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3 things I have learned from writing the Crystal Series

Crystal Box Set JPEGSo, all 9 books in the Crystal series are complete, and I’ve just finished doing my own edit of Delirium (book 5) in preparation for sending it to my editor, and I’ve realized that I have learned a lot of things from writing this series. I thought I’ll share with you 3 of the things I have learned.

1. Women (even Christian women) love bad boys

I envisioned Juda’s character before I started writing the series and I knew how weird I wanted him to be, but I wasn’t sure if readers would be able to handle him. In fact, I almost made him just some ‘normal’ guy; still Luke’s son but not a practitioner and not a killer. More like a son that Luke is disappointed in. But I thought there would be much more scope for conflict and moral dilemmas if I wrote him exactly as he looked in my imagination. I’m so glad I went with my gut. I thought everyone would hate him, but even at the end of Surrender (Crystal 2), before Juda had shown many redeeming qualities, readers were rooting for him. I knew I’d gotten the portrayal of his character right when my best friend who is a voracious reader, very serious about her walk with God and hates reading anything that isn’t ‘sound’ scripturally told me she likes Juda after reading Surrender. My jaw almost literally dropped. I thought she’d hate him and just not give any comment about the book so as not to hurt me. Her name is Sade, by the way. I usually write with her in mind as she represents my target audience. I thought she would either love or hate this series and that she might just about tolerate Juda. I’m so glad she, and most of you, get what I’m doing with Juda’s character.

2. Spanish words and phrases

As I edited Delirium, the next installment of the series, I realized that Alejandro wasn’t speaking enough Spanish, so I added some phrases and exclamations as I went, and for most of them I didn’t even have to use the online translation tool that I usually use. I just know so many Spanish words now as a result of writing his character. I love Alejandro. His silly, obnoxious, flirtatious and vain–but lovable. I enjoyed writing from his POV in Delirium.

3. Christians truly have nothing to fear

I recently tweeted this quote because it really resonated with me:

‘The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe’ – Gustave Flaubert.

This has been so true of me in writing this series. I come from a Christian background where I have seen a lot of things happen with regards to ‘deliverance’ and things like that. I have heard things that freaked me out but simultaneously gave me an awe for God. And I am a total wuss who was terrified when I watched Scary Movie 2 (lol, okay I’m actually not that bad), so I’ve always thought I need to deal with my borderline fear of the supernatural.

I believe in the power of God, I believe in His supremacy, I believe that at His Name every knee bows, and these beliefs guided this series. The whole series has taken me just under a year to write, which is a long time to spend thinking about how God is greater than anything/anyone else and how the occult is all just counterfeit. My mind has been immersed in thoughts about God’s nature, His power, His love and His supreme authority over everything, and I have found that the more focused I am on God and His attributes, the less afraid I am of anything else and the stronger my faith is.

There is a scene in Secrets (Crystal 6) that made me stop and think about just how matchless God’s power is. There is another scene in Powerful Enemies (Crystal 8) that moved me to tears because I tried to imagine myself in the situation I’d put my characters in and asked myself if I would have faith and trust God to deliver me. Lol, if people watched me as I wrote this series they’d think I’m nuts, ha ha.

Anyway, writing this series has made me a stronger and more confident Christian. Writing about Crystal’s defiance and refusal to submit to pressures that would estrange her from God has made me more resilient myself. I hope the series has this impact on everyone who reads it.

Crystal Series Upcoming Book , , , ,

Cover Reveal: Delirium (Crystal 5)

Happy New Month Everyone!

Delirium2c The release of Delirium is fast approaching. I was thinking July 1st, but it might even be before then 🙂 I’m a little apprehensive about Delirium because readers finally get into Alejandro’s head, woohoo, and it’s a pretty weird place. Alejandro is a womanizer with a one track mind, but this series is still supposed to be ‘clean’ and Christian, lol.

Delirium follows Crystal and the team as they create an antidote to the drugs in the water and then try to get their antidote released to the nation. It also follows Alejandro as he tries to seduce older married women, including Crystal’s mom, Lexi. The challenge when I was writing this book was to keep Alejandro’s character authentic without going too far, since he’s not a Christian, he can be pretty crude, and he thinks about sex pretty much constantly. I think I did an okay job and managed to strike the right balance. I’m sure you’ll all tell me if I didn’t, lol. But you have been forewarned. There’s nothing graphic so don’t worry. Anyway, here’s the synopsis:

A frantic race against time

A cocktail of dangerous SOT-made drugs has been released into the water supply, and everyone is going nuts…

The SOT’s plans seem to be coming together nicely, while nothing that Crystal’s team is doing seems to work. With the opening of new ‘spirit centers’ all over the country to ‘combat’ the effect of the contaminated water supply, America is falling prey to the SOT’s agenda. Can Crystal and her team create an antidote before it’s too late?

***

Over the past two weeks I’ve been back and forth with my poor cover designer. I’m actually very easy to please when it comes to book covers, but I didn’t have any clue what I wanted for this book. Then when I got the cover with the girl in pink with New York City in the background, I really liked it, but Crystal’s skin is a lot darker than that girl’s, so I had to go back to the designer about it. You can see the transition below.

Delirium

 

 

 

 

 

Delirium2 Delirium2b Delirium2c Delirium2d

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been reading the Crystal Series, or if you read the Beauty for Ashes series, you’ll know

Cmillian that Crystal has a drop of Cuban in her. It’s not a big deal, but I do want the girl on the cover to be true to the description of Crystal in the book. I imagine her skin colour to be similar to the gorgeous Christina Millian (right).

I think I’ll be going for the third version of the second cover.

What do you think?

Dayo x

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