Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wings of Arian Blog Tour: Author Interview with Devri Walls

Hey, everybody! Today is my stop on the Wings of Arian Book Tour (see list of tour stops) with YA fantasy author, Devri Walls. She's promoting her new book, the first in a series, entitled Wings of Arian. Read my recent review of the book here, and check out Ashley @ The Bookish Brunette's blog for giveaways of 2 $100 Amazon Gift Certificates!

Read on for the interview I conducted with Devri about publishing her first novel and her own advice about how to deal with self-esteem issues...

Me: Welcome to the blog, Devri. Tell us a little bit about your book. 

Devri: Wings of Arian is the type of book that I would love to read. It is full of action, adventure and lots of magic! Oh, and romance, did I mention romance? Wings is about a young girl who has never experienced evil. Can any of us actually imagine that? Never being lied to. Never worrying about locking your door. Never questioning another’s motives. It is so foreign to our own society. Kiora is not only exposed to evil as it returns to her village, but thrown in to face it. This was a fascinating idea to me. Not only living in a world free of evil, but how painful it would it be to see evil and experience it all at once. The shock would be tremendous. And then because I am a fantasy girl all the way, I had to create Kiora’s world within that premise. Dragons and Shapeshifters and Magic! And lets not forget the ability to create my own rules. And I did. Threads and bubbles…fun! 

Me: What has driven you to become an author? Did anything in your past specifically lead you down this path? 

Devri: Weeeeelll…. Funny story. Being an author was never on my radar to be honest. I went to school for Theater and Vocal performance. I loved performing. I loved becoming other people. But I got married, had children, and as of right now, do not have time for theater. I was devastated when I realized I would have to pick and I knew I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my family to follow my dream. I literally fell into writing. It finally gave me a release- an outlet, for all that creative energy that had been bottled up inside me! My background in theater has offered a skill set that really helps my writing. Not only in the dialogue, but also writing the movement of the characters. I keep getting the same comment, that they can SEE so clearly what is going on as they read Wings of Arian. That is a huge compliment for me because I can see it as I write it. As if they are moving across a stage in my head. I am thrilled I was able to get it down on paper so that they can dance across others stages as well. 

Me: What has inspired your writing over the years? Do you feel any of those things have helped you become the author you are today? 

Devri: Everything has inspired my writing. I know it sounds simplified, but its true. My reading has both inspired me and taught me how to write better. My life experiences have shaped me as a person and therefore my writing. My performing background has taught me to be aware of people’s expressions and movements which translates into my writing. I am a very empathetic person, to a fault really, but it has made me so aware of others that it makes it easier for me to get into all my characters heads. 

Me: Congratulations on publishing Wings of Arian! What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome in order to accomplish this goal? 

Devri: Balancing. I am a terrible balancer. I am an all or nothing kind of person. That does not work when you are trying to write and be a mom, and work, and teach voice lessons. Oh, and be a sane wife. So that is something I am still struggling with. It is so easy for me to lose myself in writing, I have to remember to come up for air and not forget my family. I also had to overcome fear. Big time. I had to drop the mindset of what if I fail? I hate to fail, HATE TO FAIL. But I had to push through that fear and put myself out there and allow it to be. I still freak out once in a while. But if I don’t do anything for fear of failure, I have failed already. 

Me: The issue of self-esteem is brought up in Wings of Arian: “What if I am not good enough?” What does this statement mean to you, personally? What does it mean to Kiora, your main character? 

Devri: Self Esteem is a huge soapbox for me. If I could travel around speaking about it, I would. It is something I have struggled with in the past and still have my days. If you want a little more detailed version of that you can check out my blog post for an anti bullying campaign that ran a few months ago. But even beyond that, we live in a society where we look up to the famous and rich, and yet tell ourselves and each other that they are some super human breed that we will never be. Somehow, we have made it not ok for us to be special, or brilliant, or talented. 

      "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
      We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
     There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
     We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson

Can someone else be successful? Sure. But when we ask, can I? The thought of it; oh, no-I could never! And I have learned that line of thinking is wrong! I wish everyone could learn it. There is so much we could do if we all put ourselves out there a little more. Is it scary? Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes!! I totally get looks from people that know me when I tell them I wrote a book that translates into, “Yea, suuuure you did.” It’s annoying. But it doesn’t matter. I am taking a leap and dang it, I am good enough! ( I may or may not shout that at myself when I finish crying to my husband wondering, what in the world was I thinking trying to do this.) Leap guys, just leap!! 

For Kiora she has to realize this same concept. She is a no one. She is a little different. And now she has to tap into a power she didn’t know she had to save the land she grew up in. The pressure to be great is terrifying and she finds herself questioning everything. But if she can’t figure out how to let herself be what she truly is, everything will be lost. Kiora’s journey is very indicative of our own. I wonder how many things, and great destinies, were lost because they were too scared to be who they truly were.

Me: Thanks so much for the inspiring interview, Devri!

About the Author

Devri Walls lives in Kuna, Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head. Her first novel, Wings of Arian, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, on her blog; www.writingmyfuture.com and Goodreads.


  1. Wow! It's like you were interviewing me in this post! Except for the bit about kids. I can so relate to having to come up for air and needing to remember that there is a real life out there. Being immersed in the book world is something I love to be doing so it's hard to kick myself out of that. Funny you should mention the self esteem thing. I think I'm pretty confident when it comes to other things but as soon as my writing is the topic I start freaking out. Great interview and have a great blog tour!

  2. What an inspirational interview! The quote from Williamson gave me the chills. Thanks, Devri, for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and inspiration with us. I just downloaded Wings a few days ago am looking forward to reading it.

  3. Devri is a very inspirational woman! I don't usually like conducting author interviews, but I'm happy to have been the facilitator of it. :)

  4. I'm very all or nothing too! I think that's why I struggle writing. I need to just commit to it.


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