Happy Monday everyone!
This week’s Bookish Monday post is my very first author interview! We have the lovely Siobhan Davis here who is the author of the True Calling series with her latest book, Destiny Rising releasing August 30th.
True Calling is a young adult fantasy / romance series about a world where forced marriage, hard choices, and memory loss collide for a seventeen year old girl stuck on a new Earth-like planet. You can read more by clicking HERE.
Treestand Book Reviews’ Interview with Siobhan Davis
Kat : Tell us a little bit about yourself as a writer.
Siobhan : I have been writing fiction on and off for years, in between juggling a busy job and crazy family life. My fulltime job as Head of Human Resources for an IT Company involved a lot of writing and editing/proof reading so I am quite a prolific writer of corporate communications too. I am a member of award-winning best-selling author Carmel Harrington’s writers group, ‘Imagine Write Inspire’ and we all encourage each other with our writing ambitions. I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and I had harbored a dream of writing a novel for years, because I was always dreaming up stories in my head. I actually wrote True Calling (the first book in my YA sci-fi/dystopian romance series) back in 2010 and then got distracted with work and life in general, and it sat gathering dust in a drawer. In 2014 I finally got my act together and published the book and now the full series is complete and I’m half way through writing my next one. I also made the decision earlier this year to take a break away from the corporate world to focus full-time on my writing career and I’m loving every second of it.
Kat : What inspired you to become a young adult writer?
Siobhan : I write what I like to read and I LOVE the young adult genre. I also enjoy reading NA and crime/thrillers. It’s a proven fact (based on empirical data) that more than 60% of those who purchase and read YA are adults, myself included. I love the action-adventure and futuristic worlds of the YA dystopian/sci-fi though it only works for me if there is a strong romance theme as well. I am a total sucker for romance and it’s often this thread that has me racing through a book to find out what’s next. When I sat down to write fiction a few years ago, YA was what felt the most natural for me to write, and it is the genre that excites me the most as a writer. I have literally tons of ideas for future books and they are all YA related. Though I do harbour a secret ambition to write a crime/thriller at some point in the future as I enjoy reading this genre too.
Siobhan : My YA addiction initially developed from my love of the Twilight series. Having watched an interview with Stephenie Meyer, I was intrigued to discover she wrote the first book after she had a particularly vivid dream (the meadow scene). That got me thinking about the power of dreams and whether they are actually unconscious messages prompting us to make certain decisions or choose a particular path in life. My idea for True Calling took root from this analysis and grew organically once I started writing the story. It was critically important to the plot to tell the story from two different perspectives and two totally different worlds. To show how stark the contrast was between the two different character experiences, I plotted one world as a dystopian society and the other as a ‘supposed’ utopian community. I chose to create my own fictional planet to showcase the utopian society and I had great fun imaging what this world (Planet Novo) would be like.
Kat : Do you have anything in common with your characters in the True Calling series?
Siobhan : I have one thing in common with Ariana Skyee and that is a shared tendency to blink too much! I gave her that one trait deliberately as I wanted my MC to have one small, real link to me. Apart from that, she is as far removed from my personality as you can get.
Kat : Will we ever see into the mind of Cal in the upcoming books?
Siobhan : My short story, Lovestruck, is told from Cal’s perspective and it pre-dates True Calling by three months, though I recommend reading it AFTER True Calling to maximize reading pleasure. Cal also gets his own Part in Destiny Rising, which is the final book in the series, and it was the most enjoyable part for me to write – I LOVE being in his head. He is cheeky, and a little naughty, but the sweetest and most loyal boyfriend ever!
Siobhan : Yes – I recommend reading the series in the following order:
- True Calling – Book 1
- Lovestruck – Short story
- Beyond Reach – Book 2
- Light of a Thousand Stars – Novella
- Destiny Rising – Book 3
Kat : In True Calling, we find Ari in a love triangle. Based on the first book, if you personally could choose either Cal or Zane, who would you choose
Siobhan : Gosh, this is a terrific question and one I haven’t been asked before! This is so difficult to answer because both boys are amazing, though they offer two very different prospects. On the surface, Zane would appear a better fit for me as he is mature, considerate, reliable and trustworthy, and so selfless and protective of the one he loves. Cal is more volatile and hot-headed, he can be loud and arrogant, though he is extremely funny, cheeky, loyal to a fault, and he loves passionately. They say opposites attract, so, for that reason I would pick Cal – he could be the Ying to my Yang.
Kat : For you, what is the hardest part of being a writer, especially when it comes to the young adult genre?
Siobhan : Discoverability is the most challenging aspect of being a writer in the current marketplace, and that is a sentiment felt by all YA writers, irrespective of how they are published. It’s a very competitive market-place and trying to make your book stand out among the masses is a constant battle. The actual writing part is the easiest part for me, and if I could sit down every day and just spend all my time writing then I would be churning books out by the bucket-load, and be blissfully happy
Kat : With that, do you have any advice for aspiring young authors?
Siobhan : Write every day because it’s so important to flex the writing muscle. Read – a lot! Never stop believing in yourself, because there are enough people out there who will doubt you, so never doubt yourself. Live your life! You need life experiences to draw on when you are writing. And don’t be afraid to take a risk, to put yourself out there, and to turn your dream into a reality. Don’t give up when the going gets tough – keep working at it, keep focused, keep promoting, keep writing, and it will all pay off in the end.
Siobhan : Action. Suspense. Romance.
I want to thank Siobhan Davis for taking the time to be interviewed as it is so much fun to see what goes through an author’s head while writing young adult books!
You can find my reviews of True Calling (#1) and Beyond Reach (#2) by clicking on the links respectively. Each of the books received 4 out of 5 stars and are very beautifully written. I hope you all enjoy the series as much as I did!
**Disclaimer : I was not asked to say any of the comments in the post. These are my opinions only.**
Thanks again to Siobhan Davis and Happy Reading,