Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Interview with Maren Dille, author of The Faith and Fate of David Ghent and International Giveaway

The Faith and Fate of David Ghent Goodreads Book Description: In the Lucen city dwell the descendants of Righteous and Fallen angels. Kept hidden from the rest of Earth and governed directly by Heaven, each descendant is given a chance to prove themself loyal to Heaven, and obtain salvation. For most, the task is encouraging and fair, but for David, it’s devastating.

David Ghent has waited twenty-one years to fulfill a prophecy foretelling the destruction of Lucifer’s power on Earth and Heaven, saving himself and the entire world from Hell’s power.
His training is complete, the city prepared.

As the battle commences, the city’s most beloved daughter, Layla, suddenly appears at the Hellgate. David is then faced with an impossible choice: fulfill the prophecy, or save her life.

The consequences David faces after choosing Layla force him to question his entire life, and his loyalty to Heaven. As the aftermath of failure unfolds, David discovers that the real battle against Lucifer has just begun.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:  I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Faith and Fate of David Ghent explores the life of angels and demons, and the fight against Hell. Prophecy has foretold that David will be the one to conquer Lucifer-- which seems odd since he is a greatly flawed and angry adolescent. Layla, the daughter of two angels, plays his foil, and someone who reminds David of all he cannot become. He hates her completely, and when she comes to Hell's Gate, he decides to save her instead of fulfilling the prophecy. What happens next, I will not reveal, but David and Layla have to deal with the repercussions of his decision.

Throughout the book, I was strangely compelled to keep reading. The reason I say this is David Ghent is a really hard protagonist to like and stick with. Dille takes a great risk in focusing on him-- but she keeps interest with good storytelling and development of her characters. I could tell Dille deeply loves her characters, and it was that love that kept me invested from start to finish. I marveled that in this world, even angels sometimes struggled with decisions that didn't seem clear from the start.

I struggled with David as a character because he's so angry and mean at the beginning of the book and unfairly is cruel to those around him, especially Layla. I had a hard time grasping why he was so hateful towards her, and think that could have been clarified a bit. Then there was Layla-- I was also frustrated with her because she takes all his cruelty without any backbone. I know this is to suggest that she is good, pure, and perfect, but it was hard to empathize with such a character. That said, this all changes halfway through, which made it all worth it-- and makes the characters much more three dimensional. So you should stick around to see what happens.

Overall, a compelling first novel by Dille. While she takes risks with her characters, I believe the way the story pans out makes those risk worthwhile.

Author Blurb:

Maren grew up in Rochester, NY, moving to Provo, UT to attend Brigham Young University in 2004. Meanwhile, she received a license in cosmetology in 2006, and graduated with a B.S. in Home and Family Living-Clothing and Textiles in 2009. She settled in Spanish Fork, UT with her husband.
Now Maren is a stay-at-home mom, part-time piano teacher, cosmetologist, and writer. Amidst the buisiness of being a housewife, she loves reading, writing and playing music, vacationing, going on lots of dates with her hubby and friends, throwing dinner parties, and sewing.
The Faith and Fate of David Ghent is her debut novel. Her other works include a comedic short story, "A Tale of Two Cemeteries," and a middle-grade-reader, The Elephant in the Treehouse. To find out more about Maren, visit her site at
Author Interview
1) How did you come up with the idea for The Faith and Fate of David Ghent?

A: Tough question requiring a succinct answer, but I'll try. The concept of Heaven/Hell had been on my mind lately, as well as the matter of redemption. David showed up in my head as a solution to something I was personally experiencing, ready to fight his way to Heaven. I was ready for a fight, because sometimes life is hard. Once I honed his character, the rest of it came naturally.

2) Tell us a little about how you develop your characters. Who was the most fun to write?
A: Novels always have blueprints for me as far as characters are concerned. I usually like to write a well-rounded cast. That means your classic good guy and bad guy, but with a whole mix of people I call "inbetweeners." Despite how serious a story is, I want humor, sarcasm, facades, and one or two character that are mysterious enough the reader could spend hours trying to figure out. 

Marriana, David's ex love interest, was the most fun to write. Her scenes with David came very easy to me. As a person, she had a lot lacking, but she's sassy and forward. Maybe that's why she was penned so nicely. It's easy to write a character that won't stop shouting in your ear.

3) Where do you derive inspiration?
A: People. All types of people. I listen to people tell me their life experiences, and all I can think is, that'd make one heck of a book! I actually wrote a novella based on a friend's true story that I might publish one day. I've had a pretty cushioned life, but I've met and known several people who haven't. I'm amazed at people who face adversity with courage, and come out on top. The Faith and Fate of David Ghent is a conglomerate of several friends and their challenges.

4) Who has been your best critic? Your best cheerleader?
A: Several people could make each list, but if I have to pick just one . . . Author Sherry Gammon. Her critique of my manuscript was a bit overwhelming, but much needed. Critics are an author's best asset. 

As for cheerleader, no one can top my husband. He's not a literary critic, but he'll spend hours hashing out plot details, character points, and solving story-line problems with me. Plus he kindly tolerates my long hours with my computer.

5) Tell us about a book that you've composed a musical score to in your head. Why did you pick that book?
A: Gone by Michael Grant. It's rare for me to take a YA book quite so seriously, especially science fiction. This novel was artistic for me, creative, and jarring. I was so caught up in the characters that the fictional part of the plot was lost on me. Music fit for a movie played on every page.

6) What do you have on the horizon?
A: That's always a fun question, because it motivates me to start finishing! The project I'm most excited about is an adult novel that chronicles the lives of two childhood best friends that each come from different types of abusive homes. It's much more grown-up than my other work, dealing with abuse, unplanned pregnancy, futile romance, and healing. I'm hoping to finish it fully by the end of 2013, and ready for publication early 2014.  

I also want to write a sequel novella to my short story, "A Tale of Two Cemeteries." That story was well-received, and it was a very fun world to live in. Comedies are challenging, but for me, the most rewarding.

Like most authors, several other unfinished manuscripts pepper my desktop, waiting for me to come back to them. More on those in the future.

Thanks to Maren for this great interview. Sign up to win her great book and other great prizes!
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  1. Thank you for such a fantastic giveaway, and a brilliant blog event! I have added 'The Faith and Fate of David Ghent' to my to-read list, and very much look forward to having the chance to read it! It sounds like an amazing read, so thank you x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
    GFC: lfountain1

  2. Thank all of you for your generosities.
    The interviews are great.

  3. Thank you for the opportunity! Great interview!