Saturday, September 3, 2016

Interview With Author Molly Neely

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Molly Neely.  In this interview she talks about her debut paranormal thriller novel, The Sand Dweller.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Author Molly Neely

My book is called The Sand Dweller. I originally intended to write a vampire novel Being a huge fan of ancient history, I knew wanted the story to take place as far back in time as possible. As I began researching ancient Egypt, I found myself surrounded by such rich history and folklore, that my original idea sorta fell by the wayside, and The Sand Dweller was born.

How would you categorize your book?
If a paranormal thriller and a historical fiction had a baby, it would look just like my book.

How does the title relate to the story?
In ancient Egypt, there was an interesting turf war going on between Bedouin tribes (who were and still are Israelites) and the Egyptians. Bedouins are mostly nomadic, so they grow no crops. Egyptians on the other hand, were experts in land cultivation. Bedouins would regularly raid Egyptian fields and steal their grain. Egyptians looked down their noses at this practice. The term “sand dweller “ is a racial slur used by Egyptians to describe the Bedouins. My protagonist Malachi is of Bedouin heritage, and his antagonist, Ra, is of course, Egyptian.

Tell us more about the cover design.  How involved were you with creating the cover?
Black Opal Books was so open and supportive of all my ideas for the cover. I wanted it to reflect Malachi and his solitude.

Available Sept. 10, 2016
How much of your experience is in your book?
Maybe not so much my experience, but definitely my passions. I can’t get enough history, especially when it deals with what different cultures believe. Ancient religions and folklore are so fascinating, and I really wanted those elements to shine in this book. I think there is still a lot we can learn from the ancients.

Describe your writing process.
Pffft! Erratic.

Describe your writing environment.
A cluttered library. I’m surrounded by books.

How much research did you put into your book?
Well over a year. And even after I was deep into a second draft, I was still looking up small details. Most of it was necessary, some of it was because I would find a subject that interested me, and then get sidetracked.

What are your interests outside of writing?  Do any of these activities find their way into your books?
At one time I wanted to be a chef. So I do tons of cooking. Especially anything with bacon. I am always on the lookout for a new, weird way to incorporate bacon into a dish.  I’m also a huge fan of classic movies. If it’s black and white and came out during the Great Depression, chances are I’ve seen it. Those two things take up a lot of my non-writing time. And zombies. I love me some zombies. None of these have made their way into a book yet, but look out! “Revenge of the Hollywood Bacon Zombie” could be my next project.

What kinds of books did you read as a child?
I have always loved dark stories. I read a ton of John Saul, Stephen King, and Ann Rice as a teenager.

What specific authors influenced how or what you write today?
I was very taken by The Serenity Falls series, by James A. Moore. Those books took all that was so perfectly creepy in Ray Bradbury stories and lifted that creepiness to the next level. I also love Matthew Pearl. The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow are two of my all-time favorite books. I appreciate any author who can incorporate real people and events into a work of fiction and make it believable. When you are no longer sure where the history ends and the make believe begins? That’s magic.

What types of books do you read now for pleasure?
All kinds. History books, art books (I love Gris Grimly), theology, politics, I’m kinda all over the map. But I think it’s important to be interested in everything. The world is bursting at the seams with opportunities to learn and grow. 

What is next for you?
I’m jumping back and forth. I have a children’s fairytale I’m working on, as well as another full length novel.

The Sand Dweller
   In the ancient mountains of the Sinai desert, a child is born. The half-demon son of the devil's greatest general, Malachi grows up with one foot in the human world and one in the darkest pits of Hell itself. Soon, a power struggle will force him to choose. Will he claim the dark heritage promised to him by Lucifer? Or, will he learn firsthand hand, just how far evil will go to destroy mankind?
   Caleb Glass is a young priest with a flourishing flock and a successful church. Plagued by strange visions and a tragic past, he’s also beginning to question his faith. When he’s suddenly thrust into an ancient feud, Caleb must decide whether wearing the collar is a part of God's plan, or an excuse to hide from his pain.
   Is it possible for a broken priest and a sand dweller to achieve redemption, or are they both doomed by circumstance beyond their control?

The Sand Dweller is available for pre-order at Black Opal BooksKobo, and Barnes and Noble

Molly Neely can be found on:

Twitter:  @mollyneely

Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/mollyneelywriter/

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