Hello! Today I’m featuring author D.A. Roach! She is the author of young adult novels, Between the Bleeding Willows (The Demon Hunters Series), and Rarity. She has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. In college she met the man of her dreams, her happily ever after, and married him 2 weeks after graduating. They have 3 kids together and a pet cockatiel named Gimli.
Carrigan: Thank you so much for being here today! I’m so excited! What is it about writing that you love?
D.A.: For me, writing a story is a lot like reading a story. I have ideas where I’d like the story to go, but it often takes on its own life and goes in whatever direction it feels like going. So for me, writing is an adventure and I always look forward to seeing where it will take me.
Carrigan: Why do you write for young adults?
D.A.: I write for YA because I enjoy reading YA. Life is so exciting during this time of life, as we change from child to teen, then on to an independent adult. There are many influences that shape people and so many experiences to live. You change physically, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually. People fall in and out of love, friendships are made and broken…it’s exciting time to write about.
Carrigan: What is your favorite quote?
D.A.: “Leap and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs
It was this quote that kept me writing when self-doubt crowded my mind. I didn’t wait for someone to tell me I was good enough at writing to become an author. If I waited for that, I might still be waiting. Instead, I took the leap, wrote a book, read reviews and talked with other authors and editors. Took what I learned from that experience and wrote another one. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. So far, it’s worked out well for me.
Carrigan: That’s amazing. I love that quote. How many books have you published?
D.A.: I self-published 3 books with Createspace.com. I have left the very first book up there but it’s super short and very rough…it was the starting point. The other 2 books belong to a series that I am re-editing and getting new covers for. I also have 2 novels published with Limitless Publishing. Rarity, a YA drama, was released last summer and Between the Bleeding Willows (Book 1 of the Demon Hunters series) was released this past March.
Carrigan: How do you come up with your characters?
D.A.: In Rarity, the characters were inspired by people I know. Meg is a lot like my daughter while Brogen is a lot like myself. For the Bleeding Willows book, I looked at pictures online and shaped the lead character’s personalities first, then the minor characters take on their own life. It’s funny, because Tyler initially was a very minor character. He was just something cute to add some interest to a scene, but he became so much more…he was so charismatic and became a major character, in fact, most of book 2 is about the changes he endures.
Carrigan: Ahh…that has happened to me several times. Minor characters becoming more. You never realize that they might have a story to tell. What do you like to read?
D.A.: YA/NA drama, paranormal, thrillers, and romance.
Carrigan: Tell us about yourself:
D.A.: I’m a Midwestern girl who has worn many hats. From factory worker, to pharmacist, to teacher, I’ve explored many careers. I live in a suburb of Indianapolis with my husband and three kids. When I’m not writing, I’m working in the garden, watching movies, listening to music, or creating art.
I’m hard working and wanting to help others, both qualities have helped me excel at all the jobs I’ve worked.
Carrigan: What inspired you to become a writer?
D.A.: My dental hygienist. She was cleaning my teeth and asked where we were vacationing that year. My family was going to drive to Gatlinburg, TN to visit a friend of ours. How we met that friend 30+ years ago was an interesting story and after I finished telling it, the hygienist said, “You have got to write a book about that. The story is so amazing.” So I took her advice and wrote my first book to pay homage to the kind people who helped my family years ago.
Carrigan: What is your favorite young adult book and why?
D.A.: Right now I would say Me Before You. It made me ugly cry and it takes a lot to make me cry. The characters were so likable and you couldn’t help but cheer on the relationship between Lou and Will.
Carrigan: I’m reading that now! I’m prepared for the ugly cry! How did you come up with your ideas?
D.A.: Rarity was inspired by the emotions I went through when my son was diagnosed with VEDS. It was a very dark time in my life and I eventually rose above the situation and became a fighter, but the emotions I felt were very intense and I wanted to share that experience with the world. VEDS is a hidden disorder. The patients seem normal but they are very fragile. People passing them on the streets have no idea what they endure each day and what major medic traumas they have probably survived.
Carrigan: Oh wow. I’m going to check out Rarity right now. That sounds so fascinating and inspirational. Are you self-published? If so, how did you decide to become self-published?
D.A.: Half and half. I enjoy working with the indie publisher but it’s not a guarantee that they will want all my stories. For the tales they pass on, I will self-publish. A fellow author once told me that just because a story doesn’t get picked by a publisher does not mean it is not a great story. Also, one perk to self-publishing is that there are more royalties for them as I don’t have to share the profit with the publisher.
Carrigan: That is true. Do you have any pets?
D.A.: I have two cockatiels, Gimli who is 19 years old and grumpy as ever, and Poppy who is less than a year old is cuddly and sweet.
Carrigan: Aww, my best friend has a cockatiel. Sweet birds. What music do you listen to while writing?
D.A.: Indie Alternative. Wolf Alice was my soundtrack for BTBW book 2 and book 1 was Silversun Pickups.
Carrigan: I love Silversun Pickups! What was the moment in your career that you knew this was what you wanted to do all along?
D.A.: It became clear to me when I began edits on BTBW. As I was reading it, I thought “this is actually pretty good.” Lol, sounds funny, but it was my “ahh ha” moment where I had confidence in my work. I always enjoyed it, but was not sure if I was good enough to gain an audience. Writing takes a lot of time and there’s a point where you question if it’s worth the effort that was put into creating the book. Will anyone besides Mom and Aunt Jenny read it? But when I read through BTBW, I was proud of the story telling that was before me on the laptop.
Carrigan: Do you like cheese? What’s your favorite kind?
D.A.: ***laughing over here*** That is so random. I used to LOVE all kinds of cheese. In fact, my mom used to joke that I must be part mouse. As I grew older, I ate less of it and had less appetite for it. I still will never ever pass up a slice of cheesecake though…so I’d say Cream Cheese is my favorite cheese as it’s a major ingredient in cheesecake.
Carrigan: Mmm…What’s one fact about yourself that is unique?
D.A.: I am emphatic. Not in the mystical way…but I am very sensitive to energy around me. Public events are very draining. Movies, books, and music can bring me to tears and leave me in a funk for hours. I can “sense” if someone if bad (mean or evil) just from meeting them. My poor kids better pick good mates to pass my empath meter! And while it seems like it might be a cool thing to have, it’s very draining and limits what I can do.
Carrigan: Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Which ones make you screech and hide?
D.A.: Only the ones in the house. Big spiders, especially thick and hairy ones are terrifying. I used to be a complete arachnophobe but then I married a man who was more terrified than me so one of us had to get brave or we’d be infested. Now I am the official spider killer in the house.
Carrigan: Omg…that sounds like my house haha. Do you have any strange writing habits?
D.A.: When I brainstorm, I have to leave my house and go where there is no wifi. Otherwise I am distracted by the web/facebook and can’t get my thoughts out on paper. Sometimes I’ll go to a quiet diner with a notebook and tell the waitress to keep my drink full and tip her generously when I’m finished. Removing myself from distractions is the best way to hammer out the full picture and for me, that’s the hardest part of creating a book. (well, besides all the long edits)
Carrigan: Hmm. That’s a great idea. I should try getting away when I need to brainstorm. What book do you wish you had written?
D.A.: The Reason to Breathe series by Rebecca Donovan…it’s amazing.
Carrigan: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
D.A.: I’d want to be able to read people’s minds. I’d love to know what secrets people are hiding deep within them.
Carrigan: Have you ever gotten in trouble with the police?
Carrigan: What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
D.A.: In Spanish class, two popular girls were suspected of cheating on a test. Lucky me, I was sitting near them and happened to be the teacher’s favorite pupil. She called me out into the hall, hoping I would verify that the girls were indeed cheating, but I lied and told her that I did not believe they had cheated. I did not lie because I hoped to gain favor with them, instead I did it because they both looked scared and I thought it was enough to teach them the lesson to not cheat…not worth the risk.
Carrigan: What are you working on now? Any future releases?
D.A.: I’m currently writing book 3 of the Demon Hunters series. Releases for this year include Then Came You (short story in Detours in our Destination anthology) and Anesthesia (short story in 13 Limitless Publishing Thriller anthology). I’m also waiting to hear if Limitless will sign on Within the Darkest Hollows (Book 2 in the Demon Hunters series), if they do, it will probably release later this year. Once I finish penning book 3, I will rework my self-published series that I mentioned in a previous question.
Carrigan: Wow! Sounds like you stay very busy! I’m looking forward to reading your books! Thank you so much for taking the time with me, I greatly appreciate it and I loved getting to know you!
Check out Between the Bleeding Willows on Amazon!
And of course, Rarity, the YA Romance that readers are falling in love with. You can find out more about D.A. Roach here:
Happy writing everyone! 🙂