Today’s post is a special one! I was lucky enough to participate in Caffeine’s book tour for Her Dark Sins by T.R. Tells, and interview the author! This is my first time interviewing an author on Ursa Reads, and I’m not gonna lie and say I was a bit nervous. But Shealea at Caffeine Book Tours was kind enough to help me with this task! A huge thanks to her and Caffeine Book Tours for this opportunity!
And I’m not the only lucky blogger to participate in this book tour. You can head to Caffeine Book Tour’s website to check on the book tour schedule, or scroll down the post to discover all these amazing bloggers that took part in this tour!
But enough chit-chat: I had the opportunity to interview T.R. Tells about her book, her writing process, and her dreams, and I hope her words will convince you to check on this urban fantasy lead by a strong Black female!
I read you started writing at 11, do you remember what your first story was about? Are there some similarities with Her Dark Sins?
I do! It was a spy, adventure story called Adventure of the Teens. During those days I was heavily inspired by Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. The aspect of « a teenage hero » fighting « the bad guys« , friendships, and helping people is similar to Her Dark Sins.
I saw you were also a huge tv show/anime fan. If you had the opportunity to adapt Her Dark Sins for television, what would be your dreams? I’m talking about tv show or anime? Who would be part of your dream crew (directing, casting, writing…)?
Honestly, it could go either way – television or anime. But I’d rather go for an anime adaption with the production and creators that made Kohei Horikoshi; My Hero Academia and Monty Oum’s; RWBY! The books are heavily inspired by superheroes and anime references. I’d like to see more Black female lead protagonist kicking butt.
Honestly, that would be super cool! Your book is about how negative feelings can turn into real monsters if we let them, and how important it is to always be kind to others and ourselves. What was the inspiration for this magic system, i.e. creatures born out of negative feelings?
It comes from our everyday life. The internet, news, and the public are always expressing something negative. It’s our daily life, yes, but people are affected by it on a daily basis: racism, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, abuse, and then some people turn a blind eye when people really need it the most. Imagine our ‘trauma’ manifesting into creatures because of these evil incarnate ways and in some others – those who fight through their trauma, much like our heroine, Hira – uses her ‘trauma-based powers’ in order to fight the manifestations that try to seep our life force just because they were affected by negativity that they didn’t even cause.
Hope, kindness, love… they’re all very important in your work. What other patterns do you like to write about?
I tend to focus on Good and Evil – and most importantly – fighting for Justice; that society needs to change its way and how it treats people.
You’re totally right… And you’re working on book two already! Is there going to be more books? Do you already know how all this ends?
I am working on book two already and if all things fall into place I can only hope it’ll be out late this year (if not early 2021). I’ve planned for this story to go for five books. The books will contain elements of Good vs. Evil, Anime power structures, and fight scenes with the alleged manifestations that have been affecting humanity.
Listen to the Her Dark Sins‘ playlist:
The Paragons of Justice is your second book series. Did your writing process change between your first and second series?
There wasn’t too much change from the first book and second book, except maybe, how it’s written. The second book is even more akin to ‘anime’, superheroes, and I hope people will like as much as I have been creating it.
Each writer has their little habits. What are yours? Do you need to write in a particular place? Do you have accessories (special notebooks, candles, music…)?
I’m a Jack of All trades! I have collections of notebooks galore filled with ideas, outlines, doodles, and the lot. I listen to a range of music from Pop, to instrumental and Anime-inspired music.
What was the hardest scene to write, or the biggest writing challenge with Her Dark Sins?
The hardest challenge was probably making the Heroine, Hira, not sound whiny, mean, preachy, or a do-gooder. She’s a flawed person and a hero that wants to save people, but necessarily be a Hero, even though this is the role she has taken. I hoped to make her like any other ‘Shonen Protagonist’ (Naruto Uzamaki, Ichigo Kurosaki, Izuku Midoriya, Kakorot/Son Goku) who could easily relate to a Black Girl living in Chicago that deals with racism and injustice (but this could be said for any race or gender who has felt some kind of negativity or injustice in their life).
And finally… what is your favorite quote from your own book?
Honestly, there are at least two quotes (I can’t pick just one!) from two different time periods that essential drive the story, society, and Hira as a person. Her Uncle Garvy – the ‘father figure’ since her own father was killed by injustice, often gives her words of wisdom:
“Why do you think your father named you ‘Hira’? You don’t need to be a hero and wear capes or tights, you are a ﬂawed human being, like everyone else, and that is your greatest weapon. We are ﬂawed heroes, in our own right, with the truth to listen, help, and guide. It’s time to stop using our ﬁsts and hateful slurs to put people down and start using our hearts to bring us together in a time of unjust and sin. It’s up to everyone to break free of burden chains that weigh on us and follow the path we believe in.”
And her confrontation with the antagonist of the story — kind of like Spider-Man and The Green Goblin if you will:
“I’ve come to ﬁnd that my fear, my doubt, and my perseverance make me who I am—and if that’s what makes me ﬂawed, then so be it! I will show everyone that you can make it through all the bad things, even if society doesn’t see you that way or mocks you for the predicament you’re in.”
About the author
T.R. Tells chose the pen name created as a play on words “T.R “TELLS a story”. She lives in upstate New York with her Bachelors from Southern New Hampshire University in Fiction and Creative writing. When she isn’t writing novels, ideas, short stories, or finished with her classes; she’s usually scrolling through one of her streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Funimation, etc). She’s a fan of Anime, RPG, and JRPG games; anything historical or fantasy (books or T.V. shows) – she can go on for hours talking about it or really anything that she is passionate about.
T.R. Tells feels a passion towards it and hopes that (even if it’s just one person) feels the amount of effort, love, and determination that is expressed in her writing.
About the book
HER DARK SINS
by T.R. Tells
SELF PUBLISHED / 31st MAY 2020 / YA FANTASY
What happens when an ominous phenomenon forces people’s negativity to manifest into demonic creatures called Umbra Shades that spread Apathy Syndrome to its victims? In a violent and corrupted world ruled by negative intentions, a seventeen-year-old girl with the ability to purge these demons wants nothing more than a better tomorrow… But will she be able to protect her loved ones and save humanity with it?