Welcome to another Author Talk. I’m very pleased to have SJ McMillan with us today!
Ceri: Can you tell us all a little about yourself?
S.J.: Thanks for having me here today! I’m S.J. McMillan, author of City of the Gods: The Descendant.
I play many roles in life, as we all do. I’m a wife to supportive husband, a mother to three young rascals, and an administrative assistant during the work week to name a few. Now I finally get to add published author to my list.
One of my favorite parts of writing a book is creating the characters. I immerse myself into their lives. I laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. I cheer them on in their triumphs and encourage them in their struggles.
I have also come to enjoy writing fight scenes. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, will act them out with me so I know exactly how I need to show it to the reader. Call us crazy, but it is really fun to act out a scene using a broom handle as a spear and a foam baseball bat as an axe.
Ceri: Now that’s what I call a supportive husband! I have to say, I kind of get a kick out of writing fight scenes too, though I don’t get a chance to do it too often. When did you first start writing?
S.J.: I started writing poetry in high school.
Ceri: I went through a poetry phase. Loved writing it. It’s a great way to express emotions. What does your writing area look like?
S.J.: I have a couple different areas where I usually write. At home I write at my computer desk. The only time anyone ever sees the top of that desk is when we are about to have company. The rest of the time it is covered with my current writing project, my kids school papers, bills, etc. It is a mess, but it is my mess. My husband often wonders how I find things in the piles on that desk. The other place I write is at my full time job. I try to keep my work desk as clear as possible.
Ceri: I can understand that. My desk is always the catch-all in the house. I’m lucky to be able to find my mouse and keyboard! The consequences of having 4 kids, I guess. If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?
S.J.: I love this question, because I actually need a visual when I write my characters. I also like giving the reader an idea of what I pictured the character would look like. Not to mention, what author wouldn’t want his or her book made into a movie or TV show. It would be amazing!
I would like to see Christian Serratos as my main character Katalina. In my mind, she’s perfect for Kat. The only thing she lacks is the blue eyes, but isn’t that what contacts are made for? As for the male lead, I would like Alex Meraz to play Tristan. He has that guy next door quality about him, but looks like he could kick some serious butt too. The perfect villain was a little harder to cast and took some time to find someone to fit the bill, but I believe I finally found the person for the job. Maven Huffman would work nicely as Damian. I also thought Naya Rivera would be perfect as Vivian, and Teresa Palmer would be great as Sabine.
Ceri: I like to have a real-life model for my characters too. Naya is gorgeous (I’m a total Gleek). And tweeking of looks is always acceptable. What inspired your latest story?
S.J.: The initial inspiration just came from reading paranormal romances. I wanted to write my own story. Needless to say when I started writing this book a little over ten years ago, it ran amuck with vampires, werewolves, and witches. Then Twilight exploded and Vampire Diaries shortly after that. I didn’t want to write the same thing that everyone else was writing. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to give the reader something different.
As I was researching one day, I came across a city in Mexico named Teotihuacan. I was instantly intrigued by the city and its limited history. I gathered up all the information I could find on the city. I did have to rewrite most of the book to make my ideas works, and had to take out the vampires and werewolves. In the end I believe it made it a better book. It also made it unique. So, the inspiration for the finished product was Teotihuacan.
Ceri: That’s awesome! And also gives the story a unique quality. Love exotic settings. What do you like to do besides write?
S.J.: I love reading and wish I had more time to sit down and enjoy a good book. I also love the stupid little internet games like Bejeweled. I am addicted to them, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I also enjoy hanging out with my family. Whether we’re going to the park or sitting around watching cartoons or a movie, we always have a good time.
Ceri: I have Bejeweled loaded on my computer, but I try to avoid it too, unless I’m on the phone with someone and I can’t concentrate on anything else. Okay, now answer each of the following.
Pick one word to describe yourself: Bubbly Favorite animal: I love cats. Big, small, exotic, or domestic. Favorite comfort food: Ice cream Spring, summer, autumn or winter? Autumn Favorite book: Asking me to pick a favorite book is like asking me to pick which of my children is my favorite. So here’s my answer, my book is my favorite LOL.Perfect answser! Favorite movie: The Princess Bride If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to do? I would probably do something with art, abstract or collages, to express my creativity. As of now, my writing is that creative outlet. Best vacation ever: I’m gonna have to say Florida so far. It was mine & my husband’s 10th wedding anniversary. We had a great time.
Time to tell us about your book!
It’s about Katalina, a girl who is a descendant of an ancient civilization. Unknown to her, she has been appointed by the Gods to save humanity from annihilation by an evil priest. She must overcome several obstacles and find the confidence she needs in order to defeat the evil.
700A.D. Teotihuacán, Mexico – The High Priest believed himself to be as powerful as the gods. He set a plague on the city as a demonstration of his power. The Gods took pity on the remaining loyal congregation. They granted each survivor immortality and an extraordinary ability. Three loyal survivors were given a mission of great importance: train the lone human descendant of their civilization to stop the evil priest from damning the rest of humanity.
2012 A.D. San Diego, California – The time has come to finally make Katalina Deckard aware of her destiny. Her life has been a constant struggle since the loss of her parents when she was young. But has it prepared her to save the world? Can her friends, who have survived so long, convince her she has what it takes to accept the mantle of Redeemer?
“Who did this?” Tristan asked quietly, almost more to himself than to Kat.
“Probably that bastard Ryan. He is going to pay for every last thing he demolished,” Kat replied, assuming Tristan was speaking about the chaos throughout the rest of the house. She stepped forward and looked around the room once more. It was then that she noticed the black flowers sitting on her dresser. Kat walked over and pulled the small white card from them. She opened the envelope to reveal a card with a beautiful picture of the same flower in white. Tristan came to stand behind her as she opened it. It was a simple message, but one she would not soon forget.
I’m coming for you.
Tristan plucked the card from her hand and reread it. Kat stood frozen in place. Her mind raced with unanswerable questions. Who was coming for her? What did they want from her? Was this actually some sick joke or was someone really coming for her?