Monday, 23 April 2012

Exclusive Interview with Dejana Vuletić, author of Poison

Me : What was the inspiration behind your writing?

Ever since I was a little girl, I had always admired the people who could create a world so different from our own – where the weak become strong and our wildest dreams can suddenly become reality – to take us to when our own lives are so cluttered and fast-paced. Sometimes we need to just get some R&R, and my best writing always came from days where I was able to just bask in the sunlight and take myself to a place I had never been to before.

Me : What was the idea behind Poison?

My inspiration for writing Poison came during a hangout day with my cousins. When we were kids, we always used to play games to keep ourselves occupied, and our favorite game was when we each chose an element that we were able to manipulate at will, and we would fight each other and just have a lot of fun with it. After thinking about it for a while, I thought: "This would be a great start to a novel! It has several different ideas that I can tie together into a really neat story that's original and creative in its own way!" So I built upon my childhood experience of playing that game, creating characters formed around the five (or in this case six) elements, making them more mature, able to make decisions on their own and struggle doing so, and to develop deep connections with the other characters. And that's how Poison was born.

Me : If you had to describe the five main characters from Poison in one sentence for each, how do you describe them?


This is a tough one, even for me, but I'll give it a try! I'll start with Dessa and work my way down the list. Dessa is the typical girl next door – absorbed in school and thinking of her future – who can be a bit stubborn, but when it comes down to it, she'll give anything and everything to protect those she cares about. Chris, Dessa's main love interest of the series, is much like Dessa in the way that he will do anything to protect Dessa from harm; however, there are several instances when he realizes he cannot possibly protect her from everything, and thus he distances himself from Dessa out of fear of growing too attached to her only to end up losing her. Paola, or "Pa" as the others like to call her, is the best friend who is basically romantically challenged; her inability to think of her own needs before others inevitably gives her problems, but she's quite the flighty little thing, able to cheer you up in an instant if you're feeling down about something. Ricky, the supportive older brother and one of the love interests of Pa, will deny himself everything if it means everyone else will be happy; his sacrifice for the greater good can be admirable, but also quite deadly. And last, but not least, we have the severely misunderstood Skylar, whose hot-tempered personality always keeps people at arm's-length away and whose heart is damaged from a past that even Pa doesn't know about.

Me : How many books are going to be in this series? Would you like to tell us about the sequel?

This series will be three books: Poison, Possession, and Purification, making it a trilogy. I also plan on writing a couple shorter novellas in the series in other characters' points of view (called Pain and Passion), although I haven't decided if I want to go through with that yet. Possession will focus mostly on Dessa's conflict with the Hunters, who presented quite a threat to the Keepers in the past. In the epilogue of Poison, Chris briefly mentions a man named Orion, who was a god-like entity threatening to destroy the balance of the universe. The Keepers had no choice but to seal him away in five separate stars in the sky, which make up the constellation today known as Orion. The Hunters (his four sons) seek to release him, and in order to do that, they will need to drain the Spirit Blood of five humans known as the Katakana. When Dessa and the others suspect that Dessa's daughter McKenna might be a Katakana, they are forced to immediately go on the defensive, but Dessa's allegiance just might change in light of her past with the menacingly dashing Balthazar Korinthos. But that's all I'm telling you! You'll need to buckle your seatbelts for this next one because there's still so much left unsaid!

Me : Your upcoming book Cobra's Chain will be released in summer, 2013. Would you like to enlighten us about the book?
Cobra's Chain is set over one-thousand years into the future to the year 3042, in a world where overpopulation has become such a huge problem that human scientists were being pushed to find a solution. Their solution was creating a man-made planet replica, which they named Planeia, where the main character Devin Clark lives. With the rise of a new dawning of human intelligence, one man known simply as Onyx monopolizes the government, taking over and seeking to rebuild society into what he calls a utopia. His selfish ends drive him to kill any opposition, and Devin's father is the only political rival left to stand up to him. His unfortunate assassination sparks Devin's desire to get even, and when she wants something, she won't stop until she gets it. Her childhood friend Connor knows this better than anyone, and the two go into hiding while thinking up a plan to take down Onyx and save both Earth and Planeia from falling to pieces at his hands. Devin and Connor endure a lot together, and their feelings for one another cause more problems than they solve. As they travel, they ally themselves with a group known as "The Survivors," who are the few who managed to escape the death raids Onyx unleashed upon their cities. It is there that Devin adopts a new name, and her ruthless drive for revenge, her beautifully dangerous techniques of killing the opposition not unlike Onyx himself, earn her the name of "The Cobra."

Me : What are your most favorite YA novels?

My favorite YA novels have got to be the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Both are refreshingly amazing in their prose, and the characters were so detailed, so well-illustrated through words that I almost expected to run into them walking down the street somewhere. Kagawa definitely has a gift when it comes to creating a world apart from this one, and her ideas were so refreshing to read! It was so different from anything I had ever read before! And The Hunger Games was just fabulous. I loved the idea of a young woman being able to stand up for herself and defend herself against the most dangerous of threats: elimination. I'm also very much looking forward to reading Kagawa's new vampire series, The Immortal Rules. Looks like it's going to be just as awesome as the Iron Fey series!

Me : As a debut author, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

All I can tell you aspiring authors out there is to not be afraid. There's a whole world out there just waiting to read what you've written! I know it can be a little nerve-wracking because trust me, I lived it just a few months ago, but when you realize just how many people genuinely want to hear what you have to say, it'll change you forever. A year ago I would have never even dreamed to have a published book out there and have people asking me these kinds of questions. But I'm here today because I stuck it through to the end. Stay true to yourselves, believe in your skills and your worth as a writer, and never ever give up on your dreams. Because one day they might come true, just like they did for me.

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