Book Tour Q&A: Chaos by Cydney Daemon
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Chaos by Cydney Daemon! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
All things are not as they seem . . .
After nearly everyone with special abilities abandoned the world, Hallenwood is one of the few cities to remain standing.
Kade Reed has been doing his best to survive the city and raise his younger siblings. When Kade is murdered, four students must decide whether to let the world burn or to fight to keep hope alive. Elsey Hallen is an angry loner who has to deal with more scars than most. Henry Adamson is an addict trying desperately to keep his monsters buried. Charlotte Marion is a determined athlete tired of living in a world running on fear and despair. Wesley Reed is just trying to raise his younger sister and build a future for himself while mourning the loss of his brother.
As they come together, they start to recognize there may be more to all the darkness and desperation haunting the city. Uncovering secrets involving evil cults and the ancient mythology behind their special abilities, they find themselves faced with an enemy hellbent on their destruction.
On to the interview...!
Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with two of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently, and what are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
You’re welcome! Thank you for doing this! I appreciate it! I think the best thing that’s happened recently is the reception to CHAOS so far. I’m still always going to be anxious that people won’t like it or that some part of it may hurt someone, but I’m really glad that the reception has been good so far. I don’t expect my book to fly off the shelves or anything though, but I’m so grateful for any support and anyone loving this book and these characters because they all mean so much to me.
I’m currently re-reading Dracula because it’s my favorite book of all time and my comfort novel. Up next, I plan to read Kiefer Lane’s book All Their Demons Bow To Me.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing?
Sure. I’m really not sure what people would want to know about me. I moved from Michigan to Georgia when I was really young, and I dealt with a lot of serious trauma growing up. I don’t want to go into that because I don’t like bringing the mood down or really talking about it, but that’s part of what inspired me to start writing. To escape what I was going through, I came up with a paracosm, which is sort of an imaginary world I lived in inside my head. I always loved books and reading because they were also another escape for me from everything going on in my life, and when I would visit my mom, she’d read to me before bed. Sometimes, she’d read books and stories she’d already written. I eventually realized I could write my own books, and I sort of became obsessed with writing after that. I started writing constantly, fanfictions, really detailed retellings of dreams, and completely original stuff. I wrote a book based off my paracosm, and one of these days, I’ll revisit it and publish it. I essentially wrote so much that I developed carpal tunnel before I even graduated high school because I would carry notebooks around and just write pages and pages nonstop at any moment that I was able throughout the day. It’s sort of funny because I also have ADHD (combination type), and at some point, I went from getting in trouble in class for talking too much and not being able to sit still to getting in trouble because I was writing and not paying attention to what the teacher was saying. Writing is still my number one coping skill, and I’m certain I couldn’t survive without it.
How do you spend your free time when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can talk to us about?
If I’m not reading or writing, I’m either watching stuff on YouTube or Bob’s Burgers. I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies or at least not as much as I used to. I need to find more time for it. I also have been getting into sewing lately. I can’t say that I’m good at it, but nothing has fallen apart yet. My most notable creation would be my battle jacket, which I’ve received many compliments on, so that’s pretty cool. I also have plans to eventually finish a pair of purple pants that some of my followers on social media may have seen me talk about once or twice. Of course, my favorite way to spend my time is cuddling with my dog or my cats.
What is one thing that you love about the current state of SFF and what is one thing that you wish you saw more of?
I love the diversity we’re starting to see in SFF, and I love how specifically self-publishing SFF allows for more diverse voices and stories to be told. I like when things aren’t cookie cutter. Something I’d really like to see more of, we already have a lot of retellings of stories everyone knows (i.e.: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, etc.), and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love those stories, especially when they have an original twist. But I’ve really been finding a lot of enjoyment in retellings from legends or myths that aren’t so well known or that don’t get that same treatment so frequently.
What are your favorite types of stories? Of characters?
I love flawed and realistic characters. I don’t mean as in I like characters that are 100 percent evil, but I love when I can feel like a character is someone I could know in real life. No one is perfect. No matter how old a person is, we all make poor decisions. We all make mistakes. Sometimes, we act off impulse. Sometimes, we make a selfish decision. Sometimes, things happen to us and there’s no real good reason for why it happens, but we have to figure out the best way to deal with it, and sometimes we deal with it in a way that isn’t the best. I like characters who feel so real that you almost wish you could call them and cuss them out for doing something so dumb or give them a hug because you just feel all their pain so much that you ache to comfort them and let them know they’re not alone.
How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?
I do a lot of planning. Probably more than I need to, but if I don’t, I’ll end up derailing myself and going off in a direction that would cause a plot hole or something. The very first thing I do is write down an entire plot summary of what I want to happen from beginning to end. I don’t worry about organizing it or structure or anything. Just get as many important details down as possible so I can have a reference and also, sometimes just to get it out of my head so I can focus on other things. Then, I write a couple of scenes or pages so I can get the tone down and get a feel for the characters. Then, I figure out the structure because, for some reason, a lot of my books don’t follow a typical structure. After that, I’ll create character profiles for my main characters, create a list of any important locations I know I’ll need in the book, and do research on anything I know I’ll need to know. Then I’ll begin writing and do more research as needed and make changes if something doesn’t feel right. Also, even though I do plan, I leave room for things to happen spontaneously because either I won’t know what’s supposed to happen in a scene while planning, I’ll feel like the original plan is all wrong, or sometimes the characters just take over.
How much of yourself do you write into your stories?
Probably too much. I’ve been told by some people who know me personally, they can see me in all four of the main characters. I know I took a lot from my own experiences from my personal trauma, my Indigenous background as someone disconnected from the community, my ADHD, being pan, and growing up having LGBTQ+ family members and sort of used that while writing CHAOS.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but a cover is still a marketing tool that helps sell books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?
Originally, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for the cover. I created so many mock-ups on Canva to try to figure something out, but nothing really stuck with me because I was trying to figure out an idea that could be expanded on and work for the entire series. Since there are five books planned for the main series, I wanted to make sure the covers were all cohesive. I originally proposed one idea to the cover artist I worked with, (His name is Clint Lockwood by the way. He’s amazing!) but I still wasn’t married to that cover idea. I do have ideas for that idea in the future though. Anyway, I was trying to create a new mood board, and I came across this broken statue, which sparked an epiphany. CHAOS is linked to Greek mythology. There are so many amazing Greek sculptures of mythological figures, and there are statues in the book. So, I emailed Clint and told him about the idea, and he was excited about it too and started working on it right away, and I sort of let him just run with it. He and I have already been talking about the ideas for the next covers, too. I will say that the statue you see on the cover of CHAOS is of an unnamed woman who is an important figure, but that’s all I’ll say. If I say anything more it’d be a spoiler for what’s to come.
Describe your book in 3 adjectives.
Intense, Gritty, and Layered
What would you like readers to take away from this book?
That our perspectives are reflective of our limited vantage point in any given situation. We don’t know everyone’s story, and often there are layers upon layers upon layers to something happening or to a person behaving a certain way. That doesn’t mean actions or situations can be excused. That doesn’t mean every situation is going to have an easy or good answer. Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t always a reason or the reason isn’t always good, but sometimes trying to understand can lead to change so someone can get help, so someone can help themselves, or so future trauma can be prevented. At the end of the day, nothing in this world is as it seems.
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
I’m currently working on the second book in the CHAOS series, and what I can tell so far is that it’s going to get darker and heavier. A lot of secrets are going to come to light, and there’s going to be some heartache. There’s also going to be some spooky vibes. Also, people will start to see Charlotte really standing on her own instead of focusing so much on taking care of other people and being quiet due to her anxiety. I’m really excited for her arc and what I have planned for her even though it’s going to be hurt some.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
You’re welcome! Thank you for having me! I just am really appreciative for all the support I’ve been receiving and any that I receive in the future. All I’ve wanted to do growing up was be a published author because books saved me growing up. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. The escape and the comfort that they provided me literally saved my life, and I just want to be able to give that to other people and to let them know they matter and are important even if it doesn’t feel like that.
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
I can be found on Instagram or Twitter, my username on both is CydneyDaemon. I also have a website, www.cydneydaemon.com, and people are able to send me messages through there if they’d like. I’m trying to make sure I keep my website updated with news.