Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Rissa Blakeley!
Rissa Blakeley is the author of the paranormal series, Corvidae Guard, and the post-apocalyptic saga, Shattered Lives, which features a paranormal twist. Her short story, A Little Taste of Naughty, was part of the best-selling anthology, Just Desserts.
As a native New Yorker, Rissa is now a Georgia transplant who is completely addicted to black coffee, La Croix, and obsessively listening to songs on repeat. Her days are full of characters screaming for more scenes, cats living up to their Harry Potter namesakes, lazy dogs, a teenage daughter bringing emo back, and a husband, who finds her puns less than funny. When Rissa isn’t writing, she can be found procrastinating on social media.
I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Actually, no. Writing came into my life in 2010. Our lives got turned upside down in 2004 after a car wreck that has left me disabled and dealing with chronic illness issues that essentially blossomed due to the stress my body went under.
This is not where I saw myself at that time in my life, but I feel it’s done me well. I use writing as a form of therapy.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I have always enjoyed books featuring some sort of paranormal element, leaving me to write what I like to read.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? I haven’t written anything too strange yet. You never know what will happen in the future.
What are you currently working on? Writing the draft for Full Circle (Shattered Lives, Book Five). It’s been a long process, considering I threw out about 130,000 words and started fresh. Also, I have a few surprises coming up that will be announced in about another month.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? Nothing in particular. I just had a few whispers and I put it down on paper.
What was the hardest story for you to write? I would have to say the plot line of Henry’s past, who’s one of my Shattered Lives main characters. It’s very sad and heart wrenching. The things that happened to him would leave the strongest of men broken.
What process do you use to plan your novels? What is this planning that you speak of? Here’s how it happens… I get flashes of images, short films playing on repeat, whispers, or reoccurring thoughts that drive me to write it down. Eventually, it all adds up and comes together.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Gunther Erikkson. His character arc is massive. He has gone from unadulterated debauchery to a man anyone would want in their corner. It’s been great to see my readers latch onto his plot line and are asking for more.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I’ve had brief moments of writer’s block. When that happens, I go back in my draft and start reading. Usually it sparks an idea.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? There is a little bit of me in every single one. It could be something I say, maybe a gesture, or even something I wish I could be.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? I would love to write a very twisted psychological horror book, but at this time, I don’t think that’s something I can tackle. [Oooooh, I’d love to read it!]
Which authors inspire you? I have a couple really great friends who are also amazing authors. Michelle Rabe, Brenda Tetreault, and Renea Mason. They always inspire me to keep going and work hard to get the outcome I want.
What novel would you read multiple times? Harry Potter series
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) J.R. Ward. I love her writing style. It’s different or even quirky and I find it refreshing to read her books.
What is your favorite quote? I suppose this may seem a little narcissistic to some, but the quote from my first book Broken Dreams (Shattered Lives, Book One). It fits so many and I have received a lot of messages regarding it, including readers who want to get it tattooed. Which blows my mind that they want my words permanently on their bodies.
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Dogs and cats! We have both and it’s funny to see how different they are from each other, but all have a common thread of dependence even if they think they run the household.
What is your favorite color? Is black a color? I’ll settle for gray if not.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Writing is on a ‘do it when I can’ basis. My other jobs are being a parent and a wife.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2d3l48K
Create Space: http://bit.ly/2cnDcct
SquareUp Storefront (signed paperbacks): http://squ.re/2cP6FuS
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rissasarmy/
It was such a pleasure to get to know you, Rissa!
Next week’s featured guest will be Tricia Copeland.