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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Author Interview: Nande Orcel: Secret of Omordion: First Book In The Omordion Trilogy

Born in Haiti and moving to the U.S. at the age of 3, she has always had an incredible imagination. By the age of nine, she was typing away on her word processor, developing poems and short stories. She remembers the excitement she felt submitting them to writing contests in grade school and placing 1st and 2nd place each time. In 2005, an idea came to her and, as she started piecing together the entire plot and developing her characters for the Omordion Trilogy, she couldn’t be happier. This is what she wanted to do! Between working full-time in the financial industry and raising an imaginative son as a single mother, she developed the fantastical world of Omordion.

Your real name and pen name?
My real name is Ernande Orcel and my pen name is Nande Orcel, which is really just my nickname that the closest people in my life call me. For some reason, it’s easier to say than Ernande which have been mistaken for my last name time and time again and also mistaken for a boy’s name.

What career did you plan during your education days?
I went to college for International Business because I always wanted to work and/or live overseas. Especially since I have yet to be outside of the Western Hemisphere. But I hope to change that fact soon! Currently I have been in the financial industry for fourteen years and, while I do like my job, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
My biggest influence is J.K. Rowling. She has been an inspiration for me when it comes to being a writer and pursuing my dreams. Being a single mother like she was at the time she wrote the first Harry Potter book, I know there is nothing stopping me from accomplishing my goals if I keep on working at it.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I have to say editing my first book was the hardest thing for me. Because I chose to edit the entire book myself, I became my worst critic. Time and time again, I would think the book is ready but I would then choose to read it again and find many more flaws that I wanted to change. I think I read it about two thousand times. It was a long process but a very fulfilling one.

What is your favorite genre and why?
My favorite genre is YA Fantasy. I love reading them and immersing myself in different worlds and situations that would never—ever happen in real life. The possibilities are endless and I like to see where the author takes his or her characters.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I started writing short stories and poems when I was around nine years old. I would submit them to writing contests in school and receive these little ‘You’re A Star’ trophies with my name engraved on it and I absolutely loved it. In 2005, an idea for a new story came to me and I decided to turn it into a full-length novel. Of course, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. Writing an entire novel is nothing like writing short stories! But overtime, it dawned on me that I was actually making it happen. My dream is to be an author of many books so this is only the beginning!

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
My debut novel, Secret of Omordion was released in October of last year, 2013. It is the first book in the Omordion Trilogy. Secret of Omordion is a coming of age story about five students who embark on a journey to rescue their kidnapped teacher. Now these are not just ordinary students. They are descendents from a clan called the Dokami who have blended in with the people of Western Omordion for three hundred years. When a severe threat comes from the East in the form of an evil king, the Dokami were forced to reveal their secret and train five children not to restrain their powers but to increase them. Along their journey to find their teacher, the five students encounter many secrets that Omordion holds. Secrets which could potentially end their lives.

What are your forthcoming writings?
I am currently working on Book Two of the Omordion Trilogy: Rise of Jmugea. I started writing it a few years ago but took a break to edit and publish Secret of Omordion. I am also starting work on the third book of the trilogy, Return to Oeua, where my story comes to a very powerful end.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to write more books and become an established author. If I could do what I love all day and get paid for it, it’s a no-brainer!

Your dream destination on Earth?
There are so many places on Earth I would like to see, it’s hard to pick just one dream destination. If I had to narrow it down to two very difficult choices, I would choose either Japan or India. When I was in college, I wanted to live and work in Japan so I took a Japanese language course and learned a lot of the language, plus the Hiragana and Katakana symbols so I could read basic Japanese. Unfortunately, over the years I lost a lot of what I learned but I’m still very interested in seeing the country.
I have wanted to go to India for so long as well… My favorite hobby besides writing is dancing and I have been taking Classical Indian (Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Odissi) dance classes for eleven years. Over the years, I have fallen in love with the culture, the people, the movies, etc. making it one of, if not my top, destination to visit. Just don’t know where to go first!

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born in Haiti and came to United States when I was 3 years old. Like I mentioned earlier, I have only visited countries in this side of the world, like the Caribbean Islands and Canada, which is really sad. I have been back to Haiti a few times since I left. It’s always a surreal and uplifting trip…so depressing whenever I had to leave. Haiti is a beautiful island and the people there are even more beautiful. On cruises, my family and I have visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West, the Bahamas, and Nova Scotia. My favorite place to visit was Nassau in the Bahamas because I love water parks and Atlantis is (by far) the best one I have ever been to. Period.

Your favorite time of the day?
My favorite time of the day is around 2pm when the sun is at its highest. It sort of rejuvenates me and carries me further through the rest of the day.

Your zodiac/ sunsign?
I am a Libra, born on October 13th during the Week of Theater I’ve read. If "all the world's a stage," as Shakespeare wrote, then people born in the Week of Theater are some of the finest players upon it. I would hope that’s true for me!

Your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is red. To me, it’s the color of love and it is very eye catching.

Your favorite book and why?
Only one book? Lol just kidding…Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors so a lot of my favorite books come from her works: The Vampire Chronicles (10 books) and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Her writing is flawless and she captures the reader, pulling them into her stories as if they were an actual retelling of human history. I absolutely love her work.

The last line of your autobiography would be…

“And she lived happily ever after…” Lol no, it would probably be “And the best is yet to come.” 

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