An Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio

Front Cover The Emissary

Having taught in the same school as my husband in the past, worked with him in his photography business and spending pretty much 24 hours a day together for much of the last 35 years, I’m fascinated how professional relationships work when people are romantically involved with one another. Consequently, it gives me great pleasure to interview the authors of The Emissary, Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio who are also a married couple.

Published by Waterside Publishing, The Emissary is available for purchase through these links.

The Emissary

Front Cover The Emissary

Maxwell Quinn, a laid-back, pot-smoking blogger based in Seattle, is no ordinary soul.  He is the reincarnation of Marcus, born 13,000 years ago in the land of Atitala during mankind’s Golden Age.  Since then Marcus has been reincarnated an exhausting number of times, and his energy is waning.  But his purpose remains clear – to guide mankind in its evolution and to reunite with his true love, Theron, his childhood sweetheart.  But evil always stands in his way – until now.

Mixing spirituality, fantasy, and adventure, authors Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio have written The Emissary (Waterside Press, October 2018), a sprawling novel that takes readers on an epic journey as they witness history through Marcus’s many lives.

As a child in Atitala, Marcus and his best friends Theron and Helghul enjoy the advantages of living in a peaceful, sacred world.  But chaos is on the horizon, and their ancient land is about to be destroyed.  To ensure civilization’s survival, the Elders of Atitala select a small group of Emissaries, including the three youngsters, who through many reincarnations are destined to lead humanity into an era of peace and prosperity.  But tragedy strikes.  Marcus and Theron are separated as they flee Atitala, while Helghul is possessed by the forces of evil.  Each time that Marcus and Theron are reunited through the ages, Helghul brutalizes them and forces them apart, determined to ruin all hope for mankind’s salvation.

The Emissary is the first book in The One Great Year series.  The concept for the series is based on documentation from more than thirty-one ancient civilizations, tracking the Earth through a 26,000 year cycle as it slowly wobbles on its axis.  Today NASA refers to this phenomenon as “the period of one complete cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic.”  Plato simploy called it “The Great Year.”  Using this as a unifying theme, Veitch and DeFazio also reference philosophies and archaeological sites that they researched long before they began writing.  Currently working on books II and III in The One Great Year series, the authors continue to travel in search of esoteric knowledge and cultural insights that will inspire their readers.

Intertwining the elements of great writing with deep philosophical thought and natural history, The Emissary is destined to become a classic.  It is an unforgettable tale of eternal love, betrayal, and the hope that binds us all.

An interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag. Thank you both so much for agreeing to answer some questions about The Emissary.  How did your writing collaboration come about?

The Emissary was a story begging to be told. The inception of our collaboration still feels like divine intervention. We met by chance and began dating, but we were from two different worlds. Rene was a struggling actor-producer-writer who went globetrotting as soon as a check came in, and Tamara was a mother with deep roots in her community, a mural painting business, and a lifelong passion for writing. We fell in love, but our life paths didn’t make sense together. Just when our relationship seemed doomed, Rene heard a voice in his head saying, “write a book you idiot!” We instantly knew that was what we were meant to do. Rene had the perfect screenplay treatment tucked away, just waiting for us to bring it to life as a novel. Tamara was blown away by the fascinating reincarnation tale of eternal love, betrayal, and the hope that binds us all. We started writing the very next day.

We are now happily married and are thrilled to be releasing The Emissary, Book I in The One Great Year Series.

What an exciting journey. Congratulations on both The Emissary and a successful relationship!

How is your research allocated?

We visit the cities and countries we write about whenever possible. We have traveled South America, Asia, Europe and Africa, and it definitely helps our settings feel more authentic. In The Emissary, the location of Stone-at-Center is based on the ancient, mysterious monolithic site in Bolivia known as Tiwanaku. Seeing the pyramid, architecture and landscape firsthand during our visit there, helped us bring the setting to life. In general, Rene does the brunt of the research which adds up to years of detailed inquiry. Tamara also researches topics and individuals as she writes, in order to get details just right.

Travel and books – what a perfect combination. 

How do your respective arts backgrounds affect your writing?

Our backgrounds have had a huge impact on our work. Tamara has always loved words and hears the melody and flow in language. Studying literature, philosophy and history in university gave her a broad basis to draw from in our novels.  Rene has a background in video and film, and has a very visual outlook. His training and experience as an actor has also heightened our understanding of character development, dialogue and pace. Our combined skill sets make our books an exceptionally visual and entertaining experience.

So, how do you ensure continuity of style and approach?

People often think that we take turns writing chapters but in actuality, we write every paragraph cooperatively. We endeavor to honor the different strengths that each of us brings to the table. Tamara ensures the language and voice are consistent, poignant and high quality, and Rene ensures the storyline and details are accurate, fresh and exciting. Throughout the process we try to think like our main character Marcus and we ask ourselves what would a thirteen thousand year old man know that the rest of us do not?Together we have created an original story that we are excited to share with the world.

It really does sound a very intriguing read.

Are there any difficulties in writing collaboratively?

Any time you have two strong willed creative types working together, especially husband and wife, you can encounter difficulty. Working together we have run the full gamut of emotions but over the years, as we continued discovering the amazing material that is the foundation of The Emissary, we felt an overwhelming responsibility to tell this story right. It was vital that we give The Emissary the respect it deserved, because ultimately it felt bigger than both of us. It isn’t always easy but our relationship has grown stronger and we couldn’t be prouder of the work. We have completed Book I The Emissary, and Book II The Emerald Tablet, will be released in February 2019. Books III and IV in The One Great Year series are also underway!

It sounds like you have plenty to keep you both occupied!

What are the benefits of such an approach to writing?

Falling deeply in love while writing an epic love story has its benefits. The truth of the soulmate journey resonates through the story. We also recognize that by working together we significantly improve the quality of one other’s writing. We each bring different life-experiences and perspectives and we build on one another’s words and ideas. Writing can often be a lonely, fretful journey so we are grateful to share the highs and lows of this passion with the full support of our life partner.

I’d say that sounds ideal.

Who has the final say in the editing process?

We both have final say. If we can’t agree on something big, we don’t have the right answer yet. We have come to trust each other. If one of us has a strong point of view in a scene, the other will usually defer to his or her opinion. Though there have been long days when finding agreement has been difficult, we have learned to take a break, go for lunch, even wait a day or two. Eventually the right words and ideas come and we always write something we are both totally happy with.

Who has the greatest skill in writing description, dialogue, character etc?

That’s a great question! Tamara is the wordsmith. Usually Rene will lay down the outline and set the tone and character arc then Tamara turns it into beautiful, lyrical sentences. After that, we pass the manuscript back and forth until we are both happy with the outcome. That can take years, but now the time of The Emissary is finally here!

Congratulations to you both on The Emissary and here’s to many more years of writing together.

About the Authors

tamara and rene

Rene DeFazio, who was born and rasied in Canada, currently lives in the Vancouver area with his wife and writing partner, Tamara Veitch.  Rene is an actor and producer with numerous film and television roles to his credit, as well as countless commercials and print ads.  A world traveler and lifelong adventurer, Rene has called upon his unusual and exciting experiences in co-creating the One Great Year book series of which The Emissary is the first installment.  His tireless research and first-hand knowledge of exotic locations, customs, sights, and smells help to bring this epic story to life.

Tamara Veitch is a writer, mural artist, and mother of three.  She grew up in Canada and attended Simon Fraser University, studying English and Psychology.  Tamara has had a lifelong interest in spiritual wisdom and has carefully researched ancient teachings from many traditions to ensure historical accuracy through the One Great Year book series.

You can find out more by following @OneGreatYear on Twitter and visiting the One Great Year website. You’ll also find One Great Year on Facebook.

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