Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest author: DOROTHY DREYER

Today I'd like to welcome fellow MONTH9BOOKS author Dorothy Dreyer to my blog.
My Sister's Reaper sounds like a fascinating read and in this interview Dorothy gives us some fascinating insights into the book.
Over to you, Dorothy!


Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.

When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human. To top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper or let Mara die … this time for good.

How did you choose your title?

I can’t remember the details exactly, but I remember when it came to me I made a joke about it on Twitter. A few of my writer friends saw the tweet and tweeted back that they thought it was awesome. What started as a joke really grew on me, and I knew MY SISTER’S REAPER had to be the name of my book.

Were there any other titles you considered?

No. Once I came up with MY SISTER’S REAPER, I stuck with it. Nothing else came to mind as a good enough fit. I was willing to let it go if I had to, though. I’d heard too many tales of writers who had to change the title of their book, and so from the start of my writing journey I learned not to put too much heart into what I picked for my title. Luckily, the title was accepted. I’m so glad it was!

How did you name your characters?

Without giving too much away, I picked Zadie’s name from a search on a certain supernatural group of individuals. I can’t remember now if the name Zadie was on the list, or if I combined or altered her name from something else. But in the end, I thought it sounded like a heroin’s name. Gavin’s name was a little harder to come up with. This was the fourth book I’d written (but the first to be published) and I had already used up guy names that sounded hot to me. But with a bit of research, I found Gavin’s name and thought it sounded like someone dreamy. A lot of secondary characters came from internet searches of popular names from whatever year they might have been born in. Sometimes I pick character names that kind of represent their personalities or looks. And every once in a while I borrow names from people I know.

Are any of your characters based on people from your real life?

No, not really. There may be a quirk or two that I use for someone, but actually they’re all my creation. I think I’m too chicken to base a character on someone I know. I’m almost positive they’d see right through my charade (of changing their name) and call me out on it.

If you could have a pajama party with any of the characters in your book, who would you choose and why?

Let me answer this diplomatically. ;) If I was a teenage girl, I would of course pick to have a pajama party with Zadie and her best friend Naomi, so that we could gossip all night about how hot Gavin and Chase are.

But since I’m not a teenager, I’d have to go with Lilura. She’s Zadie’s mentor, and she’s a cranky old lady who speaks her mind. I think it would be a blast to spend time talking to her about what she thought of life and people in general.

What's the hardest thing about writing?

For me, the hardest thing about writing is finding the time. I work full time, have two kids, and a house to (attempt to) keep clean. My husband works in London most of the time, while I hold down the fort in Frankfurt. So he’s not usually around to help out, meaning I sometimes have to be Mom and Dad. My family has been really understanding when it comes to allowing me to have “writer time,” but some things in my schedule just can’t be avoided. My goal is to get to a point where I can make writing my full time job. I’d gain almost fifty hours a week, a great majority of which could be spent on writing, if I didn’t have to go to my day job anymore. ;)

But other than that, the hardest thing about writing is to mute my inner editor. I write a lot slower now that I’ve been through the editing process. This is because my amazing editors have shown me the light, and now I can’t turn it off. I guess that could be considered a good thing. Maybe I just need to learn how to be faster, no matter if I’m editing as I go.
What advice do you have for those penning their first novels?

My very first and most important piece of advice for aspiring writers is: read! Read, read, read. Not just books in the genre you want to write, but other genres as well. Books from well respected authors, or authors said to have a good voice. But definitely know your genre, know what’s out there, and know what’s received well. If you aren’t immersed in the world you’re writing for, it will show in your writing that you don’t know much about it.

Secondly, never give up. If this is a dream you’re reaching for, do not stop chasing it. That’s not to say your first manuscript should be the one you never give up trying to get signed. If your manuscript isn’t getting a lot of positive feedback, then it might be time to move on to the next one. But don’t give up the dream. There’s a lot to be said about perseverance.

Where can we find your book?

Amazon Paperback:

Amazon Kindle:

The Book Depository:

Barnes and Noble:


Nicola, thank so much for having me on the blog!

You're welcome, Dorothy. 
Wishing you many sales!


Anika Duenbostell said...

i rememeber you and me talking about the idea about this book in the garden, when we used to work together. it is ubelievable it is out and published, still waiting for my copy..... you inspire me dory !

Nicola Marsh said...

That's lovely to hear, Anika!