17 Jun 2014

Interview with Zoku's Hope author Chelsea O'Neal

Welcome to Fiction Dreams Chelsea! Tell me, do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about? 
Actually yes, I did dream part of Juniper’s Princess, as well as used dreams as a power for Daniah. My last dream was about meeting a guy. Yes, it was epic, as in he saved me from the line of fire (don’t know why anyone was shooting at me) and then it was the most perfect kiss, that ended when my dog barked in real life to wake me up to go outside...

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published? 
I first started writing in 5th grade when I wrote a story about being snowed in (like it snowed so much it covered the building) and we had to dig our way out to go find our parents. I moved on to poetry and wrote mainly that until I started writing random short stories that I never really finished. I got the idea for JP and then kept going and was first published in July 2013. It took me many years, but I love to write, and I stuck with it so that I could finally be a published author, a dream come true!

What is it about the genre you write that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? 

I love fantasy. It makes me forget reality and all the harshness that comes with it for those 300 ish pages. I love to get lost in someone’s life and not have to worry about mine for a period of time. I mainly read paranormal/ fantasy books, though I will read just about anything. I enjoy romance of all kinds as well.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book? 
Zoku’s Hope is about keeping you head up when the world seems like it is falling down around you. It takes place in a world that has been at war for more than a couple decades. Though the war isn’t between the humans, it is between the Zoku (who protect the humans) and the Devlo (who try to kill the humans). There is a power struggle going on the humans don’t know about that has put a select few in the crosshairs, and they have to keep their hope with them when all looks lost. They have to decide who to follow and who to trust when it seems like there is no hope to be found.

What inspired you to write it? 
The idea came to me when I thought ‘what would it be like to have someone come into your place of work, and say “you are more than who you think you are”.’ With that single sentence it kept rolling, if my entire life was turned upside down, then what would happen. This is another thing I love about reading, is that I can pretend that I am that person/character and I can ‘live’ right along with them with out ever leaving my comfy bed.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
I work in a library and I haven’t actually seen anyone reading my books, but it is kind of a shock (a good one) when someone brings them in to return. It makes me smile.

Who designs your covers? 
My first cover (Juniper’s Princess) was done by my publisher Mirador Publishing. And my second cover (Zoku’s Hope) was done by Mallory Rocks Art http://www.malloryrock.com/

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast? 
Oh I love this question, and boy would I love to see my book as a film!
Daniah: Zooey Deschanel
Jaiden: Zac Efron
Zach: Ryan Reynolds
Cordelia: Emma Stone
Trevor: Chris Hemsworth
Meikal: Russell Crowe
Janessa: Teresa Palmer
Mallory: Ellen Page
Orion: Alexander SkarsgÄrd
Nicole: Natalie Portman

What's your favourite book that made it to the big screen? 

Harry Potter-any and all of them I am a total Potter Head!

What were the last two books you read? 

Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
Obsidian by Laurann Dohner

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known. 
Rae Carson, she is amazing at writing she has written a Trilogy called Fire and Thorns Trilogy. It was AWESOME! Go read it, it is and YA book and it is so good!

Where do you write? 

Mainly in my bedroom, I love my bed and it is super comfy. Sometimes on my front deck when it’s nice and my Black Lab, Daisey, can sit out there with me. In the summer she loves for me to fill her pool (a plastic kiddie pool) and lounge in the water.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream? 
I wanted to be a teacher, and I was for a couple years. I also wanted to be a writer and well, I’m doing that also!

In the movie of your life, who would play you? 
photo credit: Steve Rogers Photography via photopin cc
Ohhhh this is good, and hard! Emma Stone, I love her, she is hilarious, smart, and beautiful!

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
Wine (really anything, I’m a light weight)
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopadon’t unless it is books.
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Closer to the ground, I’m already almost 6 foot.
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? E.L. James, as I haven’t read Jilly Cooper…yet.
Cry baby or tough cookie? Tough cookie
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Oh oh oh both?

After Jaiden found Daniah in Juniper, they returned to Garnet City. Daniah is destined to become Queen of Zoku, a race of angel half-breeds who protect the humans from a soul-stealing evil. Now, Daniah is learning of her abilities and responsibilities as queen. Just as things seem to be going smoothly, a group of Zoku show up to help, led by an angel, Shelly.
Mallory has been on her own for most of her life, trying to protect and save those around her. She is Toyek, and she's been hiding in plain sight while fighting for her life. She is intent on finding her friend’s daughter, whatever it takes, when an innocent trip to the supermarket takes an interesting turn.
Orion has been hired to find a female and, as a Tracker, finding people is his specialty. He discovers much more than he was looking for when he runs into the beautiful Mallory. While pursuing both his target and the resistant Mallory, he finds himself fighting to defend Princess Daniah and the Zoku.
Can Orion and Mallory work together to help Daniah be the hope the Zoku so desperately need? Or will a few surprises and a tragedy be all it takes to break the united front of the Zoku fighting against the evil Meikal?
Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Chelsea O’Neal lives in her fantasy world where people can fly, vampires could be real, money is never an issue, and the romantic meeting of your true love is a normal happening. When not relaxing in Chelsea-ville, she enjoys talking with animals that talk back and taking long walks with her Prince Charming…
Actually Chelsea lives in the United States in Nebraska, where she was born and raised, with her black lab Daisey, who hasn’t spoken actual words, but she is pretty sure Daisey understands her. She is yet to meet her Prince Charming, though she is quite sure he is out there. Chelsea enjoys working in a library as well as a cosmetologist. She is an avid reader and writing has always been her passion. Zoku’s Hope is her second novel, and she is working on her next book now.
Twitter @ChelCOneal
Amazon Author Page
Shelfari Book Link
Goodreads Book Link
Goodreads Author Page


  1. Thank you for having me on your blog today! Loved the interview, it was fun to answer! <3

  2. I love this interview!

    Thank you for support Chelsea on tour Suzy.



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