Grace A. Johnson
Author Interview: Daisy Torres
Y'all remember my second mini reviews post? In it, I reviewed this lovely debut novel by a friend of mine - Daisy Torres. Well, several months later, and I finally have this amazingly talented writer on for an interview!!! (I know, I know. It's about time!) Anyway, she had some awesome answers to my questions, and it was so fun to learn more about her! I hope y'all enjoyed our interview and take the time to check out her debut novel, Era of Shadows! (Click on the cover below to view the book on Amazon!) You're guaranteed to love it!
GJ: What first inspired you to write?
DT: When I was little, my mother always made me write a one-page story for school. I detested it. I preferred staring blankly at a wall and daydreaming instead, which I did during most of the time I was supposed to be writing. I remember a time when I was pretending with my brother--and a plastic tub--that I was an Indian princess and was going to be married away as the first born daughter of the chief, so I took my brother and our "boat" and sailed away on the cotton rivers of a blue blanket. Mom watched this entire story and told me, "Why don't you write this stuff? That's a fine story right there!" And that was when it clicked that all of my daydreams, nightdreams, and ideas, could be turned into stories. It literally felt like a wall broke. I was all powerful. I could do anything, be anyone. Suddenly, I loved writing XD
GJ: What are the driving forces behind your writing now?
DT: Well, besides loving to share the hundreds of story ideas I have and my love for words, money. I'm hoping to make a career out of writing so that some day, Lord willing, I can be a stay-at-home mom (or single person) and do other things that I enjoy doing, like painting or writing or baking.
GJ: Can you name any authors who have inspired your voice in different ways? How can you see their influence in your writing?
DT: Okay, first off would be the author of Finvarra's Circus, Monica Sanz, and secondly would be Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery. Aaaand a tiny tiny dash of Narnia's author, C. S. Lewis.
GJ: What are some of your most favorite books/genres - to read and write?
DT: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, and Mystery! But Fantasy over all.
GJ: What do you do when you aren't writing?
DT: Well, for now, mostly school. Outside of that, I love to paint, draw, crochet, embroider, play my ukulele and harmonica, learn Chinese (Which I'm actually working on writing a book in!), bake, and listen to music! I'm very artistically minded and can't stand math, so I tend to rebel against it when I can XD
GJ: Tell me a little bit about your debut novel, Era of Shadows. What inspired it?
DT: "Debut novel" makes it sound so official and satisfying XD Well, I've always loved Alice in Wonderland. In fact, it was one of the very first fantasy novels I ever read! One day, I was talking with my little brother (We tend to bounce story ideas off of each other--although his goal is to create video games!) and told him that I wanted to create a retelling of Alice in Wonderland from the Red Queen's perspective. In the original story, she was the villain, but I think it's fun to twist things like that around a bit XD
GJ: What was your writing process for EOS? Did you pants it? plot it? How long did it take you to write?
DT: Alright, so EoS was actually the first novel I'd ever fully plotted out. My previous novel had been completely played by ear (and was terrible, hence why it is not in the public eye as of now XD), and because that one had been so unorganized that I couldn't remember things I needed to remember and didn't know things I needed to know, I wanted EoS to be completely pre-planned. I definitely preferred planning everything. It took me three and a half years to write it, actually! Which seems weird, because it was only about 40k words, while my current novel (The Art of Deception) which also took me at least three and a half years, is almost at 80k words XD
GJ: What are you currently working on now?
DT: My Historical-Fiction-turned-Science-Fiction, The Art of Deception. I would like to think that I'm about 6/8 done with it!
GJ: What is your most favorite character of any of your books, and what endears them to you?
DT: Well, a close friend of mine and I worked on a book a few years ago called, Where Dreamers Hide. One of the three main characters in it, Skye, has hit my heart the most. I put a lot of pieces of myself in her character--much more than most characters. A tie for Skye would have to be a character in TAoD named Nyx, who was inspired by my dog, who just entered heaven the day after this year's Mother's day. She was my best friend, so Nyx's character really hits hard with me haha.
GJ: What led you to choose self-publishing?
DT: The control more than anything, but also the lack of money. I wanted to decide where my book went and who made a movie from it (fingers are still crossed on that one XD). But I also don't have the money to publish traditionally, so that kind of forced my hand a bit lolll.
GJ: What are your thoughts for other aspiring writers on writing and publishing?
DT: Don't ever give up! Your relative who you love and admire very deeply may have just told you your writing isn't that great, but don't give up! If Twilight can do it, so can you. Don't think thoughts like "Am I really meant to be a writer, or am I just a reader who wanted to try writing and never stopped?", because I've been there, and those thoughts just slow you down. You might never become the next Rick Riordan, but your great great grandkids one of these days will have a piece of you that most great great grandkids don't get to have from their grandparents. Or, God might have exactly that in store for you! The kingdom of Heaven was built with quite a few writers! Now, as for publishing? Personally, I say you should look into both and determine what seems right for you. Some people won't have the time or will to self-manage their writer's Instagram feed. That's okay! I don't either XD Some people feel better letting a professional deal with their book than themselves. But then there are some people, like me, who want full control over their novels and who don't want to spend a lot of money on publishing. (Also, for all you self-publishers out there, I recommend "Abbie Emmons" channel on YouTube! Very helpful information there!)
GJ: What do you want your readers to take away from your writing?
DT: That's a tough one, because this changes with every novel. In TAoD, I want to convey a sense of God's grace and redemption, no matter how bad the person is. In some books? I didn't even have a theme, I just wanted to tell my story XD In EoS, I wanted to show that people can pick up the ashes and move forward. It really depends XD
GJ: Have you ever endured any discouragement being a young author? If so, what inspired you to persevere?
DT: Yes. As I stated earlier, sometimes, you have relatives that just don't understand that your calling in life is different from their own--and that's okay! But it can be hard. And dealing with the fact that someone criticized your word child can be harder. Seeking God's will for my life really helps when I feel down, or turning to my favorite writing blogs for help. Also, when I keep in mind that I won't always feel down and I should keep writing even when I don't feel like it--really helps, because you will get out of that negative slump, and seeing that you managed to get somewhere in your story during that, even if it was mostly useless fluff, will inspire/motivate your future self a bit more.
GJ: What are your greatest aspirations for your future, be it as a person or as a writer?
DT: I'm hoping to be an artist/writer with enough books/art sold to comfortably pay for life! I'm currently thinking about attending a Christian art college somewhere, but I'm not completely sure about that yet. Someday I want to get married, settle down in a cottage on the sea and be a stay-at-home writing mom. I would really like for my writing to pay off then XD It might not, but it sure would be nice if it did. I would also like to go to China some day, as I currently feel like God is somehow leading me there. I have felt that calling since I was 6 years old, so whether I go physically or use my writing to go, I would like to be there someday. I also have a small dream of being a Christian counselor, but I don't know if I ever will or not.
GJ: What has being a writer taught you?
DT: I would like to say it's the minds of people. I feel like I tend to study people just a tiny bit more because of my writing, and this sometimes helps me know certain things about people that others don't quite pick up on. It has also taught me that you can talk to yourself and not be clinically insane. Also, coffee is a lifesaver. Aaaand that I need a better sleeping habit, because as I finish writing my side of this interview, it is 3:25 AM and I am going to be sleeping sounder than the dead in the morning when I need to get up XD
Daisy Torres is a Christian teen writer, born and raised in South Texas, with an unhealthy obsession for notebooks, languages, pencils, words and fictional worlds—whether of her own making or not. She love music, and plays three instruments—Ukulele, Harmonica, and Piano. Check out her website!
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