Author interview with indie Azaria Durant below! If you’re looking for YA action adventure reads, you’ll enjoy her books.
Hi Azaria! It’s so nice to have you on the blog today!
A: Thanks, it’s good to be here!
When did you first decide you wanted to write? Was it your first career choice or were you planning on doing something else?
A: It was my first career choice, yes. I was eleven years old when the idea of being a writer came to me, but I’d been writing down my stories long before then in little booklets that I made by stapling paper together and illustrating myself. I really just love the art of storytelling. I don’t see myself doing anything else.
When did you first publish? Were you always planning to go the indie route, or did you consider traditional publishing first?
A: I first published my debut novel Broken Arrow in July 2018. I’d spent a few years attempting to get it traditionally published, but had no luck, so I decided to self-publish it to test to see if it was even any good. The response was encouraging, so I still plan to get it traditionally published if at all possible – I’ve still been querying agencies since self-publishing it – and I am working on another story right now as well as the Darkened Destiny saga that I’ll only publish if it’s picked up by a traditional publisher.
So you have two books out in your Darkened Destiny series, is that correct? Can you give us a summary on what they’re about?
A: Yes, that is correct. Broken Arrow is the first installment, and the sequel, Shattered Sword, was released just this year in May.
Broken Arrow introduces Ealdred, a half breed slave, and follows his journey as he discovers he has powers and is kidnapped by the dark sorcerer Zeldek. With the help of Bellator, Zeldek’s fierce and treacherous protege, Ealdred must escape from the hidden fortress in the north and search for a magical broken arrow that holds power enough to stop the dark lord in his tracks. But by doing so, he sets in motion that which has been prophesied as the beginning of the end…
Shattered Sword is set two years after the events of Broken Arrow. Bellator has been recaptured by her old master, the young king of Valamette has been assassinated, and Ealdred must step forward as Zandelba’s puppet king in hopes of saving the people of Valamette from certain destruction at the hands of Zeldek’s followers. But a great lie hangs over his head and a hidden enemy lurks in the shadows…
I scoped out your website and discovered that you’re planning on having SIX BOOKS in your Darkened Destiny series! What inspired you to create this series and tackle such a long project?
A: When I started out, it was never supposed to be a series. I originally planned it to be one book, then two, then a trilogy, but the story just kept growing the more I discovered about the characters. I couldn’t wrap it up in three, so I took the leap and planned for six.
What inspires you to write?
A: The story and the characters are what inspires me really at this point. I want to get it out and I want it be good so that I can go back and read it and be proud and energized and immersed in the story myself. When that can’t motivate me, I have a friend who is reading my stories that I keep in mind. She wants to see what happens next, so that keeps me inspired.
Who are some authors that inspire you to become a better writer?
A: The beginning, up and coming writers I see struggling every day with no promise of success. But they keep going because they have a dream. They’re the ones that inspire me, not the ones that have already made it.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written thus far?
A: I love all of my characters, so it’s hard to choose a favourite, but I do have one that stands out from the rest.
She is the most interesting and complicated character to write, and definitely the most interesting to me. A tortured servant to the dark lord who makes her own destiny for herself, Bellator defies all rules and laws, and is probably the strongest and most powerful, but also the most broken, character in the series. What’s not to love?
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
A: Fighting my mind.
How would you describe your writing style?
A: Childish, simple, but eloquent in the descriptions.
It says on your website that you are an artist as well. How neat! What is your favorite medium? Did you create your covers yourself?
A: Pencil and paper, though I do love watercolours too.
I created the concept sketches for the covers first, yes, but then I sent the sketches to a digital artist who I then paid to put them together for me.
Do you have a favorite snack or drink you enjoy while writing?
A: Tea. I’m very posh XD
Just because I’d like to include it for readers’ purposes, what would you say your target audience is for your book? Is there any content I should warn readers about?
A: The target audience is teens ages 13-18. There is some disturbing violence (nothing very graphic) and mild swearing (damn, bastard, hell).
What do you consider your definition of success, as an author? Have you reached it yet or are you still in the process of obtaining it?
A: I think becoming an international bestseller is ultimate success in my books, but there are definitely small successes along the way that I’m reaching for. Some of them I have obtained, like holding the printed copy of my book in my hands, reaching a hundred sales, etc, but there are many I’m still reaching for.
Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Azaria! To find out more about this author and her books, check out the bio/links below…
Azaria MJ Durant is the author of the epic fantasy novels Broken Arrow and Shattered Sword. She would best describe herself as a fluffy bunny that breathes fire. When not writing, she is sketching concept art for her characters, going for long walks in the country, or hanging out with her family and friends.
Broken Arrow is currently available on Amazon for anyone in the US.
Broken Arrow: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1775331105?ref=myi_title_dp
Shattered Sword: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PVCTPQ8?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_pwh_calw_1&storeType=ebooksWebsite: http://azariamjdurant.com/