Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Author Dakota Banks Deliverance Blog Tour | Guest Post and Giveaway

Dakota Banks blog tour stops here today to promote the release of Deliverance, the third book in the Mortal Path series. This urban fantasy thriller feature the hard-core Maliha Crayne,  a repentant assassin seeking redemption and fighting the good fight.

In my review of the first book I said -
"Dark Time is a thriller that synthesizes and delivers action akin to Mission Impossible and James Bond. Unlike many of the characters in those stories, Maliha is believable because she has the experiences, knowledge, languages and training from a lifetime of 300 plus years to back up her actions. It is gratifying to see a character whose inner contemplations, relationships and dialogue truly reflect what it would be like to have lived that long."
Book Description

Kill . . . or be damned.

A demon's assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she's destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control.

Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man's-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't . . . and time is rapidly running out.
Dakota has assembled a fabulous swag bag as a giveaway for this leg of the tour consisting of a tote bag, 3 signed books, pens, bookmarks, magnets, and a calculator. Wow.  Dakota talks about the brain, not the zombie type but the creative type - left or right? Which are you? Leave a comment and share. To enter the giveaway fill out the form at the end of the post?

Welcome Dakota!

The Brain Conundrum 
by Dakota Banks

Thank you, Doug, for the chance to visit you again and to chat with your followers.

I’ve been reading lately about left-brained and right-brained writers. The theory is that people who are right-brained are emotional and intuitive, while left-brained people are logical and orderly. I can see those thought bubbles above your heads. Fiction writers must be right-brained, right? I hope that’s not a strict rule, because I’m definitely left-brained. Uh-oh. I guess I’d better switch to writing textbooks, since my brain is pushing me that way!

Fortunately, there is a dominant brain spectrum, and a person can fall anywhere along the line, including right in the middle. Or be fairly far to the left, yet still have some right characteristics. We’re not talking politics here, but general personality. Every person is unique, and thank goodness for that.

How does being on the left side of the dominant brain spectrum affect my writing process? Some things come easily to me, and some I have to work at getting correct. Take the pre-planning for a novel. I may spend a month or two thinking about the plot and characters before any words are set down. (Of course, I’m doing other things during that time, too, not just sitting around thinking—although I could go for that.) Then I write a synopsis, beginning with a page and enlarging it to ten pages to give my agent something to work with. For my own use, I’ll continue working with the synopsis until it’s about thirty pages long. When I write the story, I’ve got a map of sorts: I’m starting at point A, finishing at point F, with stops at B, C, D, and E along the way. Usually the book changes quite a bit as I write it because I don’t stick with the ideas in the synopsis if they turn out to be a losers. But when I’m done, the book would still be at least recognizable from the synopsis.

Does it mean that my writing is dry and emotionless, for all that planning? I don’t think so. Deliverance is an emotional roller-coaster ride, and tears were shed during its writing. I love my characters. My protagonist in the Mortal Path books, Maliha Crayne, has the ability to sense where violent deaths have occurred. She can experience the last few minutes of the victim’s life as the victim, then draw the shredded fragments of the hurting, violated soul around her, make the spirit whole, and allow it to move on. She has this ability as a direct analogy for what I do when creating characters. I draw their fragments around me, make them whole human beings (or whatever), and let them into the world I’ve built. Now you know a secret about one of Maliha’s abilities!

A right-brained writer’s approach might be, “Some characters popped into my head,” or “I dreamed about the plot.” Writing would begin immediately, and the writer would feel his way through the book, often saying that he was going where the characters were taking him. Sometimes this leads to a satisfying path through beginning, middle, and end, and sometimes it doesn’t, because the characters are in charge, not the writer. The right-brained writer probably deals with more rewrites, getting lost in the middle, and writer’s block—yet can’t imagine the writing process being any different, because this is the way that meshes with his personality. And it works!

For the finished book, when the readers see it, I don’t think it matters which approach the writer took. We all try to come up with memorable books that engage, inform, and entertain. Behind the scenes, though, approach is everything.

Which side of the brain is dominant for you? If you recognize yourself in most of the characteristics from either of these two lists (taken loosely from Grace Fleming, an expert at this stuff), you’ll have a good idea which side of your brain is dominant. In the interest of soul-baring, I’ve marked the ones that I believe apply to me with an asterisk.

You probably work with a To-Do list *
You can provide reasoned criticism *
You're good at math or science *
You are rational and logical *
You set goals for yourself *
You can interpret information well *
Your home is orderly
You can answer questions spontaneously *
You follow directions and you do read directions (unlike some people) *
You aren't touchy-feely *
You can listen to a long lecture without losing patience *
You don’t let feelings get in your way
You like action movies *
You read sitting up *
Your words are precise *

You might have a hard time making up your mind
You are good with people *
You don't fall for practical jokes as easily as some
You seem dreamy, but you're really deep in thought
People may have told you you're psychic *
You may enjoy drawing or playing music
You might be athletic
You like mystery stories *
You may lose track of time *
You are spontaneous
You may find it hard to follow verbal directions *
You are unpredictable
You get lost *
You are emotional
You don't like reading directions
You read lying down
You may be interested in “the unexplained” *

It’s been great talking with you!

Finding Dakota Banks-
Website: http://dakota-banks.com
Blog: http://dbanks.me/mortalblog
Facebook: http://dbanks.me/DBwelcome
Twitter: @dakotabanks or http://dbanks.me/DBtwit
Goodreads: http://dbanks.me/DBgood


  1. I have Dark Time at home on my TBR pile so I was glad to see your positive review of it.

  2. Very interesting. I'm mostly left-brained but do have some right tendencies. I am emotional and read lying down. The unexplained also interests me.

  3. I don't see me consistently in either list. I guess I'm 'scatterbrained.'


  4. Great post.I am mostly left brained.Thanks for the great giveaway.

  5. Thanks for letting me visit your blog, Doug. I had a fun time with this post!

  6. Hi Dakota! Apparently I had some problems with my computer the other day and my comment did not post. I am apparently mostly Left Brained with a tad of Right Brain mixed in. I haven't had a chance to read any of your books yet but they sound fantastic! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  7. Hi Barb! Sounds like you and I have the same "brainedness." Good luck in the giveaway. :-)

  8. I think I am mostly left brained with just of touch of right brain. But I would have to say mostly left brained. I've never really thought about it.

  9. I'm a mix of both. Pretty much half and half!

  10. I'm mostly left brain although I do read lying down especially in bed.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Don't you think it's interesting that the the left-brained side is all very active — "you are" ... "you can" ... "you don't" ... "you like" — whereas the right-brained side tends toward "you might" and "you may"? It's almost as though they had a left-brained "your words are precise" person write that side, and a right-brained "you seem dreamy" person writing the right side.

  12. I'm left-brained. This story sounds like one I could really get into.


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