First up, we’re off to Tahiti, baby! White sand beaches, dolphins playing, palm trees, strawberry daiquiris in hand. What am I forgetting? Nothing. Oops, wait, how about a cool author to interview?
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m Sabrina Benulis, a fantasy author, and that alone tends to make me a fascinating person to others where I live. Everyone is always on the edge of their seats when I tell them I write novels. It’s a mysterious profession to people, I think. They love getting an insider’s take on what goes on when a book is written and published.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m actually quite shy at heart. There are two kinds of authors out there: the showboats, and the shyboats. I’m in the latter camp. Some authors adore book tours, and signing events, and public speaking, and television appearances. Whereas I get so dreadfully nervous. For me, it’s all about the book and less about myself. So as soon as the focus is on me alone in a public setting, it can be stifling!
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
For me it’s all about writing my stories and sharing them with other people. That’s my dream, my purpose in staying up long, long nights writing and revising. Besides, after revealing how shy I can be, I don’t think I’d make a good rock star. Lol
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Probably Emily Bronte, the author of Wuthering Heights, despite the fact she’s dead by a century, poor girl. I’m a fan of the classics, obviously. My next choice would probably be Tolkien, though I guess I’m on the waiting list with a million other of his fans!
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?
Angelus and the other books in The Books of Raziel series have a lot of layers. You could spend a long time reading, re-reading them, and then picking them apart for sure. And then, there’s also the fact that it’s a great story and world to enter and involve yourself with!
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
The plot and character development of my novels are very long and involved processes, and can sometimes take years. Most of how they develop is organic–ideas come to me and it’s like I’m piecing the story together over time. My story outlines are more like broad strokes with room for discovering more of the plot as I go along writing the first draft. And since I’m a fantasy writer, my research is limited to whatever in the story is not completely made up by me. In regards to The Books of Raziel series, most of the angel mythology and names were heavily researched and then I adapted elements to my own story as I saw fit. My first drafts take only a few months to write, and then the real work of revising begins. I often do many rewrites of a book until it is mature enough to be read by others.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
In a case like this, my best advice is to just start writing and see where the story takes you. The methods that work for some writers will not work for others, and when it comes down to it, you’ll never get a single book into a readers hands if you never actually sit down and write one. Some writers get so bogged down with outlining their novels, they never actually have a finished project.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life would probably have to be the very simple but very classic, “Be yourself.” Whether it’s in regard to being a writer, or a friend, or just a worthwhile person, being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do to help your dreams along.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
Real writers never stop writing. It’s impossible for them! I have two projects up my sleeves next. Both are very different from one another, but I’m staying true to my love of speculative fiction in the end. It’s been hard deciding which project to pursue the most.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
For now the best place is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaBenulis . I also post to Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SabrinaBenulis . I’m a busy new Mom of an 18 month old and another baby on the way this summer, so if I post, you know I’m taking the time to tell you something important! Thanks for the fun interview!
Genesis – The Story So Far
Before the beginning of all things, there was a Mother who sang and carried the stars within her.
Worry consumed her because often the stars near her heart burned and jostled, as if fighting one another. Then the unthinkable happened, and she gave birth to twins long before the appointed time. These children were meant to be equal in every way, but from the stars one twin decided to claim dominion over our universe. He attacked his sibling, murdering him, and from then on a fragile balance weighed toward the side of shadows.
The Mother who has carried these gods fell into the deepest despair and took her punishment to the depths of the eternal Abyss.
Innumerable cycles of time passed before an angel named Raziel found her again.
Raziel was one of three powerful sibling angels, and they had also been told their purpose was to share equal rule over the universe. Yet the jealously and rivalry between two of them, Israfel and Lucifel, grew to a feverish pitch, and upon returning to his home in Heaven, Raziel found his sister, Lucifel, instigating the infamous War that would divide the angels forever into two opposing kingdoms.
It was a dreadful time of blood and feathers falling like the snow.
Raziel was the last to fall. Horrified and determined to end the bloodshed, he had confronted God and begged for intervention to stop Lucifel’s rebellion. Instead, he plummeted to his death in full view of his siblings, one of whom loved him more than life itself.
The glorious time of Israfel’s rule as Archangel in Heaven was over.
Lucifel too had failed to claim the crown she so desperately desired, and she fled to her new kingdom of Hell. But the Throne of Hell was little more than a prison, and Lucifel found herself swiftly jailed by the angels who had once worshipped her. They called themselves demons, and though their kingdom remained forever dark and dismal, they never forgot the glories of long ago.
This truce between angels and demons could not last. Instead, Lucifel’s influence grew from the darkness, and her twisted ideals seeped throughout the universe. Seeking the mysterious power contained in Raziel’s Book, one of his greatest treasures, it is claimed she means to destroy the universe that mocks her suffering.
The last home for a crumbling world is a being called the Archon, also known as Angela Mathers. Angela is human, but her soul is protected by the spirit of Raziel. She alone can successfully oppose Lucifel and open Raziel’s Book for the power of good rather than evil. However, the Book is not a thing but a person, and Angela knows that to open the Book would mean murdering her best friend, Sophia. She has refused to do so, seemingly sentencing the universe to a fate of silence worse than death, because it would be one without resurrection.
Angela Mathers firmly believed that even Hell could not separate her from her friend. She suffered, and bled, and fought in a twisted demonic maze to save the Book from destruction, only to unwittingly allow Lucifel to escape back to Heaven.
Now Angela sits on the Throne of Hell, fulfilling a prophecy of Ruin. But Ruin does not always mean destruction. Sometimes it means Revolution. Crowns pass from one person to the next, yet it takes a special soul to heal the burdens of all.
The Mother’s song no longer echoes throughout the universe, and new notes wait to be revealed. Now, the moment of change has finally arrived. The end of a cycle of pain has begun.
For through souls have hurt, and bled, and cried, the light ever returns in a rushing, relentless tide.