Interview with Omayra Velez, Author of Clashes of Wills
09 Jul 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Clashes of Wills?
Clashes of Wills is the Third in the series The Assembly of Thirteen. The plot of the Assembly of Thirteen came to me when I was watching one of the presidential debates. I asked myself, What will happen if a society in which the people presented forward candidates and a group of 13 people were the ones with the power to make the final decision to chose between all the candidates. What will happen if one of the leaders would not want to step down when it was time to let others take power? How would it be possible? The story is a social fight for freedom. The thirteen that must select a new leader have four that must protect and lead and in the third book I present the fourth Companion and I begin to lay the ground for the inevitable struggle within the Royal family and the kingdoms they control.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I have been writing stories and poetry for as long as I can write. I kept a journal from my teens. However, it wasn’t until I started my transition to go from an active duty Soldier to a Veteran civilian that I started writing full stories and my therapist encouraged me to write my first book.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
La Charca by Manuel Zeno Gandía
Orix and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I would bring Isabel Allende and I would want to ask her all about her new book A Long Petal of the Sea that is supposed to be published this year. I would like to know if she would be writing any other YA series aside of the city of the Beasts. I would also like to know if she has any comments of what is happening in the countries as the socio-politics-economic in South America and what will this do for the future latino writers? Will she think These unrest impact the arts like it did her country of Chile?
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The freedom it gives me to explore the What if’s of situations. I can let my imagination run wild and make up scenarios. I love that I can create freely.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am a disable medically retired Army soldier. My day starts slow, I must have coffee to increase my pace and I must care for my dog to have a happy environment. After I do all the morning chores, then I sit and write. I can only write in 20 minutes increments. My brain can only concentrate for 20 minutes. Then I must take a break. It takes me a long time to write a chapter but I do it.
What scene in Clashes of Wills was your favorite to write?
The first Companion named June has to jump inside a warrior pit which is like a UFC fighters giant ring. She is from Earth but is a free short in a happy meal and has PTSD. Needless to say, this was one cool scene.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“My first draft is very short-lived. It goes directly to the process of re-writes and to the hands of my alter ego. The part of me that is a military officer evaluating what I expect to be crap.”
“However, my final copy comes out the hands of a proofreader.
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