Author/artist Desiree Finkbeiner shares the story of ETHOS

Today we welcome sister Hydra author Desiree Finkbeiner!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

It goes without saying that I love to create. Art, writing and anything crafty. I have 4 rowdy kids, one with Asperger’s Syndrome, which creates a unique challenge for our family. Working from home is vital for a mother with a special needs child, so being an author and artist facilitates that need very well. I have a great hubby, who supports my need to write and create, and also a very supportive network of siblings etc.

What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

No pets, unfortunately (especially bummed, since I LOVE animals so much). We live in a very tiny little house, in town, NW Arkansas. With the economy being so rough, we are unable to sell our home and upgrade to more space at this time. So all 6 of us are crammed in about 1200 sq ft. One learns to be very willing to sacrifice privacy under such living conditions LOL. So, no room for pets.

I don’t drink coffee, tea or anything addictive like soda or alcohol. We tend to stick to a very organic diet in our home. But the things I crave most are fresh veggies (especially home-grown garden tomatoes, sprinkled with salt and garlic) and French or Italian cuisine. Something I have at my desk regularly, are petite baby dill pickles, Spanish olives or unsweetened 85% dark chocolate (particular the Newtree brand with flaxseed).

What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

Education is an author’s best friend… especially regarding history, literary arts and marketing. I have a degree in commercial art with an emphasis in business and marketing, which has been valuable for promoting my book. I spend a lot of time continuing my education daily; reading articles, watching educational documentaries or picking someone’s brain.

A diploma isn’t necessarily important (though I have a BA and over 140 credit hours), but most people can’t afford tuition… education can be free if you know where to find good information. I’ve known many folks who were more knowledgeable than people with degrees, who simply read and read and read, thus self-educating. So even if you don’t have the opportunity to go to college, you can still stuff your head full of knowledge. Education is vital to success no matter who you are.

Tell us about your most recent publication?

Ethos is the series I am focusing on most right now. Morning Star, book #1, was released March 28 2012. It’s an urban fantasy/paranormal romance/adventure story that crosses over adult to YA markets. I try to keep my writing clean enough for adults and teens to enjoy without being easily offended.

There is some mild passion in the book as well as some mild violence, but I’m sure you’ve seen and heard much worse on Nickelodeon LOL! The main point of the book is to provoke thoughts of spirituality and moral reflection, to look within ourselves and ask how far we’d go to stand up for what we believe in. I think the issues presented are general enough, that people from all walks of life can find some tidbit of universal truth that speaks to them on a personal level.

I’m a sucker for action, so of course, there are a few good fights and chases… and what would a good fantasy be without a little romance? However, I didn’t want the book to be saturated with it. I tried to find balance between the romantic elements and the rest of the story, so readers from multiple genres could enjoy it.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

Multiple sources inspired the story, but in short, I knew I just needed to write. So I tried to think of a way that I could appeal to a wide market, while choosing genres and topics of popular interest, but did my best to put my own spin on it so it was unique in its own way. I tried to avoid clichés so my own voice would shine through the work.

How would you best describe your books?

Evenly paced, fairly balanced and character-rich. I hope to create characters and worlds that people can relate to, so the reading experience is more realistic. Being a very spiritual person myself, I can’t help but let that influence bleed into the work.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

To write, I prefer fantasy and all of its sub genres. To read, I prefer nonfiction, especially spiritual, political or historical topics. But when I do read fiction, I prefer fantasy.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I most enjoy the escape it provides, and least like the sore wrists and fingers. I’ve been writing since I was a child, and taking creative writing classes have always been a priority for me all throughout school. But the writing but really bit me when I was twelve, though I didn’t seek publication until I was an adult.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I was a member of a local writer’s critique group locally a few years ago, but just became too busy with my family to keep going. There are lots of great places online to share work with other writers and get honest (and sometimes brutal feedback) Authonomy, for one example, and many others. But I don’t really visit them any more since I finally feel like I’ve developed my own style and I’m too busy writing to meet deadlines or marketing my work. I also freelance for several blogs and write content for products in addition to my design and art projects.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I normally prefer silence, so most of my writing is done late into the night when the rest of the household sleeps.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

I wrote a lengthy political thriller/urban fantasy called, The Establishment (155,000 words), in 2010. But after 15 rejections and some honest feedback from beta readers, I realized that it just wasn’t what I wanted to be associated with for a debut series. So I tossed it aside to work on character development and plotting for a new series, which ultimately became Ethos. Within about two weeks of sending Ethos out to publishers, I had three offers.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I’m finishing up book #2 in the Ethos series, for a fall 2012 release and also working on a YA steampunk fantasy called, The Elevator.

What would you like to tell readers?

Please feel free to follow me on Facebook to stay updated on new work and giveaways etc. I appreciate feedback and suggestions too.

Author Name: Desiree Finkbeiner

Book being spotlighted: Ethos: Morning Star (Book #1 in the Ethos series)

Amazon purchase link:

Amazon Author page:


Publisher: Hydra Publications (March 28, 2012)

Author website:

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Action Adventure Fantasy Book Trailer #1:

Paranormal Romance Fantasy Book Trailer #2:

Ethos on Goodreads:

Ethos on Shelfari:

Ethos on Library Thing: