Welcome to An Indie Adventure, R. J. Machado De Quevedo. Tell us, what inspired you to write your books, The Deceiver Saga?Hello, L.A, thank you for inviting me to guest on your blog.
I never had any ambitions to become a novelist, it just sort of happened to me out of the blue! One night, on December 21st. 2009, I had a dream that was incredibly vivid and felt so real that when I woke up, I was tingling with awe. That dream spoke to me in a personal way, but also, I felt a desire and passion well up within me, demanding that I write this story that had suddenly started to flow in a never ceasing rush of creativity. It felt as if that dream had unplugged the cap of a hidden well full of creative writing treasures. Within the storyline came a built in web of mystery, deceit and adventure. And weaving throughout the pages of my mind were strong social themes as well that I felt needed to be addressed. It all just fit. I knew I had to write these books!
From the start I knew they were to be called, The Deceiver Saga, and that it would have at least four books. Since then, they have grown to a projected seven or eight, but I won’t end the saga if the ideas keep coming!
As a child, I enjoyed making up stories with my sisters or my little neighborhood friends. I started journaling in junior high and later, enjoyed a creative writing class in high school. But hadn’t believed the teacher when he told me I was good at creative writing. In fact, he gave me an “A” on my final project (a collection of five short stories) and told wrote a note inside the cover that said, “I may not know the fate of the Susan (a character in the last short story), but I know yours as a fictional author.”
Of course, being a teenager and having had an immensely hard time learning to read, write and spell as a child, I had dismissed his compliment with an quick internal sarcastic rebuke. I didn’t even remember he’d written that comment until I stumbled across some of my old high school assignments two weeks after I received my publishing contract. It was like God was saying, “See? You didn’t believe in the gift I put in you, but he recognized it from the start.”
Have you been a lifelong reader of supernatural mystery thrillers? What are some the first books you remember reading?
I have to admit, I really wish I had been a lover of books since childhood. But truth be told, I had such a difficult time learning to read and spell in elementary school that it took all the joy and pleasure out of it for me. It really hurt my self-esteem and confidence too when it took me hours to try and memorize fifteen spelling words or if it took me an hour to read a single page of a book, all the while, comprehending very little of what I had actually managed to read.
It wasn’t until seventh grade that I decided to force myself to press through the frustration and fought my way through the Little House on the Prairieseries at my sister Bethany’s recommendation. When I was done with those, I started in on The Chronicles of Narnia. My reading skills began to steadily improve as I started to look forward to the next adventure and find out how the characters would development.
By the time I was in college, I truly loved to read and started listening to audio books during my commute to get my books in! Reading is now an addition and a beloved hobby!
What do you do to rev your creative juices?
I have a couple different methods of preparing my mind and to focus my attentions to write. If it’s a weekend or a day I took off work specifically to write, I will have a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning and start replaying where I left off in my book in my mind, in a relaxed, unrushed, fashion. Oftentimes, I’ll do this sitting at the breakfast nook, looking out the window into our luscious backyard and watch the birds and squirrels scurry about. Setting myself up to feel calm and listen to my thoughts gets me ready to start writing and follow my instincts. I will also say a prayer and ask God to bring me clarity and creativity, and to guide my written words. This is also a part of following my instincts and enjoying the adventure of discovery while writing. I am always amazed at how it continues to feel as though I am the reader, experiencing the book for the first time, as I write it. It’s an exhilarating rush!
I also have another method for days when I worked at my day job all day and finally get to come home and indulge my true passion (writing). I will do an intense cardio workout to burn out the stress of the day and refocus my mind on the intricate plots to come in my books. I use my workout as my reset button to close down the thoughts and emotions of my work day, and apply all my attention and energy into my writing.
And once in a while, when my brain is having a slower time clicking over to the creative or I’m tired or feeling pulled by other distractions (family or friend concerns, the black hole of Facebook, other pressures of life), I will compile my research notes and book plot ideas and notes, and start reading over them to draw me back into the story lines. Usually within minutes, I am struck with a rush of ideas and images in my head that seem to pump the writing juices in my brain to maximum and then, I can’t wait to get my lap top booted so I can start writing!
What would be your advice be to people who are considering a writing career?
If you have stories that write themselves while you sleep, ideas that pop into your head in the most unlikely moments, and a deep craving to sit down and write for hours upon end, than being a writer is probably in your blood. Having passion and enjoying what you do will make any career choice worth the time, hard work, patience and effort it takes to be successful. Don’t give up if it takes time to finish that novel or get published, it’s part of the journey. So learn all you can along the way. And most importantly—Keep writing! You have to make time for your passions least it start to wither away and die out. A dream without a plan is just a dream. But a dream with a plan and with action is a destiny in the making. You get to choose which you’re going to settle for.
You’re having a dinner party. What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up? Why?
Oh dear! For anyone who has read my books, I’m sure they’re thinking the exact same thing I am! Without a doubt, I would not want Melanie’s father to show up—ever!
As a demon possessed, woman hating, sadistic creep, Dwayne Bishop showing up at any party uninvited would not end well! Dwayne insult the guests, get drunk, start fights, spit out degrading comments, make unwanted advanced toward the ladies, and probably even try to force himself on one or two. And, I’d probably have to call the police to force him to leave since he has no respect for other’s wishes or personal property. He would be the uninvited dinner party guest from hell (almost quite literally).I recently had a very kind hearted friend of mine tell me that I better write in a horrible death for Dwayne or she will not be happy with me! Hahahaa!
Give us a brief summary of your latest book in the Deceiver Saga, Sanctuary of Fire:
In Sanctuary of Fire, the newest installment of The Deceiver Saga, Melanie Bishop struggles to remain courageous and reclaim her emotional victory after a brutal demonic attack by her father. It feels as though the entire world knows about the mortifying ordeal as college classmates whisper, police investigate, and news crews hound Melanie about her father's sadistic crimes.
Melanie is too humiliated to even speak to David, the man who fought off her father; though in her heart, she wants nothing more than to rush into his arms.
Despite the chaos in Melanie's life, her true calling must remain the priority. History could be changed or delayed if she refuses to obey the call: to seek and protect celestial artifacts before the enemy can acquire them and discover their true power.
Neither time nor space are strong enough to stop the forces of hell from hunting her down to finish what her father started. Transported thousands of years into the past, and left to wander across the wilderness in pursuit of the artifacts, Melanie is provided protection from the enemy's warriors by a dysfunctional yet legendary family. As the battle descends upon them, it is Melanie who must pick up a sword and fight to the death.
“In a sudden whoosh, fire surrounded me, a holy sanctuary of fire. My long red hair blew back, electricity crackled along my skin, and as the flames engulfed me, I felt the power of the Lord descend upon me and surge forth from within me. And the necklace of truth and mercy about my neck burst into a white blaze, as if it held the very light of God.”
R. J. Machado De Quevedo, author of The Deceiver Saga, lives in Northern California. Having grown up with meager resources, R. J. learned early on that joy can be found in the simple things and that imagination is a wonderful escape. R.J. is also a speaker, blogger, musician and artist. She enjoys kick boxing, riding motorcycles, taking long walks and adventurous hikes.
R. J. always enjoyed creative writing or journaling but never had any aspirations to become a writer until she had a dream one night that demanded she tell the story. R. J. was so overcome by the passion she felt from that dream that she knew she just had to write the books. She felt her heart and soul burning with a passion she didn’t even know she possessed, or perhaps, she had been too afraid to let herself truly feel since she had always had a difficult reading and writing as a child.
R. J. starting writing The Deceiver Saga in March, 2010. Shortly after finishing The Deceiver, R. J. submitted her manuscript to a traditional publisher, Tate Publishing and Enterprises. Within four days, she was offered a publishing contract by their Associate Director of Acquisitions. She received that contract on Friday, July 13th, 2012. By September 2013, The Deceiver was publicly released. And three months later in December 2013, Broken Seed was released, book two in the saga. The newest installment of The Deceiver Saga, Sanctuary of Fire, just came out in December 2014.
R. J. is working on the fourth book in The Deceiver Saga, which she is calling Blood Enemies and anticipates that there will be seven or eight books in the saga. Each of R. J.’s books presently released are in the process of being translated into Spanish and should be out later this year. Also, the audio books are currently in production and should be nearing the editing phase shortly.
To learn more about R. J., read her blog, watch interviews and preview the soon to be aired book teaser commercials, please her website.
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