Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Writing Process: A Guest Post & Giveaway by Dina Rae

The Writing Process by Dina Rae

Hi Mysti,  Thanks for having me.  

So you want me to write about the writing process-hmmmmm.  After four novels, I still find it difficult to explain.  Only another writer would understand and all others would deem me insane.  For me, it begins with something true, newsworthy, and has some kind of conspiratorial element to it.  

InBad Juju, I used a combination of my students to create Henry, the teen with Asperger's who gets possessed after a Haitian missionary trip. As a special education teacher, children with Asperger's (a high level of Autism) are perhaps the most interesting of the students I have encountered.  Their lack of social skills makes me wonder if they are incapable of learning empathy.  Could they be the altruistic ones, the nonconformists?  Is it possible they are immune to the pressure of blending in with society while the rest of us are lulled into acting normal?  Food for thought.  Henry may not buy into human interaction, however, he is still susceptible to demonic possession.

My fascination with Voodoo enters the story.  The rituals, spirits (loas), tribes, songs, and so much more mentioned in Bad Juju are all authentic, found in many sources.  The only thing missing is a firsthand account of actually being in Haiti and experiencing the Voodoo houngans, bokors, and priestesses.  

As far as style goes, to me writing is recording the movie that is going on inside of my head.  If I don't like the scene, I can rewind and start over.  I find it easiest to write in third person limited, but one day want to experience the closeness of getting inside a character's head and attempt to write first person.  I like to write short, catchy chapters and bounce from character to character.  

Marketing has been the biggest challenge throughout the publication process.  Funds are very limited and competition is very high.  Only a handful of writers make a living, and even fewer can make it big.  I write for many reasons, first and foremost because I can.  It's an addiction.  I love to read and dissect plots.  Once I found out that I could write a novel, I became hooked.  Again, thanks for having me.

Bad Juju

by Dina Rae

Genre: Horror

Publisher: Self Published

Formats Available In: Digital

Release Date: September, 2012

Two teens turn to a Voodoo bokor to right a wrong. Their curiosity with the dark arts backfires into obsession.

Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants. He hires sixteen year old Jake for odd household jobs. The boy proves to be the perfect candidate to pass on his Voodoo legacy.

Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle. The Voodoo gives him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation. Despite his loner status, he instantly connects with Henry, his only friend in high school. 

Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome. He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo. They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust.

Months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer for the island's reconstruction. Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite and returns in a catatonic state.

Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for adults and mature teens. The plot uses research involving the Voodoo religion.

About Dina Rae:

Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned. Halo of the Nephilim and Halo of the Madonna are new to the angel series.

Her second novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order. Dina's grandfather was the Most Worshipful of his lodge. The subject has always held a personal interest.

Bad Juju, is about an old Haitian bokor who mentors two teens in the dark arts. A unique blend of horror, romance, and literary fiction meant for adults and mature teens.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories. She has appeared in several literary blogs, newspapers, e-zines, and radio shows as a guest.


  1. Mysti, thanks for having me. Dina Rae

  2. I enjoyed your post, Dina. I have those movie scenes playing out in my head too. You book sounds very interesting.


***NOTICE*** Thanks to a spam bot infestation, every comment must now be subjected to a full-body search. If you pass, you can skip the anal probing...maybe.