Dora Gonzalez is currently working on her third novel. She enjoys writing the occasional short story, dabbing in flash fiction, getting lost in a video game, and hunting down the next book to fall in love with. She also loves to paint, design book covers, and go sight-seeing. She lives in Texas with her son and three miniature poodles.
Everyone, please give a warm welcome to Dora Gonzalez. Don’t forget to comment below before you leave.
WHAT DO YOU WRITE?
I love writing in various genres, fantasy, paranormal, romance, contemporary, and dystopian. You name it, I might just write it. I created an alias to help sort some of those genres and target audience out. Through my name, Dora Gonzalez, I write fantasy and paranormal for Young Adults. I plan to have all my works released in as many formats as possible: print, eBook, and audio, with plans of an art book and comic series of my Severi series.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?
CASUALLY OR ACADEMICALLY? PROFESSIONALLY?
I wouldn’t be lying if I said I first started writing when I was in high school. What teen doesn’t like to write stories, make up characters, and escape within those stories? But as I grew up I chose to chase art and politics. I did pick it up again as a hobby while I was pregnant with my son in 2004. It wasn’t until January 2012 that I started to seriously write again. I can thank my obsession with BBC’s TV series Merlin. After reading almost every fan fiction posted on a site I frequented, I decided to write my own fandom. Pretty soon I had written over 80,000 words. I moved on to write two more fandoms and the second part to the first and it wasn’t until February of 2013 that the prologue to The Five Kingdoms of Severi was born. A little over two years and I still can’t get enough of the writing experience though I do miss my fandoms. Will have to find time to return to those.
What is your writing style? Why do you
think your writing style is such as it is?
My writing style is not grounded, nor is it set. I love to play around with viewpoints, genres, and the way I approach a story. But overall my style is strongly centered on third person multiple point of view. I believe I find myself most at ease with that type of viewpoint because it resembles closely the endless thoughts roaming in my brain. There are way too many stories up there and they don’t like waiting.
WHAT PREPARED YOU FOR BECOMING A WRITER?
Writing was never my strong suit so I can’t say education. I never could grasp the verb, pronoun, and punctuation stuff and I remember holding the record for the longest run-on sentence every. Math and science was more my areas of expertise. But I will have to give credit to my sister who I discussed the first sparks of ideas for The Five Kingdoms of Severi. If she hadn’t encouraged me then, I might still have been writing only fan fiction and never would have had the courage to share my own story.
Do you have a routine you follow daily?
I used to. I would write from 8:00am to 4:00pm like clockwork every weekday with the usual breaks in between. Life has gotten a bit more hectic and I’ve had to expand my work to cover design, painting, and narrating. So now I write sporadically when I can, it be night or day.
Are you an independently published writer
or a traditionally published writer?
I am more of an indie author, published through an indie publisher. Though I do have various other works set to be released through the self-publishing route.
How do you keep yourself motivated to write?
Hearing music or reading a book or chapter in the genre I am currently working on helps to drive my need to write. At times painting helps clear my mind and any blocks I might have. Also rereading my previous books or works helps me rediscover why I write in the first place. Feedback from readers and fellow writers helps a lot to.
Talk to us about your cover.
Like I mentioned before I dived into cover designing and after creating over fifty covers I wanted to create my own cover for my debut novel, The Five Kingdoms of Severi, as a sort an extra accomplishment. The overall color scheme was heavily influenced by my favorite color, blue. I love pretty things and that is what I tried to show through my cover, the pretty and appealing things I love about fantasy while making it clear what the audience and genre was.
How did you decide on the title?
I was trying to name the kingdom where my hero would reside in when I decided to make it one large kingdom divided into parts, kind of like the movie The 10th Kingdom. Severi was the name of the kingdom I came up with and then I went on to think of how many smaller kingdoms could exist within it.
Are any of the scenes or storylines in
your book real life experiences?
No, unfortunately there are no dragons or magic here in the real world. But I did approach every scene and situation in a certain light. What would I like to happen if I got the chance to go on this adventure? What obstacles would be fun for me to overcome?
Do any of your characters reflect anyone you know?
No, but every good deed or bad deed is based off my thoughts of what good and bad people would probably do in those situations.
Is your book born purely of imagination?
Yes. Every scene and dialogue was written in a pantser manner. There were moments that the story would form ahead of itself and thus I had to rely on outlines to keep from forgetting them if I found those paths to my liking. But overall, there was only a basic idea of what I wanted the story to be.
What is the hardest review or criticism
you’ve had about your writing and how did you deal with it?
Being fairly new to the publishing world my hardest review came during my first year writing fandom. I had decided to do a mini marathon where I would write a chapter a day for a week, posting each chapter the next day it was completed. During that marathon I received a comment on how my current chapters weren’t up to par with the main character, that I was doing it wrong, and so forth. In the manner it was written or maybe the manner I read it I fell into my first writing block that lasted about a week. I tried to reread my works, watch the series that had fueled my writing with very little results. What helped was another comment by the same person stating their worry about my writer’s block. That my writing was very good and that they loved my story and wished me the best in overcoming my block. Receiving both a bad and good reviews by the same person made me realize that I was writing for myself foremost and that as a writer you can’t always satisfy everyone.
If writing hadn’t been the path you chose,
what do you think you’d be doing today?
My passion growing up was helping others. I wanted to be a teacher until I discovered law. I then wanted to be a police officer and a lawyer to finally retire and paint for the last remaining years of my life.
Name one actor/actress you would love to get naughty with?
Now this is a great question to end my interview with. I will have to say Jensen Ackels from the TV series Supernatural – hands down.
Thank you, Dora, for being here today. It’s been great having you. All the best on your writing.
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Dora Gonzalez’s The Five Kingdoms of Severi
In a time of peace and treaties, the five kingdoms of Severi lay unguarded and open to the dark hearts of man. Terdune, a neighboring land that had been at constant war with Severi, was defeated over twenty years ago. All threats were eradicated and its lands left without a ruler. Now a new evil reigns in Terdune and slowly makes its way to its adjacent sister.
When Edwin’s village is attacked, he is forced to travel halfway across the second kingdom to the King’s Hold. Along the way he must learn the true power of the gifts that were bestowed upon him and discover the meaning of the dreaded fate attached to them.