Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Interview with D D Marx, Author of 'Beyond Believing'

RM: Hello, First of all, thanks for agreeing to answer the questions I have for you J
I really enjoyed reading ‘Beyond Believing’ and it is a book I am going to treasure forever. The words connected to me on a different level and I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. I thank you for this opportunity to ask you some questions I had while reading this amazing book. This is not going to be a usual run of the mill set of questions, please feel free to answer them as per your preference!
DD: I am so THRILLED, HONORED and TOUCHED that you enjoyed it! I can certainly put you on the list to review the next two! J
1.    Tell us a little something about yourself (obviously NOT what was in your author bio at the end of the book!)
Let’s just say I’m not very good at following directions, including recipes.  This translates into me reading ingredients and mistaking them for instructions. A perfect example to demonstrate how horribly wrong this can go is when I offered to make a dessert for the first wedding shower I attended. I offered to bring a “fruit pizza”. I thought, “Perfect! Something light, fresh AND sophisticated”. The results were far from fabulous. As I began to make my masterpiece, I started reading and mixing the “ingredients”, one after the other, including the granulized Jell-O packet.  When I got to first “instruction” it read “bring Jell-O to a boil.” It was then that I realized my irreversible, humiliating error resulting in me showing up empty-handed to the shower. It turned out to be a great lesson on trying NOT to be an over-achiever of fancy.
2.    When you started this book, did you plan it out to be a trilogy? If so, what prompted you to keep such a catchy title?
No, it actually started out as a single novel and the original title was going to be “Hank and Frank” which are the nicknames of two of the main characters. As I went through the journey of writing the story, I realized there was so much to explore with the characters that it felt like an injustice to try to pack it all in one book, which is when I decided to make it into a series. The original title didn’t embody the soul of the book so I really soul-searched long and hard to come up with the name, The Beyond Series! It really captures the essence of how these characters and their journeys are so divinely connected.    
3.    Why ‘Beyond’?
The word “beyond” encapsulates the underlying theme of the book. Throughout the book events and circumstances happen to these characters that can be considered “beyond belief”. The title is not only a play on words but a metaphor of sorts. It makes the reader question concepts like coincidence, fate and happenstance. Is it really just coincidence or is there a higher power at the helm, guiding their path.     
4.    I have read about your friends and your life events being an inspiration for this series. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
Everyone goes through struggles in life whether it be a loss, a disease, financial or relationship struggles. Challenge come in many different forms and takes on different shapes and sizes. Some are hard to comprehend, like September 11th. I wanted to write about the experiences I have been through and try to incorporate hope and humour to encourage people who might be going through a hard time right now.
5.    Which character was your favourite while creating?
My favourite character is Finn.  He is someone that is completely fictional so it was fun to explore who he was, where he came from and the struggled he endured.

6.    Which character (your creation, of course) do you relate to the most? (I am guessing it is Olivia!)
Yes, Olivia’s life closely mirrors many of my personal experiences but with some added flare to for interest. It was fun to mix in fiction with reality to add some spice to the story!
7.    Dan’s life and end shook me to the core because I had a buddy who faced something similar and the twist at the end was amazing. Do you, in real life, believe that these happy coincidences could occur?
In my personal experience, I absolutely, whole-heartedly believe there are no coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason and even if the path you are on ends for some reason, it is to take
8.    In further books of the series, would we travel with the same lead characters?
Yes, I will continue the journey with both of these characters.  They both went through parallel hardships on their journey to each other so you can expect them to overcome some challenges as they continue their journey together.
9.    How difficult was it, writing first person narratives from two different characters’ point of view?
I really approached the book as if I were telling a story to a friend. I imagined I was sitting across the table from my audience. It was so intriguing to take on the persona of two completely different characters, even different genders from different parts of the world. I had to immerse myself in their surroundings.
10.                       Is Paris one of your favourites? If so, could you tell us, in one line, something that would make us go there and visit at least once? (The city doesn’t need that type of advertisement, but I would like to hear about it in your perspective!)
Are you sitting down? I have never actually BEEN to Paris – GASP! So if I convinced you in the book then I am honoured and humbled.  It is definitely on my bucket list for the “Love Lock” Bridge alone!
11.                       The book was laced through with humour. That stood out mostly, and the characters were self deprecating sometimes. Was this style naturally yours, or did you write that way to suit the characters.
This is my normal voice. I have a pretty sarcastic, self-deprecating sense of humour which is what I lead with.  My family and friends have always encouraged me to pursue story-telling, writing or comedy because it seems to come somewhat naturally to me and is situations are relatable.
12.                       When can we expect the next books in the series? I really look forward to reading them.
My goal is to have all the books out on the market within 18 months to keep my audience engaged. So look for Beyond Love to be out before Christmas and Beyond Forever to be released summer, 2016
Now for some rapid fire questions!
Your literary inspiration?
There are many but one in particular that changed my life is Paulo Coelho who wrote The Alchemist
Your favourite comfort book?
Anything romance related that sucks me into a different world.
Could you name the top five books in your shelf?
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Unfathomable Perserverance)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Inspiration)
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey (Humor)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Endless Love)
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (Laws of Attraction/Positive Thinking)
Are you a fan of a series of books? If so, which?
I love a Trilogy because if you fall in love with the characters you have the anticipation of more.  I’ll admit it - the Fifty Shades series.  
Which is your preferred reading environment?
My bed
Which environment helps you write better?
A quiet, comfy and cozy work space that is warm and inviting.
Paperback or digital books?
Your hobbies?
Traveling, Shopping, Movies, Live Music, Reading…
What do you think is the most striking and important feature of any book – its cover or summary?
The cover has to grab me for me to even pick it up!
One advice for aspiring writers?
Just start writing but about the story in your heart!
If you could change one thing in the world with your words, what would it be?
Stop all of the senseless violence and hatred. Love is the only answer!
NOTE FROM READERS MUSE: We extend special thanks to the author for answering our questions in such short notice. Your answers were really candid, amazing and I really enjoyed this interview!

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