Author Interview: Heaven Liegh Eldeen
Welcome to my blog, Heaven. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Thank you so much for having me today. I am really excited. No, seriously if this was a cam interview, you’d see I’m practically gyrating in my chair. I’m a former gang affiliated girl and recovering addict of eleven years, who found a better life through hard work, married life, parenting, and writing. I’m a jokester to a fault, a puzzle fanatic, Facebook addict, and the best secret keeper I know. I live in California with my husband, my son, and a Betta fish named Barry, who my son believes is secret agent, much like Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for roughly two years now. I’ve always had a passion and drive toward writing, but always let my inner demons of doubt talk me out of pursuing it. Then, two years ago, I was challenged by a family to write something better than the books we had been sharing. I sat down at my computer and next thing you know, the passion roared up and demolished every bit of doubt I ever had.
Tell us a little bit about The Demon Side?
My novel The Demon Side revolves around Rahovart, a Demon banished to Earth over five hundred years ago. For centuries, he spends his free time feeding himself on the fear he creates by scaring Quantico, Virginia locals. A master of his craft, Rahovart doesn’t think twice when a new family, the Divad’s, move into the Victorian home he dwells in.
With a workaholic father, an alcoholic step-mother and a schizophrenic eighteen year old girl, the dysfunctional family unknowingly offers the perfect arsenal for Rahovart to plan his tricks. That is until he learns their daughter; Etta can not only see Demons but is already being tormented by Alastor, an incubus. What starts as a turf war between him, Alastor and the Arch Angels, soon becomes a battle deep within Rahovart of good versus evil and more importantly love versus hate.
How did you come up with the idea for the book?
My husband loves horror flicks. I absolutely hate watching scary movies. I do okay with the slasher films such as Friday the 13th and Halloween. However, movies that deal with the unseen, ghosts, and entities, flip me out! It doesn’t matter that I know the movies are completely fake and improbable. I can’t help but run through my house, turning on every light, screaming for my husband to hold my hand while I relieved my bladder during a commercial break. Of course, the jokester my husband is, never resisted cracking a few jokes about what a pansy I am or attempts to scare the poo out of me on our way back to our recliners.
Tired of pranks and jokes, I built a self-defense mechanism in my head. I keep my eyes on the television but send my brain into La-La Land. Well, they have scary monster in La-La Land too. Lucky for me, I set the rules for that amusement park.
Short story longer, one evening I snuggle into my hubby as he turns on what is not just a scary movie, but the worse kind of scary movie, one about demons and ghosts attacking you in your sleep. How do you defend against that? You can’t. So, my defenses raise and off goes my brain to stand in line at the tea cups, when suddenly a Demon stands in line behind him.
Being the cordial little guy, my ball of pink spaghetti happens to be, he strikes up a conversation with the mortifying beast. Next thing I know, Rahovart, Etta, John, Alastor, The Arches and Rene are at the snack bar, stuffing their faces with nachos, sucking down lemonade and trading stories back and forth while I sit in the background typing every word that passes between them.
Was there any research involved before you started writing the story?
Oh my goodness there was tons of research going on. It’s hard to pin point facts when dealing with such controversial topics such as angels, demons and faith. So, I studied various accounts from different major religions. I truly believe I spent more time at the library and on Google than I did writing. After filling my brain with the folklore and legends, I took the bits and pieces that worked best for The Demon side and put new twists on common beliefs.
Who’s your favorite character in the story?
That’s a tough question. I relate to and love all of my characters in The Demon Side. Each one has a piece of me in them. I’ve basically named the voices in my head and materialized them on paper. Rahovart is my Demon. Etta is my innocence. John is my strength and Rene is my ignorance. If I have to choose only one I choose John Divad, our Marine father. He has such strong family values, honor and drive. Daily life for him is a struggle between balancing his alcoholic wife, schizophrenic daughter and work, but I think he’s does it gracefully considering his circumstances. Of course, for his character, I drew a lot from my husband so naturally he would be my favorite.
Is this the only genre that you’ve written of? Or have you experimented with others?
I don’t really pay attention to genres when I write. Trying to stick to one I find stifles my creativity. I am currently working on novels that have zombies, shape-shifters, demons, and autistic characters in the forefront. I write what my head comes up with and let the publisher figure out what box to put it in.
Do you have any current projects lined up that you’d like to share a bit about?
If you ask my husband, I’m working on way too many projects. He can’t understand how I keep them all straight. I am currently working on six other novels, including the second book in The Demon Side trilogy. In book two, The Human Side, told from Etta’s perspective, we find our main characters, Ra, Etta, John and Rene, trying to pick up the pieces of their lives, while dealing with new happenings. Once again, good versus evil will collide around Etta, but our hero may just surprise you.
How do you find inspiration when writing?
I pull inspiration from everything around me, from music, the people I know, people I knew once, and from my life experiences with a little twist. I even have a shirt that reads “Be careful or I’ll put you in one of my novels!”
What has influenced you the most?
To be honest, what has influenced me in my writing is the liar in me. I am an honest person but even the most honest people have a little guy inside them that’s beckons them to tell even just a small white lie. I mean how many of us sat around a campfire, telling a scary story and started it with “Okay, this is a true story…” Authors allow that little lying fella out with free reign.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
Spare time? What is that? After juggling my responsibilities as a Domestic Goddess, writing and obsessing over my Facebook page, you’ll find me at my local gun range or out in the wilderness with my husband and son. Nothing says relaxing like blowing holes in paper and teaching my son about all the different plants and wildlife our great Earth has to offer.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I write from the hip completely. I tried doing story boards, outlines and characters bibles, but I found with my style of writing, my characters didn’t quite develop the way I intended. So, I sit down and let my brain and fingers just run wild.
Do you have any recommendations for books to read that you think my readers would enjoy?
Besides The Demon Side? He-he. I just finished a compilation of short stories, What Tangled Webs by Dan Dillard. If Horror with an adult comedic twist is your thing than I definitely recommend his work.
Who’s your favorite author/book?
I have so many! Asking me to choose just some is like asking me my favorite color of M&M’s. Impossible. But, for you I can try. I read mostly true crime novels but dabble in a few other genres as well. If I narrowed the list down, I would have to say my favorites have to be Ann Rule, Harold Schechter, Dan Dillard, Katie Harper, Benjamin Russell, Tina Folsom, Ciar Cullen, Richelle Mead and Kelley Armstrong. I can go on and on, but I doubt you want me taking up that much time.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
Thank you to you and readers again for having me today! I hope to see you all soon on Facebook and Twitter.
There you have it, Everyone, a lovely interview with the author of The Demon Side, Heaven Liegh Eldeen. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this interview very much. I look forward to future releases of your work. Best of success with all you do.
Synopsis: When worlds collide… Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out! Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic. One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down . . . .
About The Author:
Heaven started her writing career two years ago after being challenged by a relative to write something different than the barrage of vampire novels on the market. With her ‘Oh, Yes I can!’ attitude, determination and support from her family, she completed her first novel The Demon Side, releasing this October. When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook book page, you can find her at the computer revising or editing one of her five works in progress. Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son and a beta fish named Barry.
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