Ignited (Dance of the Elements #1)
By: A.M. Deese
Publication Date: March 27th, 2018
A NOBLE DAUGHTER.
A FORMER SLAVE.
SCORCHED EARTH AND DANGEROUS GAMES.
“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”
Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders.
“To Tylak, water had never tasted sweeter.”
Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death.
In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.
1) If you emptied out your purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find?
Oh goodness. I try to keep my desk clear but honestly it’s a futile effort. First off I have to have my potted orchid and faux vintage lamp. Of course there are all the little knick knacks that I feel should be on a desk but that I don’t actually use, for instance: scissors, paper clips, a stapler, and more varieties of pens than any sane person should have. There are always two or more working notebooks, my master binder for the DOTE series a small notepad for quick notes, and whatever book I’m currently reading. I have pictures of my nieces and nephews because if pictures of smiling babies doesn’t put you in a good mood then you probably also hate puppies. Lastly but arguably most importantly are the snacks, normally some sort of mixed assortment of chocolate and salty and then, depending on the time of day, coffee, green tea, or chardonnay.
2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
When it comes to my writing style I am most definitely a pantser. The original idea I had in my head for Ignited was quite different from my final product. Having said that, I had to craft a series outline once I realized the story was simply much too large to fit into one book. So far, I can’t say I’m a fan of crafting outlines (we hates them!) but I grudgingly admit it’s made the writing process much simpler.
3) Describe you book in 5 words or less
Can I cheat and use five adjectives? Thrilling, Mysterious, Intriguing, Inventive, Magical.
4) What are some fun facts you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
The fighting technique used by the Fire Dancers is based on a mix of capoeira, ballet and poi.
Jura’s favorite color is emerald green and she speaks five languages though she’s never left the Republic.
In the original concept for Ignited the character Kay was only supposed to be a minor role in the series but I enjoyed writing her so much that I gave her a larger role and most readers picks her as their favorite.
5) Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book?
I was watching the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender when Aang and Zuko danced along two dragons. It was beautiful to watch and it made me think of what a world would be like with people who could control fire and used that power to fight dragons. Who would live in such a world and what would it be like?
6) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
Kay was definitely my favorite character to write. She is sassy and impetuous and her every chapter promises to be an adventure. Tylak was probably the most difficult to write. He has a complicated past, and it was difficult to share that with the reader without adding too much back story.
7) If you could ask a character of your choice from the series one question what would it be?
I have quite a few questions I’d like to ask Justir, First of the Thirteen. But without giving any of those spoilers away I guess I would ask Tylak how different his life would be if he had never lost his brother?
8) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
I suppose the scene I’m most proud of is found in Jura’s second attempt at breaking someone out of jail. By this point in Ignited, Jura has gained confidence and found a new strength in herself which manifests in an awesome physical display. Vague enough for you? Sorry, I don’t want to say any more at the risk of spoilers!
9) Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to power through to finish the book?
The opening chapter was definitely the most difficult to write. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to accurately portray the setting of the world without a boring info dump. I eventually decided to just move on to the second chapter and worry about the opening chapter after I completed the book. I must have done at least four alternate beginnings and over twenty drafts of the first chapter before I decided on a final version.
10) What is your number one writing tip?
My number one tip on writing is technically two tips, but they’re the only two you’ll ever need. Write every day and never give up!
Alexis Marrero Deese is an avid reader of young adult and fantasy. Her favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Jaqueline Carey, and Orson Scott Card. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and a sun tan she misses dearly since her move to northern Georgia. She has a passion for cooking, spends entirely too much time on Pinterest, and is a self-proclaimed dog training expert to her family’s legion of dogs.
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