About Ashes and Ice:
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance to be released Winter 2012
She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.
Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.
Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn’t offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.
LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.
Author Rochelle Maya Callen
Tell us about yourself:
So you want to know more about me, eh? Well, the short of it is this: I grew up with a book under my arm. I frequently read until dawn by flashlight so that no one could see I was up by the light under my door. I scribbled stories in the corners of notebooks and was convinced I would be a novelist one day. And then *BAM* twelve years later it happened! Hmmm, what happened in that twelve years? I entered high school at thirteen and promptly abandoned my stories and dreams of being a novelist for a path of study that I hoped would make me suitable for political office and would eventually land me in a big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. My fervent passion for social & political justice fueled my studies and I did not read a single fiction book (unless my study required) until two years after I graduated college. I worked up to four jobs at a time. Only one stuck: behavioral therapy. I have been a behavioral therapist for the past 8 years and have focused on cases of severe mental illness and autism. So, how did story telling creep back into my life? I owe it all to my daughter—then in my ever growing pregnant belly—and the fabulous nausea that she insisted on blessing me with. For a period of time, I was so sick that I could barely get out of bed. It was then that I decided to pick up a novel. I fell in love again. I tore through books and read them late into the night. I think my husband worried about me. He would wake up to see me sniffling or laughing or taut with anxiety all because of the book in my hand. During this time, I found a chapter and character sketch about an extraordinary girl named Jade that I had written at 12 or 13. Those few pages were the catalyst to writing Ashes and Ice. It took years to write. I was so intimidated by the process! It wasn’t until my sister said she would not speak to me if the rough draft wasn’t finished by her birthday (earlier this year). That got me writing! Now, I am writing every spare moment and have not only the rest of the Ashes and Ice trilogy mapped out, but also three other projects in the works.
I feel incredibly blessed to have found my love of books and writing again. It truly was and is my dream—I had just forgotten about it for a time. And finally, I am living it.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
It chose me! I really had little say in the matter. I got ideas in my heads and the ideas were always for the YA crowd. I have a few some ideas that are contemporary, paranormal, SCI FI, and dystopian… but it all stays YA.
Where do you get your ideas?
It’s a strange process, but it generally goes like this:
An image bounces into my head. Let’s say it is a girl looking through a fence into the wilderness (muahaha, spoiler alert! Look out for *A DARK AND DELICATE SILENCE* sometime in the future :). Then from that image, I think about what is she doing there? Who is she? Why does she look so desperate? So sad? And then the story trickles in. I always get either the first scene in a story or the last and then I scramble to figure out where he/she is going or how they got there. Then I tend to do a lot of daydreaming, plotting, writing. Most of my new ideas just pop up while writing and I sit back and say, “Well, that sure as hell complicates things!” It is a process of discovery and I ADORE it. J
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
JUST DO IT. The only reason I ever finished the rough draft of Ashes and Ice is because my sister threatened to not speak to me if I didn’t have it done by her birthday (this past April). I had been talking about writing the book for YEARS. I had set crazy deadlines for myself and failed to meet all of them. It takes a lot of dedication to write a novel. I had legitimate excuses. I had a toddler, a sweet but semi-demanding husband, a full-time job, blah, blah, blah. But, my sister’s threat made me realize that I had talked about this for too long. This was something that was burning in my heart to do, so I had to do it no matter what it took. The weekend before my sister’s birthday, I had a total of 80 pages. By the end of the weekend, I had the rough draft done with 190 pages. If you want to be a writer, realize a couple of things: 1) Writing takes time and that’s okay. Be realistic with your goals and be prepared to re-write. 2) WRITE. If you never carve time every day or every week to write, then you are letting your dream slip through your fingertips and your stories deserve better. Carve out the time and write, write, write!
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I really love meeting fellow book lovers online! I mostly use Facebook for networking and getting word out about things going on with me or Ashes and Ice. I also have a website, goodreads page, twitter, and jump onto sites like Absolute Write Water Cooler from time to time. But in the end, Facebook has been what has brought Ashes and Ice the most exposure. There are so many groups and blogs that connect on FB that it makes it super easy to stay connected.
Whats next for you?
Well, first off is launching Ashes and Ice! Then I will be hard at work to publish Ashes and Ice #2 in 2013. Ashes and Ice #3 will follow in late 2013 to early 2014. I have two stand-alone novels I would like to write as well as two new trilogies. One of the stand-alone novels about the Mexican myth of La Llorona is really trying to claw its way onto my keyboard. If possible, I will release that one in 2013, but we will see!