Today, I have fellow eXtasy Books author D.S. Dehel in the interview chair. We discuss her latest release Goddess of the Dead, book four in the Irish Gods Series, and also dig into her personal side. Read on and help us celebrate her release day.
I interviewed you last time for Curse of the Gods, book three in the Irish Gods series. So I came up with a whole new batch of questions for Goddess of the Dead. Here we go!
All About Goddess of the Dead:
1. What inspired you to write Goddess of the Dead?
Mo (the MC) did. She marched right into my head and demanded her story be told. I also wanted to revisit the character of Aedan because of all the terrible things I did to him in Gods and Mortals. I felt guilty and wanted to make it up to him.
And for any non-writers reading this, I’m not crazy. It’s just the way we writers talk about characters.
2. How did you come up with the concept and characters for Goddess of the Dead?
The answer is two-fold. I wanted to challenge myself as a writer, and thought writing from the perspective of a dead MC was interesting. It was way harder than I thought it would be, but also good fun.
The central idea was sparked by a song. If you read the book, you may figure out which one.
As far as characters go, Mo is my spirit animal in many ways. She’s what’s in my head, but I rarely express. I wish I had her joie de vivre.
3. Tell us about your main characters: what makes them tick?
Mo is a mess. She’s always fighting her mother’s expectations and sometimes makes foolish decisions as a result. Death for her is a chance to live her own destiny, as weird as that sounds. She loves to challenge preconceived notions and test boundaries, which makes her fun to write about. Most of all, she’s just herself with no filter.
Aedan is struggling with the guilt linked to his betrayal of Maeve, and acting as mentor to Mo is part of his self-imposed penance. In life, he always wanted to be a hero, and he failed miserably. In death, he has a true shot at redemption, but only if he stops trying to be a hero.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Goddess of the Dead?
No, actually, I wouldn’t. I wrote the manuscript in the fall of 2016, and it sat until last spring, so my revisions were the chance to change things, and I certainly did. Aside from excising over 12,000 words, I re-wrote the end.
5. Did you learn anything during the writing of Goddess of the Dead?
Absolutely. I learned that worldbuilding, as much fun as it can be, also ties my hands as a writer. So often I would want to write something but couldn’t because it violated a law of the world I had created.
I also learned I had a weird penchant for dialogue tags. I’ve stopped that, though.
6. What is your favorite part of this novel and why?
It has to be the way all the characters from the previous three books come together and handle a threat to their existence. This is really seen at the end.
I also love the way that Mo and Aedan interact. They know how to push each other’s buttons, but also how to bring out the best in each other. When Aedan was with Mae, he was so serious, but with Mo, he has such fun.
7. Did the characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you had the reins of the story?
No, I had control most of the time. I knew exactly what had to happen when. If they had any control, it was in the way they expressed themselves. Sometimes Mo would be over the top, and I just let her go.
8. Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Um…because my mom said so?
Just kidding. I think the very fact that the main characters are dead should be compelling enough. I also weave Irish and Welsh mythology into the world to add texture, not to mention the epic, Tolkein-eque ending. What’s not to love about that? (Sadly, there are no elves or Hobbits.)
9. If your book had a candle, what scent would it be and why?
Wedding cake with the slightest undertone of the spicy leaf scent of fall and sea salt. Why those? The inciting incident of the novel is a wedding, though it’s mostly set in the Tír na Marbh, the land of the Dead. Several scenes take place near the sea, and the whole time is fall.
Having said that, I’m not sure it would be a pleasant scent. Sorry.
10. If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
“I Write Sins, not Tragedies” by Panic at the Disco because though Mo’s death might be tragic, the story is more about the repercussions of her sins. Thus, as an author, I am writing sins, not tragedies. It’s also a great song.
11. If your book had a colour, what would it be and why?
Honestly, my cover captures it perfectly: moody gray with tints of rosy red.
12. What did you edit out of Goddess of the Dead?
Approximately a million dialogue tags. I also changed who solves the ultimate problem in the novel. I can’t say more without spoiling things.
All About D.S Dehel:
1. What is something unique/quirky about you?
Aside from writing Erotic Romance? I love going to Comicons and geeking out on graphic novels.
2. What are some of your pet peeves?
People who can’t use apostrophes correctly, and those who refuse to be open-minded.
3. How do you find time to write with a full-time job and family?
I haven’t a clue, really. I don’t watch much television and make each family member cook one night a week, so that it doesn’t all fall on me. I shove the work into whatever moments I can find.
4. Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Creative, stubborn, fun-loving, curious.
5. What is your favourite social media site? You can only choose one.
Pinterest. I’m a fool for that place.
All About Reading:
1. What book do you think everyone should read?
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ll even lend you my annotated copy, so you don’t miss any of the brilliance that happens on those pages.
2. What do you think about the current publishing market?
I could write an essay on this, but to keep it short, for the major publishing houses I think there are too many gatekeepers, and those houses aren’t letting new voices in. All I see are the same trope-y plots by the same tired authors. Indie publishing is being wracked by scandal after scandal, and its reputation has become tarnished. I feel bad for the good authors writing great books.
The place to be is with small to medium sized publishers, which is why I am thrilled I am with eXtasy.
3. If you could have been the author of any of your fave books that you’ve read, which book would you choose and why?
This question is so hard. Today, it would be The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, I love his quirky sensibility and the dark undercurrents in the novel that speak to a larger truth within us all. Tomorrow, I would probably give you a different answer.
4. Share your favourite character from a book that you’ve read, and why they are your fave.
Again, I have so many. How about Rorschach from Watchmen? There are no shades of gray with him as a character. He is loyal to a fault and will do whatever it takes to get the bad guy, even if it means being one himself, and yet the reader cheers him on, even when we know he is doing wrong because it is for the right reason. As a teacher, he is the one character that students fall in love with and struggle with his ultimate outcome. They get mad at me for making them read a book that ends in such a fashion. Let me repeat that: they get mad at a character’s demise. They are so connected to a character and a work that they spend time telling me off. I LOVE that.
5. On average, how much do you read every week?
It varies. I go through reading jags where I’ll spend 4 or 5 hours a day. Other weeks, I may only read for 4 or 5 hours total.
Title: Goddess of the Dead
Series: The Irish Gods #4
Author: D.S. Dehel
Word Count: 85521
Publish Date: August 30, 2019
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genres: Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Fight for your destiny.
Blurb: Mo Noonan’s life is falling apart. She’s failed out of grad school. Her fiancé just dumped her in front of all her friends. Her mother thinks she’s a failure.
And now she’s dead.
It’s hard making friends with the dead, especially when you’ve been murdered, but Aedan Hanlon is willing to show Mo how to navigate the Underworld, though he keeps going on and on about facing her Truth. After spending time with Aedan, Mo begins to wonder, can the dead fall in love?
And if they do, why does the Goddess of the Dead have to mess everything up? Why can’t Mo and Aedan just rest in peace?
A warm, velvety blackness more complete than she’d ever experienced enveloped Mo. It felt safe here―wherever here was―and though she couldn’t quite remember how she had arrived in this dark place, she liked it. I’m home.
Indistinct and blurry voices interrupted her calm.
“Oh my, what has happened?”
“How did she get here?”
“Poor thing. Do you think she’s dead?”
“We should at least get her out of the water.”
Mo was curious in a distant way about whomever they were discussing in such distressing terms, but the darkness was calling her, and it was a much nicer place than where she had come from, wherever that was.
D.S. Dehel is a lover of literature, good food, and the Oxford comma. When she is not immersed in a book, she is mom to her kids and spoiling her rather pampered feline, Mr. Darcy.
She also spends her time plotting new ways to up her A game as a teacher and writer.
She adores literary allusions, writing sex scenes, and British men. Actually, make that hot men in general. Her devoted husband is still convinced she writes children’s books. Please don’t enlighten him.
You can find D.S. at her website.