Fated Paths (The Demons Family Chronicles) by TAT Kulisch
1- Is Demons just a surname, like Smith or O’Brien, or should readers expect the supernatural?
The Demons are a "gang" of friends, who claim each other as family. Each of the members have a tragic background, and believe God has cast them aside, therefore, they call themselves Demons. Readers can expected some supernatural phenomenon and magical realism.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
The best advice I could ever give is, write from your heart. If you don't enjoy the story you're writing, why would you expect your readers to enjoy reading it. It's your story and you voice.
3- What ignited your passion for writing?
I've always had an active imagination. Growing up with social anxiety, I would put myself into other worlds, or at the very least, in a different place than where I really was. As a teen, I discovered a love for reading, and I started creating stories of my own. I guess you could say, the need to escape reality ignited my passion for writing.
4- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
My twitter handle is @TATKulisch. Author friends are Arbie Krae @arbietrart; and Juliet Cromwell @juliet_cromwell.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book at an event, perhaps the book talk at the Keokuk public library?
6- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
I'm currently writing DARKENED PATHS, the sequel to FATED PATHS. This is the second book of a four book series. After the series is complete, I plan to write three prequels, giving backstories for some of the characters, and their journey to becoming a Demon. In October, I'm participating in the Hollywood Book-to-Screen Pitch Fest.
7- How do you feel about Amazon listing your book as "Contemporary Fiction > Literary Fiction" instead of "Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban"?
Thank you for bringing to my attention about Amazon placing my book in the wrong genre category. I can understand how it could be confused as a contemporary, rather than an urban fantasy. The supernatural and magical realism is kind of subtle in my first book, but as the series progresses, readers will easily know something is up.
8- I see you're part of the #LGBTQ+ community. What's your astrological sign?
TAT Kulisch here. I'm a bisexual Taurus, who is bullhead beyond belief and doesn't stop until I get what I want. When life throws me lemons, I throw them back because I'm not fond of lemonade.
9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
Author name: @se4realhinton
Title: The Outsiders
Love because: The reason I love this book so much is because, at the time of my life I read it, I was struggling with manic depression. This book literally saved my life. As I read the story, I could relate to the characters and I no longer felt alone. Though my home life was stable and happy, my social life was awful. Besides my social anxiety, I had to hide my sexuality; otherwise, the bullying I received at school would be a thousand times worse. Just knowing I was a "greaser" like Ponyboy and Johnny, I felt that, though life was tough, it was still worth living.
10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
Besides my mother, of course, my biggest fan is Sara Ruble, a girl I went to school with. After reading my book, she has gone out of her way to spread the word to her family and friends, and she shows her support on my other social media pages. She loves the passion I put into the story and how she can see some of our classmates in some of the characters. She contacted me and said that she was laughing one minute and grabbing tissues the next. A random fan contacted me and said she was in love with Coven Baker, the playful pervert of the Demons family.
11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
The emotions I hope to evoke into reads are compassion and acceptance. One of the key messages in my book is don't judge others based on appearance and social norms. Get to know someone as an individual, learn their history, and accept them for who they are.
The scene that states this message the strongest is on pp. 262,263. Angela is talking to her mother, who is really judgmental, and she is explaining that her mother should judge the Demons based on a name or their outer appearance, but to get to know who they really are, and once she did, she would love them as much as Angela, herself, loves them.
12- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?
Watching other authors on YouTube, helped me improve my writing skills. The advice they shared, was extremely helpful. Not only did I learn some tips about improving my writing skills, but I also learned about how to research for publishers and agents, and what to expect when pitching my story to them.
13- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
Coven Baker; not only is he the playful pervert, who enjoys tormenting his fellow members, but his eyes have an unique purple pigment to them.
14- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? https://diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
The entire Demons family are the main characters. J.P., the leader, is Native-American, Seth Martinez is Latino, J.P.'s girlfriend, Marlee, and Angela Reese are both bi-racial, the Ryce children, Coven Baker, and Brady Harris have mental disorders, ranging from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. There are a couple of gay characters, but I can't say who without spoiling the story. In future books, we will discover a lesbian couple, and another character will have a physical disability, sorry, can't say what kind.
15- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?
Brady Harris. Though he is intimidating because of his huge stature and hostile attitude, he is surprisingly gentle, extremely protective, and very soft spoken.
16- Does your book hold a mirror up to society, and in what way?
I don't quite understand this question, so I'll do my best to answer it. The book is an example as to what society should be. The Demons love and support each other, no matter what. When outsiders have difficult questions, the Demons, instead of getting offended, they explain their situation and try to educate those around them.
17- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?
The only thing I can think of to change is the cost of self-publishing. For those of us, who have anxiety and self-esteem issues, it is crushing when our work is rejected by agents and traditional publishing companies. Their writing may be an excellent story, and the rejections may not have anything to do with the quality of the work, but just receiving a rejection letter, can crush a writers spirits and make them give up. I understand this is probably a really cheesy answer, but it is what I feel in my heart.
18- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
I'm guilty at judging a book by its cover. I know, I know. I'm contradicting myself about not judging based on outer appearance; however, there's a big difference between judging another human and judging an object. If a cover is dull and boring, I get the impression that the author or publisher didn't care enough for the story to design the cover to capture a reader's attention. I feel the cover should give an idea to the reader, as to what to expect in the story. For me, if the cover is blah, then the story most likely is too.
19- Who is your favorite book review blogger?
Honestly, I'm embarrassed to say, I don't know of any book reviewers, or if I do, I didn't know it. If anyone has any suggestions, throw them my way.
20- How will you measure your publishing performance?
The best way for me to measure performance is through the quarterly reports I receive on book sales.
21- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I've always wanted to self-publish. I'm the type of person, who likes to be in control, and I wanted to make sure the story, I spent two long years writing, was going to receive the cover it deserved, and be formatted in a way that would make the story even more attractive.
22- What's the best book marketing strategy you've come across?
Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy I know of. This includes using social media to get the word out there. Writing isn't a get rich quick business, and spreading the word by talking to random strangers, friends, family, doing interviews, and advertising on various social media sites, is the most affordable marketing tool. Once the money starts rolling in, other methods will help advance your progress.
23- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?
If anyone knows of any book reviewers, please send them my way. Also, feel free to discuss any of my answers, I'd be thrilled to know what you have to say. (Just be respectful, please).
24- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
The Demons Family Chronicles is written in an Own Voices style. Other than my sexuality, I do struggle with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I'm also legally blind, giving me a physical disability. Here are all my social media accounts, where you can follow me.
On twitter: @TATKulisch; Instagram: @TATKulisch; and on Facebook @TATKulisch.
Fated Paths (The Demons Family Chronicles) by TAT Kulisch