Share with us how your previous professional endeavors prepare you to be a writer.
I have an M.A. degree in Geography. I've been a Social Science secondary teacher for fifteen years. I've taught Anthropology, World Issues, Urban, and Environmental Geography. I gathered ideas from teaching these courses and always kept a notebook where I would jot down ideas. Also, as a teacher, I am a specialist of English As A Second Language. My characters in my novel have strong dialects, where I have studied applied linguistics. My protagonist in my current novel, displays a heavy Irish brogue. I spent four summers in Ireland and studied the dialect profusely in order to create this character.
How long have you been writing? In what genres do you write?
I've been writing all my life, but serious writing, has been since 2003. Adventure has always been my favorite as a reader. Even though my genre seems to be sci-fi fantasy. Time travel is categorized as automatic sci-fi. I write about time-travel.
Your current book took four years to write; did you have a daily schedule? How much of that time was spent on research?
I didn't have a daily schedule but as long as I wrote everyday, I was happy. I spent a ton of time on research. I always do. I think that's the Social Scientist in me. My current novel involves Ireland and my Irish protagonist, so I spent time in Ireland recording everything I saw. I actually did my protagonist's trek, so I could geographically describe how and where he needed to be in order to make his journey.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?
The biggest challenge I've faced as a writer is to try and keep my work market friendly. It isn't an easy thing to do. I always write from the heart - bubbling over with passion. Now I'm trying to gear myself more to what the market is looking for. I'm not saying I have taken a complete one-eighty, but I am moving more toward market demands.
What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.
Prehistoric Journey: The First Expeditions can be purchased as an ebook with Double Dragon Publishing. It's also available on several other ebook sites, ie. Fictionwise, Reader Store, SciFiWise, MobiPocket, and a few more.
What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?
I'm in the process of completing another time-travel fantasy, with a twist of steam punk genre. It contains, witches, trolls, and dragons - and of course the mighty handsome warrior. It constantly flip flops from present day to the early medieval times. The book ties together with an enchanting romance of two people who can't seem to fit into each other's world.
Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?
Never give up. It's very important to learn the market, and not just the US market, but to understand how the US book market differs from the Canadian and British market. I became very well educated with all three countries. Canada and Great Britain do not expect all authors to have agents. Authors can actually thrive quite well in those countries without agents. There are those publishing houses that do require agents but there are many who do not as well. For the unpublished author who is feeling intimidated by not having an agent, seek a publisher somewhere else. The EU also has a lot of opportunities if you can bypass the language barrier.
Are you a member of any writer’s organizations? Why? Why not?
Yes, in fact I am a member of The Romance Writer's of America. They're great and they have helped educate me quite a bit about the writer's market.
Tell us about your trip to Russia and how, if at all, that experience contributes to your writing.
In 1994, just a few years after the fall of the communism, I taught adults English As a Second Language in the former USSR. I spent time in Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. I got to know the Russian people quite well. In my novel, Prehistoric Journey: The First Expeditions, I had to include a Russian scientist. Dr. Sasha Dimitrikov is the lighter side of the novel. My friends who have read my book have told me that Sasha was their favorite character because he's such a riot. I came to know what a Russian accent sounds like and therefore, I implemented it in my novel. Sasha speaks with no articles. He's introduced in Chapter #4 when the notion of time travel starts to spin. Sasha is very proud to be Russian and makes no bones about it.
What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):
My website: dlnarrol.com
My blog: http://dlnarrol.blogspot.com/