Friday, April 9, 2010

Bree Despain *The Dark Divine* Author

I was lucky enough to get to interview the author of the awesome book, The Dark Divine Everyone please welcome, Bree Despain.
If you want to see the review I did, then please go here!!!

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

1. If you wouldn't mind, could tell us what your debut novel, The Dark Divine, is about.
Bree: THE DARK DIVINE is a modern exploration of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. The story is about a girl named Grace whose family never talks about the night her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood, and his best friend Daniel disappeared—that is until Daniel returns 3 years later and enrolls in Grace and Daniel’s school. Torn between her loyalty to her brother and her attraction Daniel, Grace must discover the truth behind the boys’ dark secret, and find the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate price to do it—her soul.

2. What was the publishing process like, seeing as this is your first time? Was it hard? And how long did it take to get your novel published?

Bree: I’d say getting published is very hard. I wrote for 9 years (4 of those years working on TDD) before I landed an agent—however, after I got an agent everything unfolded rather quickly. We sold the manuscript within a matter of weeks to my publisher, and then the book hit the shelves only 11 months later.

3. You took a semester off college to write plays, what sort of plays did you write? And did they have any influence on your novel?
Bree: I took the semester off to work with a summer program for at-risk kids as a drama teacher. But when I first arrived at the program, and was told that I was expected to take a bunch of kids (many of whom had never acted or sung before) and put on a three-act musical with only 3 weeks of rehearsal, I just about died. The task seemed impossible, and the kids were having a really hard time trying to learn difficult lines—honestly, nobody was having fun. That’s when I decided to throw out the script I’d been given and write something fun and entertaining for the kids. We ended up doing three different short plays that were all based on fractured fairytales. One was a Cinderella Murder Mystery and another was an urban version of Goldilocks—complete with hip-hop dance numbers and a 250 pound girl with an amazing voice playing the role of Goldie. Watching the audience give her, and the rest of the cast, a standing ovation was one of the best moments in my life.

The plays themselves didn’t really influence my novel, but many of the people I met did. T
hat experience is what made me want to be an author—and what made me want to write for young people.
4. How did you come up with the character for Daniel? Was he based off of anyone you knew?
Bree: Daniel was inspired by three different guy friends who disappeared from my life at different times. In fact, “guys who disappear” is kind of a theme with me. The main inspiration for the book came when I was thinking about the time one of these guys suddenly reappeared at my school for a couple of hours and then vanished again. I always wondered what had happened to him, and why he seemed so messed up and troubled. TDD is kind of an exploration of what might have happened if he hadn’t disappeared a second time.
5. Will we get to see more of Grace's, Daniel's, and Jude's adventure?
Bree: YES! I’m finishing up the sequel to TDD called THE LOST SAINT. It addresses some of the questions left unanswered in TDD, and also explores some of the new possibilities that popped up at the end of Book One. TLS will hit bookstores on December 28th 2010.

Maura:
Thanks So Much Bree Despain for the great interview!!! If you haven't read The Dark Divine yet, then I highly recommend it.
Yours Truly,

2 comments:

ck.twilighter said...

Wow, 3 short play with kids who had no experience and maybe no interest prior! That is awesome!
I have a fondness for kids in need and it is very touching to hear of your greatest moment was that time. Thanks for the sharing.

The Dark Divine sounds great and I hope to get to it soon=)

Mahalo and ALoha!

Becky said...

Wow, Bree's experience working with those kids over the summer sounds amazing and almost life-changing for everyone involved. I'm quite awed by it actually. Lovely interview.

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