Donna: Can you tell us a little bit about your new book? And what genre would you classify them?
Racquel: I would classify my books as Paranormal Romance/Dark Fantasy. I say this for two reasons. The first is that there is a lot of romance in the story. The second reason is that there are a lot of dark themes in the books; including sexual abuse, rape and torture to name a few. There is one scene in particular in ‘Last Ashes’ that I was conscious and hesitant about including in the books. I won’t leave any spoilers but I’ll say this, the Mer-folk have no sympathy or empathy for any ‘Land-walker’ and those who help them suffer because of it.
What can I say about my new book? Honestly if I could sum it down to one word it would be ‘intense’. There is endless action. There are situations where we see Anna struggling to be more, to do more than she’s ever thought she was capable of. We see the same of some of our favorites and not so favorite characters and even the new characters. One of the biggest things to happen in this book is that we get two see two characters, who were only mentioned before, in action. So yea it’s intense!
Donna: Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Racquel: I honestly can’t say where I’ve gotten the inspiration for this novel. Music helps with the inspiration process. I listen to a lot of instrumental music, the type that you hear in trailers and movies. They have the ability to set a particular mood. I love ‘Two Steps from Hell’ and their newest album ‘Miracles’ especially the songs ‘Miracles’ and ‘Compass’ have set the mood for the romantic scenes that Anna has in ‘Last Ashes’.
A lot of my inspiration for the characters come from people that I’ve known in my life or from pieces of myself throughout my life. I think the character that I connect the most with would be Christian. Yes, a lot of the time he is a heartless bastard but there are a few moments where I feel the readers will sympathize with him, in those rare moments where he is, as Anna calls him, human. And his humanity is shown through his emotions, which is something that is mostly kept in the dark, emotions that in his eyes are a sign of weakness. The ironic thing is that in those moments he is weak. Ultimately ‘sympathy for the devil’ is a powerful theme in the series.
Donna: What writers had the biggest influence on your writing?
Racquel: There are a lot of authors that I love and so many of them have an influence on my writing. There’s no limit to how many people can inspire and influence a person’s writing style. However for the purpose of this question, I’ll name 6 that have had an influence on my writing. Not surprisingly they all write in the ‘YA Fantasy’ genre. They are as follows; Richelle Mead, Maria V. Snyder, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, Rachel Cain and J. K. Rowling. I think their biggest inspiration for me is that they all have their unique styles with fascinating tales to tell. Which is ultimately what I hope to be able to do.
Donna: What is your all time favorite quote by someone else?
Racquel: I have been tossing and turning between quotes as I can’t decide which is my favorite. So if you don’t mind I’ll quote two. The first is a quote that inspires me every time I read it, it’s from Albert Einstein “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” The second is from one of my favorite movies, “V for Vendetta” (bear with me it is a little long).
Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation; I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey Hammond: Oh. Right.
V: But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace sobriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.
V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
[carves “V” into poster on wall]
V: The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
V: Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.
Donna: What about a favorite line of your own?
Racquel: Now that’s a little bit more tricky. There’s so much that I’ve written that it’s hard to zone in on one line in particular. Even if I break it down to this series alone, having written over 200,000 words it’s still hard to pick a favorite line. However, having said this I think my favorite line out of ‘The Fire of the Soul’ series so far is said by Loana, the original Phoenix. “If you do this. If you take away this one person away from me, I swear that there will be a reckoning,” I say, my words are a vow, a promise I intend to keep. To me it’s one of the most bone chilling lines in the series. There are of course others but this line is the one that starts it all. It’s Loana’s threat that has caused everything that has happened so far in the Underworld to happen. It is Loana’s threat that is the beginning of the end.
Donna: What was the last book you read? (don’t say mine even if it was. Looks like a set up,lol)
Racquel: The last novel I read was “The Fiery Heart” by Richelle Mead. I was rereading her “Bloodlines” Series before the next book in the series comes out. It’s one of my favorite series that I’m reading at the moment and Richelle is one of my ‘go-to’ authors. No matter what she writes, I’ve loved every novel that has come from her.
Donna: What do you think makes a hot Alpha-Male?
Racquel: What makes a hot ‘Alpha-Male’ to me is four characteristics. He can look like anything, act like anything but he has to have these characteristics. The first is strength; not just physical strength but emotional, spiritual, mental strength as well. The second is Empathy; there is something undeniably attractive about a man who can empathize not just with his equal but with his enemy as well. The third is he is dominate/has leadership skills. The fourth is that he isn’t egotistic, he’s got to be down to earth, humble.
Donna: What was your favorite part to write for ‘Last Ashes’?
Racquel: I think my favorite parts were the chapters 20 and 23. Those two chapters push Anna to her limits and she’s forced to do things she never thought she would be capable of doing. It shows how far she is willing to go to save the people she loves.
Donna: What was the hardest part for you to write for ‘Last Ashes’?
Racquel: Without doubt there were three parts that were the hardest for me to write and unsurprisingly they both involved Christian. I have sympathy for my little devil and I knew that although he was acting true to his nature, his nature could have been entirely different if he had a different father. Those scenes show his dark nature and the readers will feel how deep his hatred for the world runs.
Racquel Kechagias was born in Sydney, Australia in 1991. She is the oldest of seven children and although they drive her a little mad she loves them to bits. Racquel spent her childhood nose deep in a book, preferring their company to that offered by the outside world. At the age of 8 she had grown past the children’s section of the literary world and began to grow up with company of the greats such as Shelly, Stoker, King, Tolkien and Poe. From that moment she was inspired by the intricate worlds. She longed to share the knowledge and passion that it took those authors to create their worlds and from that moment on her life was transformed. Racquel Kechagias is the author ‘Last Ashes’ the second book in the ‘Fire of the Soul’ series.
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