Please welcome author Devra Robitaille to my blog. Her book, The Dream Stealers, came out in February.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a retired professional musician and composer; I have had many interesting and exciting phases to my life, I’ve lived in London, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, worked in musical theatre and traveled all around the world. I have a great family and lots of dogs, I consider myself very lucky to have seen and done so much on this beautiful planet. As a writer I try to give back now—hopefully, good family values and uplifting spiritual ideas to young readers.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in London, England and I now live on the Sarasota Bay in Florida’s beautiful Suncoast.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been what my daughter would call a “book-nerd” – as a little kid in London I had a window seat high above the street. I would crawl in between the double glazing and pull the curtains closed behind me, and it would be me and Jane Eyre, or me and Heathcliffe enthralled together in a bubble galloping across the windy moors or dancing a waltz in the candlelight. So the leap from reader to writer was easy and smooth. As an adult I have written scripts and musicals, books and articles, even poetry when I was young.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
Honestly, probably more than I think LOL I try to be outside looking in to the world I create, but I’m sure that just by virtue of me being the writer, the choices that I make for the characters are choices that come from me. Even if the book is about a puppy dog, which is pretty far away from me, a bit of me will sneak in, how could it not?
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
Yes, I have almost finished my next book, it’s called “the Henge” and it’s set in the Bronze age. It’s a rollicking adventure, but more than that I cannot say at the moment (she smiles enigmatically)
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I go in fits and starts, some days if I am inspired I sit at the computer for ten hours straight, then I might take a few days off to go wander and tarry……I love to kayak, and bike, I live on the water so there are always amazing birds and fish and dolphins and manatees to watch and chat to, but when I am in the throes, so to speak, I am oblivious to everything around me. I do discipline myself, but I also cut myself some slack as I recognize the need to breathe in as well as out 😊
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
The best thing is being self-sustaining and self-motivating, I love being inspired and being caught up in a whole new magical world of my own creation; the worst thing is having to slog at the computer, especially the busy work, like proof reading and editing and correcting typos and spelling, Oh don’t get me started…..Since I come from England I was educated with British ways of spelling and punctuation, so I have to make sure everything matches. I do admit I can get grumpy during those times (sheepish grin)
Please tell us about your current release.
My most current book for young adult readers, not the children’s series, is called “The Dream Stealers.” It’s a fantasy space adventure and It’s a really fun read, if I do say so myself.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
It’s a “coming of age” story about a young girl and her journey through the universe to find her father. I’m fond of her because she starts out, as any fifteen-year-old, uncertain and afraid (somewhat snarky too) and as the book progresses she learns self-confidence and some mad skills. I hope my readers are cheering for her as she stumbles along and matures into a wonderful young woman, captain of her own space crew, and ends up saving us all from the Dream Stealers. As far as disliking, well the villains of course, but sometimes one can be fond of a bad guy, or at least admire the sheer dastardliness of how his mind works.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
There are a series of black moments that are resolved by the characters, I guess my favorite is when my characters’ spaceship falls into a rip in space that is a trap set by said Dream Stealers to suck them into their dark and malevolent planet, the Planet Zott.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
The story began to almost write me as I went along….the characters seemed to be guiding me to take them to the places they wanted to go, it was an amazing journey of inspiration, as the characters experienced things, I was experiencing all sorts of synchronicities in my life as I wrote. And in the end, I am proud of how it turned out. I am planning a sequel, once I am finished with the hundred and twelve balls I am juggling at the moment.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I love that question. I have written a book about Santa called “The Efficiency Claus” It’s a fun hoot of a story with lots of cake and baking as the elves of Santa’s kitchen have to form a resistance movement to save Santa from his own evil Chief of Staff. I’ve always been fond of Mrs. Blythe who is the head baking elf and I think there’s more than a bit of me in her.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
Well, being British I have a taste for tea, proper tea, not that watery weak kind. So I have a cup beside me at all times, topped up by my very nice and helpful daughter, Asia. (who will also attest I am grumpy when proof-reading, or if my tea runs out—Tea-poca-lips now!)
Devin’s thrilling story of courage in the face of ruthless greed and skullduggery begins on Earth. Devin is a fifteen-year-old girl who lives with her scientist father who has invented a laser spaceship, the Traveler, and when he goes for a test run the machine returns without him. Devin bravely sets off to find him and learns how to fly the Traveler, encountering many odd and magical characters en route. She ends up on a breathtakingly beautiful planet called Vega which is the headquarters of the Dream Council, where she meets her guides, Ryan and Olam and finds her father again. She discovers that the universe is threatened by underhanded and dastardly bandits called the Dream Stealers who lurk in the border regions between dreaming and waking, attacking dreamers and stealing their dreams. They sell the dreams on the black market leaving their victims trapped in an agonizing wasteland, mere shadows of themselves. The Dream Council is organizing a resistance movement to vanquish the Dream Stealers and recapture the dreams and return them to the dreamers. To her amazement Devin discovers that she is not an earthling, but an alien with incredible talents and she bravely steps up to play her part. She enrolls in the flying academy on Vega to learn to become a fighter pilot in the reconnaissance squadron and begins her inspiring journey of defiance and victory.
About the Author
London-born Devra is a prolific composer, songwriter and keyboardist, as well as an author of books for kids. She had a successful career as a professional musician in England, playing keyboards and touring with Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame, before moving to America in the nineties. Devra now lives in Florida with her family on the Sarasota Bay, and is a consummate foodie, baking lovely cakes and deserts. She continues to write and compose for the theatre, but has discovered a new love, writing for children and young adults.
Devra has written five books, the three books in The Muffy Series: Muffy and the Dog Catcher, Muffy’s Florida Adventure and Muffy and the Medicine Cat are a trilogy of funny and heartwarming chapter books for children. And for older readers, The Efficiency Claus, a rollicking Christmas Tale featuring reindeer, elves and cake, as the workers at Santa’s compound fight to free Christmas from Santa’s tyrannical chief of staff, and The Dream Stealers.
You can find out more about Devra on her website.
You can purchase The Dream Stealers on Amazon.