Friday, August 23, 2013

Interview with Dora Machado, author of 'The Curse Giver'

The Curse Giver banner

CurseGiver_Front Cover Final 1ABOUT THE CURSE GIVER

Lusielle's bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when her husband betrays her and she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends. PURCHASE AT: amazonbarnes and noble         ADD BOOK ON GOODREADS: goodreads        

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I'm most proud of my kids, my family and my books, in that order.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I grew up in the Dominican Republic, a very different and yet incredibly defining experience for a writer. The island shaped my writing in so many different ways. It gave me inspiration. It taught me plot, characterization and point of view on the go. It trained my senses in the keen art of appreciating the details. Scents, colors, textures and flavors pack a huge punch beneath the tropical sun. Conflict meets drama when you live in a society where extreme poverty collides every day with extreme wealth and justice is a no-go. The D.R. was an incredible setting, and growing up on the island was a fantastic experience in itself. No wonder I write fantasy!
When and why did you begin writing?
I think I've been writing in my head all my life, but it wasn't until about five or six years ago that I began to write in earnest. At that point, my children were old enough to fend for themselves and I could afford to devote my time to write.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I recall being interested in writing since as far back as I can remember. I also recall being fascinated by books as a child and making up stories in my mind all the time. It helped that I came from a family of avid readers who loved books and that my grandfather was a poet.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I think I've known it all along. It was just a matter of finding the right time in my life to go for it. 
What inspires you to write and why?
I'm not sure I can pinpoint the source of my inspiration exactly. I can say that I have an internal story generator that is always whirling inside of me, a self-propelling creative drive that won't stop or slow down. I'm miserable when I'm not writing. I'm completely happy and fulfilled when I'm writing. It may very well be that I write because I can't stop myself from writing.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I'm most comfortable writing fantasy, romance and historical fiction. I really like to mix all of these elements. I often use medieval history to validate the details in my fantasy stories just as I use romance to deepen, enrich and authenticate my characters. My latest novel, The Curse Giver, is all of that plus mystery and intrigue.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Oh, gosh, I'm always a little embarrassed to say! A dream, I was inspired by a dream when I wrote my first book. I know, it's cliché, but it's also true.  The idea of a stonewiser first came to me in a dream. I saw a woman sitting cross-legged on the ground of a dark cellar, holding a stone in each hand, caught in a dangerous struggle. The stones she clutched with such passion revealed her extraordinary nature. She was a stonewiser, able to retrieve the knowledge preserved in the stones, the only remaining way to uphold the truth and ensure justice in a world devastated by the rot's destruction. My dream inspired my first book, the award-winning Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, a smart fantasy with a huge heart.
I must clarify that I don't consider dreams accidents of the subconscious mind. On the contrary, in my case, dreams are hard work in progress, summaries of thoughts, experiences and research that coalesce while I'm asleep. My first book was inspired by the powerful scene that I saw for the first time in one of my best dreams ever.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
As writers, we are influenced by everyone who comes into our lives and everything that we see and experience.  My travels have always influenced my writing and so has my exposure to different cultures, mythologies and histories.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Writing for me is a natural fit. Yes, the hours are long and the obsession can take a toll, but I love all of it, and therefore I thrive on it. I think the most challenging aspect of writing a novel has to do with the time and dedication required and the tough choices you have to make in order to get it done.  To be honest, sometimes I think that my biggest challenge is the part that comes after writing the books. I love my readers. There's nothing that I enjoy more than meeting them and hearing from them. I can talk about my books until after the cows come home. But self-promotion? Yikes. It just doesn't come naturally to me. 
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Writing The Curse Giver taught me patience. The story will flow and plot-twists will come when you are true to your characters.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Writing is my career!
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I like sentences that flow and paragraphs that sing. I enjoy a lyrical style coupled with an engaging, irresistible story.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
I love writing clever plots and deep characters involved in meaningful relationships. Friendships, rivalries and romance are indispensable to my novels. But by far, my biggest strength as a writer has to do with the passion that I bring to the craft and the story.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Hmm. I think I'm really hard-working.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
Skepticism. I loathe it and yet I value it. It keeps the mind sharp and the heart pumping.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

I've got lots of favorite quotes and they are always changing. There are so many great ones out there!  I usually include my current favorite at the top of my newsletter, which is a little embarrassing, because my latest favorite—the one at the top of my summer newsletter right now—comes from my latest book, The Curse Giver. Quoting myself is something I have never done before, but I'll go ahead and leave you guys with this quote, only because I believe that as readers, writers and friends, we all need to support and empower each other to dream and dare.
"The difference between fear and courage is not the absence of danger, but the will to tackle the risk." Dora Machado, The Curse Giver.



Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, coming this summer from Twilight Times Books. She is one of the few Latinas exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today. She holds a master's degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a love for history, and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazing readers who share in her mind's adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats. You can visit her at  



The Curse Giver Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, August 5 - Book featured at Margay Leah Justice
Wednesday, August 7 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Friday, August 9 - Interviewed at Examiner
Monday, August 12 - Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, August 13 - Interviewed at Straight from the Authors Mouth
Thursday, August 15 - Guest blogging at She Writes
Friday, August 16 - Interviewed at Beyond the Book
Monday, August 19 - Book reviewed and Trailer reveal at Miki's Hope
Wednesday, August 21 - Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
Thursday, August 22 - Book featured at As the Pages Turn
Friday, August 23 - Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, August 27 - 1st chapter reveal at Examiner
Wednesday, August 28 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Thursday, August 29 - Book reviewed at moonlightreader
Friday, August 30 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Pump Up Your Book


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