I’m pleased to welcome the wonderful DJ DeSmyter to my blog today. DJ is the author of Hunted, his debut novel, which released on August 9.
First of all, could you tell us a bit about HUNTED?
Since I’m not that great at summarizing my book, here’s the official synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Lily Atwater has always kept to herself, living a lonely life with her workaholic dad. Not the most thrilling life, but it’s quiet and ordinary, two things she’s come to expect from living in Victor Hills, Michigan.
When kind and mysterious Alex takes refuge in her home, she is suddenly thrown into his world of werewolves, a world he wants to keep her safe from. But while the two of them grow closer, a relentless hunter continues his search, stalking the woods with hopes of catching the wolf that got away…
Where did you get your inspiration for HUNTED from?
Hunted began with a single image: a wolf in a cage. That wolf became a young man and from there, I began writing Hunted. Actually, most of my story ideas come from a single image that pops up in my mind.
What interested you in the werewolves concept?
I’ve always been a fan of vampires, so I guess there’s always been this interest in werewolves as a result since the two are considered enemies in most cases. In general, I think there’s a sort of magnificence to werewolves and the fact that someone can change into a completely different being. I mean, haven’t we all at some point wanted to be someone, something different? I also simply wanted to try my hand at writing a werewolf story, haha.
Music seems to be an important part of your life. Have you composed any companion pieces for HUNTED?
Funny you should ask this because yes, there is a piano piece I wrote that ties into the story. At the time, I didn’t write it for the book, but it fits rather perfectly. J
What was the first thing you thought when you found out your story was going to be published?
I remember thinking, “They really want to publish it? They want to publish it!!” I couldn’t believe it, really, and I felt so confident and excited. And then I started panicking, haha.
Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?
Not really, but writing has always been something I love doing, so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone when I began seriously pursuing it. I actually used to think I’d be a marine biologist. Then again, I thought that meant I could just swim with dolphins all day. Could I have been more wrong?
Are there any routines you follow when it comes to writing?
I write at night and during storms. I’m practically incapable of writing during the day unless it’s revisions/edits. I also don’t listen to music until the editing process because I tend to get distracted by choosing songs to listen to.
I read in your bio that TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer influenced your desire to write. What specifically stood out to you?
What struck me most about Twilight was the love story and how invested I became in the characters. People can say Stephenie Meyer is a terrible writer, but you can’t argue that she succeeds in making the reader feel as though they’re living the story.
What do you enjoy reading in your spare time?
My nose and eyes are usually buried in a YA paranormal-romance, but I do enjoy a good contemporary here and there.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice would be to take some creative writing classes to learn the basics of writing. I know writers can do what they want with words, but I firmly believe in knowing the fundamentals and learning as much as you can in order to decide what you want and don’t want to use. Also, read, read, read, and be observant of your surroundings.
Write because you love it, though, not because you want to make money. I think that’s the most important thing I can say.
Don’t forget to pick up DJ’s book on your next visit to the book store and visit him at his home on the web!