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Rising Stars: Meet Deidre Sequeira

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deidre Sequeira.

Hi Deidre, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
So, I’ve been writing for a really long time. I’m talking about writing what was technically Legally Blonde fan fiction when I was five. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started writing with an end goal in mind: to actually be an author. I started many projects, much of which can still be found on Wattpad (yikes, I know). I had the drive, but I had very little focus. That would come later.

While I was in college, all of my attention and energy went into my studies as an English major, and this meant I spent almost no time reading or writing for myself, for pleasure. However, in 2016, that changed, and I became almost ravenous for literature. I practically devoured all the words and stories I could get my hands on. But I was craving a certain type of story—one about mermaids and growing pains and self-reflection. I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was then that I decided to create the story I was craving so badly. At first, it was just for me, but once I was done, I was hopeful that others would enjoy it, too.

Isla Emerged was the first novel I ever finished writing. At the time, I’d already become a part of the indie author community through other channels—my editing business, Mark My Words Editing, and friends who were authors and graphic designers. Thus, once I typed “the end,” I was in a position to really DO IT. To actually publish a book on my own. I emailed indie authors I admired and spoke to friends for advice. And once I had their thoughts, I put it all into practice. I found an editor and formatter, got the cover designed, and got to work.

I never imagined that, just a few years later, that one book would become a series. That I’d have to go into the file after publication and edit out the words “the end” because people were asking for more from my characters, for more of the world I’d created. But I did. And while Isla’s journey is now complete with her three books, mine is still going, and I’m excited to see where I go next.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not always. I find myself struggling with imposter syndrome pretty often, and it leads me to self-sabotage through procrastination. Thankfully, I have a great support system of other authors who do writing sprints with me and push me to keep going when I doubt myself. However, that’s not my biggest struggle. Honestly, I have really a hard time marketing.

As an indie author, I’m a one-woman band, basically. I have an amazing author friend, Ryder Lyne, who often helps with graphics and marketing ideas. She has even taught me how to create my own images and the importance of hashtags and timing my posts, but the rest of the work falls to me. Unfortunately, my time in retail foreshadowed one hard truth I’m having to face now: I’m simply not a great saleswoman. So, even though I feel like I have something really special to offer, it’s difficult for me to get it out there.

I love my stories and characters, so I try really hard to do them justice, and that’s why this feels so tough. Marketing is the last real necessity for getting your book into the hands of readers, and it’s a job that never ends. Where you can finish writing and editing a story, marketing it doesn’t have an endpoint. It’s sort of daunting.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m an author who specializes in Young Adult Fantasy, though I’m also hoping to branch out into YA Contemporary fiction, too. I have a completed trilogy out at the moment that consists of Isla Emerged, Secrets Submerged, and Currents Converged.

These books follow Isla, a mermaid princess who was loosely inspired by everyone’s favorite red-headed mermaid, Ariel. Isla’s journey takes a drastic turn away from traditional mermaid stories, though, and offers a tale of deep regret and uplifting redemption.

Now that the series is done, though, I’m on to something new, and I’m absolutely stoked about it. I’m currently working on my next book, When We Burn, which I’m hoping to complete soon so I can get it to my readers already! I can’t wait to see what they think. While it still resides in the realm of fantasy, it will be vastly different from the Isla Emerged Trilogy.

I’m really proud of my progress as a writer. I can see it in WWB. I look at my older works and my newer writings, and I smile at the growth that—I feel, at least—is apparent. I can only hope my readers see it, too. I want everything they get from me to be better than before.

What sets me apart from others in my field, I think, is my approach to YA fantasy through a lens that doesn’t focus on romance. Romance, while it has its place in my works, isn’t the biggest piece of the story. I place a high value on character development, and I try my best to show real growth in my characters. This means a variety of things for various characters—acquiring and maintaining self-love, finding their place in their world, building their own kind of families, understanding who they are at their core, and learning to accept what they see there.

I want my readers to feel like they’ve experienced a transformation, a metamorphosis, by the end of my books. Yes, romance is amazing. There’s no doubt about it. I love reading romance, and I love writing it. But for me, it’s a tool I use in my stories to further a character’s plot; it’s not the plot in and of itself. I think that’s an important distinction to make, especially in books that are geared toward a younger audience, toward readers who are in the middle of their own metamorphoses.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love the family-centered atmosphere that San Antonio holds. Everyone is so friendly, and you can feel the camaraderie in the air. I also love feeling so close to my heritage as a Latina. San Antonio celebrates Latin cultures like nowhere else in America, and it’s a beautiful thing to experience.

The only thing I could do without when it comes to our city is the weather. What is with this heat? It’s even hot when it RAINS. Yeah, I don’t mind escaping to the Bay Area in California during the summers and basking in the 50-degree night air. But I still call SATX home, no matter what.

Pricing:

  • Isla Emerged: Paperback – $13.99 / Ebook – $2.99 / Audiobook – $19.95
  • Secrets Submerged: Paperback – $11.99 / Ebook – $1.99 / Audiobook – $14.95
  • Currents Converged: Paperback – $16.99 / Ebook – $4.99 / Audiobook – $19.95

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