Jen: Please help us welcome D.R. Whitney to Book Talk. D.R., will you please share a short bio with us?
D.R.: Well the journey to The Goddess Prophecies was an interesting one that began over nineteen years ago. I was an entrepreneur writing for media, when a dream visited me over a successive ten day period. It was just after I got married. It was powerful, moving. I was in the presence of a divine feminine force. I wrote night and day for ten days without speaking to anyone, chronicling her story and then when the presence vanished, I cried. I knew it was my past life karma reaching out to me. I wanted to deny it, so I checked the numerous historical dates and facts I was given. To my amazement I discovered that all the facts were real. It was at that point I knew I was being directed toward my life’s work and purpose. I became fascinated with the Goddess, the Sacred Feminine, Arthurian and Celtic myth. In addition to voluminous reading on the subject, my research led me to Britain for ten years. It was during this time, that the story evolved into the mythic cycle THE GODDESS PROPHECIES, an epic tale that became a series of novels, songs, a video game franchise, a full length animated feature trilogy and a live operatic musical stage event.
Jen: Tell us about The Goddess Prophecies and where it’s available.
D.R.: The first book of The Goddess Prophecies: The Cup of Immortality is due out in December 2008 and sneak previews will be available to purchase online and then you can order it at Barnes and Noble and other books stores across the country in January. E-books can be purchased in December from www.Crescentmoonpress.com and Amazon.com.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
D.R.: I began writing as a small child. I loved drawing, music, writing stories and poetry. It helped me express myself because I was very shy and suffered from anxiety. In college I was persuaded to assist my boyfriend with his creative writing class. He had dyslexia, needed the credit and chose the class. I agreed to help him by doing his homework that consisted of writing short stories and essays. When the grades started coming in, I got the first real indication that I actually had talent. He received the highest grades ever given by that teacher in thirty years and his professor asked if he could keep all his papers. I didn’t take it seriously until my late twenties after I started my spiritual path and began writing professionally. I was first published several years later with a series of non- fiction healing meditation tapes.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
D.R.: Yes. When I am at the point to start writing I put myself on a schedule to complete so many pages per week. This means 7 or 8 hours of writing per day with frequent breaks to think things through and then a re-read and rewrite before moving on. When I’m working on the Goddess Prophecies, an amazing presence surrounds me. At night I have vivid dreams like awaken dreaming that I clearly remember. The majority of my questions are resolved while dreaming so I can usually complete 20 or more pages per week and first drafts take about 9- 12 months.
Jen: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? Easiest?
D.R.: I think the most challenging aspect was developing a series of books when the plot unfolded during my dream state. With The Goddess Prophecies I finished the first draft and rewrote it several times before I realized it had to be a series. Then I had to face the daunting task of outlining the future books as the revelations were given to me of where this story was going. I had to go back into the first book to plant the seeds. Immediately after I finished, I realized for this powerful message to get across to the masses, it had to be a video game as well. Through this gaming format there was so much you can perceive about the magical world. This was also a major undertaking. I never played video games before so I had to watch many of them to understand the way they worked and surprisingly I loved them. After I understood their structure, I went back and inserted the key elements needed in such a way that they would be unusual, unique and true to life. It was important to make The Goddess Prophecies a spiritual and transcendent message as well as being entertaining. The book trailer for The Goddess Prophecies can be seen on You Tube. It shows the elements of the video game in the conceptual art. Here is the link if you would like to view it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EysUF7fuxQ
The easiest aspect of writing it was after I created the characters and knew their voice, motivations, backgrounds and beliefs. Then all I had to do was let go and jump into their minds and see where they took me.
Jen: What was the most rewarding aspect?
D.R.: The most rewarding aspect was editing. That was when the book really started to take shape. Once the landscape of the story was created I loved to paint in the details with just the right words, phases, timbre to create the taste, mood, sights and sounds. I am also a lyricist so the flow and movement of sound is important to me. I wanted the readers to feel as if they were being swept away by it. Here is an example:
He collapsed to the ground in the heavy spring growth. The slick wet grasses and lichen were cold beneath him. His senses were keen because of his supernatural ancestry. He could smell the sea fog and saw the dark looming volcanic cliffs. A prickling sensation rose up his spine as the blood pulsated in his veins. His hands tingled. He was alive.
D.R.: Not yet. After I got this contract, I had lived with The Goddess Prophecies for so long that my most natural reaction was bittersweet. It’s so hard to let go of something you love, that’s been a part of your life and it’s a little intimidating to know others are about to read it.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write?
D.R.: I live for fantasy. I love the future or the past. For me it’s about creating worlds and providing philosophical ideas and wisdom with language that is beautiful, poetic and lyrical.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
D.R.: There are so many. Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Ayn Rand, Frank Herbert, Jean M. Auel and many more.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
D.R.: I love so many its hard to name. My favorite authors are Colleen McCullough, John Grisham, Dean Koontz, Stephen King. I’m reading Twilight right now.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
D.R.: Like everyone else, I have very little free time. When I’m not writing, I enjoy walks in nature, traveling, opera, theater and just being with my husband and three dogs.
Jen: What’s next for you?
D.R.: I am already working on book two of the Goddess Prophecies; The Witches Hammer and Book one has been picked up for a film. I’ve attached the press release at the Top of the Hollywood Reporter.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
D.R.: Here are some links and also press releases.
Jen: Do you have anything you would like to ask our readers?
D.R.: I have a contest for those readers interested in the sneak preview online. For the first fifty readers who find the name of a blue blossom that is out of season, you can win a $5.00 gift certificate and I’ll keep you updated on the movie news on my friends email list as well!