Interview Raksha by Frankie Rose

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Title: Raksha
Author: Frankie Rose
Genre: YA/SciFi/Dystopian
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 27 2013


She has no name.

She has her knives, her training, and her halo.

The first and second give her the ability to defeat the opponents she is pitted against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until…

Fear… Pain… Anger… Happiness… Desire… Guilt…

Love.

When a newly named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blond boy, whom she refuses to let save her. The sights and sounds of Freetown are new, yet one thing is familiar: the matches. The only difference? Where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the Colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets.

Without her halo, the inhabitants of Kit’s new home consider her saved, but is that really the case? Would she be better off free of the guilt associated with all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain?

Raksha is the call of the dead. It is the rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The Colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.




I am pleased to have Frankie Rose, the author of Raksha, with me today. 


**Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live, etc.? When did you start writing?

I was born and raised in the UK. I moved to Australia three years ago now. I met my hubby here and that’s all she wrote. I recently became a permanent citizen of probably the most beautiful country in the world, and I’m loving it here. 

I started writing when I was a pretty young. I loved writing poetry with my nana, and I suppose that’s how it all started. I loved English in school—it was one of the only subjects I looked forward to. I did well in school, was academically successful in my subjects, but I hated going. English class was a brief moment in my day when I felt challenged, like I could accomplish something that would mean something to me by the time I left the classroom. 
I started writing books just two years ago. 

Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.

Raksha is a post apocalyptic YA dystopian novel, focusing on a young girl named Kit, who has lived within this society where every aspect of her life is controlled. She’s basically owned, a possession of the House that raised her, and she fights once a month for them in the Sanctuary’s Colosseum. Her emotions are entirely controlled by her halo, a collar-like device that sits around her neck. She’s always had it since she was born. 

We follow Kit as she escapes the Sanctuary after her halo is ripped free. She meets Ryka, our brooding blond-haired love interest. He takes her to his home, Freetown, where the knife fighting is just as prevalent as it was in the Sanctuary, except there people fight voluntarily, for sacrifice and for their honour. 

I won’t go into further details, because we’d be approaching spoiler territory, but Raksha is the story of a girl being reborn and having to figure out how to live again—who she can count on and who she can trust. 

I was inspired to write Raksha because of my first book, Sovereign Hope. There was a knife-fighting scene in it towards the end, where the protagonist is defending herself against someone she never thought she would have to fight, and I was hooked. I just knew I had to write a knife-fighting book. 

What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?

Being able to create whole worlds and intricate characters that think and feel. It’s an incredible gift to be able to do that. You’re sharing a part of yourself every time someone reads your work and that’s a beautiful way to communicate with people. It’s even better when those people then contact you and tell you that they’ve enjoyed what you’ve written. The rewards are double fold. 

What is your writing schedule like?

Hectic!! I write when I can, which often ends up being the early hours of the morning. I edit for other people, create video trailers and do graphic design as well, so I’m always incredibly busy. 

Who was your first author crush and why?

My first author crush was Neil Gaiman. He’s still my favourite author, because his writing translates itself very visually to me, and I find his style totally immersive. I lose myself entirely every time I pick up one of his books. I would love to meet him one day. I would have to thank him for inspiring me so much. 


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. Writing a novel is hard. It’s not putting pen to paper and letting a story pour out of you that’s the difficult part, though. Sure, that bit is time consuming and takes everything you’ve got, but the real hard work doesn’t start until after you’re done. Revisions and re-writes are hateful, and then when it’s all over you have to send your book out for people to review. The sad truth is that not everyone is going to love your book.

It’s probable that there will be people who don’t get what you were going for and won’t leave a nice review, or who will criticize your story. That part can be soul crushing, and I think that’s the stage when people are most tempted to give up. You’ve put all this effort, blood, sweat and tears into your work, and then it feels like you’ve failed because one person didn’t like it. It’s hard to learn how to get yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on regardless in the beginning.  

If you could write another genre other than romance what would you write?

I would love to write a sci-fi novel. I’m such a sci-fi geek. 

Are you panster (write by the seat of your pants) or plotter? How do you write?

Plotter, for sure. It’s been my experience that without a plan of where you’re headed, it’s very rare that you’ll end up where you’ll need to be. It’s like heading out on a journey without a map. You’ll only end up confused, frustrated and very, very lost. 

Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?

Heck yeah. Sovereign Hope, my first novel, was called so many different things before I decided on Sovereign Hope. Raksha was actually called The Haven as a working title for a long time. I knew I wasn’t going to call it that in the end, but I needed something to refer to the project by!


If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which book or series would it be?

Oooh, tough question. I’d love to see Raksha as a movie for sure. I think the Hope Series would make a good TV series. I’m actually dipping my toes into the realms of script writing right now. I’m learning a lot, and it’s very exciting to be able to think of a more visual outlet for my writing. That’s something I’m passionate about.

What specific piece of advice would you give a would-be writer trying to kick start a career?

Connect with other writers. Writers, especially established indie authors, have been or already are where you wanna be. They’re a font of useful information, and we indies love helping each other out.  Stupidly, I didn’t think to do this when I set out, and I learned everything by trial and error, figuring out how to do things for myself. Basically, the very long, very hard way. It doesn’t need to be like that. 


What route did you take for publication?

Self-pub all the way! Total control, and I get to keep all of my royalties! 

Which actor(s) screams SEXY to you?

Ha! We could be here for some time. I love Tom Hardy more than is healthy, I think. I’m also besotted with ahem, clears throat—Zac Efron, Evan Peters, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Anson Mount (he’s just so scruffy in Hell On Wheels) hmm… Ian Somerhalder, the guy from Safe Haven that’s married to Fergie, whose name I can never remember… I think I need to stop now.

A lot of people think that genre hopping isn't a good idea. What do you think?

I think, as a writer, that if you don’t swap up your genres you’re not challenging yourself. You become comfortable with what you’re writing, and it would be too easy to become lackadaisical and safe.  There are so many different stories out there to be told. It would feel terrible to limit myself to telling only one kind of story. 



Frankie Rose is a British expat, who is currently enjoying the perks of living in Australia- her awesome husband, sunshine, and vitamin D. She spends her time creating fictional universes in which the guy sometimes gets the girl, the heroes occasionally die, and the endings aren't always happy. But they usually are.

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