Interview with A. M. Dunnewin, Author of The Benighted

YAPC would like to welcome  to the blog today. She is here to answer some questions about herself and share some info and an excerpt from her book The Benighted. If this looks like something that you would like to read, please go buy a copy!

YAPC – Try to describe your book in one sentence.

A.M. – A Princess Royal is imprisoned for helping her knight escape, and the personal demons awaiting her are anything but kind.

YAPC –  Who is you mentor? Who do you look up too?

A.M. –  I would have to say Edgar Allan Poe. Despite his death so long ago, his work has always greatly influenced me. He had a darkness to him that he was able to put into his stories that ended up being rather beautifully, which is something that I strive to do with my own stories. His use of wording, his descriptions, and even just the rhythm of his poems are all things that I’ve admired about him and hope to eventually pass on into my own works.

YAPC  – Do you keep track or write reviews for books you read?

A.M. – I do. I actually run a book club called Author Underground, where each month we read a different book written by an indie author. The book club’s main focus is to encourage those who read the book to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads in order to support the author.

YAPC  – Do you listen to music while writing?

A.M. –  But of course! J I love music, and often its music that influences the emotion in the scenes I write. I actually started building playlists on Spotify for a couple of my stories, one of them being my next novel Under A Melting Sun.

YAPC  – How long did it taken you to write your current book ?

A.M.  –  Once The Benighted got going, it actually took about 6 to 7 months to write. It went by really fast because I was completely obsessed with the story. I would spend about 40 hours a week writing, on top of working full time. I would literally get home from work, eat dinner, write until about 1am in the morning, go to bed, get up at 5am, and repeat. I just couldn’t stop. I felt that I would go mad if I didn’t write everything down.

YAPC  – Who is your favorite character in your new release?

A.M. –  I love the main character, but my favorite character is actually Harlin. I had Henry Cavill in mind when I wrote his character, so that was partly the reason I couldn’t stop thinking of the story. But as a character, Harlin is a man’s man who isn’t only a bad ass but extremely respectable, wise, and just a really good guy inside. He’s not a romantic, yet his honesty and true intentions are what makes him a romantic character.

YAPC  – What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

A.M. –   I was actually playing the video game Dishonored when I came up with the story. I had just finished building my computer, and I was excited to get back into gaming since I hadn’t played much since probably before high school. So the first game I got was Dishonored, and I sucked terribly. I still can’t beat the first level, which is when you’re supposed to escape a prison and then go on your merry little quest. Because I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the prison, I did what any writer would do: I wrote a story about a girl trapped in a prison. 🙂 

YAPC  – Do you have an all time favorite book?

A.M. – I absolutely love the book Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I love the suspense and the twist in the storyline. And I also like Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell because deep down I really like Scarlet O’Hara’s sassiness.

YAPC  – Where can your fans find you ?

A.M. –  I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Amazon, and my blog is on WordPress. Luckily my name is uncommon, so just typing it into Google will take you to each of these sites.

YAPC  –  If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you want for company?

A.M. – Definitely Henry Cavill. I need some inspiration for The Benighted’s sequel.  

YAPC  – Are you working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?

A.M. –  I’ve got a couple things coming up in the near future. I’ve been working steadily on finishing my next novel Under A Melting Sun, which is a historical fiction set in 1937 in the Amazon rainforest. I’ll be donating my share of the pre-order sales to two groups who are trying to save the rainforest, Amazon Watch and Cool Earth. I’m also going to be working on my first horror/thriller titled Murmur House during NaNoWriMo. These two will both be released in 2016. And then of course there’s The Illusory, which is the sequel to The Benighted. I’ve been working on it off and on, so once the other stories are out of the way, this book won’t be far behind. I’m hoping for a late 2016/early 2017 release.

Book Description:

benighted-by-amdunnewinThe King was dead.

His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.

Confined to darkness, Skylar’s captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It’s when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can’t suppress the memories of her family’s downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can’t hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.

With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar’s only hope is in the person who has gone missing—Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison’s walls, Skylar doesn’t realize that she will soon see why he’s one of the Benighted.

The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It’s how he’ll return.

Buy The Benighted:

Amazon * B&N

About the Author: A. M. Dunnewin inherited her love for mysteries and thrillers from her family, which motivated her to pursue a B.A. in Psychology. An affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, her stories cover a wide range of genres that tend to take a dark turn when least expected. Her great loves in life center around art, history, music, and books, which includes being a passionate collector of both antique books and graphic novels. Quirky and ambitious, she’s known to search for stories in the most random places. She lives in Sacramento, California.

Connect with A.M.:

Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * InstagramPinterest * Goodreads


“Don’t be disheartened, Princess,” Kingston continued, pulling her attention back to him. “You’re just another tool when it comes to the games of men.”
Her hand tightened around the metal that wrapped around her knuckles, still hidden from view. “Is that what you think?” she growled.
“It’s what we all know.”
Skylar took one last look at his unmarked face before she backhanded him with her fist, the brass knuckle slicing across the side of his face. He screamed from the shock of the force, and from the pain that trailed along right behind it.
“How does that change feel?” she asked before using that same fist to punch the other side of his face, impacting his teeth through his cheek and smashing passed his nose. Taking a step back, Skylar surveyed Kingston’s bleeding face and the wild fear that sparked in his eyes when he stared back, pain and panic-stricken.
“You cannot stop what has to come to pass!” he shouted, using the sound of his words to regain his confidence. He had begun to fall forward, his equilibrium working against him, until Harlin grabbed him by his collar and pulled him back.
“You’re right,” she falsely agreed, grabbing him by his jaw and bending close to his face. “If they ever let you speak again, let your comrades know that they will get change.” She struck him with the brass knuckle before he could speak, making him wail.
“Let them know,” she continued before striking his face again, “that killing my brother wrote their own deaths!” She rammed the metal hard into his face now, his screams choked out from the impact that was cracking his jaw bone. “I am the change they will forever regret!” Each following word rose higher in anger, and in between each word she struck him. “Because I. Will. NOT. YIELD!”
The guard was semi-conscious and bleeding by the time Skylar stepped back again and realized what she had done. She could almost see herself, fading into the rain that was pouring down around them, her hood long thrown off, steam rising from the burning adrenaline that had made her sweat. The grey-green world washed away down the prison walls, the cold stone surfacing just enough to be recognized. But despite the phenomenon, he was still there watching her. She gasped to say something to the hazy figure that was Harlin, still standing behind the guard, still keeping him upright.

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