Friday, October 21, 2011

Interview with Children's Author, Marva Dasef

Today, my guest is multi-published author, Marva Dasef.  She writes for both adults and children and is here today to discuss her recent released of Bad Spelling, the first in a fantasy series for children.

AUTHOR: Marva Dasef
BOOK TITLE: Bad Spelling – Book 1 of The Witches of Galdorheim
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: Release date: October 14th MuseItUp Buy Link:

Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

You’ve seen those cave paintings by Neanderthals in France? Yeah, well, I started before that. Unfortunately, the banana leaves on which I inscribed my early writings have succumbed to the ravages of time. I’m also so old, that I forget what it was I wrote back then.

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

I dont write 24 hours a day, so that must mean Im still part-time. I only spend eight to ten hours a day doing some writing related. Mostly, that is not actual writing. Im not organized in the slightest. When I have stuff to do and I feel like it, I do it. Otherwise, Im big on Spider Solitaire.

What influences your writing?

The number of ounces of boxed wine I have consumed. When it is sufficient, I usually will write very nasty messages on political boards. That gets all the mean out of my system (and usually booted off the board), so I can dedicate my thoughts to writing to my mental age level. Thats somewhere between 10 and 13 years old.

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?

Its about the tenth book and the fifth published by an entity other than myself. I wrote short stories for a few years before attempting a novelish book thanks to Nanowrimo. When I found I could knock out 50,000 words in a month, I decided I might as well try some longer stuff. I have yet to reach full novel length yet, with my longest book (a SciFi Romance) getting all the way up to 60K.

Why did you choose to write a children's story?

Since I didn’t have an actual childhood, I thought it a good idea to spend some years of my dotage in a child-like state. Sex scenes embarrass me, so I’m pretty much left with YA and younger.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

The first idea I had was the title, Bad Spelling. I said to myself, Self, you should make up a story for that title because its so cool. Myself answered, Sure, why not? Between the two of us, we came up with a witch who couldnt perform magic as she should, therefore practiced bad spelling.

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

Ive done both. The author has to do the same amount of marketing either way, so if I write a book (if I could ever get around to that again) and my publisher didnt want it, Id self-publish rather than trying to break in a new publisher. Ive self-pubbed several books. Since Im originally a short story writer, I pretty much had to self-pub since no publisher wants an anthology from somebody who hasnt already famously written a novel which was heralded on Oprah.

What is your marketing strategy?

I dont have a strategy as in a list of things to do. Im learning more ways to market all the time from my expanding list of smart writer friends.

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

I dont think any writer needs an agent and most wont get one anyway, so why waste years trying to get one who might not sell your book?  Since Ive taken up writing in retirement (despite what I said above), I dont have years to make a track record, wait around for agents, watch the major publishers go out of business, and so on.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

Dont be preachy. Be subtle in the lessons you want to impart, but dont smack the kid upside the head with it.

Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.

BAD SPELLING – Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

Back Cover Blurb
If you're a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home. 

Katrina's spells donft just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo.  A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father's non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her warlock brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. At the Troll Kingdom, a young troll, Andy, joins the siblings in their quest to find the shaman and kill the curse.

Slowly, the trolls climbed to their feet, looked at Kat, then at each other. The three trolls huddled, conferring together. Kat heard a murmur but couldn't make out what they said.

Kat continued, searching for something to say. "My Aunt Thordis..." Three pairs of troll eyes turned to her and opened wide. They stared at Kat. The middle troll elbowed the one on his left, who giggled.  The troll on the right gave a great whoop of laughter then slapped the middle troll on the back. All three trolls broke into huge guffaws and ended up leaning on each other, wiping tears from their eyes. Rune and Kat stared open-mouthed.

Finally, the middle troll controlled his laughter long enough to say, "We thought King Ole said to watch for the ones Thor sent. He wouldnft want any Viking warriors breaking into the hall." He broke out laughing again before snorting a couple of times to clear his nose. "Maybe we got the message a little mixed up?"

That's understandable, but we hardly look like Vikings or warriors," Rune said, backing away from the troll.

Kat smiled with relief. "Well, Aunt Thordis thunders a lot, and I have known her to conjure a lightning bolt or two. But she only does that," Kat hastened to add, "when shefs really upset."

This set the trolls off on another round of laughter. The one on the right fell on the ground again and rolled around holding his sides. While the trolls laughed, guffawed, chuckled, cackled, and snorted, Kat studied them more closely. Except for their different clothing, they were nearly identical. All trolls had bulbous noses and wide mouths full of big, chunky teeth, but they were usually pretty easy to distinguish from each other. With these three, however, Kat could hardly tell them apart. Luckily, they each wore a different colored set of suspenders.

The trolls at last controlled their laughter, although one or the other giggled every few seconds. The center troll stepped forward. "Let me introduce ourselves. I'm Ander," said the troll with red suspenders. He turned to the troll on his left. "This is my brother Ender." The second troll with blue suspenders nodded. "And this is my other brother Inder," he said, pointing to the third troll, who snapped his yellow suspenders and exposed his big teeth in a wide grin.

Kat looked from one to the other, her brow furrowed. "Your parents named both of your brothers Ender?"

No, no. That's Ender," he said, gesturing to the troll to his left, "and that's Inder." He stuck his thumb out to point to the troll on his right. "But you can call us Andy, Endy, and Indy."

"I see. Well, that makes it easy to remember," Kat responded and glanced at Rune, who just grinned and shrugged.


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Penny.

    One other thing: Today (the 21st), voting opens at

    Bad Spelling is #16. I'd appreciate everybody's vote.

  2. Great novel. I enjoyed every page where almost a new event takes place, or I met a new character. A fun read for all ages. Hope the next in the series is released soon.


  3. What an interesting interview. Thanks for sharing!