Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interview With Bree Despain, Author of THE DARK DIVINE

When I opened the pages of THE DARK DIVINE, I had no idea I would be so instantly and thoroughly absorbed by the story. I devoured this book, soaked up a story that was at once haunting, engaging, and fun, and loved sliding beneath the skin of Bree's characters. This was one of those rare books where I finished the last page and wished I had the time to immediately read it all over again. The story lingered with me for days. Days. With all the books I read, all the manuscripts I critique, all the chapters I write, it's rare for a story to take root so deeply for me. I promise you, if you read this book, you won't be disappointed.

Here is a quick peek at the premise of TDD:

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood—but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Thankfully, Bree wasn't put off by my fangirl squealing over TDD. In fact, she was gracious enough to agree to be interviewed by none other than our blog's mascot--The Were-llama! It takes an intrepid girl to take on the Were-llama.


Bree Despain

Now that you know who's who, it's time to dive into the interview and unveil the awesome Cupcake Character my hubby made in honor of THE DARK DIVINE. In Grace's yard stands a weathered walnut tree where important moments for Grace and Daniel happen. My hubby decided to turn that tree into a cupcake. And yes, it's all edible. Without further ado, I give you the TDD cupcake and Bree's interview.

1. So, you’re a writer. I’m a super-scary shape-shifter who can command obedience with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. What do we have in common?

Two words: Mind Control

2. I like to spit at my enemies from whichever end is closest to them. Do any of your characters have cool abilities like that?

One of my characters has wicked awesome parkour skillz

3. If I had a nickname, it would be The Awesome. You?

In middle school I was dubbed “The Killer Bee” after I accidentally punched a jerky guy in the face—at church. It really was an accident. I swear. (Sort of.) I had no idea that I’d break his glasses . . . or that there would be so much blood.

4. I hang around this blog because I love stories. What’s your story about? Bonus points if it includes a llama.

THE DARK DIVINE is a modern exploration of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. The story is about a girl named Grace whose family never talks about the night her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood, and his best friend Daniel disappeared—that is until Daniel returns 3 years later and enrolls in Grace and Daniel’s school. Torn between her loyalty to her brother and her attraction Daniel, Grace must discover the truth behind her the boys’ dark secret, and find the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate price to do it—her soul.

Oh yeah, and there’s a talking llama who shoots lasers out of his mouth.

5. So few authors recognize the marketability of a novel with a laser-shooting llama! You’re making me a cake worthy of my awesome Were-llama status and decorating it to represent your story. What does it look like?

I kind of suck at visual crafts (although cake decorating is something I secretly wish I could do) but I imagine it would involve lots of chocolate and some purple awesomeness.

6. Any Were-llamas in your book?


7. Anyone who might be a Were-llama and you just haven’t figured it out yet?

Okay, so maybe there might be one in the sequel. You’ll just have to read it to find out.

8. Llamas or camels and why? Think carefully.

Llamas all the way. I prefer my animals without odd lumps.

9. A woman with taste! I give you a baby Were-llama as a companion. What do you name her?

Litl’ Mittens: The Destroyer

10. My favorite word is “awesome” because, yanno, look at me. What’s yours?

“Awesomer” . . . because, yanno, what could be awesomer than that word?

11. Seriously? We could be a team. Team Awesomer. As a young Were-llama, I dreamt of taking over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time. What did you dream of doing when you were young?

I wanted to be an Egyptologist . . . or Michael Jackson’s girlfriend. It was the 80s after all.

12. Cake or cookies?

Nothing better than a really good piece of rich flourless chocolate cake. Did I mention that I’m allergic to flour?

13. Do you share chocolate?

Depends on my mood. But my hubby knows that he should never take the last piece.

14. The Zombie Goat invasion is upon us. How will you fight them off?

Let them eat all of my non-recyclables. Seriously, a zombie goat invasion could be great for our landfill overcrowding issues. I’m pro-zombie goats.

Thanks for a fun interview, Bree. And for writing such an incredible book! To learn more about Bree, visit her website. To get your hands on THE DARK DIVINE (and you really, really should), go here for purchasing options.

Now, for a little more fun. Bree brought goodies to give away on the blog today! She's got a fun TDD package that includes a bookmark, stickers, and TDD purple nail polish. (The nail polish needs to be mailed within the US, but feel free to enter for the other goodies if you're outside the U.S.) To enter, just leave a comment for Bree (she'd love to hear if you have any funny nickname that can rival The Killer Bee!).


  1. Thanks for being on the blog, Bree! (And we won't count this comment toward the giveaway.)

    The strangest nickname I've ever been given is Ciej (a friend once turned that into The Ciejinator once, but I nixed that right away). I laugh when someone calls me Ciej because, really? The "ay" sound is too much to say?

    And I may have once been (quite erroneously) called The Boobless Wonder. As I'm the girl who once punched herself in the chin on an amusement park ride WITH HER OWN BREAST, I can testify to the falsehood of this statement. lol

  2. Wow! That cupcake is amazing. The tree is edible too? I can't believe it.

    I don't really read YA, but this book sounds very interesting. Plus, if you recommend it....I'm putting it on my wish list for next time I'm at the book store.

    Nickname? Um. In highschool they called me Kung Pow because I used to take karate and I was showing a friend some moves in the hall and I ended up hitting a teacher who was walking by. I got in trouble but my friends thought it was cool.

  3. Any woman who can insert parkour skillz into her novel and stand to be questioned by the were-llama ROCKS.

    Gotta get my hands on this novel.

    Also, Clint is a cupcake madman. I think he deserves a cape. Yes. He must from now on wear a cape whilst making cupcakes.

  4. The book sounds interesting. I may just have to go pick it up.

    My most common nick name is Flo because Florina is apparently too difficult for some people. Then in Middle School dare I say I was called Torpedo Tits, yest it's totally true.Obviously I developed a bit early.

    The cupcake was amazing, it makes me sad to think all that time was spent on something we just consume. Oh well, it is/was lovely.

  5. Mayberry - Kung Pow, huh? I shall call you that from now on.

    MG - I have several awesome capes. I'll inform Clint he gets to wear one while cupcaking. He will be pleased.

    Florina - lol on the nickname! And we don't eat the artistic cupcakes on this blog. I'm freezing them so I can create a cupcake army! Mwahahahaha!!!

    No, really. I am.

  6. Loved the interview :) And the book sounds interesting, even if there are no were lamas or zombie goats. I've added it to my list.

    My nickname through email with my best friend in college was The Freeze Dried ReFried Brain, because that's how I felt.

  7. LOL! Awesome interview, Bree and CJ. You guys crack me up. :-)

  8. Great interview! I'm likewise duly impressed by Clint's mad cupcake skillz, and the plot of TDD. Sounds fascinating!

    My father, the man responsible for my name, also decided that Gretchie would be a cute nickname. I'm spent the last 27 years convincing him that he is incorrect. Most everyone else calls me Gret. My boyfriend enjoys using whatever fun variation of "Gret" and "insert random sound here" enters his mind at the moment. On vday this year, my card was addressed to "Gretter-pie, honey bunch." Yes, the cross I bear, it is great ;)

    He also calls me Danger Stull, because I may have gotten myself into a few interesting situations back in grad school that I had to wriggle my way out of. But that's a story for another time...

  9. Okay, that was definitely *NOT* a stuffy author interview. Thanks for the fun all the way!

    My favorite nickname was Barti the Looch in grad school. I also like it that Jim (aka @groovymystery) addresses me as "Random" because of my Twitter handle (@RandomOenophile).

    Could definitely use some purple nail polish to shock the little old ladies in yoga class... A laser-shooting were-llama would be cool, too.


  10. Don't count my comment either, yo.

    Ciej - looking forward to calling you the Ciejinator at the first possible opportunity.

    Bree - I just love you more all the time. You're my new roll model. Congrats.

    Clint - Whatcha gonna do with that cupcake?

    Werellama - Nothing. You know where I live.

  11. Hi CJ and Bree!
    Bree, your book sounds great. I love stories where the obstacles to h/h connection seem truly insurmountable.

    I still like stories where I *can* see the way out--the romantic journey can still be a lot of fun--but I lOVE when I *can't* see how they'll ever get through it.

    No nicknames for me that stand out. Although we & some friends did come up with the names most unlike us, and still sometimes use them. My husband's Unlike-You name is Gary. Jeez, I forget what mine is . . . LOL

    Thanks for the rec, CJ.

    No need to enter me in the drawing.

  12. OMG-You guys crack me up! And I have to agree with Bree--a Zombie Goat invasion would be the perfect solution to our landfill issues. Perhaps we should alert the President so he can get a team of scientists on it?

    As far as nicknames...oh boy, I KNOW I'm going to regret sharing this (CJ's going to have WAY too much fun with this information) but I LOVE TDD so...FINE.

    Growing up my dad used to call me Dabber. Apparently my sister had a hard time saying my name after I was born, and called me Shabba. SOMEHOW my dad turned that into Shabba Dabba Doo, which somehow turned into Dabber, and then...actually became The Dab. I finally threw a big enough fit in middle school to get him to stop...but occasionally he still tries to slip a "Dabber" in there. *Sighs*

  13. That was too fun! Bree and the awesome were-llama rocked!

  14. OMG anyone who punches a jerky guy in the face... gets major brownie points.

    My maiden name is Teeters. Yep, that's right. TEETERS. Do I even have to tell you the awful nicknames that sprang up with that baby? Especially around the 7th-8th grade timeframe?

    TDD is superb :) I had a giveaway on my blog (for an extra copy, not my own) and it was like... a HUGE deal. People were taking each other out and, I mean, I've just never seen anything like it ;)

    *scurries off to reread TDD bc I TOTALLY missed the llama who shoots lasers from his mouth!*

  15. Oi. Sorry for the lack of commentage today. I'm writing at Borders and the their internet keeps petering out every45 seconds. So I'll type fast! Thanks for the interview! And I love the cupcake. Your hubby has mad skillz.

    My fave nicknames so far are Kung Pow and The Dabber. My dad used to call me Zabrisky. Actually, he still calls me that all the time.

    Oh, and I also like the Boobless Wonder used in an ironic sort of way. That could totally be used for me too. I didn't get my girls early, but when they came . . . they came.

    Ah, crap, now I have to go put money in the boob jar again.

  16. As always, another fabulously entertaining blog.

    o.O That is an awesome cupcake! How'd he make the tree?

  17. soooo funny!
    My nickname in middle school was "Watermelons". Yes, it did involve early female development as well.
    Thanks for glitter-fying my Wednesday

  18. I love the cup cake. It's amazing. The book cover draws you into the book just by the look. After reading all the comment, I really want to read this book.

  19. The books look amazing. It's going on my to buy list! Thank you for the plug, and the interview. I love that she is funny...makes a good writer to me!

  20. Nail Polish *stares at it longingly* must have....

    Everyone always called me Air North, *cuz they mistake my name as Ari Noth*

    Its annoying to be called an airplane. :/


  21. I'm just impressed anyone can keep up with Were-Llama who isn't related to CJ or I. I can't wait to pick up this book and would like to remind CJ that sharing with her sister is next to godliness.

    Bree: I've heard so many good things about this book, especially about the authenticity of the private high school.

  22. Sounds way too scary for me, Bree. Especially the laser-shooting llamas. Great interview, though. You guys are nuts, right?

  23. Christy - What a nickname! I have many days when I'm afraid that name describes me perfectly.

    Katy - *laughs* Of course you are!

    Kay! :) When do I get to read your book and do an interview with you? *plots and schemes*

    Gret - Danger Stull? I can so see that.

    Cecilia - I think everyone could use some shocking purple nail polish!

    Myra - You are expressly forbidden to ever call me The Ciejinator. It's a rule. *remembers how you feel about rules* Never mind. It's an ORDER. *remembers how you feel about orders* Um. I'll throw a lemon bar at you! *hopes that does the trick*

  24. Kris - Now I'm dying to know what your Unlike-You name is. I'm guessing Bertha.

    Shannon - YOU go ahead and alert the Prez to the benefits of Zombie Goats. And cc me. I'd like to read that email.

    Casse - They did, didn't they? Team Awesomer Unite!

    Sara - How could you miss the llama? He shoots LASERS. Out of his MOUTH.

  25. Catie - He made it by wrapping fondant (the smooth frosting you can roll out like dough ... used by professionals) around bamboo sticks and then he free-hand painted the bark. Isn't he amazing?

    Aimee- I'm all about glitterfying Wednesdays!

    Tammy - You'll love this book. I promise!

    Kato - Isn't Bree hilarious? And she's such a talented writer too. Plus, she's pretty. If she weren't a staunch supporter of laser-shooting were-llamas, I might have to hate her just on principle.

    Ari - I'm all for having some shocking purple polish!

    Heather - I would like to remind YOU that I borrowed Myra's copy. Though I'm going to buy my own. This is one book I definitely want on my shelf!

    Annie - *looks around* Are we? I thought everyone ELSE was nuts and we were normal.


People who comment are made of awesomesauce with a side of WIN!

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