Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Feature: Majanka Verstraete author of The Soul Thief

The Soul Thief
The Angel of Death Series # 1
By- Majanka Verstraete
Genre- YA Paranormal
Published By- Booktrope Publishing
Published On- November 11, 2014

When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.


What inspired you to write this book?

The idea just popped into my mind one day. I actually had the idea for the second book first - I was thrown right in the middle of a storyline. Then I had to work my way back to the start.

Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?

Riley, the main character, has a little sister named Cassie. A small part of the book is their relationship as sisters, especially when Riley discovers a secret that threatens that.

How did you choose your title?

The title popped into my mind after I finished writing the book. Considering what happens, it’s very suiting. Then I checked if the title hadn’t been used a lot of times before, and it wasn’t, so I stayed with us.

Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.

I had quite a clear view in my mind about the cover. I could watch the cover artist while she made it (she shared her screen) and that helped me give input when needed. I love the result.

Did you self­publish or publish traditionally and why?

I’m published by Booktrope, a hybrid publisher. I didn’t want to self-publish, because I didn’t want to bear the costs associated with editing and a cover.

What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

The plot can’t be too cliché, and the characters need to be realistic. The readers needs to feel a connection to the characters.

What is your writing process?

I come up with the idea first, and then I work it out in my mind. Then I write a first draft rather quickly (say, a month or so). Then comes the dreaded editing.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I was seven years old. I started reading and writing at around the same time, heh.

How did you get started writing?

I kept making up stories, and I wanted to put them to paper so I wouldn’t forget all the storylines.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A little bit of both. I prefer the pantser part though, but sometimes when I’m stuck in the middle of a book, I’ll sit down and plot out the rest so I know where I’m going .

What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

Editing my first draft. It makes me want to cry sometimes. Luckily it’s not always as bad as I think it is.

What tips can you give on how to get through writers block?

Write every day. Doesn’t matter what. Could be a short, could be a grocery list, could be just something for laughs. As long as you keep on training that writing muscle, you’ll avoid writers block.

What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?

None - I can’t write and listen to music at the same time.

Who is your favorite author?

J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Cassandra Clare -- I have quite a few.

Who is your favorite character from a book?

Aubrey from In The Forest of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. The book isn’t that well-known. It’s about vampires.

What is your favorite book?

In The Forest of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

Read anything good lately?

Yes! I just finished Christine by Stephen King. An oldie, I know, but definitely a good one.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Reading! Heh. And watching TV series. My current favorite is Game of Thrones. I also like watching true crime.

What advice would you give an author just starting out?

Don’t give up. Even if people tell you your work sucks, just keep on writing. You’ll get there. Read articles, learn your craft, don’t let rejections keep you down.

Have you had anything else published?

Yep. I’ve had three picture books published, the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series. Also five chapter books in the Weirdville series for lower graders, and a YA novel, Fractured.

What's your next project?

I’m working on the sequel to The Soul Thief, which will be titled Demonic Pact. I’m also preparing for the release of the sequel to Fractured this Summer - this one is titled Reflected. And then I have an omnibus edition of the Weirdville books coming out in May. Busy, busy! 

About the Author

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library.

She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.

She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.

Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”