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Feature Interview: Author Rissa Blakeley

Rissa Blakeley is a new author from Atlanta Georgia. She has just finished her first novel, BROKEN DREAMS, the first book in her SHATTERED LIVES series. Here's a blurb from her first book: 

Author, Rissa Blakeley
Elaina Cooper's world was turned upside down on her wedding day. She was about to marry Henry Daniels, the man of her dreams or so she thought. Just as she was to walk down the aisle, screams pierced the air and with that, the apocalypse had begun.

Elaina felt something was wrong; Henry knew far too much about the undead roaming the street and she was determined to get to the bottom of it no matter what it took. Henry's haunted past catches up to him in more ways than one. He must face his demons and Elaina must learn to accept him and his past. Henry is determined to fight to the very end to make their sexy, mercurial relationship work no matter what staggers in their path.

Broken Dreams
Along with their thrown together band of survivors, they must travel south to face Henry's haunted past. There will be joys and loss but in the end, can love hold them together?

Ms. Blakeley was kind enough to give this humble blogger an interview.

KARMA GIRL: Please be aware that this interview may cause itching, vertigo, dizziness, tingling in extremities, loss of balance or coordination, loss of control of bowls, slurred speech, temporary blindness, profuse sweating, heart palpitations, impotence, strained occipital muscles from continual eyebrow raising, and migraines from wondering what the hell is wrong with the interviewer.

RISSA BLAKELY: I'm already experiencing all of those symptoms just from the pure fear of self publishing alone.

KG: Yeah, I've been there. Stock up on Pepto and antacids now. Trust me on this. But I digress...

Thanks, Rissa for agreeing to this interview, in spite of the warning. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, and what got you into writing?

RISSA: I have my antacids and I'm ready. Thanks for asking to interview me! This is only my second interview, so be easy on me. *grins*

There isn't a whole lot to tell about myself. I'm pretty much a hermit. Some of my neighbors have stopped waving at me because I don't think they realize its me anymore. Just a quick list for you, I suppose:

I tend to not have a filter.
If you see me anything other than a tee shirt and jeans, think the worst because I'm probably going to a funeral.
My natural tone is sarcasm, which you may see some of me through my female protagonist. 
I have terrible grammar skills.
Its no secret that I love to indulge in the adult beverage.
I love hockey, especially the fights.
I'm originally from New York, but we live in Georgia now. I never really intended to write anything ever. I had an idea one day and just went with it. I needed to get it out of my head. I was like how hard could this writing thing be? Yeah. I never realized how difficult and consuming it was, but I love it.

KG: Funeral or job interview. You could be my doppelganger.

Can you tell us about this sarcastic female protagonist and your current book? What kind of wacky hijinks does she find herself in?

RISSA: I really do need a clone of some sort. I have spread myself thin. My only requirement would be that the clone does all the stuff that I dislike.

Where should I start... how about her name? Elaina Cooper. She is in her early twenties and can't seem to leave a conversation without weaseling in a smart ass comment. She tends to have a potty mouth and cannot seem to filter herself. She is immature, but grows as the story goes forward. She is madly (obsessed... addicted) in love with Henry Daniels who she thinks is the man of her dreams.

Elaina tends to go into things full force without thinking at all. There are several incidents through out my book where she gets herself into some trouble and has to be rescued.

KG: What genre is this book, and what drew you to this genre?

RISSA: It's a paranormal romance with a little twist. There are also some steamy scenes. No soft core here.

I originally refused to read anything from this genre. I was ignorant and thought all things that weren't 'normal' were boring. Then someone talked me into reading Twilight and I loved it. Stop judging me. There was just something about the integration of the paranormal with society that drew me in. I love the idea of it. It really is truth behind what society is. There are so many people who are different or weird or awkward that hide themselves to spare themselves from the criticisms and side glances from the 'normals' out there. I feel like its a parallel of my own personal feelings about my life.

KG: I promise not to judge you about the Twilight thing if you promise not to judge me for my articles about Stephenie Meyer. And anyway, some of my best friends are Twi-heads. (Insert grin here)

You’re a first time author. What would you say has been the most difficult part about the self-publishing process, and how have you dealt with it?

RISSA: No judging from this side of the table. Twi-heads... always a funny reference.

Yes, I'm definitely a virgin author. You can tell by my constant nail biting, twitching, tweaking out, mumbling, and intense staring at the flashing cursor on my screen. Then again, this might be the norm.

The most difficult part is taking on so much, but I don't have a choice. I don't have people to promote me, so I spend a small portion of my day trying to get the word out. I eat, sleep and breathe this book series. I'm always working on it in some way every minute that I am awake. I never realized how much it would consume my life. Then the criticisms that roll in through beta reading. I had one person cut my characters apart. I can't even explain how much that hurt me. I was so upset and angry, I needed to be by myself for a few minutes. It was like the person was stabbing me right through the heart. I never realized how much that would hurt. All in all, I love my beta readers. I just need a thicker skin, I suppose.

KG: If you had any advice for first-time writers, what would it be?

RISSA: I would say just to be yourself. Don't build up a facade that you have to live behind and keep up with. No one likes a fake person. Accept yourself for who you are and move forward. The way I look at it... you either love me or hate me. It's your choice. I will not apologize for who I am anymore nor will I plead my case.

Also, I would like to advise never forget where you came from and who was there for you from very beginning. Always, take time to throw out a 'thanks' or 'I appreciate it'. No one would be where they are without a solid platform of support even if your support is only from one person.

KG: That’s some good advice.

Now, onward to a little segment I like to call The Serious Three! This is the part of the interview where I ask the victim…I mean, interviewee…three incredibly serious questions. Are you ready Rissa?

RISSA: Okay... I have belted myself in and I'm ready for the bumpy ride.

KG: Excellent! (Insert evil Mr. Burns grin here)

Question #1: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

RISSA: Oh Team Edward all the way. Who wouldn't love a sparkly vampire?

KG: ...

Question #2: Why the hell IS a raven like a writing desk? Seriously?

RISSA: I'm not much of a riddle person, so I will go with a literal answer. It seems to be a near impossible task to write on a raven and it tends to be a near impossible task to write at a writing desk... unless you are creative and own duct tape.

KG: Well played, Madam. Well played.

Question #3: When and where will your book be available, and where can my readers stalk you (Facebook, twitter, blog, Mars, etc.)?

RISSA: I tip my hat to the interviewer for springing a question like that.

BROKEN DREAMS (SHATTERED LIVES, BOOK ONE) will be available on October 25th. I plan on publishing on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I am also working towards paperbacks as well. I won't say a release date for those yet because I am clueless on that.

I'm part of the dinosaur age and don't have a twitter or a blog. Mostly because I just don't have the time. But I am all up for more Facebook stalkers.

FB link:

And let's not forget Goodreads. Feel free to add my book to you TBR and add me as a friend!

I'd prefer Jupiter. I prefer to do things on a larger scale.

KG: Thank you, Rissa, for putting up with my migraine inducing questions, and good luck with your future writing career!

RISSA: Thank you and thanks for asking the migraine inducing questions! It was quite fun.


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