Dina Rae and I met virtually though our publisher, Damnation Books, just after her novel Halo of the Damned was released in the springtime of 2012. It is a pleasure to have this seasoned author write a little bit about her craft for us. Here is Seven Questions with Dina Rae, explorer of the paranormal, with cunning stories of both urban and historical conspiracies.
1) Hi Dina, welcome to my little corner of virtual space. Where in the world are you? Tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me! I used to be a teacher but got laid-off. During my lay-off I wrote three novels and almost finished a fourth. I currently work as a substitute teacher and chess instructor. Although I live outside of Chicago, I take advantage of the city and enjoy all it has to offer. Besides author, I am a wife, mother, Christian, and professional tennis player (in my mind, but I love to play)!
2) I just downloaded your story, The Last Degree, what can I expect inside. Tell us a little about your other books.
It’s a work of fiction, but a great deal of research about Freemasonry, Apocalypse, New World Order and other conspiracy theories, secret societies, and the prepper movement went into the story. The Last Degree is one of those books that you will either love or hate. In fact, I haven’t received a three star review yet. I have a 4.0 avg./23 reviews. Some people were offended by it and others have no prior knowledge on any conspiracy theories. If you like Alex Jones, Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, History Channel, etc., you’ll love it!
3) I stole this question from Tim Marquitz. Now I ask it to everybody. The zombie apocalypse arrives: who do you want on your response team?
The cast from Doomsday Preppers, the Boy and Girl Scouts, FEMA, and whoever holds the keys to the Denver Airport’s underground maze of bunkers!
4) Who are your favorite authors and/or books?
I love Dan Brown, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George RR Martin, Tom Wolfe, Preston and Childs, LaHaye and Jenkins, Joel Rosenberg, too many to count.
I know this sounds bad, but I prefer male authors to female ones. Generally speaking, men add a lot of researched details and don’t get wordy with descriptions whereas women generally sound like they are bullshitting––E.L. James comes to mind. I’m of course the exception to this rule––LOL––and James is bullshitting her way to the bank!
5) I know what scares me; what scares you?
The scariest thing in the world is losing someone you love. Nothing can ever compare. Heights terrify me. Whenever a movie uses them for suspense my heart picks up several beats.
6) I’ve heard really good things about Halo of The Damned, would there be any other fallen angel books on your horizon?
Thanks so much for asking. It’s a paranormal lover’s type of horror story. Again, lots of research went into it. It’s about fallen angels, Enoch, a real religion that worships angels (Yezidism), nephilim, and the advertising world. It received some great reviews-4.3 avg/42 ratings on Goodreads and was chosen as the Paranormal Horror Group’s September Read-very proud of that. It is currently being given away on Goodreads. And yes, I am almost finished with the sequel.
7) A friend of mine says these two movies defined our generation. He, my smart friend, suspects these two movies have great cultural significance. Do you like Star Wars, or Grease? Which is better?
Great question! I’m 43 years old so am very much a product of the Star Wars vs. Grease segment of society. I just took my daughter to see Grease the play and it sucked compared to the movie, but loved it as a little girl. Played the record too many times to count and have all of the songs memorized. Didn’t get Star Wars back then. Watched it many years later as an adult-the lightbulb flashed on. So many hidden symbols, made me think of the Bible, God vs. Satan. Really brilliant series. George Lucas was one of the smartest business men, really knew how to market his product.
Here is an excerpt from The Last Degree by Dina Rae
“I am sending you a master craftsman named Hiram-abi, who is extremely talented. His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood.
2 Chronicles 2:13-14
The mystery of Hiram Abif originates from the Biblical passage above. Secret societies have given him credit for constructing Solomon’s temple. According to legend, Hiram used talented craftsman and secrecy, such as passwords for orchestrating its construction.
Solomon didn’t like Hiram’s growing power, along with the attraction the Queen of Sheba had for him. Some scholars imply he may have had something to do with his death. Hiram remains the primary protagonist and martyr in modern day Masonic circles.
It was a rainy, dark fall day in Wrigleyville, an upscale north-side neighborhood. The rain violently splattered onto the concrete of Waveland Avenue. Although a big city, in this neighborhood crime generally amounted to alcohol related offenses such as DUIs, bar room brawls, and public intoxication which was usually festive Cub fans oblivious to the limits of celebrating. This day was different.
“911? There’s a body in my alleyway, behind a dumpster. I’m behind Waveland Avenue, 1269 West. I think he’s dead! He looks like my neighbor…don’t know his name. I’m checking for his pulse right now, but nothing,” reported an elderly resident who was walking her dog.
At 10:02 a.m. an ambulance appeared on the scene, minutes after the initial phone call. The paramedics confirmed no pulse, and then called the coroner for an official ruling of death. The scene was then turned over to Lead Detectives Ann Wilson and Rich Stephanski. By 11:00 a.m., the 1200 block of Waveland was declared a crime scene. The detectives yellow-taped the area while uniformed officers coned off the street.
Due to the relentless rain, both detectives wore raincoats and carried traditional black umbrellas. They hurriedly moved in to investigate, fearing the rain might wash away the evidence. The victim appeared to be a young white male without identification, dressed in a gray wool cable-knit sweater and blue jeans. He was clean shaven with dirty blonde hair.
Ann took several pictures of the surrounding area and body with her Olympus digital camera. Her partner lifted the shoulders of the body to have a better look at the victim’s face. Rigamortis began to set.
“Ann, check this out. His throat has been slit. This sweater is soaked with blood. The wool acts like a sponge. Maybe we’ll find some blood in there that isn’t his,” Rich said.
“Let’s move the body into the meat wagon,” insisted Ann as she motioned for assistance from two uniformed cops.
“Looky what I’ve found,” yelled Detective Dan O’Leary from across the alleyway. “Is this a human tongue?”
The detectives surrounded him for a closer look.
“Good work, Dan,” praised Ann. “It’s definitely a tongue. The tendons are hanging off of the thicker end, like it was ripped out of the vic’s mouth. Look at the tip. It was intentionally split.”
Detective Wilson crawled into the back of the ‘meat wagon’ and unzipped the body bag. She took her pen and pried the victim’s mouth open. “What do you know…We have what looks like a tongue and a victim that’s missing a tongue.” Ann glanced back. “Coincidence?” She had a hard time seeing through her soaked grayish brown hair that was pressed against her small face. She had to keep putting her umbrella down in order to take more photographs of the scene.
Dina has me over at her site, here is the link – http://www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com/2012/10/author-jake-elliot-stops-by.html