Today is Day 4 of HUNTED Release Week!! for my friend DJ DeSmyter's YA debut novel, HUNTED! DJ is an awesome guy who I've gotten to know over the past several months, and I couldn't be more excited for his book's release.
And lucky for us, DJ was nice enough to do a quick mini-interview for the blog today. So please, say hello to DJ and enjoy (and be sure to read all the way through, because there's a chance you could win a copy of Hunted!!)
Welcome to my blog, DJ! So nice to have you here. First off, congrats on becoming a published author! I'm a ways behind you on that road and I'm on cloud nine right now, so I can imagine how great it must be! Tell me, how has being a published author changed your life?
Thanks for the warm welcome! :) My life hasn’t really changed much, except now I can go into a bookstore and be like, “Hey, you, you should read my book.” I now also think I should be exempt from the required composition courses I have to take in college, but I don’t think the school would agree with me on this.
I agree. I think you should write a strongly-worded letter to the board! :) I have been lucky enough to read HUNTED, and I must say I loved it. I'm a bit of a paranormal junkie, so it was right up my alley! But I must ask...were you concerned about writing for a genre that many claim is "on its last leg" (meaning YA paranormal)?
I’m so happy to hear that you loved it! A few other bloggers have told me the same thing and it just blows my mind!
I never set out to write YA paranormal-love stories because they are/were popular. It’s always been a genre I’ve loved, so when I began novel-writing, I couldn’t imagine myself writing anything else. But yeah, I was concerned and in some ways still am. I mean, no one wants their book to get lost in the shuffle. The good thing is there will always be readers who will continue reading these types of stories—and I’m one of them. So, I guess I’ll always have one reader/fan, haha.
I agree--there WILL always be readers who continue to read paranormal (lucky for us)! Your blog (which I love, btw) is filled with YA book reviews. Do you think your love of books/reviewing books helped get you to where you are now?
My love of reading has helped in countless ways. The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to read and read and read. And re-read books, too. Re-read them and look at the way the author organized their words, how they revealed character traits and maintained the drama and suspense. My love of reading has introduced me to so many amazing authors and I’m always learning from them, even though they don’t know it, haha.
My blog has definitely helped me get to where I am now, as well. I have learned so much about the publishing industry through the community and I’ve made so many friends. I made my blog with the intention of getting my name out there and I do think it has helped because I’ve established a base for myself. I don’t think I’d have as many people interested in reading Hunted as I do now if I were just getting to know my way around the blogosphere, you know?
Oh I agree 100%. I'm relatively new to the blogosphere (a little over a year) so I know exactly what you mean! So tell us, what's next for DJ as far as writing? Any books in the works you can share with us here?
I’m currently working on a new idea that is not related to Hunted and it’s one I’m really excited about. It started off a bit rocky, but I think I’m finally finding my footing with it. I don’t talk about my projects while they’re in the works, though, so that’s all you’re getting! :)
And finally, the go-to question I ask all interviewees... If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one book to read, which would it be and why?
Oh, dear, this is a hard question to answer. If I could only have one book to read it would be—and I’m going to get a lot of flack for this—Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. As many know, this is the book that inspired me to start writing stories, so I owe a lot to this book and to Ms. Meyer.
I have to admit, that may be the one I would choose, too (or To Kill A Mockingbird)...so don't let the flack get you down!
Thanks so much DJ...you rock! I'm telling you guys, you're gonna love Hunted. And lucky for you, DJ has been kind enough to give away a signed copy!! All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what one book you read this summer that I simply MUST read. Though I don't offer extra points, feel free to spread the word! I'll use random.org to pick a winner and announce it tomorrow (sorry, US only)!