A little bit about Bree: Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. The Dark Divine is Bree’s debut novel.
PJV: First, thank you, Ms. Despain for participating in this PJV Q&A. My readers would love to know more about you and your novel, The Dark Divine. Can you tell us a little bit about it in your own words?
BD: Unfortunately, I kind of suck at telling my story in a few words—it took me almost 85,000 words to tell it the first time around! Hmm, but I’ll see what I can do about being precise…THE DARK DIVINE is a modern exploration of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. The story is about a girl named Grace whose family never talks about the night her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood, and his best friend Daniel disappeared—that is until Daniel returns 3 years later and enrolls in Grace and Daniel’s school. Torn between her loyalty to her brother and her attraction Daniel, Grace must discover the truth behind the boys’ dark secret, and find the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate price to do it—her soul.
PJV: The cover of The Dark Divine, definitely makes a wonderful first impression. How much creative input did you have on the design?
BD: Well, when my editor asked me if I had any “thoughts” on what I’d like to see for the cover, I sent him a 2 page letter in return! But ultimately, what I wanted was a cover that was beautiful, striking, yet eerie—and that’s exactly what I ended up with. I couldn’t be happier!
PJV: You’ve introduced some new paranormal elements in The Dark Divine, how did you come up with your ideas?
BD: I did a lot of reading, movie watching, and research about the paranormal creature featured in TDD. While reading, I came across an obscure account of a man in the 1600s who was accused of being this kind of mythical creature and was put on trial. Instead of adamantly denying that he was this particular creature, he claimed proudly to be one and gave such a clever defense in the trial that the judge threw out the case and the man spared himself from being executed. I took this two sentence account of this man’s defense and expanded and built upon it in order to create the mythology in my book.
PJV: I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but why Young Adult?
BD: YA is just where my voice belongs. I’ve tried my hand at writing other genres, but the first time I wrote a YA story, I knew that was what I wanted to write from then on. I love writing about the teenage years because they are such a passionate, high emotion time in our lives. They are also full of firsts: learning to drive, leaving home for the first time, first kisses, first love, and first real disappointments. Teens are starting to figure out who they really are, and that makes for some interesting characters to write about.
Plus, I constantly have to remind myself that I’m not 17 anymore.
Thank you Ms. Despain for visiting Parajunkee’s View…and I can’t wait for TDD2 aka The Lost Saint.
You can read my review of The Dark Divine, here.
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Booking Through 365