A Few Quick Questions With…Devri Walls

Devri Walls was kind enough to participate in a Q&A with me along with providing me a copy of her book The Wizard’s Heir (see my thoughts on it from earlier today). I asked her a little bit about the book, what’s next for her, and her writing in general. In addition to Heir, she’s got a YA series and another one on the way — I’d recommend checking at least one of those out.

What’s the one (or two) book/movie/show in the last 5 years that made you say, “I wish I’d written that.”?
The Hollow City concept was genius and so fun! I would’ve loved to have come up with that and been able to work a story around those incredible pictures. Also, The Mortal Instrument Series. To be the one to have come up with Shadow Hunters… oh man! So much fun would’ve been had!
In the writing of The Wizard’s Heir, what was the biggest surprise about the writing itself?  Either, “I can’t believe X is so easy!” or “If I had known Y was going to be so hard, I’d have skipped this and watched more TV”.
I’ve written enough books, and enough drafts of books, that I can usually predict where my trouble spots will be. While annoying in their consistency, it’s not usually a surprise. On the other hand, I’m almost always surprised by a character. I’ll add a new one, intending them to play a small, meaningless part, and then fall in love and alter the plot to include them as a larger player. It’s always the best thing that could’ve happen to the story, but still a surprise.

In The Wizard’s Heir it was, Asher. Everyone, including myself, really connected with him. He was a bit of a throw away character until I added the scene where he goes to the boat to pick up supplies, and that was it, I loved him immediately and gave him a much larger role to play. The Wizard’s Heir is a stand alone novel but I’ve been approached several times about writing a second book in that world, while I don’t have one officially in the plans, if I ever did it would be written with Asher as the main character.

Who are some of your major influences? (whether or not you think those influences can be seen in your work — you know they’re there)
I’ve been influenced by Cassandra Clare, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Cinda Williams Chima to name a few. I also pick up a little good with any great book I read. There are always little nuggets that I try to make note of to improve the next book.
I’ve often heard that writers, or artists in general, will forget hundreds of positive reviews but always remember the negative — what’s the worst thing that someone’s said about one of your books, and has it altered your approach to future books?
The worst thing? Oh man, something about, “this story would’ve been good if an author with talent had written it.” Lol. Nice, right? Negative reviews did alter my writing in the best way possible. I realized fairly quickly that the things one person complained about, someone else loved, and vice versa. In addition, where some people hate my work… with more vehement than perhaps necessary, others love what I write with a passion far and above what it probably deserves. I could write the Pulitzer prize winning novel and someone would still write a review that it was the worst pile of drivel they’d every read. Once I realized that, those negative reviews became freeing, I do the absolute best I can at the time and that’s all I can do. I push myself, hard. And I rewrite until I throw my hands up and say, I really can’t do any more.
It looks like your next book is on the verge of release, what can you tell us about that — and what comes next?
Yes! My Venator series is getting close to the release of book one. I’m always hesitant to give a date until I have return commitments from the editors but I am hoping for late August, early September.

I’m really excited about this series. I’m still working on the official blurb but it’s the story of two teenagers who cross through the St. Louis arch to an alternate dimension where everything you’ve ever read about exists—Fae and Vampires, Werewolves and Dragons. Seriously, nothing is off limits and it is so much fun to work with. I think my readers who were missing the environment of The Solus Series will be especially pleased with this. The Venator series is slated for multiple books, so that’s where my brain is at right now, but I have a whole notebook full of story ideas that I will get to eventually.

Since I don’t have an official blurb in hand yet, can I give your readers a sneak peek of the cover?

Nice looking cover! Thanks for your time, and thanks for The Wizard’s Heir.
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