Interview: Dina Rae - Author of Bad Juju12:27 AM
Interview originally posted here
Two teens turn to a Voodoo bokor to right a wrong. Their curiosity with the dark arts backfires into obsession.
Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants. He hires sixteen year old Jake for odd household jobs. The boy proves to be the perfect candidate to pass on his Voodoo legacy.
Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle. The Voodoo gives him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation. Despite his loner status, he instantly connects with Henry, his only friend in high school.
Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome. He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo. They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust.
Months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer for the island’s reconstruction. Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite and returns in a catatonic state.
Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for adults and mature teens. The plot uses research involving the Voodoo religion.
1. Tell us about your current work.
I am working on a nonfiction book about the conspiracy of Big Pharma and Big-Agri. I went into the project knowing almost nothing and am having my mind blown away.
2. What do you have coming up?
My new book will hopefully be out in the winter of 2014. Nonfiction takes much longer to write than fiction.
3. What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
I was once called a racist by a social justice reviewer because I wasn't "fair" to devil worshipers. Many Freemasons have written that my novel, The Last Degree, was pure crap.
4. How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I don't mind a bad review if it's honest, but when someone who has a different agenda trashes my work, then it's a little frustrating. Luckily, most of my reviews have been wonderful and it's always a thrill to see someone read my work and take the time to review it.
5. When are you going to write your autobiography?
LOL. Not for a while, if ever. My life is pretty boring, just the way I like it.
6. Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Sometimes. I try to give some of the characters hidden meanings. Like the Easterhouse family in both my Halos-Easter is associated with Christianity and the family is at a crossroads about what is good and what is evil. Sometimes I throw in the name of a good friend or family member for fun.
7. How do you come up with the titles of your novels?
The Last Degree is about the 33rd degree in Freemasonry. My Halo series is about fallen angels. Bad Juju is about Voodoo. I want the titles to go with the themes.
8. Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
My hands cramp up and I get constipated from sitting long periods of time. Seriously, that would probably happen anyway. Occasionally, I get a papercut.
9. What's your favourite fruit?
I love cherries and almost always have a banana for breakfast.
10. what is your favourite bedtime drink?
Water or peppermint tea.
11. What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Realizing that the odds of being the next Stephen King are slim to none, but improving the craft and meeting others who love to read and write are what it's all about.
12. Has the dog ever eaten your manuscript?
LOL. Plenty of times, metaphorically speaking. I've thrown out more pages than I care to confess.
13. Do you enjoy giving interviews?
Yes, and thanks for having me. I especially love being on the radio. I've been a guest on dozens of shows and have so much fun.
14. Do you research your novels?
Yes. I believe it's the main reason which makes me attractive to radio hosts. I am a teacher by trade so I try to do my homework! Know quite a bit about Voodoo, Freemasonry, fallen angels, Enoch, witchcraft, mind control, conspiracy theories, and much more. I am a true believer in much of what I write.
15. How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
My childhood was not a happy one so I use the pain to draw from. I am far from perfect and can easily connect with heavily flawed characters.
16. Are you jealous of other writers?
Would love Dan Brown's or George RR Martin's bank account! No, not really. I do think it would be so wonderful to see your book turned into a film or TV show because that's how I write-a movie playing inside of my mind.
17. What makes you cry?
Just about anything. I am easily touched or saddened or empathetic or frustrated, whatever. I'm emotional, but I try to be private about it.
18. What makes you laugh?
I have a great sense of humor and love dark comedies. My husband is the only person I know who consistently cracks me up.
19. What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
My family and my dogs. Was in awe of Yosemite, Smokey Mountains, and Lake Tahoe.
20. Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?
Make yourself write everyday, even when you don't feel like it. If you let a manuscript get cold, it will probably never get finished.
21. How can your readers contact you?
http://dinarae.co, www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com, @haloofthedamned, FB: https://www.facebook.com/DinaRaeBooks. I'm also on Goodreads and Pinterest.
22. Last words?
If you like Haitian Voodoo and wild teens, you'll love Bad Juju!!!!! Pick up a copy today! http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Juju-ebook/dp/B0097L9FHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380593510&sr=8-1&keywords=bad+juju