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Thursday 9 March 2017

ℚ Curse of Stars: Diamond Crier [1] - Donna Compositor

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Curse of Stars (, Donna Compositor, 264 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy, book one of Diamond Crier series.

"Both original and exciting - with a fierce heroine, a fast-paced plot, and a fascinating world. Fans of dark fantasy - pick this one up!" Mari Mancusi - Award winning author of the Scorched series and the Blood Coven Vampires

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Donna Compositor; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Curse of Stars?

"Not so much inspiration, but just runoff from trying to find an idea for a completely different genre of writing. I was trying to think of something to write for a horror short story and this short little scene pops in my head of a man dragging his daughter out to a field to await getting picked up. Turned out she cried diamonds and the ruler wanted to harvest her tears. And the story was born."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The biggest part of me in the book is how realistic I tried to make everything that happened (outside of the fantasy world, of course). In regard to reactions to situations, repercussions to statements or events, things like that, I tried to keep them as realistic as possible. I couldn’t always, otherwise it would have been a really short, really dull story, but that’s one thing that always irked me when reading. People always seem to make illogical and irrational decisions for the sake of the plot. I didn’t want that."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Curse of Stars - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My artist is Carl at Extended Imagery and I had the basic concept in my head of what I was looking for (a gender-neutral cover that featured the South Fair stamp on Sabi’s bald head). Since the stamp plays such an integral role in the story I wanted it to be front and center on the cover. Carl took it out of my head and created what you see. We were on the same page for nearly the entire process. I couldn’t have asked for a better cover."
Why should we read Curse of Stars and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I’ve found that my tastes when reading YA have trended away from what’s popular. I’m always looking for something darker, for a protagonist that’s more logical, a relationship that isn’t BOOM ROMANCE and that overtakes the story. So I wrote the story I was looking for. It’s dark. Very dark. It’s not hopeless, but the light at the end of the tunnel is pretty far away. I like putting my characters through the wringer and seeing what they look like on the other side. There’s very little romantic relationship in it and that’s the point. It’s a very gradual development borne from a traumatic situation that’s kept to the background. And a big part of the book is the grander repercussions of the characters’ decisions and the fact that they think about them. About the bigger picture. I wanted Sabi to desperately want the small picture, for everything to go back to normal, but to have the big picture haunt her.

And, you know. Diamond tears. I’ve always been big on world-building and I like to think what I’ve developed in CURSE OF STARS is a comprehensive world as rich as any other fantasy world."
Can you tell us something quirky about Curse of Stars, its story and characters?
"South Fair, from where Sabi’s stamp originates, is based on the boardwalk in the movie The Lost Boys. Very loosely, but I was going for that same kind of fun, scary, hedonistic vibe. It’s amped up a bit in CURSE OF STARS (minus the vampires), but that’s where my heart was when I created that area of Raydin."
Who would you recommend Curse of Stars to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would say if you like Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms books or Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, CURSE OF STARS would be right up your alley. The one warning I’d give about my book is it’s dark. Bad things happen to Sabi and Sabi does bad things in order to save herself and others. It’s violent but not gory (I really don’t abide gore in general) and it’s unapologetic in its brutality."
If you could / wished to turn Curse of Stars and the Diamond Crier series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’m not really up to speed on young Hollywood so I don’t know too many age-appropriate actors who could play my trinity. Maybe Elle Fanning for Anya, Amandla Stenberg as Sabi, Tequan Richmond or Kofi Siriboe as Cabal. Nicole Benharie as Naileigha, Tessa Thompson as Shay, Lyndie Greenwood as Maris, Idris Elba as Sevinus, Common as Varek, and Mark Strong as Jeviar. I don’t know enough about directors to really peg one down. Locations would probably be New Zealand and maybe somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan (that would be a long shot)."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"With writing I stick mostly to some kind of paranormal/supernatural/fantastical genre. Obviously I write fantasy. I’m also writing a vampire apocalypse book, I have a vampire historical romance on the burner, there’s a vampire/supernatural series brewing in my head along with a completely unrelated historical fiction novel. I’ve dabbled writing very short horror stories, erotica, dystopian. So I pretty much don’t do sci fi, contemporary romance, mysteries, or thrillers. As far as reading I’ll read pretty much anything. Of course I read most in the areas I write, but I’ll pick up pretty much anything from nonfiction to someone’s surrealistic nightmare. I generally don’t read straight romances without any kind of paranormal aspect to it and sci fi usually doesn’t do it for me unless it’s very light. But I read pretty broadly."
What is your writing process?
"Regimented. That’s probably the best way to put that. I don’t do the muse thing. I know a lot of people that write by the whim of some kind of “muse.” I write by sheer force of will. Every day. My goal is at least 500 words per work per day. Right now I’m editing book two in the Diamond Crier series so it’s 500 words per work and at least five pages of edits a day. That doesn’t mean that’s where I stop every day. Sometimes I hit strides and I’ll just keep going. But that’s my minimum. I feel far more productive doing that than writing 2,000 words one day and then nothing for a week.

I pants the first draft just to get it out of my head. I’ve taken to outlining a little bit, or at least taking notes as I write the chapters, just to keep a little bit of consistency and so it’s not a total mess for the first round of edits. I’ll do the first sweep of edits where I’ll note what’s working, what isn’t, where I think something should go, what needs to be cut, etc. (this is usually after sitting on it for at least a month to let it rest and come back with fresher eyes). Then I’ll edit and rewrite however many times is necessary for the manuscript. Then I’ll send it to betas and put it up someplace like Critique Circle and get some feedback. Re-edit and re-rewrite until I can’t take it anymore and I think I’m starting to write in Greek and then it’s done. "
What is in store next?
"The Diamond Crier series is a planned trilogy with a short novella to bridge books two and three. You’re going to see Sabi dig herself deeper into this world of Raydin. She’s going to come up against impossible adversaries, creatures she only thought existed in fantasy, and she’s going to grow into her powers as a result. She has a lot of strings tied to her, mostly by the adults that surround her in Raydin. Don’t be surprised if she starts cutting those off. Or they get severed."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a crotchety old man MinPin named Malfoy, a floofy scaredy cat named Renfield, and two babyish cats named Sam and Dean. I have a husband too. He’s up there with the animals. Below is a picture of me and Sam as she decides I should be paying attention to her instead of reading my book. She’s a bratty little baby."
And much more important than the book you were reading ;-)

Thank you again for sharing and being with us!

Curse of Stars
Available NOW!

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