Death of the Body (Crossing Death #1) by Rick Chiantaretto
I grew up in a world of magic. By the time I was ten I understood nature, talked to the trees, and listened to the wind. When the kingdom of men conquered my town, I was murdered by one of my own—the betrayer of my kind. But I didn't stay dead.
I woke to find myself in a strange new world called Los Angeles. The only keys to the life I remembered were my father’s ring, my unique abilities, and the onslaught of demons that seemed hell-bent on finding me. Now I must find out who I really am, protect my friends, and get back to my beloved hometown of Orenda.
*Death of the Body is currently on sale for only $.99!*
Interview with Rick Chiantaretto
Can I use run on sentences (does this count as a sentence)?
Edmund grew up in a magical society, but was murdered by one of his Elders, who betrayed his people. He wakes up in Los Angeles with his magical powers, and tries to discover who he is while reconciling the belief systems he finds in our world, all the while being chased by demons, ghosts, and the Angel of Death.
I'll let you have your run on sentences, but only because the books sounds so good! ;)
Where did you get the idea for this book?
From Max the dog, to Madame Lucacious’ test on the hillside, to the Death Ring and the surprise at the end of Book One, and even further on to the ending to the whole series, I dreamt it all.
In the dream I played Edmund. All of his losses were literally mine: my family, my friends, and my childhood were betrayed.
As a funny side note: in my dream I had died and come back so many times, and had visited so many “levels,” that when my alarm went off and I didn’t have “the ring” on my finger I wasn’t sure if I was dead or alive, in the dream or out of the dream. I walked into a building where a friend of mine was standing, and asked her “can you see me?”
I wasn’t convinced that she could without the ring…Oops… that may have given something away from book 2 ;)
Were you surprised by the controversy that the religious topics caused?
I actually get asked this question quite a bit, and yes, I’m surprised. I really don’t find Death of the Body all that controversial.
But, I think I’ve resolved my religious dichotomies. I’ve asked the hard questions that the book may pose to someone who is asked to experience life form Edmund’s point of view… someone who’s life doesn’t fit the religious paradigm. Can you blame Edmund for thinking he’s a prophet, when the only “magic” people we learn about on Earth are Biblical?
I think the people who haven’t dug deep to resolve the issues that occur when personal experience doesn’t align with religious teaching may become defensive. I think those who have already resolved those questions (and found answers either inside of religion or outside), will find Edmund’s plight relatable, engaging, and entertaining.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
LJ Smith was probably my earliest influence. I fell in love with The Forbidden Game when I was in my pre-teens, and still think it is one of the best book series I’ve ever read. Her exploration of good versus evil and perception versus reality in her writing gave me one of my first examples of how to write some of the controversies I was starting to experience in my own life.
Nancy Kilpatrick was the first mainstream author to blurb my first novel, and make me feel like I was a writer. I owe her big time. If you haven’t read The Eternal City, it’s my favorite of hers.
Finally, I have to say that The Host by Stephenie Meyer changed my voice (that other book she wrote, I’ll just ignore). I had always written from an omniscient point of view, but the first person voice that Stephenie uses sort of stuck with me. Death of the Body is written from the first person because of her.
What's your writing style? Are you a precise-planner, or do the characters write the story for you?
First of all, I want to say that I don’t think there is a right or wrong way (and I’m sure you and your readers know that, but I just wanted to clarify that I don’t think MY way is the BEST way for anyone other than ME).
I’m a little bit of both, actually. I don’t do sticky notes on the walls to keep the timeline in order, or use any software that lets me move chunks of the story around.
I do, however, have main plot points that I’m constantly steering my characters toward. Sometimes, they surprise me, and take a bit of a difficult path, or scenic path, or end up hitting one large plot point before the one I thought they would hit originally.
Characters become family. I don’t keep them on a short leash. I give them the freedom to wander and surprise me, while gently prodding them back onto the path that will deliver the ending.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
One of the best pieces of advice I got from my two friends Rebecca Ethington and Sheena Boekweg. I met them for dinner to talk about publishing Death of the Body, and they both looked at me and said “Why are you sitting on it? Why don’t you publish it today? You’re sitting on success you know, and have already done the work.”
I now am a champion of that philosophy. Sure, you need to make sure a book is good, complete, and deliverable (edited, formatted, pretty… ha), but WHY would you finish a manuscript, tuck it in a drawer, and hope that an agent suddenly emails you?
Are you waiting to be discovered until after your dead, when your children’s children go through your computer and discover your manuscripts?
Stop it. With the publishing world the way it is, get your book into the hands of readers. It can literally happen today. Stop being afraid, stop procrastinating, and stop waiting for a billion dollar contract.
What are some of your favourite lines/quotes from Death of the Body?
What’s the big deal about shadows anyway? Everyone’s got one.
Understanding the science is what allowed the magic.
All guys are ‘that kind of guy’ sometimes, and I’ll let you in on a little bit of a secret: woman actually don’t always mind…
How do they make imitation bacon bits anyway I mean, they would have to use pig flavoring or something, right? Wouldn’t that be even worse than the real thing? Killing a pig to make pig flavoring?
Buddha himself could appear and he’d go take a nap.
I’m tree hunting. What’s the worst that could happen?
What are you currently working on?
Death of the Spirit (Crossing Death #2). I’m excited to say that I have received quite a few emails from people threatening to kill me if I don’t finish it soon. I’m so proud.
Death of the Soul (Crossing Death #3) is also playing out in my mind, although I pretty much already have it all planned out. Death of the Soul will be the final installment in the Crossing Death series.
Thank you for such in-depth answers Rick! If your writing here is anything to go by your book should be fabulous!
Author Bio - Rick Chiantaretto
I've often been accused of having done more in my life than the average person my age, but if I were completely honest I'd have to tell you my secret: I'm really 392.
So after all this time, I'm a pretty crappy writer.
I have one book published but out of print, one coming out soon, and a bunch half written (when you have eternity, where's the reason to rush?). I've been favorably reviewed by horror greats like Nancy Kilpatrick, and my how-to-write-horror articles have been quoted in scholarly (aka community college freshmen's) papers.
I enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary, although a Bloody Kathy or Susan will suffice.
Mostly, I just try to keep a low profile so people don't figure out who I REALLY am.
Rick is indeed a certified Tarot card reader...and most likely certifiable.
Snarky Bloggers can attest to his abilities. Just....WOW! This is something you DON'T want to pass up getting the chance to win. Plus....look at all of the other amazing prizes!
A $25 Amazon, B&N, or Paypal Gift Card
3x $5 Amazon or B&N Gift Cards
5x Signed print copies of Death of the Body by Rick Chiantaretto (US Only - e-book & Amazon GC for price difference for international winners)
3x Audible audio copies of Death of the Body by Rick Chiantaretto
5x Tarot Reading via email by Rick Chiantaretto
25x Mother Tree Bracelets
Here is the teaser that helps to explain the Mother Tree bracelets. Beautiful isn't it?
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