Friday Spotlight with Raine Thomas
Happy Friday everyone! This week our spotlight is on the beautiful and talented Raine Thomas. For those of you who are a little out of the loop, Raine is the author of the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the upcoming Firstborn trilogy. Raine is also a proud member of Romance Writers of America and a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice.
Raine is not only willing to undergo a Q & A with us, she is also providing a previously unreleased excerpt from her current WIP. How awesome is that? Now, without further ado, let’s get this interview started!
Q. So, Raine, where are you from?
A. I’m originally from Chicago. I love the Windy City! Much of my family still lives there. I also lived for 12 years in Atlanta and now for the past six years I’ve been in Orlando. At one very brief time I lived in Summerville, South Carolina. Where is that, you ask? Exactly.
A. The Daughters of Saraqael trilogy (Becoming, Central and Foretold) has been out for almost three months now, and I’m really excited about sales and feedback. As of the time I write this, Becoming is #49 on Amazon’s list for paid Kindle books in the Books->Romance/Fantasy & Futuristic category. It’s consistently been in the top 2,000 of all paid Kindle books on Amazon for the past few weeks. News like that just blows my mind! I’ve also completed work on the first book of my next trilogy about the Estilorians, the Firstborn Trilogy, and I’m about to start a free Estilorian short story.
Q. When and why did you begin writing?
A. Although I’ve been passionate about writing for as long as I’ve been able to hold a No. 2 pencil, I only began writing with the goal of being published in December of 2008. That’s when I lost my job as a result of the abysmal economy and really needed a way to fill my time that felt productive and therapeutic. Writing was it! I wrote my first full-length novel (a historical romance) during the three months that passed between jobs. It was also during that time that I started sketching out what would become the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
A. I learned that I’m not as good at taking criticism as I thought I was. Writers put pieces of their souls into everything they write (no, I’m not exaggerating). Thus, criticism about our work is a criticism about us. From the first “suggestions” made by my husband to the feedback I received from beta readers and even literary agents, I’ve had to learn to thicken my skin and be open to revising what to me was a work of brilliance. What I’ve further learned is that it’s okay to be resistant to accepting criticism. If we don’t have pride and belief in what we’ve written, why should our readers?
Q. Raine, your covers are beautiful. Who designed them?
My covers were designed by the talented Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design . I was referred to her by a fellow wedding planner/graphic designer and got very lucky, as she’s amazing. Here is where I’ll encourage all indie authors to invest in a good cover designer. Trust me—it’s worth every penny!
Q. What book are you reading now?
A. I just finished Elements: the Beginning by Kate Fuentes (which I enjoyed), and I’m about to start A Walk in the Snark by Rachel Thompson. Her book was recommended to me on Goodreads.com and I’m eager to check it out!
(I just snagged myself a copy of A Walk in the Snark, myself. It is next up on my To Read list. Hopefully I will have at least started it before Rachel makes her appearance under the spotlight next week.)
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d be delighted! I’m currently at work on the Firstborn Trilogy (the follow-up to my Daughters of Saraqael YA fantasy/romance trilogy). I’ll be releasing all three books at once, as I did with the first trilogy, but the first draft of book one is complete. Here’s a previously unreleased excerpt from Chapter One:
Being seventeen absolutely sucked.
Tate crossed her arms over her chest and scowled at the grassy ground beneath her booted feet. The response to her request had been exactly what she’d expected, but that didn’t make her any less annoyed. She would be eighteen in about a month, for all holy sake. What difference did a few weeks make?
“You know why I’m saying no, Tate,” her father, Caleb, said in his level tone. “You’re not yet eighteen. Leaving the area of protection around our home would be very unsafe. You can’t bring forth your wings yet.”
She looked up at him, fighting against the instinctive pout that she knew wouldn’t help her cause. “Only because you won’t let me try,” she countered.
He gave her The Look. It was one he had mastered over the years, and she felt her shoulders hunching against it. Huffing out a sigh, she rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, fine. So I’ve tried. But that doesn’t mean I’d be helpless out there. I’d be with Quincy and Sophia, and they won’t be very far outside the area of protection. Don’t you trust Quincy?”
Her father gave her another look, this one telling her that she was losing her touch. “I certainly do trust Quincy. He brought you into this world and he would protect you to his death. Is that what you want?”
She pursed her lips in frustration. He knew she wasn’t going to say yes to that. Refusing to give up, she said, “What I want is for you to trust my ability to defend myself. I’ve been trained to do so since I was old enough to hold a weapon. I know very well that mom only trained for a few months after she transitioned to this plane before she helped you defeat Grolkinei. So I’m curious as to just when you’re going to consider me ready.”
Now, her father’s dark blue eyes seemed to take her measure. Then he acknowledged, “Well played.”
“But it doesn’t change my mind.”
“No, Tate. My answer is final.”
I am completely intrigued, Raine. Thank you for sharing! Now it is time to ask the serious questions.
Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
A. Raphael of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. His use of sarcasm is unparalleled.
(Ah yes, Raphael, carrier of two sai, the most violent of his colleagues, and named after the “Raffaello Santi”, a famous renaissance artist. Wise choice, my friend.)
Q. What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
A. Ke$ha’s music. (And yes, I know I’m going to lose the respect of many people over that confession!).
(I appreciate your honesty, Raine. You have helped me come to terms with the fact that I am a closet Dirt Nasty fan. There are some things about ourselves we simply cannot control.)
Q. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
A. Italy (primarily, Florence). The art history there is beyond words.
Q. In the last couple of spotlights, there has been some talk about naughty sweets and baked goods. Is there anything along you would like to add to this topic?
A. Well, I did meet my husband in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. We fell in love over Crown Royal and Little Debbie Fudge Rounds.
(Um, I think you just described my dream date. How could you not marry a guy who plies you with whiskey and chocolate cake?)
Final question for you, Raine, and then I must insist you get back to that WIP.
Q. Who should I include in my next Threesome Thursday?
A. Oh, fun! Let’s go with some hottie male athletes: Andy Roddick, David Beckham (I know you’ve “done” him before, but I can’t resist) and Fredrik Ljungberg. Hubba hubba!
Well done, Raine. Well done.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans before you go?
Thank you!!! Truly, writers are only as good as the readers who support them. You amaze me.
Dear Readers, you can stalk Raine Thomas, and learn more about her WIP’s, here: