Hey all! I am finally posting my review of Ariana Zamora's book, The Dreamer, and the interview I did with her. Ariana is a really neat person I've had the pleasure of getting to know the past few weeks. I'm really excited for her and her book and for what the future holds for her. So without further adieu, my review is first, then the interview.
When Ariana reached out to me to review her book, I was really excited! I had no idea what it was about but once I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it. We start out meeting Anjaleena, Leena for short, waking up from one of her recurring nightmares. She's been having them since she was a small child. We move on to some heartbreak for Leena and the adventure that lies ahead.
Leena's parents move them to her grandmothers childhood home, a place they didn't know existed until recently. Leena chooses the bedroom she wants and there meets Julian, a man from the past. Without giving everything away, Julian asks Leena a favor and through that, the adventure of Leena's life, and her nightmare, begins.
Through this story, we also meet Leena's family and her friends, old and new. Leena's life is in quite an uproar and one of her friends ends up paying a price simply for being mistaken for Leena. I never quite knew what to expect with this book and that is something I really enjoy. The mystery of the book is something that keeps you guessing until the end and believe me when I say I never saw what really happened coming. Ms. Zamora completely surprised me with the truth of what occurred.
And the ending? Um, what? I had to message Ms. Zamora right away to see if she was planning a second book because if not, I would have been extremely ticked. Luckily, she is writing it so we won't have to be perplexed for the rest of our lives wondering what happens.
Overall, this was a very entertaining read. I liked the story, the mystery, and being kept in suspense. I am eager to read the next book and the future works of Ariana Zamora. I highly recommend you read them too.
1. First of all, please introduce yourself to us and tell us a little bit about you.
Well, I'm a 23 year old chick from Vancouver, Washington who is a former Navy sailor. Writing is a passion of mine, and I'm glad to finally be able to share a bit what I can do with the world. I've recently discovered that I adore exercising, and will spend whatever time I can in the gym - which is something I never thought I'd hear myself say. Ever. I'm a zombie killing fanatic on Xbox - again, something I never thought I'd say. All in all, I'm just another weirdo who wrote a story and wanted to share it. I'm just glad that people actually liked what I wrote. Haha!
2. How long have you wanted to be a writer?
There was a time when I was convinced I was going to be a princess. Of course I was only six years old at the time. Then I wanted to be an artist, at age seven. Around age eight I remember telling my family I wanted to be an author. I wanted to publish! I wanted to be famous! Then came ambitions of being an actress, a lawyer, a doctor, an airline attendant, and then back to author. Writing has been something that I've enjoyed doing for a long time. I've only now mustered the courage to publish, and I'm glad I did. I'd hate to live out the rest of my life with the regret of an unfulfilled dream.
3. How long did it take to write The Dreamer?
Haha! Actually, THE DREAMER has been a three year process. From original partial rough draft, to the trash bin, to a revised draft, to the bin, to the forgotten file on my computer, to yet another revised draft, and then to its final form. I continuously doubted myself and was terrified to show my work to anyone, which is why it took so long.
4. Where did you get the idea for your book?
Funny story. I was home alone in my first apartment. I'd just finished watching a creepy movie and I became paranoid, thinking that my place was haunted. Insomnia mixed with paranoia equals extreme creativity.
5. What advice do you have for potential authors?
Honestly...Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't set publication dates...they'll only stress you out. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!!! I cannot stress this enough. Your eyes are trained to read what you want them to read. Give your story to someone fresh to read so they can catch grammar and punctuation errors. Then do it again. And again. Trust me, each time someone reads your story, they'll catch something. As an Indie Author, readers expect your writing to be sloppy and unedited. Why don't you surprise them with your attention to detail? I did, and it really paid off.
6. Who is your favorite author and why?
I adore J.K. Rowling. That woman can paint a picture like none other. She is a master storyteller and I hope to be able to produce work of a similar quality, someday.
7. What is your next project going to be?
I'm currently working on the next book in THE DREAMER SERIES called, THE SHATTERED. I know a lot of people had a problem with the way THE DREAMER ended, and I think it's because I wasn't clear on my intent for a sequel. I could have written another two hundred pages with the material I had at the end of the last book...which is why it seemed to drop off a bit. I'm hoping that readers will stick with me in this journey to find out what happens to Leena and Julian next!
8. What do you hope to accomplish in your writing?
I hope to accomplish my lifelong dream of simply being an author. If one person enjoys my books, then it was worth it. All the heartache, all the time spent, energy, etc.. For every bad review I receive, I know I will grow more. For every good review I receive, I will also grow. I'm just thankful to even be here in the first place.
9. Who has been your biggest supporters for you and your writing?
My big sister, definitely, has been my biggest supporter of me throughout this process. She is amazing. I would never have had the guts to publish if she hadn't been there pushing me.
10. Do you have any quirky habits you do when you write?
I lock the door and turn on old soundtracks and movie scores. I listen to music from The Titanic, Moulin Rouge, The Labyrinth, Peter Pan...basically, anything smooth and relaxing. Most of the time I have to turn off my phone and disconnect from the internet, otherwise I'll never get any work done!
Isn't she awesome?? I hope you all will go read her book and let me know what you think. To find out more about Ariana, please visit her website at www.arianazamora.com