Interview with Dara Fogel

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had been working on this magnum opus (the GrailChase Chronicles series) for two decades, without real intention to publish. But when my Dad died in 2010, he made me promise to publish. He said that the biggest regret of his 86 years of life was that he had never tried to become a writer & he made me promise not to make the same mistake.

I had not thought my work publishable, as it is not one particular genre, making it very difficult to pigeon-hole, as traditional publishing loves to do. But with the advent of ebooks & the internet, I thought it was worth seeing if anyone else was interested in exploring the weirdness of being human with me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was helped me to reach a broader audience and get more people interested in exploring Subjective Reality.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting into alignment & flowing with my Muse!
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll let you know once I have some!
What are you working on next?
Currently, I am working on Book 2 of he GrailChase Chronicles, Herald of the Dawn. It should be out sometime this spring (2014). It tells the story of what happened after Haldane & Sophia's forbidden affair, once they try to go back to their old, habitual lives, but find that way of life shattered forever.

This is kind of "the Empire Strikes Back" episode in the story, where the protagonists face the backlash of their bold choices in Book 1, The Impossible Lover. But the seriousness is leavened with cameo appearances by a young Oscar Wilde and Madame Helena Blavatsky, both of whom are where I place them at the time I have them.

After that, I will begin getting Book 3, The Finding Within, ready to publish. In that episode, we get to go to Egypt with Madame Blavatsky and climb to the top of the Great Pyramid!
Who are your favorite authors?
These lists are not comprehensive - only what comes to mind at the moment.

Fiction:
Frank Herbert - the Dune series
Marion Zimmer Bradley - the Darkover series & the Mists of Avalon
Robert Heinlein - the Future History books
Tanith Lee

Nonfiction:
Plato
G.I.Gurdjieff
John Lilly
Terence McKenna
Robert Anton Wilson
William Irwin Thompson
Jane Roberts
Marianne Williamson
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My 3 year old son needing food & help in the potty.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I teach philosophy & humanities, as well as have a full family life. I am the volunteer for a local Medieval Fair, as well as on the Vendor Jury. I do a bit of public speaking locally. In my spare time, I sleep.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly, either through recommendations from friends, or through researching something & a cool book turns up.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The Impossible Lover is the 1st story I ever wrote. I did not start writing until I was in my 20s. Although now I realize that I have always thought like a writer, I just thought I was crazy.
What is your writing process?
I wrote my magnum opus seat-of-the-pants to start, but over the years, I have learned about story arcs, character arcs & outline. Although I have done all that for the GrailChase Chronicles, the shape of the story is pretty much the same as it started - I have a pretty good intuitive grasp of narrative structure due to many years in the theater. I tend to trust my intuition on what the story needs. I do use beta readers, but not until I am pretty sure I am done with the piece.

I tend to go over the same ground editing & polishing many times before I am satisfied. But at some point, I have to put it down & do something else for a while & then come back some weeks later for more tweaking & polishing. I find I get my greatest inspirations whilst meditating. I have some weird beliefs about the narrative nature of the universe, and I perceive my job as an author is not to create something new, but rather, to become a clear channel for information and meaning to come from the inner dimension.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The 1st book I recall ever being very taken with was the Phantom Tollbooth by Justin Fowles, I think. I loved that book & still do. It is very cleverly written & showed me what fun could be had with words.
How do you approach cover design?
I used to be a graphic artist, so I have this thing where I can't justify paying someone else to do a cover for me. So I when I started self-publishing, I did my own covers. I like to use Pre-Raphaelite art for my covers, as it is reflective of the time period of the series and is also very beautiful.

It did not matter to me that I knew very little about Photoshop or other computer graphics. Luckily, my husband has a lot of training & experience with Photoshop, so I allowed him to show me just enough techniques & tips to get a cover I was satisfied with. This was easier said than done, as my laptop was overburdened & wheezing, and my copy of Creative Suite 2 outdated & unstable. It would crash unexpectedly multiple times & I learned to treat it very tenderly.

I just got a new laptop and the newest version of Photoshop, so there's no telling what kind of trouble I might stir up next...
Published 2014-01-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Omnipresent: The Sacred Feminine Balance
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,000. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2015 by Starfield Press. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Body, mind, & spirit
The vision of this collection aims to explore all aspects of the authentic integrity of the Divine Feminine, and the “swinging to the opposite extreme” mentalities and actions that have emerged as the Divine Feminine grows in acknowledgement and reclaims Her equal place on Earth, as it should have been all along.
The Impossible Lover Book One of the GrailChase Chronicles
Price: Free! Words: 73,900. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Alternative history
Delve into the eternal mysteries of love, consciousness and peculiar devices! A heretical adventure of the heart, mind and strange technology. A sassy, sexy quest for the ultimate reality. "The DaVinci Code meets Steampunk with Dune flavor crystals" “Great writing, outstanding storytelling and a great escape!” Alex Prosper #1 Bestselling Free Steampunk and #1 Bestselling Free Metaphysical Ebook
Before the Chase: An Anthology
Price: Free! Words: 17,070. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
Imagine a bold world in which descendants of an ancient mystical order secretly struggle to keep the forces of darkness at bay, utilizing every means and device at their disposal. Magic, mystery and strange technology beckon from beyond the limits of history and belief. Three stories of power, love, and pivotal decision from the world of The GrailChase! Chronicles.