Curbing curiosities, or an interview with Brenda Drake, author of Analiese Rising (and a giveaway)


analiese rising

Analiese Rising

By: Brenda Drake

Publisher: EntangledTEEN

Publication Date: January 8th, 2019

Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

Purchase HERE!


1) What is on your desk or where you write? What do you need to write? Do you have a writer’s survival kit?

I have candles, notebooks, an array of pens, sticky notes, books, and many things that shouldn’t be on it really. It’s as if my desk is a “collect all.” I really need to clean it up. That’s my goal during the holidays.

2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster? Which do you prefer: drafting or revising?

Before I start a story, I do short character bios and setting research. Next, I do a plot graph. It’s skeletal, and I only use it as a road map for the story. Then I write, letting the characters and inspiration lead me on that road, fleshing out the story as I go. Sometimes, I go off-road and take a detour, but the direction I’m going usually stays the same. So I’d say that I’m part plotter and part panster.

3) What is your number one writing tip?

Have a writing partner. I have one, Pintip Dunn (author of the New York Times bestseller, FORGET TOMORROW). We keep each other motivate and help each other through plot issues and other writerly things. We word sprint together, where we write non-stop for a set amount of time and tally how many words we get in during the time we set. It gets us out of our slumps.

A tip for honing your craft, which is one that many have suggested before me, is to read. A lot.

4) Describe your book in 5 words or less

Gods and Goddesses behaving badly.

5) A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info 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?

My editor wanted me to add a few more gods and goddesses to the story. In researching, I discovered some I never knew about. Two of the new gods have become my favorite characters in the book. It was great fun creating them, coming up with their personalities, and making sure they had a reason to be in the story. This is the first book I didn’t have to cut anything, but I had to add a lot.

6) Do you have a special story, a discovery you made while doing research, or an innocuous thought that grew into something bigger that is behind your inspiration for Analiese Rising?

I tend to get lost while researching my stories. During one on libraries for one of my other books, I came across The Raising of Lazarus Painting by Rembrandt. At the time, I had just watched The Da Vinci code and finished binge watching the American Gods series on Starz. The idea for Analiese Rising came out of that research. I imagined a girl who was a descendent of a death god and who could raise the dead. She’s pulled into a secret world of god and goddesses who had lost their powers ages ago. I had to write her story.

7) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?

I really enjoyed writing Sid, a god from Philippine mythology. He’s flamboyant, outspoken, and he keeps the readers on their toes wondering what his motives are. I had the most difficulty writing the demon god, Pazuzu. I think it was just out my own fears at seeing him in movies like The Omen. He’s evil and frightening.

8) If you could ask a character of your choice from Analiese Rising one question what would it be?

I’d ask Sid how he gets his makeup so flawless.

9) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?

I’m most proud of the haunted catacomb scene. It was scary and required just enough atmosphere not to bog down the pace.

10) What is your favorite quote from the book and why? This can range from funny to poignant or it could just make you sound super suave or clever.

I always have a difficult time coming up with a favorite quote from my own writing. I’m modest and insecure, so I never feel like I sound suave or clever. But I do connect with the following quote.

“There’s sadness in his voice that weighs on his words. I know that misery well. I’ve never met my birth parents, but I long for all the what-could-have-been moments—school plays, holidays, and family vacations.”

I’m always thinking about “what-could-have-been moments.” I’ve learned over the years, you have to grasp those special moments, savor them, and then keep them safe in your memories. It those missed moments that weight you down the most.

11) Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?

I’d have to say that would also be the haunted catacomb scene. I’m not good with scary stuff, so I really have to push through my fears to write it. I like challenging myself, and this really did.

12) What is next for you? What are your currently working on?

I have a couple of possibilities for my next project. Both I’m excited about. I’m currently revising a middle grade novel and in the early stages of writing an exciting young adult one. So I have no new releases on the horizon, but I do have several fun opportunities for the future.

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by YA Bound Book Tours.

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