Dondi Ratlif author of Destruction’s Daughter an interview

Dondy, how long have you been writing? 

My first “novel” was typed out on a very old, metal ribbon typewriter my parents had. I wrote it on the entire front sheet of a page of notebook paper. I may have been around eight years old at the time. I’ve never stopped writing since.
Tell us where you were born and where you live now. 
I was born in Lamesa, Texas, which is about 60 miles south of Lubbock, Texas, on a map. Quite close to the New Mexico border as things go. I just moved to Cedar Hill, Texas, from Breckenridge, Texas.
How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it? 
They say that there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s really true. My point in saying that is simply this: if you have an idea that won’t let you go and keeps nagging at you, chances are high that it’s something you need to write about. I don’t see it in terms of “good enough” to write about. I’ve read some pretty boring books out there that other people have absolutely loved. If you’re passionate about the idea enough to get it on paper (or computer file), then it should be written. Even if the idea is one that’s been done before, it hasn’t been done with your brain and your voice.

Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer? 
I can’t really say any one person. I will say that every writer I have read has made a huge impact on me as a writer, though. It’s through reading that we help develop our own voices and styles, with practice honing it. So, as for “who”? Poe, Rowling, Kipling, Kazantzakis, Beagle, Rice, McCaffrey….
What is the name of your book? 
Destruction’s Daughter, Vol. I: Paths of the Innocent.
Tell us more about it. Perhaps a back cover blurb. 
The amnesiac mage, Rio Shade, only recalls who, or what, she used to be through tantalizing flashes of memory. Everything about her is unfamiliar and, as she passes the centuries in and around her beloved yet estranged settlement of Elin, they and others, some powerful, begin to see how different she truly is. But will they push her destiny toward good or evil? King Arabohl requests a simple life-story, but deadly intrigue plagues his palace and not all is what it seems. The nations of Interra and Nuntes go to war and draw an unwilling Rio in with unexpected consequences for both mage and nation. For that matter, is Rio herself good, evil – or terrifyingly more than anyone has ever expected? Anyone, that is, but for the sinister wizard Mehragath in the end, who will destroy everything if it means getting his hands on her.
Is there a book trailer for your book? 
Not at this time, no. Maybe once I have the money to spare!
Do you have a favorite character, why? 
Despite actually writing about Rio (and she’s been foremost in my thoughts and my life for many years previous to the telling of her story) I think my favorite character has to be Sesha. He doesn’t enter the picture until the second part of the book, but I know what he’s like – and who he’s roughly based upon as well – and so he’s really one of my favorites. Other than the main character, of course.
What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s lives? 
The only real impact I’d like for anything I write to have on a reader is for them to enjoy the story and slip away from their troubles for a time. If they actually get anything out of my words that helps them in their lives, that’s a huge bonus.
Do you have any advice for authors trying to break into the industry? 
Be like Nike. Just do it. But, do it with your eyes open. If you aren’t willing to put in the effort to get critiques and do several revisions before trying to self-publish a novel, don’t you dare publish it! There are too many people out there who write something and think their first drafts are perfect, publish, and clog up the industry with lesser works than what they could be. If you aren’t willing to keep writing even if your first book doesn’t sell very well, it’s a hobby and you’re not serious about it. You have to do a lot of work getting it ready, but you also have to do a lot of work afterward to get it out there in people’s hands. It’s not an overnight thing. There will be blood, sweat, and tears involved – but if you publish only for money, you aren’t doing it for the right reasons. Do it for the love.
What are your goals? 
My New Year’s goals were vague this time around. I always set some and never manage to do anything with them. So, broadly speaking, I said that I would get another novel out there this year, at least one, and get a teaching position full time so I wouldn’t be -as- poor as I was at New Year’s.
Where can we find your book?
This is my Amazon Author’s page with the paperback listed:Amazon
It’s also available on Amazon via Kindle:Amazon Kindle
From CreateSpace:CreateSpace
I’m currently working on an author’s homepage where my books will be sold. I do have an author’s page on Facebook as well:Facebook

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