Thomas: My guest this evening is the lovely author, Ms. Charissa Dufour. Charissa, thank you for accepting my invitation to be here tonight.
Charissa: Thank you for inviting me Thomas.
TJB: Please tell my readers something about yourself and your books, Charissa.
CD: My journey to become a writer began in 8th grade, when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and pulled from school to recover.
During this time, I was left alone for hours on end and it was then that I discovered new friends within the pages of books. (smiling)
I also learned the blessing of creating my own friends by writing down the stories that plagued my lonely mind—as demented as that sounds.
Therefore, at the ripe age of fourteen, I wrote my first novel. It sucked!
(Tom and Charissa both are smiling)
But I kept going and now I am an Indie Author with nine books and seven short stories out. I never imagined that first horrible novel about a man who crash landed on his long-lost home world would turn into a lifelong passion.
I now live in Chicago, IL with my amazing husband and two rambunctious cats, Groot and Rocket.
TJB: Charissa, would you like some tea or coffee to drink?
CD: No thank you Tom. But if you have some water that would be fine.
TJB: Here you are.
CD: That was fast! (smiling)
TJB: I would like to say it was magic, but I’m no magician. I was sure you would appreciate having water and it was ready before you got here.
CD: Thank you Tom. You’re very thoughtful.
TJB: Charissa, what is the name of your new book?
CD: My newest book is Broken & Hunted, Echoes of Sol book 2. It will be released May 10th on Amazon.
TJB: Charissa, the cover is gorgeous. It is stunning. You have spared no expense in putting it together. It uses the color red, maybe foreshadowing a bloody confrontation in the shadow of a red planet. You have three people on the cover, 2 men and a woman, maybe suggesting competition for the woman’s love. It pulls you in, makes you want to know what the story is all about. Well done. Superb. It gets my vote for the Cover of The Year Award.
CD: Thank you very much. A book’s cover is very important.
TJB: This one is beautiful. Now tell the readers what the book is about.
CD: Mars: a beacon of safety and refuge, unless you’re transporting the disputed embryos of genetically modified animals intended to be sold to the Martian elite.
Jack Macleef and his small crew of interstellar merchant marines—including one unexpected indentured servant—think they’re on a simple drop off when things suddenly begin to go awry. Everything happens from paint-armed protestors dogging their every step to armed mercenaries raiding the homes of their mothers.
Jack, alongside Bit, the indentured servant won in a hand of poker, must work together to keep the crew intact and get the embryos to their final destination.
TJB: Sounds like an exciting book. Talk to me now about your writing process. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
CD: I think my most unusual habits are cat-induced. My felines decide I need a break and force it upon me by sprawling across my work space. Groot especially seems to think a flat surface is more comfortable with a single sheet of paper on it than without.
I haven’t figure out his thought process, but there it is. When they decide I need a break, I stop and brush them. Once they have deemed I have stopped long enough, I am permitted to return to work, at which time they leave me to wallow in my loneliness… I mean work like a dog.
TJB: What authors, or books have influenced you?
CD: The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs have been some of the most influential books to my urban fantasy writing. As to my medieval series, Revelation by Carol Berg was a major help to me in building the world and my style of writing.
TJB: What other books are you working on now?
I am currently working on writing Void book 3 (untitled).
TJB: What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
CD: http://bookbarbarian.com/ They are for science fiction and fantasy books only. Around $35 an ad, and I average 1,000-1,500 free downloads over the course of a week, and have elevated sales across all my book for the entire month as a result. Great service!
TJB: Do you have any advice for new authors?
CD: Anytime I asked for advice, everyone just said “write what you know,” which I think is a bunch of baloney.
Obviously, being a human who lives in the real world, I don’t know any actually vampires or werewolves or medieval knights or fae living inside a reservation.
So here’s my advice: write what you want to read!
One of my favorite series started because I didn’t like how another author finished their plot. Through many rewrites and much hair pulling, I ended up with a creative, original plot. It didn’t start with a very noble beginning, but beginnings seldom are.
TJB: What are you reading now?
CD: Hegira by Jim Cronin
TJB: What’s next for you as a writer?
CD: More work. You release a book, and it just means it’s time to shift gears to the next project. The cycle never ends.
TJB: If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 of my books with you, what books would you bring?
CD: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (only time I’m ever going read it) (smiling)
TJB: You do realize neither one of those books are mine, don’t you?
CD: (smiling) Yes, I do.
TJB: Thank you Charissa. I appreciate your taking the time to be here tonight.
CD: It was my pleasure Tom. Thanks for inviting me.
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— Charissa Dufour (@CharissaDufour) May 5, 2016