Author Interview with Rita Stradling
I’m interviewing Rita Stradling today, author of YA “Henchgirl”. Welcome to my blog!
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
It is hard to pinpoint the moment in time when I decided that I wanted to become an author; I just started writing one day and quickly became addicted. When my son was first born, he was always falling asleep on my shoulder; if I tried to set him down in is his crib, he would immediately wake up. As a new mother that very much appreciated when my baby got his rest, I ended up stuck around the house, trying to make no sudden movements, and just started writing one day. Pretty soon, I had completed a novel and things just evolved from there.
What inspired you to write “Henchgirl?”
Living in Hawaii played a big part in what inspired me to write Henchgirl. There is so much magic in the land, culture and legends there, I would say that it is almost impossible not to get swept up by it and feel inspired. Also, when I started Henchgirl I wanted to see if I could combine all of my favorite elements in books and make it work; I wanted to write a contemporary high fantasy with romance, mystery, court intrigue, a strong yet emotionally-damaged protagonist and a large complicated web of friends, family and enemies.
What is your editing process like?
When editing a novel I try to cast as wide a net as possible for feedback before I send the book to my editor. I usually rewrite the book in its entirety three to five times before it is ready for copy-editing and line editing.
Who is your favorite character from your book?
That is a hard one. Aside from the main character, Dakota, my favorite character may be her Uncle Bobby. Uncle Bobby is a boisterous, uncouth biker. His job is as an investigator and sometimes as the ‘muscle’ for their family. Of all Dakota’s family members, I think he’s the most loyal to Dakota and her sisters and mother, even going so far as to get in trouble to cover up Dakota’s mistakes.
Do you have any writing goals for 2016?
I am currently working on two projects that will take me well into 2016; the first project is the sequel to Henchgirl, titled ‘Rex.’ The second project I am working on is ‘Waltzing into Damnation,’ the third book in The Deception Dance series.
Are you working on something now? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I will give a little teaser about Henchgirl’s sequel, ‘Rex.’
Dakota is just starting to adjust to her new situation when everything is turned upside down in her life once more. Someone or something is hijacking dracons’ powers across the island, forcing the dracons to do nefarious acts and causing havoc upon Dakota’s family. When Dakota becomes the latest victim, she suddenly has a horde of vampires after her, the life of someone she loves on the line and absolutely no idea how to find the true culprit of the crime she’s being blamed for. She will have to turn to the last person she wants to for help, knowing there will be a price to be paid.
About the Book
Author: Rita Stradling
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
I had never thought my life was ideal, but it had been manageable.
By day I pretended to be a human, going to a ‘human’s only’ high-school, making human friends and trying to get the attention of Keanu Hale, my school’s quarterback. At night, I worked as a henchman, making sure no one got in the way of my grandfather’s hotel-empire which spanned across the Mabiian island chain. I was my grandfather’s most cherished weapon, I stole and manipulated emotions, I would even drain someone of their ability to feel joy if my grandfather ordered me to.
I won’t apologize for what I did, it kept my sisters fed and my grandfather from finding out that my mother squandered our monthly allowance on shopping and throwing extravagant parties. It kept my family alive. But more importantly, my job kept me from being trained to be a wife and married off to some rich and powerful dracon, a human-dragon hybrid, as all girls with one-eighth dragon blood are.
As I said, my life was just manageable, until Wyvern Manderson vacationed to my island. Wyvern Manderson, the rich, powerful, and famous for something or other, half-dragon jerk, just kept showing up, sabotaging my missions and ordering me around. On top of that, for some reason he was always angry at me.
Pretty soon I was suspended from further missions, facing eminent financial ruin and still had to see the jerk everywhere I went. When my friend Amanda from my human-high-school vanished, Amanda turned out to be Wyvern’s human half-sister he was keeping secret and protecting.
Taking on the mission to find Amanda might have been what I needed to save my family from losing everything, but to do it I would have to spend all day everyday with the jerk. To top that all off, Amanda was not the only girl who disappeared, and when girls started being discovered dead I realized that my sanity wasn’t the biggest thing I would be risking in this investigation; I might very well be the next to die.
Rita Stradling lives with her husband and son in Northern California. Her six year old son wants to be a train when he grows up. She has a BA in Art History and a particular interest in modern and medieval art.
Rita has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.