YzaDora is an urban-dark fantasy and paranormal romance author and a registered Caregiver. She lives in Las Vegas with their mother (a retired artist, singer and dancer) and their zoo of pets (cats, birds, fish and a dog). She loves video games so you'll find her kicking butt in her favorite gaming series of Assassin's Creed and works hard to become an amazing writer. Her dream to stand and sell her books alongside her favorite authors J.K Rowling and Stephen King.
Q1. When did you start writing?
I've always received good grades in literature class in school but I never thought I'd become an author until 2014 :) For 7 years, I've worked hard on my book series that came to me in a dream. I know that sounds like an author's cliche answer, but it's true!
Q2. What makes writing your passion?
I'll admit, I don't do enough writing but the passion is there but with work as a caregiver, sometimes that takes up most of my work. Not only physically taking me away from the keyboard or a pen and paper, but it also takes me away emotionally and mentally. On my free days, I try to get in as much writing as I can!
Q3. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Q4. What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Ecstatic! I remember when I first published on Amazon's KDP. It was late in the morning and I mean late, like almost 1:00am and when that publish button was hit, I felt such an accomplishment that my work was finally done and ready to readers. Although at the time, it really wasn't :)
Q5. What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Mm, tricky question. I suppose I wanted all my characters to be relatable in some ways to my readers. Every author wants that, but I mean relatable with serious issues and personal backgrounds. And I don't mean lifestyles. As far as choice of characters go...I didn't want my work to fall into the average vampire-werewolf fiasco. I think Twilight ruined that for me :(
Q6. What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
When you have ideas for more future books or short stories but you haven't even finished any of your current projects. Sadly, I've fallen into that boat right now :)
Q7. How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Omg, I don't. I just wait until it passes or get in some game time since I'm a gamer. Playing Assassin's Creed sometimes helps me through it but not most days.
Q8. We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
What makes me keep going you ask? I never stop learning about the do's and don'ts and that is advice I have given other authors who have asked me what to do. The best thing, is read and learn first. And I don't mean other works per say. Many first-time authors unfortunately write their first novel or whatever their preferences are, but never take the time to polish it, because they haven't learned. There are many self-taught articles that give excellent advice and when applying them to my writing, it helps tremendously.
Q9. If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Prepare for the year 2020 because no one saw it coming!
Q10. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Absolutely, I read the reviews! I want to know what my readers think and if they've fallen in love with the story that I've literally poured my sweat and tears into. And as far as the bad ones? Well, I know not everyone will like the story but I take their words as constructive criticism. It's not easy because I'm very sensitive but I get over it quickly because I know my work isn't as bad as what they're saying but I haven't received any negative reviews lately.
Q11. What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Pure excitement. I'm not a hyper person but I do a little joy dance inside all while having a large smile on my face when reading them! And so far, that smile has been steady! Shoutout to my readers on Inkitt...you're the best!
Q12. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Not me personally no, because I haven't been through anything traumatic or life changing, but I do take scenarios that others in the world have gone through, and try to incorporate them into the story as well as their backgrounds. But no one that I know personally.
Q13. Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
The character is definitely based on me, since well, it is me. I've literally put myself into the story while of course, adding all the fictional touches. I'm not a half-breed with powers (although, omg, I totally wish I did). I had a reader that didn't leave a review but asked me about that and when explaining that I didn't just put characteristics of myself but that it is actually me, they loved the idea and I happen to know that I don't think any author has ever done this which makes my work unique. Even my name is in the story :)
Q14. What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
As said above, I've learned and am still learning. But this, was the most important step. I've read everywhere that books cover MUST have elements from your story or at least relate to it. My current book series is also in the paranormal romance genre but it's not the main focus so I wouldn't put a love story image on the front cover. This is very tricky because I've seen a lot of authors making this mistake. I've personally designed and redesigned mine countless times for 7 years but now...I've got them down absolutely perfectly! My mom's a retired artist in Las Vegas so I guess that's where I get my artistic side from but she helps sometimes with the designs in opinion or placement of the graphics but the final decision is mine.
Q15. Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I don't mind chatting with readers at all. I'd love to interact with them as much as I can. On Inkitt, I interact with readers that leave comments, ask questions and they love the personal response from the author herself, and I think that's most important. You can't be an author or in any professional field, and ignore those that help build your career. Readers and fans are important and although my fanbase is very small, I'm grateful for those that have taken the interest.
Q16. How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Sadly, no one has recognized me yet for I don't think anyone reads anymore :(
Q17. Who is your favorite author? Why?
I can't choose just one, so I'll choose both J.K Rowling and of course, the King of Horror Stephen King. They're my favorites, especially Mr, King because he's so productive and creative. I'd love to sit down and ask him so many author-writing related questions. And may I add that having my work compared to his (from a reader's review) is the utmost incredible compliment I could ever receive! And I don't even write horror!
Q18. What’s the dream? Who would you like to be as big as?
As mentioned above, J.K Rowling and Stephen King. Not for the money, but just so readers everywhere know my work and want to know more.
Q19. Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I have rewritten my books over and over until now, what's published, is the final polished piece. I wanted to create something that's never really been read before so I think it's fair to say my work is done!
Q20. If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I wouldn't really want to because I like learning what it takes to become a great or even better author, so if I were to say I want be in that authors shoes, it wouldn't be right because they started out just like me and all authors. Why start from the top?
Q21. What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
This happened to me and I had the reviews removed. It was on Amazon and Inkitt and although I can't say who it was for sure, I know it was some idiot getting back at me because I left a negative review on one of their favorite series. Dramatic, much?
Q22. What would you say to your readers?
Thank you, each and every one of you, for making my dream a reality. If it weren't for readers, I wouldn't become an author and for those of you who have read Secrets of Ravenstone and On the Evil Scale and are following the journey so far, I'm grateful for your time and I hope I don't disappoint. Without readers, I wouldn't be where I am today as an author!
Thank you for sharing! Now, could share something a little more personal!
Q23. Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I unfortunately live in Las Vegas, the transient state where nothing exciting happens. I live with my mom (she's one of my clients as a caregiver) and we're best friends. I'm sure some can say that, but then regret it later, but really, we're best friends. There's also our zoo of pets. Let's see, I have 4 cats, 4 pigeons (yes, pigeons) and 1 German Shepsky. As far as kids, I'm a pet parent and proud of it. And I am not married but like every woman in this complicated world, I am looking for Mr. Right wherever he is out there!
Q24. What is your day job if you have one?
Probably the 3rd time mentioning this, but I'm a caregiver. Some people don't know what means but it's in the healthcare worker field. It's easy, compared to some who have the more intricate tasks such as actual in-home nurses. It's a good career choice for many opportunities can open up and lead to bigger ones. Right now, though due to COVID-19 I'm caring only for my mom, after losing 2 clients to the virus. It wasn't easy, but I made the choice to keep close to home and make sure my mom, who is a senior, stays healthy and safe.
Q25. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I like to draw/sketch sometimes, particularly anime like Pokemon characters and gaming. My best friend of 14 years now, got me into gaming when I met him online playing a game and it's super fun! Some ask me, you're a gamer and I reply with a frown, yes why? I guess because women these days are into more fast-paced lifestyles and are always on the go so here I am at home, playing video games...they can't believe it. Plus, gamers sadly have a stereotyped look so I don't fall into that ;)
Q26. Did you have a happy childhood?
Absolutely. It's always been my mom and I since my father died when I was 5 years old and although she struggled here and there, she always made sure I had happiness in my life. That's still a promise made in our home. And those struggles shaped the women we are today.
Q27. Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Experience, no, but a dream, yes. It wasn't anywhere near what the story is today, but back then, it was all new to me. I told my mom the dream and she thought it would make a good short story but once writing it, ideas started flowing and it became one single novel, before stretching out into the series of 5 books :)
Q28. Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Yes, I do have unpublished books and I kick myself in the butt because I could have had them all written and published but there were setbacks of editing and revising. I have books 3, 4 and 5 of my current series to complete, as well as several novellas in the works.
Q29. What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I think children should know more about the world and not just from the false books in schools, but from their parents. I believe that academic smarts don't make a person intelligent. Sure, there are the degrees and awards, but when it all comes down to it, do those school-smarts really help you through life and struggles every person faces? I don't think so.
Q30. If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
(1) A small cottage by a lake where no one could find us, but close enough to others in case of an emergencyn(2) All the precious babies we've lost returned to us and (3) Living the rest of our lives (my mom and I) in happiness, free of stress (okay this one might not count since it's taking place now, so...)
Q31. What is your favorite music?
I'm very picky when it comes to my music. I have a few Spotify playlists with different themes such a classic rock, pop, maybe a little hip-hop thrown in, and definitely a full playlist with all the albums from the Backstreet Boys. They're my #1 band. And I'm not opposed to some opera since my grandparents on my mom's side were opera singers and my mom is a retired singer as well. I love good music.
Q32. Share a secret with us 🙂
How can I...when it's a secret? But okay...more is coming!