Monday, 13 March 2017

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...K. L. Dimago

1. Tell me about your book Amethyst: Rise to Piracy and where you got your inspiration for it?

Amethyst: Rise to Piracy is about a fae woman who struggles to overcome an abusive past and fights for the future she desires. She runs away from a luxurious life-style into a difficult life at sea, first as a merchant-sailor and then as a pirate. As she pursues true freedom and happiness, she begins to wonder if she will ever achieve it without completely losing her dignity and her sanity.
The story originally began in my teens as a fun twist of my own on pirates’ adventures when Pirates of the Caribbean was the latest excitement. The original idea is actually the part of the story which is my first work, Amethyst, and Amethyst: Rise to Piracy is the back-story for that in order to give the readers more insights and depth. I think that new readers who read Amethyst: Rise to Piracy will have a great introduction to the story overall and a much greater love for the characters as they continue with them on their adventures.

2. Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so what was it?

I think what I learned the most through this book in particular was the balance between world-building details and plot-movement. In the past, I’ve really struggled with either not enough details about the characters’ surroundings, or too much so that it distracted from the story. With Amethyst: Rise to Piracy, that was a huge focus of mine and I really felt I began to grasp a more firm understanding of that balance through the writing process.

3. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing?

When I was eighteen, my life went through some pretty dramatic changes that in all honesty, took away my writing muse at the time. As I sorted things out and began learning to care for myself and my responsibilities, writing was the last thing on my mind. For about four and a half years I only wrote when it came to essays for college or other school-related work. Toward the end of that time, I began to crave creative writing, but I just couldn’t find the right motivation or inspiration. Finally, in January of 2014, all of the writing I hadn’t been doing and all of my passion for it came crashing back at once. I literally felt a ‘punch in the gut’ type moment where I was overwhelmed with excitement, drive and the irresistible urge to write. Since then, I haven’t gone more than a few days without writing something. Without it, I start to get antsy and impatient to dive back into creativity.

4. Which do you use more often, dictionary or thesaurus?

Definitely thesaurus. I am not someone who tries to use big words or sound ‘clever’ in my writing. My goal is to create the best experience for my reader. In using a thesaurus, I don’t try to use big words either. I mainly use it if I can’t quite think of the ‘right’ word, but I can similar ones, or if I’m trying to avoid repetition of the same word within the same sentence or even paragraph.

5. Mountains or the beach?

Mountains for me. There’s something absolutely breath-taking about standing on the side of a mountain and looking at the world around you. Or even seeing the various different types of mountains there are. To me, mountains are a symbol of strength and I can very much relate to and understand the various analogies of over-coming mountains in life. I could go on for a long time about the why of my mountain preference. The beach is a lot of fun too… but I don’t like dealing with all the sand after the visit. So that’s another reason for me to say mountains.

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I would go to Ireland. I’ve always heard that it’s absolutely beautiful and I’ve always wanted to visit some of the historical sites there. Plus, it has mountains.

7. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

I would visit the past. At one point in time, I would’ve wanted to change it and tell my past-self some things. But I think now, I would go simply to see some lost loved ones one more time and tell them I love them.

8. What motivates you to succeed as a writer?

My family, hands down. Aside from the fact it’s simply my passion and it would be a dream come true to spend all of my time writing. But ultimately, I do it because I honestly believe that someday through writing, I can open opportunities to spend more time with my family. With having a husband and small children that I don’t get that much time with right now, this is probably my largest wish and motivation.

9. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

I mainly write fantasy. I have plans and ideas for other genres, such as contemporary fiction and even non-fiction, but I am most drawn to fantasy. I think for me that part of it lies with me having the most ideas and content for fantasy stories. But it’s also because I grew up reading a lot of fantasy books and these are the most enjoyable for me. I earnestly find myself having the most fun both as a writer and a reader when immersed in some fantasy world.

10. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Absolutely. Although, the amount of time I let it stew depends on the book itself. I’ve gone a whole month before, and I’ve also only gone a week simply because I couldn’t wait – I was too excited. Still, I like to give some time away from it. I feel this allows my mind to process it and also take a step back from everything I know about the story in order to look at it with a sort of ‘freshness’. Otherwise, because I’ve been looking at it so long already and have been actively writing it, I have learned from experience that my mind just fills in mistakes for me when I’m editing and I may miss some pretty critical things!

11. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

Yes and yes along with many more to come, hopefully. Without giving too much away, I have written the next book in this Amethyst series as well as an unrelated work of its own. I intend to publish both, though I am still very much in the revision and editing stages of both.

12. What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The first time I received a bad review for Amethyst was awful for me. The critic said Amethyst was an unlikable character and that she didn’t make sense, and further, that my transitions were terrible. Well, the transitions did need some adjustments. And at the time, I hadn’t done a good enough job of giving the reader time and back-story to truly relate to and understand the character. It was pretty hard for me, although in general I try to take criticism to heart and improve, even if the way it comes to me is incredibly difficult. I made the adjustments and got some stamps of approval. And I feel that the story is much better for it.

13. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I want to give a huge thanks to each of them and a special shout out to my friend Matt. I would not be where I am now without them and in earnest, I write for them too. I can’t appreciate enough their enthusiasm and their encouragement, always supporting and eager for the next work.

14. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

Yes, I am a restaurant manager. It’s something I’ve been doing for several years now and have learned a lot. While it takes care of me and my family, and proves very challenging and frustrating some days and other days amazing, I don’t think it’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life. But time will tell. In either case, I will never stop writing.

Forced into an abusive marriage and a destiny out of her control, Amethyst flees to the seas looking for freedom. However, she finds the oceans rough and wild, which leaves her searching for something more.

Accompanied by her ever-loyal friend and mage, Darien, Amethyst begins to learn what it truly means to be a pirate and what it will take for her to gain what she seeks. Fighting to overcome her past and all manner of cutthroats, she believes taking a ship for herself and becoming a fearsome captain is what will grant her desires. But she also must choose if she will do so at the cost of her dignity. As indications of war rise on the seas and Amethyst finds herself hunted at every turn, she must fight back or else be returned to the very life she escaped.


About K. L.

K.L. Dimago is a fantasy author with goals to also write contemporary fiction. Her passion for writing began at a young age and continued throughout her childhood and adult life. She began writing before she learned to read which turned into an equal passion for reading as she grew older and discovered authors such as Tamora Pierce, C.S. Lewis, and Walter Farley, among others, that inspired her to pursue her own dreams of becoming a writer. Her debut novel, Amethyst, was published August 2nd, 2015 by Kellan Publishing.

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