Interviewed by Teagan
I'm so pleased to be able to interview Darcy Abriel for BookWenches. I recently read her deeply moving book Cruel Memories, and I am eager to learn much more about this talented author.
Thanks so much for having me.
Cruel Memories is a very compelling book, the depth of emotion is very realistic, is it easy for you to write such deep emotional turmoil?
I think anytime an author deals with emotion with in a character, it takes a lot out of an author. Or it should. It requires tapping into some very uncomfortable personal emotion at times, and requires intense concentration and focus to listen and connect with the characters. Emotion is what brings characters to life and bringing to the page those internal, deep emotions and passions is very draining. In many cases it requires cutting below the surface and pulling from uncomfortable, dark places. Moments when a author says, “Can I really do this? Is this too far over the top?” And yet it is exhilarating when the veil is lifted into a character’s innermost thoughts. I can’t distance from that emotion and still create a realistic character and situation. It certainly is not easy to achieve.
What draws you to writing about scenarios that are not necessarily wine and roses?
I think we all have light and shadow in our lives. A Yin and Yang to personality. In high school my daughter once drew a picture of Yin and Yang personalities locked in combat. That image has remained with me. The ultimate battle is often inside us. How do we respond to those moments that position is at a forked path? My heroes and heroines are not always typically heroic because none of us are simple creatures.
I think all those facets are intriguing and I love delving into my characters’ psychological depths. Whether vampires and hunters such as in my paranormal story, Blood Bounty, or in a contemporary, such as Cruel Memories, the main characters are complicated. Sometimes we dig a deep hole to hide the shadow or to hide the good. I’ve always been curious about what’s hidden beneath the surface. The secrets my characters hold close.
Most of us must overcome some tragedy in our lives, what do we tap into in order to survive? Where does our strength come from? I’m contrary and I want to explore changed perceptions of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. The world isn’t black and white—there are so many shades of gray. And maybe I want you to convince you that black really is white.
In my own opinion, I think that readers want to read books that go outside the box, and those types of books are becoming more and more popular. Why do you think that might be?
People want to travel outside the normal—outside of their own worlds—and that’s where atypical stories take them. And this type of story offers a different view, a different perception—they offer a reader a chance to safely explore dangerous worlds, in many respects particularly those beyond the safe environment in which we live.
Is there anyone or anything in particular that made you want to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to write. My first grade teacher found me copying letters backward from a window glass because I was in a hurry to learn how to write. I wrote plays for dolls and my imagination has always been quite vivid. Story telling is as much a part of me as breathing.
What is the most exciting thing about being a published author?
Sharing my stories. Creating new worlds. Interpretation and revelation through character and situations.
How much time do you spend a week writing?
I try to commit about four hours a day to writing. Sometimes that involves creating story outlines, character biographies , brainstorming, etc. It seems I’m always thinking about stories and characters and plots, even when I’m not in my office.
What is on top of your “To Be Read” pile at this moment?
Oh, geez. I have such a large pile of TBR books. I read across genres, both fiction and nonfiction. I think I have Louisa Burton’s latest book on the top of the pile. When I’ll get to it, I’m not sure yet because non-fiction research is taking precedence right now.
Do you have an all-time favorite book? If so, has it been an inspiration to you as a writer?
That’s not an easy question to answer. We evolve through our reading. Each book we read adds to our knowledge and our perceptions. The first book I read, by myself, was “Shirley Temple’s Storybook.” I received a copy of that book for Christmas one year and I read it over and over until I could read every story in it, and every word with ease. It disappeared over the years, but recently I discovered a copy of it and it’s now back on my bookshelf. Fairytales, folktales, never grow old. And I love to read different interpretations.
As an adult, The Mummy by Anne Rice, is a favorite. It was the first book of hers that I read. A wonderful combination of horror and romance. Loved it.
Do you have any new books in the works that you could tell us about?
I am working on a novel right now. It’s a dark fantasy erotic romance that deals a bit with warlocks and mythology, more specifically Medusa and reflections. And that’s about all I can say right now about that, particularly since it’s still evolving.
”Exploring the dark side of passion” is the tag line on your website, I find that immensely intriguing, tell us what calls you to the dark side...or who.
Take Devon Masters in Cruel Memories, for instance. He’s a very conflicted man, almost on the edge of madness. What does that kind of conflict do to the moral fiber of a person? He’s done things that if the world were truly a place where everything was absolute—right or wrong, good or bad, he might not be forgiven for the actions he’s taken. To be a responsible person is a double-edged sword for Devon. He’s a complicated man and under the right circumstances, a dangerous man. What keeps him from toppling over the edge into the arms of evil or to insanity? Is it his love for Haley? In the end, the White Knight, isn’t always wearing white. What exactly are any of us capable of in order to protect the people we love? What would any of us do for love? And when a terrible tragedy strikes, how do we survive and rise from the ashes? What choices must we make? Where is the fine line between succumbing to circumstances and triumphing over them? Who says walking on the dark side of the street is the wrong place to be? Sometimes it is in the darkness we discover what we are really made of.