Name AR DeClerck
Age You’re Only as old as you feel! (35)
Where are you from
I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, but I currently live by the mighty Mississippi in upper western IL.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I went to High Point University and studied Sports Medicine, but I currently work as a dialysis technician and quality control auditor. I am married with two daughters, two dogs and a wily cat.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am signing books at the annual Local Author Fair at South Park Mall Moline, IL November 28th. I have a new shifter/wizard novel releasing Nov 27th!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, but in 6th grade I wrote a poem and it was so empowering that I’ve been doing it ever since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I actually began to pursue publishing a novel I started to call myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It started as a serial, a weekly chapter I posted on my facebook page, and one day my mother demanded that I finish it because she was determined to find out what happened. That pushed me to begin looking for a publisher.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write adventure romance novels. I almost always do dual POV, and usually its first person heroine, third person hero, though I’ve occaisionally done both in 3rd person. I like lots of action and I put my characters through hell to get to their final happy ending.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Usually the title is an homage to something in the story of some significance. Forged in Fire, for example, relays how much the characters had to endure to make it to their ending. Desolation is the name of the illness and the state of being for the main character in that novel.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
LOVE is the greatest adventure. The most important part of being in love is the journey, not the destination. I want readers to walk away from my books believing that love exists and its always out there waiting.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I do research to make sure that my facts are straight, and my imagination takes care of the rest.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, mostly what I write about are adventures no sane person would ever want to endure. But they’re fun to read someone else enduring!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Madeline L’Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet from her Wrinkle in Time series was the book that really brought home to me how much a writer can influence the reader. She was a brilliant writer in general, but that book really made me FEEL different when it was over. I wanted to be a better person, a better human, after reading it. It gave me hope. I still have my copy and read it often.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Dean Koontz’s final Odd Thomas Novel, Saint Odd, and I’m waiting for the new Sherrilyn Kenyon League novel!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rachel Smith’s Ayen’s Legacy series is a must-read if you love tortured heroes. Kate Corcino’s Spark Rising is a dystopian reader’s dream come true. BOTH phenomenal writers.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently working to complete my second steampunk novel, The Enchanter’s Embrace, which follows up The Alchemist’s Kiss by following Archimedes and Lucia’s love story.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have two fabulous beta readers who keep me grounded, and I am a member of the Quad Cities’ Writers’ MeetUp, which has excellent support as well.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I definitely aspire to be a full-time author, but I also love my healthcare job and I would be sad to leave it. Taking care of patients who suffer from kidney disease is a rewarding job, too.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I had a reader or two tell me it moved a bit slow toward the middle, and I definitely like the banter between my two characters, but I might have shortened that a bit to keep the action flowing at a better pace.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading, reading, reading. After a bit I wanted to make readers feel what I felt when I read a really great book.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Give us yer coin and you’ll not be harmed,” the tallest of the three demanded. Archimedes noticed her carried a short wooden mallet, and the other two were likewise armed.
“I assure you, you may have all I carry.” He reached into his pocket and produced his wallet, tossing it to the man. “Now leave us be.”
“Nah, nah,” the heaviest ruffian said, leering at Lucia in a way that made a red haze cross Archie’s eyes. “We’ll take the ladybird’s pretty necktie first.”
There was agony in Lucia’s gaze as she reached for the ribbon that held the cameo. Archie stopped her with a shake of his head. “Take the money and go.”
“We’ll take the jewel, boyo.”
Archimedes was a man prone to slow-burning anger. Rarely did he let his temper get the best of him; a hard-won attribute gained through years of brawls and bashings. “Leave,” he warned, stepping in front of Lucia.
“Well then, we’ll just bash yer skull and take the lady and her jewels. She’s a right pretty bird, she is.”
Perhaps, Archimedes thought in the moments before he lost all control of his senses, there were better ways to handle the men other than violence. But when one of them lunged toward Lucia, all common sense was washed away by a red tide of rage. He grabbed the closest man by the throat, his copper fingers closing around the man’s windpipe as he lifted the ruffian off the ground.
“Archie!” Lucia’s wand was at the ready, and a quick blast of her magic sent the heavier of the men sprawling into the mud.
“Wizards!” the taller man spat, swinging at Archie with the mallet. “Bloody damn wizards.”
“Oh no you don’t!” Lucia zapped the tall man with her wand, sending the mallet flying. “You have no idea how much wizards sacrifice to keep you safe! How dare you threaten us!”
The man growled and lunged for her, shoving her backward into the mud. He raised his hand as if to strike her, and Archie was reminded of another time he’d seen her sprawled in the mud, her blood a pool of thick black around her. He dropped the now-unconscious man in his grip and in two strides he was on the last of the robbers.
“No, Archie!” It was only Lucia’s plea that kept him from snapping the man’s neck with his bare hands. She stood and reached for his arm. “Let him go.”
“He was going to hurt you.”
“If you kill him it only proves what they say about us. Let him go and send him home with the money.”
The man’s eyes bulged. “You..you’re gonna…let me…go?” he gurgled. “With…with..the money?”
“Yes.” Lucia brushed off her skirts and sighed at the mess. She glared at Archie as he continued to hold the man tightly. “I said let him go, Archimedes.”
“M..Merriweather?” the robber gasped, his already wide eyes growing wider in terror. “G..G..Grand Adept?”
“That’s right, you scoundrel.” Lucia patted Archie’s hand and he slowly released the man. “He could kill you with a thought, but he won’t.”
“No, he will not hurt you.” Lucia was trying hard to smother a smile, Archie noticed, the fires of his rage banked a little by the slight curve of her lips. “You can take the money and go back to your homes. See the local Apothecary for treatment of your wounds. But tell the others you see, wizards are here to protect you, not to hurt you. If you attack them you do so at your own peril.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I often wonder, “Does any of this matter? Am I simply writing fluff that means nothing?” and that’s a terrible way to derail a good story. So overcoming the self-doubt is often the hardest part. I always tell myself, “If one person walks away smiling, you’ve done your job!”
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Nalini Sing’s PsyChangelings series is probably in my top 5 series ever, and I adore her frank, humorous writing style. She tells a story so effortlessly that readers never know they aren’t right there with the characters.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, not yet. Maybe in the future to CONS and such.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Rachel Olson at No Sweat Grahpics did most. Brandy Dull at Nevermore Press did Forged and Desolation.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I don’t outline, so keeping up with the plot twists became a chore toward the end.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that good research is worth a thousand good words, and the more you say in the fewest words will created the biggest impact on readers.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never stop. Never quit. Never give up. Don’t let doubt or poor sales make you stop writing. Write for you. Publish for them.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
There are thousands of worlds to discover, and a hundred more after that! Don’t give up on me, I have much, much more to say!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Froggy Went A’Courtin in first grade.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Loss. The Notebook did me in. Old Yeller is a big NO.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Madeline L’Engle, because the woman was a literary genius.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Wife, mother, good human being. Those are the roles that matter most to me in life, and I’d like them acknowledged in death.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
TV! (KillJoys, Haven, Dark Matter, 12 Monkeys, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Dr. Who) Movies! And Music!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Carne Asada Fries, apple pie ala mode, and my fave color is green. I love Startset, Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, Evanescence, Eminem,… too many others to name.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Nothing except what I’m already doing
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.amyreadsandwrites.blogspot.com
Amazon Authors Page www.amazon.com/author/ardeclerck