We see signs around us all the time, every day in fact. I’m not talking about street signs and stop signs; I am talking about spiritual signs – the messages that we hear if we are listening and paying attention. N. Dunham’s signs came to her in the form of the Red Tailed Hawk and she was listening. She was guided to write stories that included the bird in a prominent way as it was the basis of her inspiration. She works part-time, is a busy mom and a wife and in the midst of that she found the time to write and to create. N. Dunham tells us about getting started with the first in a series that she is writing.
Tell us about the story “Visionary.”
Visionary- Unleashed is the first story in a young adult fantasy series. It’s centered around sixteen-year-old Aislinn Lee Murphy, who mistakenly unleashes her hidden ability to see things before they happen. Little does she know that she’s part of a bigger system, she’s a visionary. A visionary is someone who not only can see things before they happen, but they also have individual spirit animals based on their zodiac signs. These spirit animals can provide visionaries with many skills and astounding abilities.
There are also three rare spirit animals, including the red-tailed hawk, and Aislinn may happen to have that as her spirit animal. If she does in fact have the red-tailed hawk as her spirit animal, her future is unknown.
There is also a secret agency, whose soul mission is to terminate all visionaries and Aislinn has become their next target. Luckily, Aislinn meets fellow visionary, Sebastian Martinelli, who saves her from precarious situations and introduces her to fellow visionaries.
Tell us about your Red Tailed Hawk experiences.
I love red tailed hawks. It’s amazing to spot them soaring in the sky. During the writing process of this book, I must have seen a red-tailed hawk almost once or twice daily. I found it comforting to look up from driving and spot one with its white underbelly and hues of red shining in the sunlight. Because of my fascination with red tailed hawks, I chose to make that specific animal one of the three rare spirit animals in the book.
This is the first book of a series. How many will there be?
There are three books in the series. I chose to do a trilogy so that the story can unravel more with each book.
Where did you get the whole visionary idea from?
The idea just came to me as I put the pen to paper. I originally had another name for the story – The Gift – but “Visionary” seemed to fit better.
Who is the book designed for and what do you expect people to get from reading it?
This book is a young adult fictional novel. I would say that ages twelve and up would be suitable for this story. I would hope that this story would encourage young adults to want to read more, as well as inspire one to dream and be creative. I also share a love for nature and animals and hopefully this book may encourage others to respect nature and marvel at its beauty.
How long did it take you to write the first book?
It took roughly 7-8 months from start to finish.
When will the second one be released?
I hope to have the second book released by September 2013.
How did you decide that self publishing was for you?
I tried traditional publishing in the beginning and realized that it was much more difficult than I had originally anticipated. At first I was against self-publishing, but after I started researching it, I decided that it sounded achievable. The idea of being able to be creative with my book such as cover picture, layout, etc. was also a huge selling point for me.
Have you always had the thought to write in the back of your mind? What let you know that the time was right?
As a teen, I didn’t read much at all. I started to read a lot more when I had children and discovered that I love books, all kinds of books. This led me to think about what kinds of books I might enjoy. I started having many ideas, but never had enough time to put the pen to paper. Last year, when I started writing, the time just worked out. I started writing late at night when the house was quiet and my ideas were able to flow.
Your website allows people to find their own “spirit” animal based on the stories that you have written. Where do the definitions and descriptions come from?
Some of the descriptions come from fact based on the specific animal’s traits and some of the descriptions are purely fiction to entertain and drive the story. I wanted to enhance the traits from the spirit animals to provide each visionary with unique abilities.
Do you personally believe in “visionaries” or psychics?
I believe that some people have psychic or strong intuitional abilities, but the idea of visionaries, in regards to my book, are purely fictional and for entertainment purposes.
What are your expectations or plans/dreams for your future career?
I would love to be able to continue writing full time. I have other story ideas that I would love to put together if the future allows me to do so.