Therefore, I read mostly romance.
I’m usually not a big fan of fantasy or historical fiction (unless it has romance in it…then… perhaps.)
However, Dare, the debut novel by Tricia Mingerink was an exception to my “romance only rule.”
I was pulled into the action immediately and held captive by the inner struggle that surrounded Third Blade, Leith Torren, and his forbidden friendship with Renna and Brandi, the sisters whose family he allowed to be brutally killed by the Blades. Their choice to save him was their death sentence. His choice to spare them was his.
Impossible things become possible with God in this amazing redemptive story.
Can I just say that I absolutely loved this book?! It was packed full of adventure and suspense, and there’s a hint of romance in it, too. Dare was so dynamic and beautifully written, I couldn’t put it down.
Recently, I was fortunate to get to chat with the author about writing and her new series, and this is what she said.
1. Describe your writing zone. Where do you write and when? Notebook or computer? Silence or Favorite Playlist? Beverage of choice?
I can pretty much write anywhere. I write on my laptop while sitting on the couch watching TV with my family. A big chunk of Dare was written on my lunch break at work. My dad had a spare room in his office where I set up my writing desk complete with my medieval weapons. I spend most Saturdays there, sometimes in silence, sometimes with music. My drink of choice is Mountain Dew. Not very healthy, I know, but coffee and tea are too bitter to me. Even sweet teas just taste like hot, bitter water to me.
2. When you first started writing, did you intend on making it into a series?
Yes, I always intended for The Blades of Acktar to be a series. I got the ideas for all three books at the same time. I sketched out a rough outline of what I wanted to have happen and started writing. It took me nine months, but I wrote the first drafts to the whole series before I started the process of publication. The next two books are still in the editing stage. I’m currently planning for The Blades of Acktar to be a three book series, but I have an idea for a fourth book that has been bugging me since I finished the draft of book three, so the series might grow.
3. What are the biggest challenges you faced while writing this story? How did you overcome them?
Crafting the characters is always the toughest part of writing for me. When I get ideas, I get plot ideas and the vaguest impression of what kind of character would fit that plot. I have to write the first draft to learn the basics about the characters. Most of my later drafts were done to deepen character development. In writing Dare, I learned to better listen to what my characters were telling me so I could deepen what was already there.
4. Which character is your favorite? Why?
I love all of them! (Well, maybe not Harrison Vane. At least, I wouldn’t want to meet him in person!) But I guess if I had to pick, Leith is my favorite character. When I got the initial idea for Dare, I knew the plot and I knew the main character was named Third Blade Leith Torren. He is such a deep, humble, and hurting character that sometimes I just wanted to stop and give him a hug, right before I dumped more burdens on his shoulders.
5. Are you a planner or a “pantser” when it comes to writing? Meaning, do you plan it out and outline it in detail before you begin, or do you fly by the seat of your pants (i.e. pantser) and write the story as it unfolds before you?
I’m a “plantser.” I usually have a sequence of events and a few scenes planned out in my head. Sometimes I sketch the outline on paper, but often I just jump right in to writing. Once the first draft is done, I go into mega-planner mode and find character pictures, draw maps, and flesh out an outline to use in revising. So I guess I draft like a pantser and revise like a planner.
Disclaimer: The author provided a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.