I’m excited to introduce Deana Zhollis. I came across her book, the 9th Symbol, while perusing the Book of the Month on the Black Science Fiction Society. I was immediately taken-into her world and the interesting mixture of her fairy tale and alien domination. I enjoy stories that discuss freedom from sexual abuse. Please check out her interview as well as her response to why she adds the theme of sexual slavery to her works.
Can you tell us a little about your writing bio/experience and background?
Well, there once was a girl named.... LOL!! Just kidding! I've been writing, like most writers, since I was a little girl. Er, actually before I could really write, there were paper dolls and such to act out my stories. My father encouraged my story telling and I won my first writing competition at 12 years old. Then, I went to University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to major in Literature/Writing, but the curriculum was too hard. I minored in the subject instead, majoring in Communications. Several more competitions were won later on after college, as well as participation in local critique groups to help improve upon my writing. Finally, I took the plunge after 8 years of consideration, to self-publish.
What fascinates you about fairy tale lore?
The first thing as a child that you're introduced to are nursery rhymes and fairy tales. It just stuck in my head and wouldn't go away. LOL! All the fantastic things that happened in those worlds....
A cow jumped over a moon? Wow! Rubbing a lamp can produce a genie who can grant you wishes? Cool! I can live happily ever after? I look forward to that! So being taken out of this world into some place with magic and happiness was always appealing to me.
There was a strong message about sexual slavery and freedom in this story, can you tell us a little about this and the importance to you?
Let's talk about sex!!! Heh. Heh. But, I digress.... In a lot of my stories, I have characters surrounded with being enslaved or being weak or both. They are abused physically and/or emotionally, or are witnesses to these things, to where their spirit is at a breaking point...and then I like to liberate them. That's where my "Happily Ever After" comes in. I use sex because it is the most sought out thing in mankind. Its "job" is what people say is the "the world's oldest profession". It's used in ceremonies/religions and also used to control people. It's in politics and decision making (think the 1998 film "Dangerous Beauty" and the courtesans). It's the number one thing people search for on the internet. And when one group of people has power over another group, it's one of the main things that a master would do to a slave. It gives power and it takes power away. It's love. It's sex. It's power. It's powerless. It's everywhere. With every writer, there's an obsession in what they write about, and this is mine.
Symbolism is very important. Why did you decide to weave symbol images into this tale?
It's A Bird... It's A Plane... It's Superman!!! LOL! Society has symbols in everything that we do. Just look at commercials where an object, like a panther, standing near a car symbolizes power, stealth, dark mystery, and sensuality. It gives power to something that can be very simple. It can also give a better understanding, thus empowering, an object, and sometimes giving it a spiritual awakening as well. I love symbols!
I love that this story is a mixture of "V" (alien domination) and fairy tales. How did you come up with or create this world?
Singing: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things. Yes, really. I love to mix my favorite things all up together: Magic, Spirituality, Aliens, Technology, Fairy Tales, Kisses and Fangs. Then, of course, I add the ole Cinderella abuse to the story (but with sex), empower the character to make her a hero, and end it with a Happily Ever After Ending. These are all the things I enjoy watching and enjoy reading, so I make me a cake of it. :)
Can you tell a little bit more about the "Princes"? Creepy but sexy. I've never read about this type of alien.
Oh, YEAH! I want to bring "sexy" to my "creepy"! LOL! But as I said before, I like to mix up my favorite things. So, why not make a sexy Frankenstein of them including different inhuman abilities and features. I have several characters that are a mixture of my favorite things. What I wrote when I was 12 years old, which had won the writing competition, had a character that was: 1/4 alien, 1/4 vampire, 1/4 werewolf, and 1/4 human. I actually listed it that way in the story. LOL! And I haven't changed that way of thinking ever since.
Any closing thoughts? Tell us about upcoming projects.
Oooo, yes! I'm glad you asked! I'm finally finishing up book 2 and book 3 of The Calling Series. They're in the editing stages right now, and they will both be out before the end of the year. There's going to be 4 books of this series in total. The first book, The Made, has been available since 2009 and it was the first book I self-published, and the first book I had ever written. Each book has a beginning and an end, so there's no "to be continued..." type of deal. However, their stories will tie together and answers revealed in the final novel. So stay tuned! And thanks for having me!
Deana Zhollis is an author of sizzling Science Fiction & Fantasy Romance where power, love, magic, future mind and technology merge together at http://zhollis.com/