Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Witches, Demons, & Deals new urban fantasy by D.J. Cappella

Witches, Demons, & Deals by D.J. Cappella
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Today I introduce up-and-coming urban teen fantasy author D.J. Cappella who has released his first work into the market. A fellow Aquarius, D.J. contacted me a few days about featuring his new novel Witches, Demons, & Deals, and he agreed to an interview.

D.J. lives in Chicago and he is charging into the independent publishing scene. He's got an anthology in the works that will feature stories by other indie authors, and he is developing a whole urban fantasy series set in his World of Illumination.

Now I'll let D.J. tell readers about the exciting magical adventures he has set up for his teen heroine Raisa.

1. Can you give a quick explanation of your fantasy world? I see that it's Chicago but some people are witches, demons are real, and apparently the currency is gold. What else is going on here?

Urban teen fantasy author
D.J. Cappella of Chicago
I don't know if you can call any explanation about a fantasy world quick, but I do call my fantasy world the World of Illumination. This world exists right under the very noses of every person. I take the stance that magic exists, both good and bad; it is just hidden from the mundane observer through veils of secrecy. So you can expect to see witches, gypsies, demons, elves, and other worldly creatures running around as the series progresses toward the battle of Illumination where good magic will try to tip the balance of power back into their favor. The stories will take place in other venues besides Chicago, but the Main Characters of the series Damian and Raisa where born and raised in the suburbs, so it will be the focal location of most of the drama. This first book is just a prelude to a larger series where four good witches are pitted against four dark witches with one being neutral. This neutral witch will end up being the deciding factor on who wins the upcoming war. No, Raisa is not the neutral witch, but you can expect to see my twisted view on supernatural creatures and urban legends come through in the stories and series as it progresses.

2. In Witches, Demons, & Deals your main character is Raisa, who is approaching her 18th birthday. What attracted you to writing a protagonist that was a young female witch?

Raisa didn't start out as one of my main characters. She actually became a leading character because she was the first character I designed that came from a family of witches that was always nearing exposure. I just feel in love with her quirky family, so that quickly became the catalyst for the larger series called The Chronicles of Illumination which will be coming out by 2012. I don't have an exact release date for it though. What drew me to a strong female character is actually three things, Buffy from Joss Whedon, Sookie from Charlaine Harris, and the musican Madonna. I saw each of these females as willing to take risks, admit mistakes, and keep going no matter how hard it got. I don't beleive young women have that kind of role model any more, and I wanted them to have it.

3. Your fondness for Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series is apparent at your blog One Goat and a Cauldron. Are these novels inspiring you as a writer?

They absolutely inspire me. The fact that you can call the Sookie Stackhouse Series fantasy, mystery, paranormal romance, and fairy tales retold made me really stop and think about what I was doing as a writer. When I stumbled across these book I was editing my first novel in the Chronicles which made me stop and redo large chunks of it. I wanted my characters to have real lives - not just some destiny or mission. I didn't want the problem in the book to define them; I wanted them to define themselves based on how they handled these problems while trying to live a normal life. It is something I feel that the traditional house fantasy is missing, real life people dealing with the fantastic while still holding a job, having family members that mess with their lives, and obligations outside of magic. Charlaine Harris does an amazing job of showing that the supernatural in her books are just part of her characters and not what defines them. Actually my editor called my first couple drafts of the Chronicles of Illumination vol. 1 Hunted a D&D manual gone bad, but he saw enough in it to push me to really open up these characters.

4. You are currently working on putting together an urban fantasy paranormal romance anthology of indendent writers called Supernatural Makeover. Are you still seeking short story submissions?

I am definetly still seeking submissions. I want a mix of authors that like myself are struggling to make a name for themselves in the publishing industry. I have gotten some great pieces submitted already, but I am not closing the door to the next great story which could really push this anthology to the next level. The main idea for this anthology came over dinner one night with a fellow writer, Katrina Rue, who was saying how independent authors are fighting each other for a place in the market, so I wanted to give these authors a way to pool these small followings and convert them into a larger group. I see no reason why we can't all share our works by promoting each other.

5. Any additional comments?

Well for starters, I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me. It is a real honor to be part of your blog. Also, I want to take a second to do a shameless plug, in addition to the Anthology that is due out this summer I do have a second prelude novel that will be arriving called Pandora's Last Breath. You will see a familiar face in a supporting role in this book. I am looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on it. And yes the book to follow will be the first volume of the Illumination Chronicles where you will get to see Raisa and Damian and most of the characters from Witches, Demons, & Deals moving the story forward in a huge way.

About Witches, Demons, & Deals

They have a secret. We all have wished upon a star, had a dream, or secret desire, but beware demons lurk in our mist willing to grant them for a price. As these young witches come into their powers the demons are looking to take their souls. Beware who you express your hidden desires to; you never know what might go wrong with the phrase “I Wish.” These witches are hiding in plain sight as our neighbors, friends, and family. These tales show young witches as they learn the secrets and dangers in their world while learning to control the magic that flows in their veins. Loves will be lost, deals will be made, and family members will have accidents because they did not heed the warnings. You never know which one of them has made a deal and are willing to make you the next course for the local demon. Will these young witches be next?

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Thank you for the interview D.J. May you entertain many readers.