Happy Wednesday, dear readers!
This week, I have the pleasure of hosting Cris Pasqueralle, author of Destiny Revealed. Before we get into the Q&A, here’s some information about Cris’s debut novel:
Title: Destiny Revealed
Publisher: Cosby Media Productions
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Amazon link: Click HERE
Goodreads link: Click HERE
And now, let’s get to it! Time for some Q&A:
1. Tell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer?
My name is Cris Pasqueralle, and I am Long Island born and raised. I currently live in Levittown, NY with my wife, Tricia, and my two daughters, Toniann and Deanna. I am a retired NYC police officer, and I have always wanted to write. I began writing stories while in high school, and it was my daughter’s love of fantasy fiction that led me to write The Destiny Trilogy.
2. What is the genre in which you write?
I write middle grade/YA fantasy.
3. What is the book you recently published? What is it all about?
My most recent work is Destiny Revealed, book one of The Destiny Trilogy. It follows the story of 13-year-old twins Jack and Maddie Austin who, during their birthday celebration, see their parents kidnapped by the evil wizard: Tardon. Then, they are whisked away to an unknown, magical realm by their Uncle Benny, where they learn they are wizards with a great destiny. They embark on a rescue mission to save their parents, and learn the truth about who, and what, they are.
4. Have you published or written any other works?
Destiny Revealed is my first published work.
5. Name your favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.
My favorite characters are Jack and Maddie, and Connie, from Destiny Revealed. I like Jack because he is a lot like I was at 13, and Maddie and Connie because they are modeled after two of my favorite people: my daughters.
6. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
I will get a lot of backlash for this answer, but I don’t think there is anything such thing as writer’s block. I believe that it’s simply the characters telling us they are not ready to move on. I keep the flow of writing by stopping when I am on a roll. This way, when I return to writing, I already have something to work with and I’m not staring at a blank page.
7. How long did it take to finish your first novel?
My first novel took nearly a year to get it to the point where I thought it would be presentable.
8. What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?
Initially, I wanted to go the traditional route, get an agent, and shoot for one of the big publishing houses. But after many, many form letter rejections, I found that I could self-publish direct to Kindle, which I did. Then, my luck changed, and Braxton Cosby, from Cosby Media Productions, saw Destiny Revealed, and thought it was a good fit for CMP. We pulled it from Kindle, reworded and copy-edited it, and re-released it—with much success.
9. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre?
I market mostly through social media and found that Facebook readers’ groups, as well as Google+, and Twitter help me to target directly to fans of fantasy fiction.
10. What does your writing process “look” like?
My writing process is old school: a notebook, a pen, a cup of coffee, and usually a baseball game on in the background, or some music from the golden oldies.
11. What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on book three of The Destiny Trilogy, but I have some ideas for a couple of stand alone novels, and two other series I’d like to get going on.
12. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism has often come from people I know who say, “You’ll never make a living doing that.” I’ve also had a couple of reviews that said they had trouble connecting with the characters and wouldn’t want to continue with the series, but those have been few, thank goodness.
The best have been two reviews that have compared my work to the Harry Potter books. One said: “The next up and coming Harry Potter and Percy Jackson,” and another said: “Move over, Ms. Rowling; there’s a new fantasy author in town.” Still, another called Destiny Revealed “Something akin to, but different from, Harry Potter.” Those types of comments I find very encouraging and flattering.
13. What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
The advice I give to aspiring authors is to read everything, and keep at it. I tried for nearly thirty years to get published, and it finally happened. So, keep writing, no matter what anyone says.
14. When can we expect to see another publication of your work?
Gook two of The Destiny Trilogy, Paths of Destiny, will be available as an eBook later this summer.
15. What’s a cool (or nerdy) fact about you that you’ll share with us?
I’m not very cool, so there aren’t many cool facts about me. But a nerdy one is that I still enjoy cartoons; they crack me up.