move things along again.

I also wrote about 83% of my debut novel in the two years after my first daughter was born despite beginning the process more than five years before. Within those approximately two years, I wrote the last 51% after my second daughter was born. Combine this fact with also knowing that I have much less time to write, and the only conclusion I can come to is that they are some sort of magical inspiration fairies or something.

6.       Tell me your biggest pet-peeve…the one that really bothers you that is a part of who you are? Why does it bother you so much?
My biggest pet peeve is other people assuming that anyone working from home has as much free time as they like. I also teach online and for years, friends and family have assumed that I sit around all day playing video games.

I kind of miss video games.

7.       Before there was sliced bread, what do you think was the best thing and why?
I’m guessing wooly mammoths were pretty tasty. Early humans seemed to think so.

8.       What is your worst quality, or the one you wish you can change about yourself?
I have some pretty annoying sleeping problems that my life would be much easier without. I could also be more in shape, but that is something I am able to fix.

9.       Tell me about one of your relatives and the reason you think they are so great.

It’s a bit sappy, but I’ll go with my wife for this one (relative by marriage, obviously, not blood). Over the past few months, she’s put up with my enthusiasm rollercoaster while I published my first book. I tend to ramble about things I’m passionate about, and she has yet to bite my head off over it.

She’s also awesome for other reasons (incredible mother to our two kids, crazy smart, a bit on the chaotic good side, and many, many other qualities), but the above reason is something new.

1     What tips would you give to a new writer just getting started?
This is a little weird to answer since I’m fairly new to this. Research marketing strategy before publishing, not after. I may have overlooked this since I just wanted to focus on the story, but since my goal is for more people to read my work, marketing is important.

Plus one

1      Tell me about your writing project in your own words, not something from your blog or from a blurb. What is your writing truly about.
Legends of Leone: The Crystal Ordeal is a young adult fantasy adventure. I wrote it to be the sort of story I wanted to read in high school (and, really, still do). It’s fast-paced, character-focused, and a little insane. Every magical world should be a bit on the insane side, after all.

The purpose of my work is primarily to entertain. I wanted to write something that could make someone care about the characters, laugh with their oddities, and get their blood going in their trials. I also wanted to write something that could be reread again and again with more details emerging. It should be something both simple enough to be entertaining for a relaxing read and complex enough to reward looking deeper. These sorts of books were always my favorite, so I strive to create stories like this.

The story follows Leone, a young mage (magic-user) from her graduation, through a magical aptitude test, and into an unexpected journey when events start to go very wrong. Early on, she meets Falchion, a swordsman (also treasure hunter), whom she forms a very strong bond with quickly.

The fun part of this was making sure that everything the reader knows is essentially through Leone’s perspective since, really, this is her story. It also becomes Falchion’s story a little ways in, but only in the sense that it’s still Leone’s story (this statement makes more sense after reading the book). Several details may come up as conflicting, but only because the reader has their own perspective to filter everything. Thought and perspective play a pivotal role in this book, and an event happens about 40% of the way in that makes this theme so much fun to play with.

 At a young age, Leone Verrat learned that her ability to cast simple magical enchantments was limited by a peculiar handicap. Unlike other sorcerers, her spells would not permanently consume the components necessary for magic, resulting in much weaker and shorter effects but returning the ingredients unscathed. Even though she earned barely passable grades in order to graduate from Blueroot Academy, a school specializing in magical studies, an unknown benefactor still saw fit to recommend her for Morgan's Ordeal, a test necessary for any respectable career.

She is soon inextricably linked to her theatrical Ordeal partner, Falchion, as they must brave the dangers of the test together. They both quickly discover that the Ordeal is the least of their concerns when they find themselves in the middle of an ancient power struggle.

The Crystal Ordeal follows Leone from her graduation day through a catastrophic magical mishap and its immediate consequences.

You can connect with M.G. Dekle here:


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