What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I’m most proud of my kids, my family and my books, in that order.
Who is your book’s intended audience? Have you been able to crossover into other audiences as well?
The Curse Giver will appeal to readers of the epic fantasy genre who enjoy a clever, plot-twisting adventure centered on a forbidden, irresistible and daring romance. It will also appeal to readers of the romance and historical genres, who will appreciate the medieval inspiration and gritty realism that drive the story.
Why did you decide to write a book?
I write books because I have to. I swear, my mind is like a story generator, constantly churning out ideas. When I’m not writing, I’m constantly thinking about writing. For a long time, I waited for the time and opportunity to be able to write. And now that the time has come, I have a feeling that I’ll be writing all the way to The End.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I want them to taste the adventure, experience the range of emotions and find themselves in the stories. I want them to journey through new worlds while exploring the nuances of our world and the questions of our times. I want them to dream and love along with my characters. I want to challenge their minds and touch their hearts. Above all, I want them to free themselves from the moment, get away and enjoy.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I’m most comfortable writing fantasy, romance and historical fiction. I really like to mix all of these elements. I often use medieval history to validate the details in my fantasy stories just as I use romance to deepen, enrich and authenticate my characters. My latest novel, The Curse Giver, is all of that plus mystery and intrigue.
Describe your creative/writing process.
I tend to fixate on an idea and think on it subconsciously for a while, until it transforms into a specific concept, scene, or character, which usually comes out pretty well formed. At that point, I might make some notes, which might include a loose outline and maybe a few scribbled paragraphs that wouldn’t make sense to anyone but me. Typically I know the beginning and the end of a story before I start writing and I have a general idea of where the story needs to go. Writing is always a process of discovery for me, which might be one of the reasons why it’s so enjoyable to me.
Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
I typically know the beginning and the end of my novels before I start writing. I also have a pretty good idea of the plot and the big issues I want to tackle. But my plots are always twisting and I discover a lot about my characters and the storyline as I go along. The best plot twists are those that surprise not just the reader, but the author as well.
What kind of research did you have to do during the writing process?
I had to do a lot of research for The Curse Giver. In the story, my main character, Lusielle, is a healer and a remedy mixer. All of Lusielle’s healing practices are based on medieval knowledge and procedures. I studied medieval primary sources to understand the use of herbs, minerals, and other ingredients and based many of her potions on authentic medieval prescriptions. I also spent a lot of time researching weapons and fighting methods to authenticate my hero’s character. Finally, I devoted a lot of time to studying the concept and uses of curses throughout human history to come up with a fresh take on my villain, the mysterious curse giver.
What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?
The first thing? Let me think. I did an interview for SFFmedia.com. It was a really in-depth interview that made me think hard about the novel I had just written. It was a very positive and eye-opening experience, and even though interviews are commonplace in my life these days, that’s the interview that taught me all about interviews.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I think that word of mouth continues to be the best and most reliable way of promoting a book and therefore any and all situations where people are blogging, tweeting, posting, reviewing, and talking about your book to their friends, readers and colleagues are very helpful to a book’s promotion.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
My cats are fortunate because my husband feeds them and I’m only the backup plan. Otherwise… yikes.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?
Write like the wind, write often, diligently and continuously, write for yourself and my favorite, write all the way to The End.
What can we expect from you in the future? More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
You can expect more stories from me in the future, more fantasy, a dark contemporary fantasy with a Latin twist, and more about the world of The Curse Giver in its companion novel, The Soul Chaser.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
I do and I’d love to welcome your readers to http://www.doramachado.com. I can also be contacted through email at Dora@doramachado.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DoraMachado101, my blog, http://www.doramachado.com/blog/ or https://twitter.com/DoraMachado on Twitter.
Lusielle's bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.
Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Rating – PG-18
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