Author Interview with Raine Thomas

After reading the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy, I needed to know more about the author behind these great books.  I know that if you’ve already read the books, you will be as eager as I was to learn what inspires and motivates Raine Thomas (and, if you haven’t read the books yet, go check out my reviews of Becoming, Central and Foretold and I know you will add them to your “to read” list!)

Raine Thomas - headshot

Twitter: http://twitter/Raine_Thomas

What was your inspiration for writing the story of these three sisters?
After working for seven years with youth diagnosed with mental health and behavioral challenges, many of whom were in foster care, I decided that I wanted to create a character whose life was touched by these elements and persevered. Amber Hopkins (the heroine of Becoming) is that character. She’s loosely based upon a teenager I once worked with who was staying in an emergency shelter awaiting placement with a foster family. Her strength surpassed that of any adult I have ever known. Amber’s story served as the starting point for the trilogy, and Olivia and Skye’s stories developed rather naturally after that.

Your Estilorian world is vivid and the characters (and their roles) are so well defined.  What process did you use to create this world?
Thank you! I initially decided that I wanted to do a trilogy and that I wanted that trilogy to follow three heroines. It wasn’t a giant leap for me to decide to write about triplets. As a twin myself, I’ve experienced the fascination others have with children of multiple births.  I then decided that I wanted to put a fresh spin on subjects that interest today’s readers (not such an easy task). Wizards, witches, angels, gods, goddesses, vampires, werewolves, fae…they all have their place in YA literature. I wanted to make my stories fresh and different. So I thought, “What if everything humans thought they knew about those other beings was all based on another reality?” Thus, the Estilorians were born.

What was the most difficult part of this series to write?  What was the easiest?
The most difficult part of the series was definitely the big battle at the end of Foretold. When you’ve spent three books leading up to an event, it had better be darn good. Fortunately, readers thus far have indicated the battle more than lived up to their expectations.  Identifying the easiest part is surprisingly tough. I’d have to say the “easiest” part was probably writing the different personalities of the six main characters. They convey a blend of personality traits with which I can associate, making their stories flow.

Do you have any deleted scenes that you might release one day?
I do, though not as many as I should. Before I knew there was ever a desire for such things, I simply updated my story files without thinking of saving the deleted material. The original first two chapters of Becoming are an example of scenes that I saved and might one day release.

Will we see the sisters again in other books?  What about the Estilorian world?
Absolutely! I’m even now putting the finishing touches on the first book of the Firstborn trilogy, which takes place about eighteen years after the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy. The sisters appear again and will be a part of the books. I am also planning on releasing a couple of short stories/novellas between full-length novels.

Do you have a favorite character from these books, or one that spoke to you more personally or more clearly as you were writing?
This is a tough question, but an excellent one. Initially, Amber was my “it” character. She was everything I had envisioned writing after my years of working with youth in need, and I’m proud that she is my first protagonist. But Olivia is, quite frankly, me. I was a nerdy academic in school. While I did okay in Phys.Ed., I was far from an athlete. I love animals and being outdoors, and I consider myself well-balanced. So I associate the most with Olivia. Skye was a character that I initially couldn’t connect with because she’s different from me on so many levels, but because of that, I ended up enjoying writing her the most.  This will sound like a cop-out, but all three of the sisters are my favorites. I wrote them to be quite different from each other, yet balance and complement each other…a perfect unit. From the feedback I’ve received (for which I’m quite grateful!) I think I managed to do that.

What inspires you?
I’ve had my share of real-life experiences to inspire me, such as working with the aforementioned youth in foster care. Outside of life experience, though, my inspiration lies mostly in music. I love Top 40, 90’s “retro,” country, hip-hop, new age, rock, etc. Music appears throughout the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy in various forms. I’ve found that music helps me “escape” and write with more focus.

Are you working on something new at the moment?  If so, any ideas about when we can expect to see it?
Yes! As I mentioned, I’m working on the Firstborn trilogy (nearly done with book one) as well as a couple of Estilorian short stories/novellas. Since I work full-time as a wedding planner as well as an author, each book takes me a bit over two months to finish. I have another week or two of writing to finish book one. I then intend to write and release a short story/novella (prequel to the Daughters of Saraqael). After I finish book two of the Firstborn trilogy, I intend to release another short story/novella. I’ll release the entire Firstborn trilogy after that.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?
While this may sound cliché, my advice is to write something every day. It may only be a character description or a few sentences within your story, but it will be something! Those days of just “something” will add up in a hurry. I think most authors get intimidated by the idea of writing a full-length story. In my experience, if you start with the character sketch(es) and come up with a character or two you can get behind, the story will all but write itself.

Rapid fire:

    1. Rock or country:  UGH! I listen to both. I’ll say country because it typically tells a better story.
    2. Tea or coffee:  Coffee…strong, light and sweet, please.
    3. Dog or cat:  I have both! They each have their own lovable traits. I’ll have to say dog. Who can deny the power of unconditional love?
    4. Chocolate or vanilla:  Chocolate…definitely chocolate.
    5. Mountains or the beach:  Chocolate. I mean—beach (sorry—got distracted by the previous question). Did I mention I like chocolate?
    6. Hockey or baseball:  I’m married to a Canadian (hockey fan). My personal love, however, is baseball. I’m a rabid fan of the Atlanta Braves, who even receive a mention or two in my books.
    7. Gabriel, James or Caleb (ok…trick question…you don’t have to answer this one…unless you want to! lol):  UGH! You’re truly evil to include this question, even in jest! lol But I give you many points for daring to ask. I created the male counterparts for the three sisters to incorporate all of the different traits that I appreciate in my husband, as well as what I think readers appreciate in their ideal mates. They have strength, courage, intelligence, hotness…well, you’ll understand if you’ve read the books or decide to do so. That said, my own heart aligns with Gabriel. He’s the perfect alpha “gentlemen” whose heart softens for the “damaged” Amber. What’s not to love about that?

I want to thank Raine for her candid answers and for giving us insight into her wonderful stories! 

Make sure you check out Raine’s books….

Becoming - CoverCentral - CoverForetold - Cover

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Lover of all things romantic...strangely attracted to fictional characters...slightly melodramatic... mildly addicted to chocolate...hopelessly attached to my kindle...probably reading right now....
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Posted September 8, 2011 by Ana in Author Interviews, Inteviews / 0 Comments

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